Camouflage Helmet Liner I

Big Red here with a question from "Marty McFly"...


Marty asks,

"Big Red, what's the deal with those WWII camouflage liners?"

Well Marty,

these liners were painted to help soldiers in Pacific Jungles blend in.

In early 1942, activity surrounding the development and manufacture of the M-1 assembly was frantic at best. The Army finally made the decision to leave the future of the helmet body with the Ordnance Department and to transfer the responsibility for the liner assembly to the Quartermaster Corps. The Chicago Quartermaster Depot (CQMD) was assigned the responsibility for the development and procurement of the M-1 liner and set out immediately to address defects and improve comfort and quality wherever possible.


The Quartermaster had already been delving deep into possible ways of enhancing the camouflage characteristics of all uniforms and gear under their supervision and with the development of the helmet liner having been assigned to the Quartermaster, the decision was made to add a camouflage pattern to the helmet liner attempting to help break up its profile in a jungle environment. The first Quartermaster contract for liners modified for jungle troops was issued in late February 1942 to Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.

The CQMD allowed Westinghouse to work out the camouflage pattern and how it would be applied. The pattern had a distinct and uniform look to it resulting from a series of three different greens and a brown that were applied by airbrush over the liner’s paint through a series of stencils.

Westinghouse was able to streamline the process in a way that they could produce an average of 10,000 camouflaged liners a day.

Westinghouse modified approximately 854,225 liners under these contracts at an average price of $1.58 per liner. These liners are referred to as “modified” because they were not contracted with the camouflage pattern. Liners to be camouflaged were to be taken out of stocks of completed liner assemblies from existing contracts. The five contracts issued for the modification of liners for Jungle Troops were only for the application of the camouflage pattern. The first contract issued for the jungle troop modification was issued on February 28, 1942 and the last issued on March 26, 1943.

And Marty, if your friends want to know how you gained your intel, tell em

Big Red Says!



  • michael ferraro

    OK , Heres a question. How did the Viet nam era camo cover come to be called the Mitchell cover? Mike Ferraro

  • Kevin Rowley

    Well, every time I put my jungle liner on display at shows, I get offered huge amounts of cash ! No way ! I love that liner !

  • CGR

    - For on-going info, would love to know some of the “known” production methods used to apply the camouflage paint (I think perhaps/ MAYBE a ‘cup’/ cover type (fiber/ cardboard ?) mask fitted over the exterior Liner w/ cut-outs indexed for specific colors, (for the consistently I’ve noticed) applied w/ spray gun(s) (?) – perhaps w/ brief heat lamp drying in-between colors; Or was ‘it’ as as simple as applied frisket masking with a “dialed-down” spray ? One idea I’ve also heard was the use of an Airbrush . . . seems more improbable, especially ‘frre-hand’;
    - Also would love to know what exact paint colors were applied, as known;
    - As far as collecting goes; After “collecting G.I.” mostly since ‘96, still DON’T own a “real-one” (just a very nice copy (FOR DISPLAY) from a seller/ creator on a well-known Internet Auction website – fresh camo on a nice mid-war original Westinghouse Liner. Looks GREAT to my eyes ! (AND AN EASILY AFFORDABLE Alternate to the ‘beat-up" originals that usually look as if they went on an extended tour on Guadalcanal, followed by a long R & R stay-on New Britain !) Over many years, have been ’teased’ by elusive stories of "nice-ones’ someone MIGHT be willing to sell at the “next-show” . . . . (LAST major type Liner variation, I still need – as original (but I’m always happy to learn/ see more.

  • Jim Morrison

    Great info, I do wish an original was available. I should have pulled the trigger years ago on one of Josh’s versions.

  • Jacob

    In the end wouldnt this modification be useless since the steel pot was still the plain jane od? Why even bother with the liner? I dont think ive seen anyone on the frontline using the liner as a sun hat, which is what i asume this would be done for.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published