United States of America

Last updated on 7 January 2010.

The M-1 Helmet
The PASGT Helmet
The ACH Helmet
Commercial, non-issue items

The M-1 Helmet

M1 helmet with U.S.M.C. camouflage mosquito net. The net is secured under the arms, with four long cotton ribbons. These covers were first used during WWII in the Pacific. They were often used as an ordinary helmet cover with the net stuck up under the liner. After the war, large quantities of them were repackaged, possibly for use in Vietnam. Apparently they where never used, since we can now buy them, still unused.

The Type 1 net with Neoprene band. Shown here on a post WWII helmet. The moisture damaged label with instructions below.

Compare this net with similar nets here.

This is a net of the same form as the one above, but with different mesh. When I bought it, I was told this was a post war net. However, when I recently read Reynosa*, I found that the soldier in the photo on page 89 wears this type of net, thus this must be a variant of the type 1 net.

*Mark A Reynosa, The M-1 Helmet. A History of the U.S. M-1 Helmet in World War II, Schiffer Military History, 1996, ISBN: 0-7643-0074-1.

A WWII net. This is the British net, that were supplied to U.S. troops. It is secured with a drawstring. The colour is dark olive drab.

The helmet is not WWII.

Yet another net. Khaki coloured, 2 Inch mesh. It has a small illegible paper label, on which I can barely read the letters "U.S."

And another one. This time 1/3 Inch mesh, and the colour is Olive Drab #7.

Single-sided USMC cover with foliage slits.
Photo courtesy of Jan Nowak.

Single-sided USMC cover without foliage slits. EGA insign stamped on a "diamond" of the same material as the cover.
Photo courtesy of Jan Nowak.

Unknown USMC pattern cover. Single-sided. It is of the usual six-tounge design, but has no foliage slits. There are no markings. Era unknown.

Although highly decorative, the actual camouflaging properties of the parachute silk is doubtful. The silk is very shiny. Nevertheless, pieces of parachutes have been used as covers on the M1.

The odd olive green cover. Probably Korean war period. Unissued, but with unmistakable storage marks of rust and dust. There are no stamps on this one.

U.S. M1 with ERDL cover. Green side. Held in place by a neoprene band. This cover is also known as the 'Mitchell' cover.

These covers where used by Canada as well.

The manual for the 1965 M1 liner can be found here.

Reverse side of the ERDL cover.

Below are some stamps from ERDL covers. Contract years: 1967, 1970, 1974 and 1975.

I now know that this ERDL cover, with its four large numbers, was used for basic combat training purposes. The idea was if you were close enough to read the number through your scope, the soldier with the number was dead.

What was the use for this cover with the number 50 stamped twice on the green side of the cover?

A Vietnam era accessory is this AN/PRR-9 radio receiver. Two clips secure it on the helmet, which serves as ground plane. The antenna is 47 cms long. The receiver can also be used with an ear-piece. I have read that these receivers where often worn taped to the shoulder strap instead. In that case, the plastic horn transducer was removed.

The other part of this radio set was the AN/PRT-4 radio transmitter.

Early Woodland pattern.

U.S. M1 with Woodland cover. This is actually a Canadian surplus helmet and cover. They used the same helmets and covers as the U.S. during the later M1 era. The picture below shows an example (From another cover) of typical markings inside these covers. The "-83-" in the second row is the year of the contract.

Another M1 era item is this OPFOR (Opposition forces) "helmet", made to look somewhat like the Soviet Ssh 40 and its derivates. It is made of rubber or soft plastic, and is used together with the ordinary liner. The colour is some strange blue-green. This is a very cheap-looking and simple thing.

As conclusion of the M1 section of this page, I show two rank decals for the M1 liner. The first is for a Specialist, and the second for a Sergeant First Class.

The PASGT Helmet and
the USMC Lightweight Helmet

The PASGT helmet with Woodland pattern cover. This one has Sergeant insignia sewn on.

The cat-eyes, Neopren band is stamped like the one below. This particular individual has two stamps, partly overlapping... The text reads: "BAND HELMET CAMOUFLAGE U S-5".

The PASGT manual can be found here.

PASGT helmet with the first six colour desert camouflage, also known as the "chocolate chip" pattern. The U.S.M.C. eagle, globe and anchor (EGA), insignia stencilled in front. The six colour uniforms where used in the "Desert Storm" war, and are now distributed to Iraqi U.S. allied troops.
Variant without foliage slits. Because a large amount of these covers were needed quickly for the Kuwait war, it was decided that the foliage slits were not necessary, thus making production faster.

