Store: American Items: M1C Airborne Helmet 506 PIR 101 ABN

M1C Helmet 506th Easy Company Parachute Infantry Regiment 101st Airborne: This is a refurbished WW2 helmet and refurbished & post war components, recreating the helmet worn by a Second Lieutenant Thrift of 'E' (Easy) Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. It is refurbished to look as it would after being used in field conditions, hence there are small dents, scrapes etc. - this is a genuine WW2 helmet!

Unit History:

D-Day: Like almost all paratroop units, the 506th was widely scattered during the Operation Chicago night drop on the morning of D-Day. The most famous action for the 506th on D-Day was the Brécourt Manor Assault. Although promised they would be in battle for just 3 days, the 506th did not return to England for 33 days, participating in the battle for Carentan. Of about 2000 men who jumped into France, 231 were killed in action, 183 were missing or POWs, and 569 were wounded — about 50% casualties for the Normandy campaign.

Operation Market Garden: The airborne component of Operation Market Garden, Operation Market was composed of American units (101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the IX Troop Carrier Command), British units (1st Airborne Division) and Polish units (1st Independent Parachute Brigade). The airborne units were dropped near several key bridges along the axis of advance of the ground forces, Operation Garden, with the objective of capturing the bridges intact in order to allow a deep penetration into German occupied Holland and to capture the key bridge crossing the Rhine River at Arnhem.

The 101st Airborne was assigned five bridges just north of the German defensive lines northwest of Eindhoven. The parachute drop was in daylight resulting in well targeted and controlled drops into the designated drop zones. The 101st captured all but one bridge, the one at Son which was destroyed with explosives by the German defenders as the airborne units approached the bridge. The ground forces of XXX Corps linked up with elements of the 101st Airborne on the second day of operations but the advance of the ground forces was further delayed while engineers erected a Bailey Bridge at Son replacing the destroyed bridge. XXX Corps then continued its advance into the 82nd Airborne area of operations where it was halted just shy of Arnhem due to German counter attacks along the length of the deep penetration.

The 101st Airborne continued to support XXX Corps advance during the remainder of Operation Market Garden with several running battles over the next several days.

The Battle of the Bulge: The unit was directly involved in the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944-January, 1945. While resting and refitting in France after Operation Market-Garden, General Eisenhower called upon the 101st Airborne on December 16 to be moved into the Belgian town of Bastogne by December 18, so that the Germans would not gain access to its important crossroads. The short notice of a move left the unit short of food, ammunition, arms, men, and lacked winter clothing. The unit, along with the rest of the 101st Airborne, was encircled immediately. The 506th was sent to the eastern section of the siege. During the siege, there were reports of problems with tying in the gap in between the 501st PIR and the 506th.

To stall the Germans so that the defense could be set up, the first battalion of the 506th (along with Team Desobry from the 10th Armored division) was sent out to combat and slow down the Germans in the towns of Noville and Foy. 1/3 (about 200 men) of the battalion was destroyed, but in the process had taken out 30 enemy tanks and inflicted 500-1000 casualties. The battalion was put into reserve and the 2nd and 3rd battalions were put on the lines. A supply drop on December 22 helped to some extent. After the Third Army broke the encirclement, the 506th stayed on the line and spearheaded the entire offensive by liberating Foy and Noville in January, until being transferred to Haguenau. They were pulled off the line in late February 1945.

The rest of the war: The unit was put back on the line on April 2nd, and continued so until the rest of the war, taking light casualties. It assisted in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket and the capture of Berchtesgaden, then took up occupational duties in Zell am See, Austria. The 506th began training to be redeployed to the Pacific war but the war ended in August 1945.

Outer Shell:

The shell has been refurbished from an original WW2 helmet, it is a front seam swivel bail M1C model as used by the US Airborne in WW2. The painted decals are identical to the WW2 versions and appropriately aged, this helmet is properly aged and looks the part after 60+ years of life span! The inside has also been painted and aged.

There is a metal Second Lieutenant's Rank insignia attached to the front, there is a 'Spades' decal on each side and a officers stripe down the rear. There is light wear to the brim showing the early pattern McCoy stainless steel ridge and front seam. The chin strap is the Airborne model with DOT popper studs and is suitable worn. The name 'S/Lt, P.W. Thrift' has been painted inside the shell rim.


Most of the post war liner has been replaced with post war authentic webbing and accessories. The liner retaining clips are all nicely worn as is the leather chin strap and Paratrooper DOT female studs. The outside liner has WW2 style rivets and rank insignia hole. The whole helmet liner has been appropriate aged. As stated above the liner is a M1C version.

Notice the M-1C DOT female sockets in the liner and the complete nape strap. The leather chin strap is also fully complete and there is cracking of the leather. The webbing retaining and headband clips are in the correct green colouring for this type of helmet. 'Easy Company' - Band of Brothers.

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M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
M1C 506th PIR 101st Airborne Helmet
506th PIR 101st Airborne

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