This original rear ream M1 helmet was made by R.J. stamping Co. Ltd. of Quebec Canada. They made a small lot of M1 helmets for the U.S. military during Vietnam. While R.J. helmets are almost identical to helmets made by other U.S. firms, but for some reason they made the rims from stainless steel, a practice long abandoned by other makers in 1944. The helmet still has the original Vietnam era applied factory paint.
The helmet has been restored to look like it might have been worn by a Marine in the later days of the Vietnam War. The reproduction Mitchel cover is heavily worn showing sun damage, rust and the general battlefield wear and tear. The cover has nicely molded to the helmet. This was done by boiling the cover then while still hot installing it onto the helmet and letting it dry to the helmet in the hot sun. This was a practice utilized by both Soldiers and Marines during the war. The cover is secured by a band cut from an original 1960 Michelin innertube. These bands are typically associated with the U.S. Marines, but the army used them too.
Several sarcastic messages have been written with a Sharpie onto the cover. One side has a poem that reads: “Dear Lord, we pray drive the dirty filthy commie bastards from the path of your righteous followers amen”. This was a pretty common practice among the rank and file. A method of both personalizing one’s kit, but also venting frustration with the situation.
The helmet comes fit with an original Micarta marked liner. The suspension is new, but sweatband and neck band are original Vietnam era production.
This is a great looking helmet for a collector, reenactor or anyone interested in the Vietnam war.