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Posted: 8/23/2017 10:34:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 10:42:27 AM EST by thunderw21]
We've all heard the stories from WW2 vets of using their steel helmets for numerous things, including to cook with. I thought I'd try my hand at it. Below is a helmet shell I just finished. This is a postwar shell that I stripped, refinished in WW2 style, attached chinstraps to, and then lightly aged.

This is the shell I'll be using as a cook pot, which was a fairly common practice during the war (though frowned upon by superiors since it altered the protective characteristics of the steel). Not to worry, I stripped the interior down to bare steel and seasoned it to make it safe to cook with. Obviously the guys out in the field didn't have a good way to remove the lead paint from the inside of the shell other than burning it out through multiple uses. Mmm, burnt paint flavor.

After seasoning I cooked an egg with it; makes for a great non-stick pan and the egg tasted great. The shell ain't so pretty anymore but it's far more useful this way.

So now I have a nice cook pot and some sad-sack noncom is running around without his steel shell.



After restoration, before seasoning.




Down to the bare steel.


Seasoning!


And cooking the egg.




Not so pretty anymore.


Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:13:38 AM EST
bump
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:16:05 AM EST
Neat.

Would the inside of the helmet have been painted originally? Or was it bare steel like yours?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:19:05 AM EST
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Originally Posted By unknownhavoc:
Neat.

Would the inside of the helmet have been painted originally? Or was it bare steel like yours?
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Yes, they were originally painted on the inside.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:37:17 AM EST
Neat
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:41:43 AM EST
Fun experiment.

But why didn't the guys in the first pic just heat their soup up in the can it came in?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:43:40 AM EST
Neat
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:43:54 AM EST
Interesting cooking OP.

But this is what we used for cooking.




And the brain bucket was for shaving or
taking a whore bath.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:45:44 AM EST
Very cool!

Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:49:38 AM EST
Im thinking Subnet needs to do a drunk cooking thread using one of these!
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:53:38 AM EST
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Originally Posted By tifosi:
Fun experiment.

But why didn't the guys in the first pic just heat their soup up in the can it came in?
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It probably wasn't soup to begin with, but rather some kind of canned meat that's had water added to it (along with other ingredients) to create a kind of stew.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 12:58:32 PM EST
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Originally Posted By uxo2:
Interesting cooking OP.

But this is what we used for cooking.

http://www.mcguirearmynavy.com/images/P/us-gi-steel-mess-kit-with-cutlery-mcguire-army-navy-military-surplus.jpg


And the brain bucket was for shaving or
taking a whore bath.
View Quote
Used that as well for individual cooking. But in a little over a month I'll be cooking for 5-6 guys, so the helmet will come in handy.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:03:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:04:09 PM EST
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Battleground! Great movie.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:08:16 PM EST
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great movie


I've read more than on Vietnam book were they mix up c-rats and stuff in a steel pot

can't cook in a fritz helmet LOL
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:16:31 PM EST
Not to hijack, can someone give a link where to buy a good repro helmet? I think it'll be cool to have.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:48:04 PM EST
Some of the other things done in those helmets would prevent me from ever using one to cook.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:51:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 1:53:32 PM EST by thunderw21]
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Originally Posted By Spagehttie:
Not to hijack, can someone give a link where to buy a good repro helmet? I think it'll be cool to have.
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Here are a coupe, but if you want good it'll be fairly expensive.

http://www.dropzonehelmets.com/products

https://alexanderandsonsrestorations.com/product-category/allied-helmets-for-sale/


I've done over a dozen helmets myself and I think I have the components for one I could fix up pretty easily for you. Shoot me a PM if you're interested. It would be cheaper than the sites above.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 1:53:47 PM EST
I shaved out of mine

Then

Cooked Crats that night
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 3:05:05 PM EST
cool thread OP!!

What's for lunch?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 4:07:12 PM EST
This will also fuck up the temper in the steel (if it matters to you to protect your noodle in combat ).  My brother got a burnt one like that in the Gyrenes, and he turned it back in & requested an unburnt one.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 4:13:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By tifosi:
Fun experiment.

