One of Grandpa Bob’s items that came into my mom’s possession after he passed away was this mysterious container:

After some internet research, I discovered that shutzhaube is German for “protection hood”.  Even further research resulted in the discovery that this is, in fact, a German container that was specifically made to hold gas masks during World War II.  The gas masks that were carried in “Gasschutzhaube” containers were specially made to be loose-fitting so as not to apply added pressure to wearers in the event they were already suffering from head wounds.  Each container carried 1-3 gas masks.  After learning that these gas masks were first introduced on November 7, 1940, I searched around the exterior of Grandpa’s container for an inscribed date.  Sure enough, I found one on the left side:

So, now I am left with a bunch of questions.  To begin with,  how did this German gas mask holder get into Grandpa Bob’s hands?  Could he have acquired it during his military service?  Also, what do the two symbols above and next to the 1940  inscription mean?  Lastly, Grandpa Bob did not graduate from high school until 1945, so was this container possibly given to him by an older brother or another individual who was in the military in 1940?

Hopefully, I can figure out a way to answer these questions soon, because my curiosity is heightening by the minute!