Probably, not until the film "Saving Private Ryan" did people other than helmet enthusiasts realize the breadth of U.S. Navy representation on the actual beaches of Normandy. U.S. Navy Beach Battalions, Special Naval Amphibious Groups, Navy Engineers, Radiomen and others comprised many of the various "shore parties present during D-day operations.
Examples are abundant of Navy M1s with a solid color band as well as a broken-at-the-front band like the one pictured below:
I've also seen photographs of the Naval Amphibious Forces insignia included in this marking combination as well as various colored arcs or "rockers" applied to the front designating special purpose personnel. like the shipmate pictured below:
Even sailors in the same unit, here Navy engineers, have helmets both stenciled as well as hand lettered.
The variations seem nearly endless. Such a delightfully democratic bunch of individualists who brought the Nazi regime to its knees.
Manufactured by Capac, this particular liner has a small ding in the dome of the liner.
The head band is marked by the manufacturer, in this case, "L&N Specialties".
The "S" on the inside front of the shell indicates that it was manufactured by the Schleuter company as are nearly all of the Navy lids in my collection. Also visible here is the "heat of the steel" stamp.
Close up of the three-point spot-welded swivel bale mounting for the chinstraps.
The front joined seam of the helmet rim indicates that this lid was manufactured prior to 1944.
As with nearly all of my Navy helmets the chinstrap hardware shows the corrosion typical of the shipboard life of a seagoing M1. A little "saltiness" does provide a great deal of character, in helmets as well as in people.
Pictured here is another specialist of the Naval Beach Battalions, in this instance an interpreter interrogating German prisoners.
A handsome helmet in all respects, and a tangible reminder that it wasn't just soldiers who were hitting the beaches in WWII but U.S. Navy sailors as well.