BACKGROUND: In late 1940, with the impending German entrance into the North African campaign, tropical uniforms, headgear and equipment were quickly developed and issued in time for DAK, Deutsches Afrika Korps, (German Africa Corps), personnelís arrival in Tripoli in February 1941. One of the new headgear items introduced was the tropical pith helmet which was based on the design of the earlier Kriegsmarine pith helmet. On its introduction the pith helmet was constructed of a formed cork base with a cotton twill covering until a second pattern pith helmet was introduced with a formed cork base with a felt covering. The second pattern pith helmet followed the same basic design as the first pattern but was modified to ease production time and material costs. Wear of the pith helmets was extended to personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe but the helmets proved ineffective and unpopular and manufacture was discontinued sometime in 1942.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Second pattern pith helmet constructed in a one piece, seamless, formed, olive-drab felt crown with a horizontal band stitched at the rear center and covered by a vertical strip of felt mounted on a formed cork base. The top center of the crown has a raised, removable, felt covered, circular alloy knob with three semi-circular, cut-out ventilation holes. Top of the crown is slightly punched in, but would probably push back into shape. The helmet features an all around extended visor which is somewhat shorter at the front and is constructed of one piece, seamless, formed, olive-drab felt and trimmed with stitched on grey/green leather. There is edge wear to the leather trim. The helmet has two stamped alloy shields with a national eagle to the left side and a national tri-color shield to the right side. The national eagle shield features a high relief, embossed Wehrmacht style eagle with down-swept wings, on a slightly textured, black painted, background field. The national tri-color shield features three diagonally angled bars in the colors of red, white, and black on a slightly textured background field. The bottom edge of the visor brim is lined in teal green felt and the interior crown is lined in red felt. The interior crown liner has three large and two smaller circular ventilation cut-outs. The interior of the helmet has a wide, light tan leather sweatband which is secure in place by six small extended prongs with corresponding metal cotter retaining pins. Marked "JHS", dated for "1942" and size marked 55. The interior crown has an alloy grommet under the exterior top crown knob. The helmet comes complete with a grey/green leather chinstrap with sliding magnetic sheet metal length adjustment buckle, a retaining clip and a quick release hook. Original vets name who brought it back with a 1946 date. Comes with a decent pair of original goggles.

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $625.00

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