PASGT helmet with tri-colour desert cover. This is a rip-stop material variant. There is no stamp inside. Held in place by a green Neoprene band with cat eyes, as commonly seen in Iraq. The soldier has written his name with ball pen on front of the band. There are tan bands, but Desert and Woodland equipment are often seen mixed in Iraq, due to an initial shortage of Desert camouflage material. The tan bands seem not to be official issue, but are purchased privately. An example of such a tan band is seen in the picture to right. Below is an example of rank insignia (Sergeant) for the desert camouflage covers.

A variant in cotton.

Another cotton variant, but without foliage slits. It has one slit in front for the Night Vision Goggles (NVG) mount screw. On the top is velcro for an Infra-Red (IR) identification patch.

A cover still in its sealed plastic bag, with a small bag of anti-moisture agent. No more smelly anti-molding chemicals!

The not very often used Snow cover. The snow covers do not have any foliage slits. The picture below shows typical markings of the PASGT covers. The fourth row shows that the contract year of this lot is 1989. The six velcro straps and the part of the cover that goes inside the helmet is clearly visible here. The front of the cover is down in this picture.

There is also a green cover for the PASGT helmet, but I do not know who use it.

The black PASGT cover is used by special forces, Police SWAT and the like. It has no foliage slits.

PASGT helmet with chemical protection cover. This cover is used on the M1 as well. The cover is fit over the ordinary cover, and held in place by an elastic cord. The material is some kind of soft plastic.

The MARPAT digital pattern cover for the U.S. Marine Corps. This is the single-sided, temperate climate variant. A special feature of the genuine MARPAT is the small EGA emblem, that has been incorporated in the pattern. There is no label or stamp on this cover.

This is the single-sided, desert variant of the MARPAT cover. This cover, too, lacks any label or stamp.

This is a double-sided variant of the MARPAT cover. The label can be seen below.

The desert camouflage side of the double-sided cover.

The classic M-1944 goggles by Polaroid (Goggle, N-2). These are delivered with a set of three lenses: clear, polarizing, and red. As the manual says: "These goggles will protect you against dust, sun, and wind. Use the polarizing lens in bright light; the clear in dull light; and red lens for providing dark adaptation." They are marked "GOGGLE M 1944 *T.M.REC.U.S.PAT.OFF." "USN" "1945".

The parachutist conversion set for the PASGT helmet consists of an Ensolite neck pad, a neckstrap to make the chinstrap 3-point, and a longer screw for attaching the neckstrap in the back of the helmet. The text on the pad is "CROWN" with an arrow pointing upwards over it.

Above is a series of pictures of the holder for the AN/PVS-7 and AN/PVS-14 night vision goggles. The first picture shows the extra chinstrap used to stabilise the helmet. The last picture shows a detail of how this second chinstrap is attached in the back of the helmet.

A helmet antenna mount for the ballistic helmets. Here shown on a PASGT helmet. This mount consists of a small pouch with three elastic bands attached. The Velcro lid is hid beneath the pouch when it is mounted on the helmet. The band to the right has a small label with the text "BACK".  Below is also a picture of the label from the plastic bag it comes in.


The MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) was the first U.S. Army combat training system using laser emitters and sensors. Here is the helmet mounted harness with its five sensors and electronic unit. More about this system can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_Integrated_Laser_Engagement_System
This is the early version, now superseded.

An assortment of insignia from PASGT covers.
509th Airborne Infantry Brigade, sewn on upper front of cover.

4th Infantry Division, sewn on left side of cover.

Specialist (SPC) rank patch.

Private First Class (PFC) rank patch.

The ACH Helmet

The ACH (Advanced Combat Helmet) with the reversable cover in 3-colour desert/woodland camouflage. The picture below shows the back of the cover with the soldier's name written on top of the cable flap. The two straps, for securing dust goggles, are attached to the helmet shell.


The woodland pattern side of the cover, here with green subdued 3rd Infantry Division patches on both sides. This cover also has the brown subdued patches on the desert camouflage side.

The ACU (Army Combat Uniform) pattern cover. It has four concealable Infra Red reflecting patches (The black squares).

Since the ACH has no brim, the bracket or mounting plate for the NVG, is different from that for the PASGT helmet. The plate is now secured on the helmt with a screw, that goes through the small hole in the front of the helmet. The helmet covers also have a slot for the screw.


Commercial, non-issue items

These two pictures show details of a replica tiger stripe cover for the M1 helmet. The picture to the left shows a detail of the pattern with integrated manufacturer stamp. This is a good feature I whish every replica maker could use! The picture above shows that the label has been cut off by someone to make it look more like an authentic item.

A tan coloured PASGT cover in ripstop nylon-cotton material.

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