Interviewed October 2002:
Heinz Gonnermann served with the 10
Kompanie Regiment "Baranthin" in the Division "Hasso von Manteufel"
serving in North Africa in 1943. As a German paratrooper,
he arrived in Africa at Mateur, where he initially served as a
motorcycle dispatch rider (Kradmelder). Later Heinz also served
as a crew member on a 7.5 cm Pak.
When questioned about his helmet,
Heinz recalled that he was never issued a Fallschirmjäger helmet.
He stated that he wore one during training in Germany, but the
equipment (including the helmet) issued for jump training was later returned once the training
period was complete. After basic training, he was transported by
train to Italy. After transport to the African coastline, he
was reissued equipment in Mateur. This included a standard
M1935 double decal helmet and not the typical Fallschirmjäger
The helmet shown above is a M1935
Luftwaffe double decal helmet. Heinz recalls that the
helmets were painted by spray gun at the Kompanie's motor pool
using standard flat tan camouflage paint. The decals were
entirely painted over. Heinz recalls the helmets were placed on
the ground and sprayed all in a single batch.