Kriegsmarine Senior NCO's White Topped Peaked Cap
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About this item
An exceptionally nice example of a Kriegsmarine senior NCO’s summer wear peaked (visor) Cap with detachable white upper.
Once part of my own collection the Cap remains in near excellent condition. The white cover retains the fire gilded pin back eagle, the cover fitting nicely onto the frame of the Cap, itself adorned with the black mohair hat band. To the front of the band is a perfect cap badge in Celleon thread with golden oak leaves and the national rosette at centre.
The peak (or visor) is in vulkanfibre with a black underside and trimmed with a double stitched edging. There is a black patent leather chinstrap secured by two fire gilded Kriegsmarine buttons.
Inside, the upper part of the cap is a fine white cheesecloth below which is a blue rayon lining. The leather sweatband is without wear and remains firmly attached. Attached to the forward frame is a vertical stiffener stamped 57 ½.
I do believe it would be difficult to upgrade this example.
About 15 years ago I bought this very cap from a Canadian collector. He had acquired it from a US Army veteran who told him he had been stationed at the Panama Canal in March 1946 (see last image) and had joined numerous souvenir hunters who boarded the German Battleship Prinz Eugene as she passed through the canal after the war on her way to the atomic testing grounds in the Pacific. Along with this Cap he had grabbed a Kriegsmarine helmet and had himself photographed holding both of them. Sadly, he later sold the helmet along with the photograph so there is no absolute provenance. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the story while I owned the Cap.
Historical Note on the Prinz Eugene. After a distinguished battle career the ship spent several months training officer cadets in the Baltic before serving as artillery support for the retreating German Army on the Eastern Front. After the German collapse in May 1945, she was surrendered to the Royal Navy before being transferred to the US Navy as a war prize. After examining the ship in the United States, the US Navy assigned the cruiser to the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. Having survived the atomic blasts, Prinz Eugen was towed to Kwajalein Atoll, where she ultimately capsized and sank in December 1946. The wreck remains partially visible above the water to this day, approximately two miles northwest of Bucholz Army Airfield, on the edge of Enubuj. One of her screw propellers was salvaged and is on display at the Laboe Naval Memorial in Germany.
A beautiful Cap, perhaps with an interesting history.