In the later stages of the war, as Germany’s role became more and more defensive in nature, elite combat formations took an ever increasing active role on all fronts. Thus engaged against an enemy whose strength continued to grow, the Fallschirmjager became more reliant upon the use of camouflage for purposes of concealment.
(Ken Niewiarowicz – Germany’s Combat Helmets, 2009)
This wonderful little “salad bowl” helmet as I like to call it came from a private seller out of Nashville who inherited it from her ex-boy friend now deceased who I assume was a local military collector as she had a few other helmets I also purchased from her all of which were spot on original. The original photos she emailed to me were quite dark and sketchy and so I basically paid her for what I assumed was a post war repaint however once it arrived and I had a better chance to look at it I became more and more of the opinion that this is actually the real thing. All this being said my my initial purchase price was therefore on the low side and so it’s priced like all my helmets based on what I paid for it and not what it might actually be worth.
As we all know ET was the only factory creating M37/M38 paratrooper helmets later to become Ckl and CKL in the middle of 1943 at which time the Luftwaffe eagle was no longer being added. Based on the rear lot number 4305 this particular helmet dates to anywhere in between August 1943 till the end of the war however the non paratrooper helmets surrounding it the M42 all appear to have 1943 dated liner bands so more likely it was produced in late 1943. Just above the 4305 is clearly marked CKL66 but difficult to accurately photograph but easy enough to see with the naked eye. All 4 retaining bolts are original to the shell and as it typical with German assembly practices of mixing and matching using older parts with new ones there is a mix of the mid war aluminum vented bolts in the front with metal non-vented slotted bolts in the rear.
The underlying factory paint appears very smooth to the touch and so not much texture much have been added at the time as we see with mid war ET Heer helmets. Then it appears and overspray of sage green was sprayed on with hues of auburn red for what I assume is some sort of autumn pattern. The inside liner has seen better days but is all there as is the original late war friction style chinstrap also in pretty rough condition. The liner is marked Baumuster: Heisler firm out of Berlin made in the F.W. Muller Jr. factory and shell size stamped 55 and 66.
Fresh out of the woodwork I don’t believe this helmet has ever been displayed at a military show or run the circuit but with any camouflage helmet please use the photos and make your own ultimate judgment.