What is a “Rigger Modified” Helmet?

Big Red here with a question from "Thunderlips - The Ultimate Male"...


Thunder asks,

"Big Red, "Thunderlips - The Ultimate Male” finds himself conflicted by all this talk of rigging things. Explain yourself or we won’t meet in the ring, we’ll meet in the street where I will destroy you?”


Um… great to hear from you Thunder?.....

Ya see, its like this…


We've been talking about different field modifications that were made to M-1 helmets for use by airborne troops. GIs known as “Riggers”, because they creatively altered existing infantry equipment to better meet the needs of a paratrooper, performed these modifications in the field. The modern M-1 helmet collector refers to these altered helmets as “Rigger Modified” however, the modern day seller uses the same term “Rigger Modified” as the answer to anything that they can’t explain about the condition of a helmet they have for sale. This is not to say that the seller is attempting to deceive potential buyers on purpose rather, as a buyer, you need to educate yourself to know what “Rigger Modified” actually means when referring to the M-1 helmet.


Ok, ok kidding aside big guy....

First off “Rigger Modified” excludes any variations of the M-1 helmet that were not actually modified by GIs in the field for the purpose of adapting the helmet for a need other than the need of the infantry soldier it was specifically designed for. This leaves two well-documented field “Rigger Modified” versions with an argument for a third.

The first version is a M-1 helmet field modified for use by paratroopers. This modification was performed due to a lack of available Parachutists configured helmets from the factory and the “rigging” done was to prevent the helmet and liner from separating from themselves or the soldier during a parachute drop.



The second version is a M-1 helmet field modified for use by the Army Air Corps. This modification was performed due to the need for bomber crews to wear Flyer’s communication headgear and a desire to protect the head from flak. Essentially the “riggers” creatively cut and spread the M-1 helmet allowing it to fit over the communication receivers of the Flyers helmet.




The third version is a M-1 helmet modified for use by Signal Corps photographers. The modifications involved cutting away the front of the steel helmet and liner then adding a front visor, cut from another helmet, which would rotate up on a hinge. The purpose was to allow photographers to keep their helmet on while using their camera.






Although it was technically done in the field, there are two reasons I don’t like to consider the photographers helmet “Rigger Modified”. First, the request to alter the M-1 helmet to this "visored" design was done formally through the Headquarters, Army Service Forces. The second reason is because unlike the other two versions that started as field modifications, were then addressed through formal experimental design programs and finally replaced by formal solutions, (ie: the M-1C Parachutists Helmet and M-3 Flak Helmet), this modification was designated as the T-14 from it’s inception. Because of this I generally regard this helmet as experimental not “Rigger Modified”.


Yeah....I'm just going to let those two sort this out,
as for the rest of you, remember......
if your friends want to know how you gained your intel, tell em
Big Red Says!

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