The Vietnam War has long been overlooked by militaria collectors in favour of WW1 and WW2 items, but in recent years prices have been steadily increasing. Top of the interest list are personal gear and headwear, as well as pilots’ clothing. Helmets have also been popular with a number of good collectors’ books coming out on that subject. Medals and Vietnam paperwork, as well as theatre-made patches are attracting a lot of interest in auction and can be bought for reasonable money.
For this post, we dip our toe into the world of Vietnam militaria and cover a broad spectrum of interest. In future posts we will cover this war in more detail. But for now, here are a few Vietnam War collectables for sale via our partners online.
First up; the Iconic US Army M1 Helmet and Cover
Always a great seller, the US Army did little to change the M1 helmet from the earlier WW2 models. Where they did differ was the use of camouflage cloth covers. This particular cover has some Charlie Brown graffiti on the front, which makes it unique. It says “oh good grief’ and “peanuts” – a reference to the popular cartoon figure at the time. On the other side it says “Nam Tour 68 – 69” which presumably relates to the soldier’s tour of duty in Vietnam. And on the back, the soldier’s blood type is written. This was particularly useful if the soldier got injured and needed a blood transfusion.
As well as a fantastic cover and a great combat look, this helmet also has a great condition liner and chinstrap. It is available from Military Tour in Canada. Priced at $249.
British Army Vietnam-era Combat Jacket and Trousers
If you are looking for a good British Army Vietnam era combat jacket and trousers, JC Militaria have this pair currently for sale for £275. The jacket is dated 1965 and the trousers are dated 1960. They both have their original labels. The labels are great as they are definitive proof of age and always add to the value. There is also a period detachable hood for the jacket which adds to the set.
The Brits often get overlooked when it comes to the Vietnam war. Most films, books and other pop culture references portray the Americans fighting in Vietnam (think Rambo, Hair, Apocalypse Now. Or Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA) but a lot less is said about other countries’ involvement. Yet, the British were also fighting in the Vietnam War. Although not as many British soldiers were actually stationed in Vietnam as American, but the British also helped the war effort by sending supplies and weapons.
French MAB Holster
The French army fought during the Vietnam War as well, and this MAB holster and magazine pouch are good examples from that time. The MAB (Manufacture d’Armes de Bayonne) pistol saw service in WW2, the French Indochina War, the Algerian War of Independence and then also during the Vietnam War.
This nice condition pouch and holster are on sale from Chelmsford Militaria priced at £55.
US Army M1 Helmet with Cloth Cover
Next up is another M1 helmet with a Mitchell pattern camouflage cover. The liner is in very clean condition and the outer shell has been repainted in correct Vietnam-era paint. There is a date of 1962 and the reversible camouflage cover is dated 1969.
This style of helmet cover is known by collectors as the Mitchell pattern. It has a summer (green leaf) pattern on one side and a winter (brown cloud) side. The concept originally came from a Marine Corps shelter cape which worked very well and the colour scheme was later adapted into helmet covers.
This helmet and cover are currently available from Battleflag Militaria for £185.
US Navy Vietnam Jacket
During the Vietnam War the United Sates Navy produced an aviator’s jacket which was known as the G1. It was manufactured in brown leather with knitted cuffs and a fur collar, and it was well received.
The jacket has a velcro pad for the pilot’s name patch and the two front pockets made it an instant hit. Not to mention that in recent years, in the film Top Gun actor Tom Cruise is wearing one, and that alone has reignited interest in these jackets.
This example is a large size (approx 44 inch chest) and it has the original USN internal label still attached. It is for sale, priced at €395 from Selles Military Antiques in France.
No Vietnam US jet pilot should be without one of these…
Flying a fighter jet wasn’t without its risks. You could be bombed or your plane could malfunction; it was a very dangerous position to be in. To mitigate these risks, every jet pilot carried a parachute so they could eject themselves and try to save their lives if the plane was going down.
D&B Militaria have this B-24 jet pilot’s parachute for sale at the moment. It consists of a 28ft parachute, which is dated 1962 and the correct matching harness etc. It is all in good shape with a great manufacturer’s stamp. The parachute is priced at £950.
How about a pottery port bottle which commemorates military service during the Vietnam War? On the reverse it says “Dedicated to all those who can look back and say; ‘We was there” South Vietnam 1962-1972.
On the front it has the various awards that could have been awarded to a member of the Australian military forces. It is priced at $57 from Sabre Militaria.
For WW2 US Army and Navy Combat Jackets for sale CLICK HERE.
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