This helmet is Identified as belonging to Aloyse Schaefer (ASN 36220663) ; a Staff Sergeant in G Company, 327th Glider regiment. Although there were several soldiers in the second Battalion by the same name, there was only one who used the spelling found on the front of the liner. Also there was only one who was an NCO.
The helmet is a standard issue M1 type as would have been issued to all non-jump qualified members within the 101st airborne division. The exterior had been re-painted at some point after being issued as evidenced by the paint runs and the spill-over on the chinstrap. The 2nd Battalion 327 GIR tac signs appear as the type which would have been applied just before the June 6 invasion of Normandy.
Schaefer served with G/327 during the Normandy invasion and subsequent fighting. He participated in the only actual glider assault by 327 GIR during the "Market-Garden" operation in Holland as well as the rapid deployment from Mouemelon and subsequent battles within encircled Bastogne in December 1944. The helmet bears definite signs of extended wear and is assumed to be the one which he wore in all three campaigns.
As shown below, Schaefer was either fallen ill or was wounded in January 1945. It could have been during this time that he was separated from his helmet. The helmet was sourced locally in the Bastogne area in the 1980s
Aloyse Schaefer came from Wisconsin and died in 2003. I came into contact with his son but my request for a photograph of Schaefer was not answered.
(Above Left) This roster of 1st platoon G company was made on June 18, 1944 after the bulk of the fighting in Normandy. Schaefer is listed as a member of 2nd squad.
(Above Right) This company morning report for G co. was made on January 24, 1945 at Mourmelon. It lists Schaefer as being hospitalized since January 16, 1945.
Members of 2nd battalion 327th GIR at Carentan; June 1944. The 327th was heavily engaged in Normandy as well as Holland and the Ardennes; suffering the most casualties of any regiment in the 101st Airborne Division.