“Prototype” Model 1938 Double Decal German Luftwaffe Paratrooper Helmet as used by the Jumpmaster-My exact helmet is pictured on pg.222 of the book by Ludwig Baer, The History of the German Steel Helmet 1916-1945. The picture on the very next page shows a jumpmaster wearing an identical helmet standing next to none other than Max Schmelling, who is packing up a parachute. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only one in existence and is, indeed, a true museum piece. The light apple green finish is well over 90% intact and the 2nd model Luftwaffe decal is at least 95% intact. The tri color shield is even better, checking in at 97%. WHAT A LOOKER! This helmet has the early spanner bolts which are intact and “un-played” with. The size 57 liner has the early white neoprene pads and the condition of the liner is near excellent with the marking still clear and legible. There is also a distinctive issue stamp that reads LBAB 38 for Luftwaffe issue out of Berlin in 1938. This is where the helmet becomes singular and unique! Instead of the standard straps, this has a thick leather neck flap with an adjustable leather strap with three green (same as the shell) snaps to adjust for size. There are also cut outs with reinforced leather in the shape and area of the ears. The leather is definitely scuffed and cracked in the rear but still in solid condition. The area around the snaps is a bit fragile but this piece would not have been handled extensively and therefore should survive quite well. The interior of the neck flap has a brown cloth lining with cut out holes to enhance the ability of the wearer to hear. This was so the jumpmaster could stand in the open door of the aircraft and be afforded additional protection from the wind and elements and yet be able to communicate with the “stick” of parachutists. The shell size is stamped in the side of the shell, ET 68. This is unquestionably the rarest paratrooper helmet that I have ever encountered!
- Item #: H-293