Original WWII German Paratrooper Helmet, Single Luftwaffe Eagle Decal, ID'd
- Period painted Northern Africa and the Eastern Front -
THIS IS A RARE HELMET- In great Eastern Front Battle used condition
This fantastic identified Original German Luftwaffe Paratrooper Helmet from the Hermann Goering Panzergrenadier Division. ID'd to Oberleutnant (1st. Lieutenant) Wilhelm Kuhlwilm (see picture of him above, note his two Tank destroyer Badges on his arm). The German 1st Parachute Panzer Division "Hermann Goring" was an elite German Luftwaffe Paratroop armored division. They saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and on the Eastern Front. Oberleutnant (1st. Lt.) Wilhelm Kuhlwilm and his helmet were everywhere, he saw a lot of action and was highly decorated. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class, the Iron Cross 1st class, the German Cross of Gold, the Knights Cross, and two (2) Tank Destruction Badges in Silver. This helmet was there and was in the thick of the battles. In May of 1945 the remains of his division began breakout attempts to the west, in order to surrender to the Americans who were currently halted on the Elbe. Despite valiant breakout attempts, his division was encircled, and although several small groups successfully made it through to the west, the majority of his division surrendered to the Soviets on 8 May 1945. He was in one of the lucky small groups that made it to the Americans to surrender May 8, 1945 as the Company Commander.
The helmet is a M-38 German Paratroopers, all original parts, never touched. Shell is stamped ET68 (Eisenhuttenwerke of Thale, which was the exclusive maker of Paratrooper helmets during the entire course of the war) size of 68, the lot number "6565" is stamp on the inside brim of the shell. This is a late-production example. You can clearly see on Oberleutnant (1st. Lt.) Wilhelm Kuhlwilm's helmet, both green and tan camouflage finishes from the Italian front. I believe the tan was the original color while he was in North Africa, then he added green later for Italy. The camouflage finish is original period and is covering the original 1st model spanner bolts. This is a single Luftwaffe eagle decal helmet, and original to the helmet. The interior is near excellent, with just minor wear and discoloration from use. The brown leather liner remains soft and supple, with just minor scuffing at the lower edge. It is marked by the maker, Heisler, and also has the size of the liner (56) and the shell (68). Between the zinc liner band and the liner itself are the original seven charcoal foam pads. The wartime harness has normal wear and discoloration. The buckle, loop with the snap was cut off, you can see the old clean cut, presumably by the US solider that brought this amazing piece of history back home. Inside the helmet is written in his own writing, his rank and his name at the time the helmet was issued to him, "OFW W. Kuhlwilm" (First Sargent W. Kuhlwilm) at that time a first sergeant, later he was promoted to 1st. Lieutenant, Company commander.
This is a great important piece of history, that would make any museum or collector proud. Don't miss out on this history thick, Id'd piece for your collection or museum.