Well there’s show stoppers and then there’s show stoppers and I consider this rare specimen to be pretty much the greatest find this little website has ever made thus far since first beginning this site back in 2010. I’m not sure what more you can ask of a helmet than what this one if giving you in terms of colossal size, condition of decal and beautiful imagery. The vet art was hand applied by the veteran himself who passed away some years ago by the name of Madison A. Morrison originally from Chicago and who served right up until the end of the war during the liberation of Germany according to his daughter-in-law who told me that he always considered himself to be somewhat of an artist. The artist did not disappoint and has laid out all of the countries and places he liberated in a beautiful almost cartoonish type font with a giant swastika both on the front and top dome indicative of an exploding Nazi regime. The lettering reminds me a lot of the stylized characters painted on the backs of WW2 American pilots jackets and in many cases on the sides of their bombers and is great to see on a helmet. Just as a best guess I might assume that word “ABE” stands for Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launching & Recovering Equipment; USN Rating). As per a US military acronym reference source. Otherwise it might just refer to the US vet’s personal nickname.
If you’re a bit of a decal junky like I am your eyes will simply glaze over when you look at the flawless factory applied ET eagle untouched by the artist and left completely exposed as part of the overall paint job. The inside liner is a little worse for wear and has darkened stains on the front and sides suggesting in my view dried out blood which tended to accelerate the aging of the leather areas it came into contact with has been my own experience in the handling hundreds of helmets. So the Goliath of a man who wore this helmet most likely was an easy target and therefore wounded or killed before this helmet was first removed from the battlefield. The rear lot number is 2470 which is between a size 62 and 66 in Brian Ice’s lot data book and so this must have been a very limited production run or a custom made helmet as no other size 70’s exist for hundreds of lot numbers on either side of this factory run. I’ve been looking for a size 70 for sale for a few years now and have never found one online for sale anywhere and the only one I found was sold at an auction house in Germany and it was just a bare shell black Czech post war painted and it went for around $700 so helmets of this size with original paint and mint decals are pretty much impossible to find. I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the nicest SD HEER ET70 in the world based on the few examples I’ve seen out there.