North Vietnamese Army Sun Helmet Rare Plastic Variant


Excellent, Very Good Condition

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The North Vietnamese Army wore sun helmets made of several materials. Following the phase out of the Viet Minh bamboo helemts of the early to mid 1950s, pith (cork) became a common material. It was not durable so the PRC began producing helmets for the NVA in the mid 1960s, prior to the mass movement of NVA Regiments to the South.

The standard PRC made NVA sun helmet, which account for the vast majority of captured NVA sun helmets, was made of cardboard imprenated with resin with a reed green 100% cotton twill covering glued to the exterior. You will often see purple glue residue above the exterior center band. This was caused from excessive glue being applied during the manufacturing process.

Like all wartime helmets, this one has all aluminum hardware including the grommets, vent and chinstrap buckle. Naturally, the aluminum has oxidized.

The cardboard M Shaped spacer which attaches the helmet suspension and sweatband to the body of the helmet was primed in pink before being painted green. When the paint flakes off you can see the pink. Well worn helmets typically have this type of flaking. Helmets in fine condition, do not. I knew a vet who was part of the invasion of Cambodia in May 1970. His unit found hundreds of brand new unissued NVA sun helmets. They spent an hour stepping on them so they could not be used.

Wartime helmets are 100% cotton and fade over time.

The majority of wartime helmets of this style have the olive green color sweatband and head harness beginning to curl from age. Post war helmets have no such curling. Wartime sweatbands typically turn off white over the years from aging.

The brad that attaches the chinstrap to the body of the helmet is typically brass or perhaps copper. Steel would have rusted over time through the cloth and aluminum would not have been strong enough to hold up over long periods of use.

The string used to tie the four crown straps and the sweatband in back is ad odd purple color unless it has been replaced.

This is a variant helmet, one of two that I have owned. This one is all plastic with the standard features found on all cardboard helmets.

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