Item:
ONSV4671

Original U.S. Late WWII M1 McCord Rear Seam Swivel Bale Helmet with Firestone Liner

Regular price $395.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a late WWII Produced M1 Helmet, with a rear seam swivel bale shell by McCord, and a "High Pressure" liner by Firestone. It shows only light service wear, and looks to have spent most of its life in storage. There is little sign that it was used post war, and it still retains all of the correct WWII issue parts.

The U.S. WWII M-1 helmet was only produced from 1941 to 1945. The first production batch resulted with over 323,510 M-1 helmets before the start of the American involvement in the war. This helmet is heat-lot stamped 118H, which looks to be incomplete, so it probably is "1118H". This would indicate the approximate manufacture date of December 1944 - January 1945, right when the "Battle of the Bulge" was occurring in the European Theater.

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. 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). 

The early M-1 helmet shells had a set of fixed (static) chinstrap loops called "bales" and a stainless steel rim. 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" that this helmet has. In 1944, to deal with paint wearing off the very shiny stainless steel rim, the material was changed to manganese steel in October, and then the seam moved to the rear in November.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint with rear seam and swivel bails. The chin strap is the correct later war OD Green with blacked brass stamped hardware. The shell and chinstrap are in very good condition, with some service wear and fading to the chin strap.

The liner is painted white and is the correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over 49 for the FIRESTONE TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY Manufactured in Akron, Ohio this “high pressure” manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed “F” in the crown. Firestone Tire and Rubber Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery to the US Army in September 1942. They produced approximately 7,500,000 M-1 helmet liners and discontinued production around August 17 1945 when the war ended. The liner outer paint is in great shape.

This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WWII features include OD Green #3 cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in good condition. This HBT suspension is held tightly within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The three upper suspension bands are joined together with the correct OD green string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The sweatband is in lightly worn condition, with just a bit of staining, and the name W.C. DURST written on the leather. The liner chinstrap is present, but unfortunately tore through long ago, probably from being looped over the from brim, as most were.

A very nice late WWII issue helmet, perfect for any collection! Ready to display!

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