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The White Bar on US Officer's helmets.

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by greglewis, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. greglewis

    greglewis Member

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    Just watching Band of Brothers again and thinking about the vertical white bar the officers have on the back of their battlefield helmets.
    How long did the US Army continue with this?
    Did it make officers a target for snipers?
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I personally believe that the opposite is true. By removing the obvious "frontal" identification from an officer's helmet (or collars), and putting it in the back; the sniper (seeing the man from the front generally) wouldn't know who was leading the group really while his own group following him would.

    The "white bar" was a very limited time-frame option, and I believe out of practice after the Normandy operations started winding down. You see them rarely in documentary films by the Signal Corp after 1944 in either Europe or the Pacific Theater.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Officers were vertical, sergeants were horizontal.
     
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    We're still talking about the helmet stripes, right? :D :drink_a_pint:
     
  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    The technical term is "Leadership Stripe" and the "Hollywood" representation of them is much larger than they were in actual application here is a link I found this morning that describes them: EQUIPMENT page 2
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  7. greglewis

    greglewis Member

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    Thanks for the responses.
     
  8. Adk Bill

    Adk Bill New Member

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  9. Adk Bill

    Adk Bill New Member

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    I always wondered when the "white bar" practice ended. I was a recon platoon leader with the 11th Armored Cav Regt. at Ft. Knox and gyroscoped as a complete regt to replace the 6th on border operations between Germany and Czechoslovakia in 1957 and 1958. Officers wore the vertical white bar and NCO's the horizontal one during this time period. I have an official army photograph of myself (then regt security platoon leader) with my platoon being inspected by the post commander that shows both types. I will post it next month when I get back north if anyone is interested.
     
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  10. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Please, post away.
     
  11. Michel Ross

    Michel Ross New Member

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    [​IMG]
    "follow me bars" to the helmets
     
  12. Michel Ross

    Michel Ross New Member

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  13. Michel Ross

    Michel Ross New Member

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  14. Michel Ross

    Michel Ross New Member

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    Ed Pieczatowski's helmet was shot off by a grenadier of the 17th SS division near Montmartin en Graignes, France,
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Michel Ross

    Michel Ross New Member

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  16. LBT

    LBT New Member

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    Before battles, George Washington would call his officers forward and place a white card in the back of their hat bands. Then he’d tell the soldiers that if they became lost or confused in battle, they should look for a white card and follow that man. Of course, he was simultaneously telling his officers where he expected them to be during the fight.

    So the practice of painting a white stripe on the back of officers’ helmets is thought to be an echo of Washington’s call to leadership.
     

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