Original U.S. Korean War Era - Early Vietnam War McCord M1 Helmet With Mitchell Pattern Camouflage Helmet Cover, Helmet Band, and Korean War Westinghouse Liner - Named

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice Korean War / Vietnam issue McCord M1 helmet shell, with a Mine Safety Appliance Paratrooper liner. It does however have some very interesting aspects, which make it a prime candidate for further research.

The Ordnance Department selected McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit Michigan to produce the steel M1 helmet bodies. These bodies were made from a single piece of Hadfield Manganese steel that was produced by the Carnegie-Illinois & Sharon Steel Corporations. Each completed raw M-1 helmet shell weighed 2.25 lbs each.

This M1 shell has correct late war swivel chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a stainless steel rim with a rear seam. These rims were both rust resistant and had "non-magnetic qualities" that reduced the chance of error readings when placed around certain sensitive equipment (such as a compass). In October 1943, issues with the fixed bales breaking off resulted in a change to the "swivel bales". Then in October 1944, the rims were changed to non magnetic manganese steel, due to issues with the paint wearing off the rim. Shortly after this in November 1944 the specification was changed to have the rim seam in the rear of the helmet.

McCord restarted production during the postwar years for the Korean Conflict, and there were also WWII helmets which were refitted during the war. This helmet shell definitely appears to have undergone something like that, as this helmet really doesn't fit into the standard production format. It does look to be a Korean War era production shell, and we think we can see faded heat lot stamp "M151A" in a worn area on the helmet, which is difficult to make out. This would indicate production either during the final months of 1953 or immediate post war. The shell has a name on it in white paint with a “US” service number, K. WILLIAMS.

The helmet shell does show minor wear, and definitely had water sitting on the inside for some period. We have not been able to inspect the outer shell of the helmet due to the chinstrap being attached on the backside and we did not want to risk damaging the “breakaway” attachments.

The liner is correct "high pressure" Korean War Era issue and stamped with a W over mold number 31, for manufacture by the Westinghouse Electric Co of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner are identified by an embossed "W" in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer during WWII. With the outbreak of the Korean conflict, they resumed making helmet liners, which were quite similar to the WWII configuration.

The main differences were a switch to darker OD Green #7 straps, which were a more standard weave, not the HBT used during WWII. Also, the frontal eyelet was removed. The suspension was updated to those more commonly seen on the Vietnam War era helmet liners. Condition of the interior is very good, with solid straps and a sweatband showing moderate wear. All of the components are present except for the liner chin strap, which is almost always missing.

This is a lovely example, and comes more than ready for further research and display.

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