This item has been sold

[Vietnam War]

Viet Cong Bamboo Reed Helmet with Plastic Cover Net and Scrim.

$1,099.99

Excellent, Very Good Condition

This item has been sold

The Viet Cong – National Liberation Front – used the widest variety of uniforms, headgear and field gear of all the forces fighting in Viet Nam.

VC Main Force units, which were comprised of typically full time soldiers, were organized as Companies, Battalions and Regiments, some as early as 1959. As you may know, the Cadre of these Main Force units, their Officers and senior NCOs, were often Hanoi stay behinds or were infiltrated NVA soldiers. Because of this, these Main Force units were often issued some Chinese made weapons and field gear by their Hanoi benefactors. These units tended to try to standardize their uniforms and equipment, like any military force. They also used Fold rench or captured US made field gear. Standardization on Chinese small arms and equipment was more common as the war dragged on.

When equipment was not sent to these Main Force units, some Main Force units manufactured their own field gear, uniforms and headgear in their jungle workshops. Much of what they copied was patterned after French, ChiCom, North Vietnamese or even US made field gear.

On the other hand, Local Viet Cong units, comprised of part-time guerrillas, either used captured equipment or made their own crude field gear and uniforms. Like their Main Force comrades, they tried to pattern their equipment on French and ChiCom gear. The materials used on the local made gear was often very low quality.

Regardless of your desire to have VC Main Force or VC Local Force uniforms, head gear or equipment, you will find a fascinating variety of items in this area of collecting.

VC Helmets like this were hand made from bamboo reeds, carefully woven together. They will have a cover on them made from plastic sheeting, cloth or sometimes both.  The plastic sheeting kept the rain off.  They often had stings nets to which foliage would be attached.  Sometimes they used bits of cloth to permanently add foliage.  The cloth could be from salvaged parachutes or old clothing.  They most often had chinstraps made of cloth.

I have seen some that were made in the exact shape of the NVA issue sun helmet, an effort to emulate their big brothers’ helmet from the North.

Finding one in decent shape these days is difficult given their fragile materials and the half century that has passed since most were made.

 

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