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M2 Parachutist's Helmet — Operation MARKET GARDEN
courtesy of the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum
This rare M2 steel helmet, used by American paratrooper's during World War II, was recovered from the south end of the Nijmegen Bridge during the Market Garden combat operation in September 1944. In the 1960s, a Mr. Uijen, a former Dutch underground agent, presented the helmet as a gift to the 82d Airborne Division War Memorial Museum located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Mr. Uijen had joined with the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment shortly after the parachute assault by the 82d Airborne Division on Nijmegen. Mr. Uijen was able to give the 508th valuable information in the first few days of the operation. On the helmet is the combat marking of 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, a winged boot. The helmet was featured on the television program The Today Show in May 1963.
The helmet, along with many other interesting and historically significant artifacts is on exhibit at the 82d Airborne Division War Memorial Museum at Fort Bragg. Admission to the museum is free and the hours of operations are Tuesday-Saturday 1000-1630. Visit the museum online at www.bragg.army.mil/18abn/museums.htm.
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