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"US Helmets" Topic

9 Posts

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782 hits since 5 Mar 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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jah1956 Inactive Member05 Mar 2017 10:17 a.m. PST

Please help read sometime ago that US soldiers ETO were told Not to wear their helmets/or undo the straps if under artillery fire as the blast would blow the helmet off and the strap would break their necks. is this
1 Total B""""""t
2 sort of true
3 Yes that's really true

Pan Marek Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

But apparently it was nevertheless a widespread belief among the troops.

Korvessa05 Mar 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Guys were still talking like that when I was in ROTC in mid 80s. I suspect they just thought it looked cool.

Tgunner Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

I heard about that too, but was told it was BS. It's just plain uncomfortable wearing that chinstrap. However it does keep the pot on your head, so we were told to use them in the desert.

However I saw guys do it and this idea was their defense. Soldiers are a superstitious bunch.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

Soldier's myth – but a pretty wide spread one

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

Widespread and persistent! War comics inevitably repeated this as fact, too, which could account for its longevity well past its expiration date.

Cosmic Reset05 Mar 2017 1:12 p.m. PST

My Dad said that he was taught not to strap the chin strap in combat, that if they were moving through brush, the helmet could snag and interrupt his movement. Not so much causing injury, but could act as a distraction, jerk him in the wrong direction, interfere with vision/line of sight, etc.

Privateer4hire Inactive Member05 Mar 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

5th Infantry Division (Mech). Division change of command ceremony, early 1990s. Fort Polk Louisiana. Battalions in a row across a huge hot-ass field in blazing, humid Louisiana heat.

Division adjutant puts the division on rest while we're in between practice run-throughs of the ceremony. Aviation guys off to one side of our infantry battalion pop their helmets off and swig water like crazy. Nearby tanker battalion was darn near naked within 10 seconds of the rest order. But not 4/6 Infantry 'Regulars'!

We stand there with helmets strapped tightly to our noggins except for two guys up in front of me. We watch in slow motion horror as their chin straps fly free with an audible pop. Either they had forgotten they were Regulars or the heat had gotten to them. No difference. The battalion sergeant major had climbed up through the battalion formation(while we all had slung rifles and fixed bayonets in place) before anyone could gasp in shock.

"Why are you two ********** so squared away and the rest of us are so ******* up," he asked in a growling yell that would make drill sergeants cry. In the instant the two poor excuses for could snap their chin straps back on, the sergeant major wheeled inside the formation. Chevrons reflected in his eyes.

"And why does the sergeant major have to come correct these clowns when I've got NCOs standing all around them?!!!!" The other battalions were certainly impressed with our prowess and helmet-wearing discipline that day. Or at least I think they were talking about that as none of them were falling out for heat stroke. Weaklings.

Back on topic, I'd never heard that thing about the chin strap and artillery. I will say that we mocked the SQT manual cover from the 80s that had a grunt firing while on the run, his chin strap flying free and boot laces streaming in the breeze. We knew no 'Regular' had posed for nor had been consulted on the accuracy of such an illustration.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2017 11:49 p.m. PST


The answer is yes, and no. The original M1 helmet strap would not unbuckle if close to an explosion and could cause injury to the wearer. They changed the strap so that it would open easily and not injure the wearer. So it was true, but only for a couple years.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

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