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Parachutist's Helmet

1944

Lt. Marfleet

B.047C-056
Parachue helmet - 1
Parachue helmet - 2
Parachue helmet - 3
Parachue helmet - 4

E-bay description:

Fab chance to buy a genuine 1944 dated para helmet,size73/4,big size,complete with all straps and its original net.There are two names in the liner Mckinno? crossed out and a LT MARFLEET.The shell has had a period rough texture paint job,some paint loss. If you want an honest ww11 para helmet this is the one.These helmets are know getting very scarce.

I was out-bid on this item which sold for 300.

If you have any more information concerning this item or the MARFLEET connection, please email the . Thank you.

David Marfleet responded (17/05/2004):

How interesting! The fact that it has 1944 date inside is irrelevant. We were certainly still using that model in the 70's when I was jumping. The paint texture is not WWII. We painted them mat olive green in Northern Ireland so that they would not reflect infrared from night vision goggles which we knew the IRA had.

This style of helmet went out when the British Army converted to Kevlar plastic helmets in the 80's. The paras only used this style because the standard army steel helmet was not suitable for parachuting, lacking the chin strap and having a wide brim which would be dangerous when hitting the ground in para-roll.

It could well be mine. The size is right. I knew of no other Marfleet in the paras during the 70's. My nephew, Ben (Paul's son) served in both the Parachute Regt and Army Air Corps after me, but as a private soldier. My half cousin Adrian was a contemporary of mine in the Royal Artillery as an officer, but I don't think he ever served with airborne forces. If the helmet was mine, there will be another distinguishing mark on it. I wrote inside the brim the words from Psalm 91, vs 11 and 12. Or maybe I quoted the same verse from Matthew's account when Jesus used this verse when tempted in the wilderness.

If it is my helmet, (and I think it could well be) it saw action in Londonderry in 1971 and 1972. (It also saw a lot of action in Aldershot!)

Many thanks for letting me know about this.

David

An e-mail from on the 27th January 2005 offered the following information:

This is a 4th model of the British parachutist's helmet. The mass production of this model of helmet began in 1944. It differs from the previous model in two respects:
- it has 3 rivets, one on each of the left and right side, and one behind the head (the 3rd model has 4 rivets).
- it has a cotton chin strap instead of the leather chin strap of the 3rd model.
The interior of this helmet is dated 1944, but this kind of helmet body remained in production after the end of the Second World War. It was not unusual for British Forces to use an old interior and put it inside a post-war helmet body.

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