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201110 - Ethiopian Sun Helm in the Korean War - Ethiopia.


Ethiopian Sun Helm in the Korean War.

Inside it bears the symbol of the Ethiopian Empire with Lion of Judah and an inscription in Amharic (official Ethiopian language) as well as the star of David of the Ethiopian people. The chinstrap is still intact.

Ethiopia was one of the 16 nations that made up the United Nations Command (UNC) to fight in the Korean War. The men in Ethiopia’s Kagnew Battalion, which were largely drawn from the Ethiopian Imperial Bodyguard Division of Haile Selassie I. The unit fought alongside the U.S. 7th Infantry Division and took part in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, earning a U.S. Presidential Unit Citation.

The Ethiopians were the only UN contingent that had no prisoners to collect from the North Koreans since no Kagnew soldier ever surrendered, and they also had the distinctions of having never been bested in battle during the war.

While these helmets were typically worn with badges of the Imperial Guard on the front when the unit was in Ethiopia, photographic evidence suggests only the cockade was worn on the side in Korea. The sun/pith helmets were obviously not used in combat, but it does appear that the unit may have arrived in South Korea with these helmets as part of the uniform, which made this the only example of the sun helmet being worn at any point in the Korean War.