Original U.S. WWII 1942 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Front Seam Helmet with Rare Hawley Paper Liner
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice early example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with an extremely rare Hawley pressed paper liner, a rare thing to see. These liners are quite delicate, and often were replaced during the war, making them very hard to find.
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 220A, a low number which indicates the approximate manufacture date of July-August 1942, not long after the U.S. entered into WWII.
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 early M-1 helmet shells had a set of fixed 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).
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 front seam and fixed bails. It does show wear to the paint, and there are two silver stripes on the front of the helmet, but these look to have been added post war. The liner has "Costume Gallery" written on it, so these rank markings were probably added as part of a display. The chin strap is the correct OD Green #3 with cast blacked brass hardware. Condition of the shell is quite nice, with just a few rim dents/ripples, and the paint retained well, with the expected wear from service. There is also still a lot of paint on the Stainless Steel rim, which was prone to wear, though the edge is definitely missing paint.
The liner is in quite good condition, which is somewhat rare, as the Hawley liners were made of paper, and unfortunately not nearly as resistant to wear as the "high-pressure" type. Often they were replaced and discarded during the war. It is slightly deformed, and does have some areas of the "rim" missing, typical for these liners. The web suspension is present, though the sweatband is entirely missing. The underlying webbing attached to the liner is still very nice however. The liner chinstrap is missing, as they were often removed and the leather did not fare well over the years.
This is definitely a helmet that saw use during the war, but was not abused, giving it that great worn in look. This would make a worthy addition to any WWII or Helmet collection. Ready to display!
Features a RARE Hawley Liner:
The shape and characteristics of the Hawley liner were identical to those of the fiberglass counterpart. The differences were the material of construction and the absence from the front metal grommet, which is where insignia could be placed. The suspension was made of a series of canvas straps. The sweatband has a leather cover. The whole assembly was riveted to the body of the liner. Small buckles were provided to adjust the suspension. However, doing so was difficult and very clumsy. The Hawley liner was issued in very small numbers during the early days of World War Two.
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