Camouflage Helmet Liner II

Big Red Says:

Listen up Buttercup! Here's the rest of the story



Some interesting facts about the Westinghouse Jungle Liner,

The camouflage or Helmet Liner Jungle Troop was a standard Westinghouse high-pressure plastic liner that was pulled from completed stocks to have a four-color camouflage pattern applied over its existing olive drab painted finish. Although the liners were airbrushed by hand, and when placed side by side have varying patterns, the use of stenciled shapes result in a similar look.

The Quartermaster’s exploration into the use of camouflage, as it related to the M-1 helmet liner, was done for two reasons,

  1. To disguise the helmets distinctive outline.
  2. To prevent reflective glare.

Although they believed that the painted pattern worked well for breaking up the liner’s shape it did not do much to prevent glare. By early spring 1944 the Quartermaster had concluded that the use of a small hole net was the best option for camouflaging the liner or helmet assembly. The net eliminated glare and the addition of indigenous plant life would satisfactorily break up the silhouette.

In March 1944 the CQMD received orders to discontinue procurement of the Jungle Liner. The reason given by The Office of The Quartermaster General (OQMG) was that the use of nets to cover the liner or steel helmet had been found to be more effective camouflage protection than the use of paint. Interestingly, this order to discontinue also included a directive to repaint any remaining inventory of Jungle Troop Liners back to the standard lusterless olive drab specification.

At the time the CQMD informed Westinghouse of the cancellation of the Jungle Liner and the directive to repaint, Westinghouse had approximately 300,000 camouflaged liners packaged and ready for shipment. These liners we taken out of inventory and sent back through the paint booth for an overcoat of standard olive drab at a cost of twelve cents each.

That’s right Ladies and Gents, the Army spent $474,000.00 to camouflage 300,000 liners that in their camouflaged state would have performed no differently than the standard olive drab painted liners, especially inside of a helmet, that the Army then chose to spend an additional $36,000.00 to repaint.


Collector’s Note:

A footnote in a Quartermaster Historical Study makes a short one-line reference to the possibility of the modification of helmet bodies with a camouflage pattern for Jungle Troops, “At the same time the procurement of camouflaged steel helmets was discontinued.”

So, were helmet bodies factory modified with a camouflage pattern? Thus far, there has been no concrete evidence, documented or empirical, to suggest that there ever was a factory applied camouflage version of a Jungle Troop steel helmet.

In the mid to late 2000s a helmet body came up for auction with what appeared to be a brush “dabbed” pattern applied in color and pattern reminiscent to the Westinghouse pattern. The collecting community did not accept this singular example with open arms and debate as to whether it was evidence, faked or field applied was never satisfactorily resolved.

This is a prime example when collectors put aside what they know for what they desire to be true or what Sterling Archer refers to as entering the ...

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

Big Red Says!




    Hey Big Red—— how about you tell us when the use of decals on M1 liners was first introduced, and when they were stopped being used?

  • Lee Caron

    In the 1950 era when the US Government was really “thrifty” and the USMC was receiving the dregs of WW2, we were sometimes handed a brush and MC green paint at which time , we repainted our khaki and olive drab helmets . The paint jobs were pretty rough but that was the Corps during the lean years. Some collectors are unaware this took place but it did and I was there. Such examples are not beautiful but I did save one I found for nostalgic purposes. Another very informed article Josh.

  • Patrick Confer

    The repaint doesn’t surprise me, uniformity a requirement and waste a must!

  • Jim Morrison

    I do not understand the logic on repainting all those liners that had the camo pattern already painted on them, seems like a big waste of money.


    Love to see a detailed picture of what the pattern looked like so I could do a recreation.

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