Students Return Army Helmet to Widow

An Idaho teacher and his students arrived at Mary Malone's home in Middletown Friday morning with smiles on their faces and a bright blue gift bag.

Their mission: to return a World War II helmet to the widow of a man who wore it while fighting in the war. 

Dennis Mansfield, an instructor at the Vineyard Christian Home School Co-Op in Boise, received the helmet as a gift from his parents in 1971. 

During a brief ceremony, Mansfield read a letter from his father, who recalled how he bought the helmet for $1.75 at a commissary auction.

It belonged to Anthony Malone, an Army medic who served in Europe and North Africa during World War II. He had written his name, company and serial number inside the helmet. 

Mansfield was looking for a creative way to teach World War II history to his students, so he assigned them the challenge of finding the helmet's owner.

The students discovered the helmet belonged to Malone mainly through Internet searches. During their quest to find him, they also learned he died eight years ago, at the age of 83. 

The students happily pulled the helmet out of the blue gift bag and turned it over to Malone's grateful widow, in a history lesson they likely won't forget.

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