This bullet-struck World War II U.S. Marine helmet shows that a bullet entered through the rear, passed through the cover, liner, and shell, and then exited at the front rim. It is unknown if the owner was killed, wounded, or wasn’t wearing it at the time. Based on one researcher, the helmet was most likely used at Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and/or Okinawa.
What’s left of the cover retains the original red painted circle on rear, denoting Shore Party duty. The shell and liner both exhibit their red painted square tac marks (also denoting Shore Party). Shore Party forces marked routes inland, organized the beach, directed units and supplies to the front, and controlled stragglers and prisoners.
As the Marine Corps could not find enough engineers and other personnel quickly enough to suit their needs, five Naval Construction Battalions (“Seabees”) were eventually transferred to the Corps to augment their engineer regiments in the Shore/Beach Party role.
This exhibit is on loan and on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum.
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