The British Paratrooper Sun Helmet


An Indian made sun helmet featuring the flash of the 151
Battalion of the Independent Parachute Brigade (Photo: Daniel Fisher and Oliver Lock)

When one thinks of a British Paratrooper helmet it is usually the steel helmets used in such notable engagements as the D-Day Landings to secure Pegasus Bridge and later during Operation Market Garden.

However, authors Daniel Fisher and Oliver Lock note in their new book British Airborne Headdress that a variety of other headdress including slouch hats, turbans and even sun helmets were used by various units of the Independent Parachute Brigade during and after World War II.


Members of the Independent Parachute Brigade with a variety of sun helmets (Photo: Daniel Fisher and Oliver Lock)

The brigade was born in October of 1941 and consisted of 151 British, 152 Indian and 153 Ghurkha plus other supporting arms.

“It is not always possible for the airborne soldier to wear his beloved maroon beret or his combat helmet,” wrote Fisher and Lock. “Climatic and tactical considerations mean other forms of headdress must be worn.”

This included, as noted in their book, various models of “pith helmets” including British and Indian made examples.


A close up of two of the sun helmets as shown above (Photo: Daniel Fisher and Oliver Lock)

Military Mode Publishing: British Airborne Headdress Official Website

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