Original U.S. Korean War Medic M1 Schlueter Swivel Bale Rear Seam Helmet Shell
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very interesting example of a Post WWII Medic M1 Helmet Shell produced by Schlueter, which looks to have seen some service post war. Like many of the helmets that remained after WWII, this helmet looks to have been reissued for service during the Korean War Era, and was most likely used long after. It definitely shows wear and use, with some corrosion under the manganese steel rim, some of which has chipped off.
The shell looks to have been repainted several times, and in one of the worn spots, a previous Medic marking can be seen. Definitely a shell with some serious history!
In World War II the production of the M1 helmet began in June 1941 and ceased in September 1945. The total production of M-1 helmet shells during the war reached 22,000,000. Of these about 20,000,000 were produced by the main contractor McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit. Although McCord was supposed to be the single source of M-1 helmet shells, by the summer of 1942 a second company was enlisted to help the production effort. This was Schlueter Manufacturing of St. Louis, Missouri.
Schlueter began production of its M-1 helmet shells in January 1943. Schlueter produced only 2,000,000 M-1 helmet shells during the war (both fixed and swivel). They placed an "S" stamp on their helmet shells above their "heat temperature stamp". Aside from the markings, there are some subtle differences between a McCord and Schlueter M-1 helmet shell. This can be found on the rims. A Schlueter helmet shell has a much straighter profile than the classic McCord brim. Also the weld marks for the fixed bales and rim are small and round on a Schlueter, while they are oval and wide for a McCord.
This nice post war production helmet is a fine example and is heat lot stamped 676. under the right bale. It does not have the "S" stamp for a Schlueter shell, but the shape and style are correct for that manufacturer. This helmet was made after the switch to the manganese steel rim with a rear seam in November 1944, and collector research indicates production in late 1945. The small round welds on the seam and chin strap bale bases are also definitive for a Schlueter helmet shell.
This M-1 helmet shell was originally designed with a stainless steel rim with seam in the front. Stainless steel 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 1944, due to issues with paint flaking off the bright stainless steel, the rim material was switched to non-magnetic manganese steel. This material was not as shiny and retained the paint far better. Slightly later in November, a "rear seam" design was implemented. This helmet features the correct late war manganese steel rim with rear seam and swivel bales. The chin strap is completely missing unfortunately.
U.S. Medic helmets are among the most sought after of all M1 helmets and have become very difficult to find in recent years. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!
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