Rare WW2 D-Day Hardmaster Liner and Helmet
Outstanding and Extremely Rare WW2 D-Day Hardmaster Liner and Helmet. Shell is an early WW2 front-seam fixed bale and presents in good condition – with wear consistent with age and extensive use. Chin straps consist of long strap with early raised brass buckle and short strap with late war j-hook style, evidencing that this helmet was utilized by this particular solider from very early on through the later stages of WW2. Liner was manufactured by Westinghouse and is in good condition, showing signs of honest wear – to be expected of extensive usage. Liner presents with a white painted rank insignia of Technician Fifth Grade on front; yellow painted last name on front (Please note that name area has seen wear and name is only partially legible – after very close examination, we believe the name to be “APRILE”); and a yellow painted band around the entire lower section of the liner (denoting the position of this soldier as a Hardmaster).
The position of “Hardmaster” was responsible for the controlled loading of troops onto the various landing ships for passage across the English Channel during the D-Day Invasion Landings. The “hard” was a pad of concrete at the water’s edge that a landing craft would nose onto in order to take on troops for the assault on the Normandy beachheads. The prominent yellow band marking would allow for easy identification by the landing craft pilots in the virtual sea of soldiers awaiting embarkment on the English coast during the D-Day Invasion.
The rarity of this Hardmaster painted liner cannot be overstated – as the assignment of “Hardmaster” was an extremely short-lived and ad hoc position created directly out of necessity by the unprecedented logistics of the D-Day Landings. The temporary and irregular nature of this position meant that there was no standard regulation or precedent for the painting of “Hardmaster” helmets/liners and while some photographic evidence exists for their usage, most of these painted helmets/liners would have been “one offs” used solely during the operations surrounding the D-Day Invasion. Soldiers who held the Hardmaster position would have been reassigned to another position after the initial D-Day Landings and would very likely have repainted their helmets/liners to the standard regulation OD green.
An undeniably scarce painted liner and helmet – the likes of which are rarely, if ever, found available. A truly spectacular piece of D-Day and World War 2 history!
1 in stock