But why didn't the guys in the first pic just heat their soup up in the can it came in?
View Quote
You shouldn't heat food in the can it came in. Cans have epoxy liners to keep the food away from the metal; heating can leach that shit into your food.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 4:17:17 PM EST
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LOL!  The first thing I thought when I read the thread title

I can't begin to imagine how many times I watched that movie in the 60's and 70's.

Van Johnson (Holley) was great.

"Battleground".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfYmmiqZ6Ak
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:16:01 PM EST
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Originally Posted By uxo2:
Interesting cooking OP.

But this is what we used for cooking.

http://www.mcguirearmynavy.com/images/P/us-gi-steel-mess-kit-with-cutlery-mcguire-army-navy-military-surplus.jpg

And the brain bucket was for shaving or taking a whore bath.
View Quote
The only helmet cooking Dad talked about was heating water with an unopened can of rations in the hot water to heat up. But heating water for shaving and/or a rinse down was about all they did with a helmet. Never heard of a polished and seasoned helmet like OP's. Much less cooking an egg inside one.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:36:47 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Spagehttie:
Not to hijack, can someone give a link where to buy a good repro helmet? I think it'll be cool to have.
View Quote
I got three of them from J. Murray Militaria. Two are set up with French straps, and one is an M1C repro suspension system.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:23:10 PM EST
Me & a friend eating pitachios. Not a repro . . .

Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:29:33 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TerryC:
Me & a friend eating pitachios. Not a repro . . .

http://www.fototime.com/9DE6C7F8E81D338/medium800.jpg
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The dag wants some too
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:39:05 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Freakinout:
The dag wants some too
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Freakinout:
Originally Posted By TerryC:
Me & a friend eating pitachios. Not a repro . . .

http://www.fototime.com/9DE6C7F8E81D338/medium800.jpg
The dag wants some too
One does not simply sit alone in the war room.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:39:11 PM EST
wasnt it generally bad idea to do that with helmets?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:40:36 PM EST
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Originally Posted By TerryC:
One does not simply sit alone in the war room.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TerryC:
Originally Posted By Freakinout:
Originally Posted By TerryC:
Me & a friend eating pitachios. Not a repro . . .

http://www.fototime.com/9DE6C7F8E81D338/medium800.jpg
The dag wants some too
One does not simply sit alone in the war room.
This is how I remember it
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:52:15 PM EST
I would think that would ruin any heat treatment. boiling may be okay?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:29:05 PM EST
I once asked a WW2 vet about cooking in a helmet and he said they generally didn't cook with their own helmets because they would get bitched at if they got caught. It didn't matter anyways because there was always somebody else's helmet laying around. Even in my day the mentality was, why fuck up your own gear when some other troop was always leaving their shit around? "Oh look a canteen cup, yeah I'll use this one because I don't want to dig mine out of my gear."

That WW2 vet also said most of the time they didn't have the time to cook their rations or didn't want to draw fire, so it was cold K rations or gnaw on a D bar.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 11:31:55 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Dragonfly228:
I would think that would ruin any heat treatment. boiling may be okay?
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Boiling would probably mess with the heat treat too, depending on how much water you had and how hot you got it.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 11:38:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2017 11:39:11 AM EST by thunderw21]
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Originally Posted By DefensorFortis:
I once asked a WW2 vet about cooking in a helmet and he said they generally didn't cook with their own helmets because they would get bitched at if they got caught. It didn't matter anyways because there was always somebody else's helmet laying around. Even in my day the mentality was, why fuck up your own gear when some other troop was always leaving their shit around? "Oh look a canteen cup, yeah I'll use this one because I don't want to dig mine out of my gear."

That WW2 vet also said most of the time they didn't have the time to cook their rations or didn't want to draw fire, so it was cold K rations or gnaw on a D bar.
View Quote
Very true. You'll notice the guys in my first pic probably aren't too near the front: no gear, no rifles, no worries.
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