ORIGINAL WW2 FIXED BAIL M1 HELMET W/HAWLEY LINER~RED BALL EXPRESS~BLACK HISTORY~.
This is a rare original Red Ball Express front seam fixed bail helmet with an original to the NAMED hawley liner.
Not many original hawley liners have survived and this one is marked by a red ball express soldier! This is an import piece of Black history most people don’t know about.
The Red Ball Express was a famed truck convoy system that supplied Allied forces moving quickly through Europe after breaking out from the D-Day beaches in Normandy in 1944. To expedite cargo shipment to the front, trucks emblazoned with red balls followed a similarly marked route that was closed to civilian traffic. The trucks also had priority on regular roads.
Conceived in an urgent 36-hour meeting, the convoy system began operating on August 25, 1944. Staffed primarily with black American soldiers, the Express at its peak operated 5,958 vehicles that carried about 12,500 tons of supplies a day. It ran for 83 days until November 16, when the port facilities at Antwerp, Belgium, were opened, enough French rail lines were repaired, and portable gasoline pipelines were deployed.
Titles of Distinction