Militaria for sale | Buy Australian Militaria Online | Swords, Bayonets & Helmets for sale

Welcome guest - please login
Shopping Cart - $0.00

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Return to Previous Page

U.S. Air Force Boonie Hat Named to Lowell Salyer, "Young Tiger"

U.S. Air Force Boonie Hat Named to Lowell Salyer, "Young Tiger"

$525.00
Product code: 18

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

This is a United States Air Force boonie hat from the Vietnam War era (1959-1975). The hat features a metal Royal Thai Army Rangers badge on the front. On the right side are two patches, one for Vietnam and one for Thailand. 

OR

Details

This is a United States Air Force boonie hat from the Vietnam War era (1959-1975). The hat features a metal Royal Thai Army Rangers badge on the front. On the right side are two patches, one for Vietnam and one for Thailand. There is also a shield pin with Thailand printed on it. On the left side of the hat is a metal Thailand Air Force badge. The interior of the hat includes the name 1/Lt. Salyer, along with the words "Young Tiger" and the date 1-30 April 1965.

The hat belonged to First Lieutenant Lowell G. Salyer. "Young Tiger" may refer to Operation Young Tiger, an operation that ran from 1965 through 1972 that consisted of USAF tanker planes flying routes out of Thailand over South East Asia, refueling friendly planes in the area on an ad hoc basis.1 Included with the hat is a Air Medal citation for Salyer dating to April 1965.

This hat was previously in the collection of the Wilson History and Research Center (WHRC), a complete collection of every piece of military headgear developed, produced and modified, by every country during the 20th Century.

By popular accounts the “boonie hat” or soft hat evolved from locally procured full brim fabric hats during the Vietnam Conflict beginning with the French occupation of Indochina and accelerating with the arrival of U.S. Special Forces advisors in the early 1960′s. Most early boonie hats were procured locally in South Vietnam. The local manufacture of boonie hats became a significant cottage industry that survives to this day in modern Vietnam. Now the hats are sold in Vietnam mostly as souvenirs of the “American War”.

The boonie hat came into popular use by Special Operations teams such as the U.S. Army Special Forces and ARVN units along with counter insurgency units such as Naval Special Warfare teams. The most photographed users seem to be the U.S. Army ”LRP” or “LRRP” teams, “Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol” teams used to locate and harass the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong insurgents and provide bomb damage assessment after air strikes. These teams favored the soft boonie hat to a helmet since it was cooler to wear, did not interfere with hearing and broke up the outline of the soldier’s head assisting with concealment. The brim also provided a measure of comfort against monsoon rain and hot sun.

The original Southeast Asian campaign boonie hats came in a number of colors but the “Tiger Stripe” camouflage was the most commonly used. Tiger stripe uniforms never had a U.S. stock number and were purchased locally including the tiger stripe boonie hats. The hat became synonymous with the Vietnam Conflict and is featured in the statue The Three Soldiers (alternatively referred to as The Three Servicemen) by artist Frederick Hart at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. In the John Wayne movie The Green Berets characters wore the tiger stripe boonie hats on secret missions to kidnap a North Vietnamese officer and to repatriate a Montagnard village.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.1000
Country of Origin United States
Pattern No
Maker No
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1965