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US WWII, Remarkable M1917-A1 Kelly Helmet, 11th Bombardment Sqd, Australia 1942

This item is listed for historical interest only. It was listed on our site previously but has been sold and is no longer available for purchase.
Sold for: $450.00
Item #33812

Original era manufacture. Likely one of the most interesting Kelly helmets we have owned, or will own is this complete example issued to a soldier in the 11th Bombardment Squadron (H). Standard pattern helmet with liner and strap, rough combat finish, overall showing typical age and wear but quite sound. What sets this helmet apart is the wealth of information and soldier jargon handwritten onto the leather liner pads, chinstrap and helmet edges that can be easily seen with the eye. It would take a lot of typing to provide all of the details of his writing, but there is plenty of online research available about this unit and it's activities in the early days of 1942 to provide an interesting story. The units mentioned on the helmet are the 11th Squadron 7th Bomb Group, 19th Group and The Abberkerk. Briefly the 11th Squadron was destined for the Philippines in late 1941, diverted after Dec.7th to the Dutch East Indies and evecuated to Australia with some personnel sailing aboard the Dutch Freighter SS Abbekerk (later sunk by the Japanese). Later the men and equipment of the 11th were transfered to the 19th Group which remained in Australia. A particularly interesting account of the SS Abbekerk and her voyage on the 26th of February is online and details the evacuation of US troops including Air Corps units aboard her, of the 24 ships that sailed that afternoon only 13 escaped the Japanese, the remainder were sunk or captured. This is a great helmet.  

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