Original U.S. WWII 1942 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Helmet with Rare Personalized & Dated Hawley Paper Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with an extremely rare Hawley pressed paper line. These liners are quite delicate, and often were replaced during the war, making them very hard to find. This liner in particular was decorated and personalized by the owner H. Taylor, who marked his name many times on the outside, and also drew a very nice tree with an owl on a branch on the top.

The rear of the helmet liner reads TOPEKA, KANSAS, and the front indicates where Taylor presumably was when he decorated the liner:

JAN. 5 - 1943

Not much to go on, but with this information, there is definitely research potential.

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 195B, a low number which indicates the approximate manufacture date of May 1942, soon 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 significant wear to the paint, especially on the interior of the shell. The chin strap is the correct OD Green #3 with all brass hardware, including the cast brass buckle. Condition of the shell is quite nice, with no dents or stress cracks that we can see. As with most, the paint on the edge of the stainless steel rim is mostly worn away.

The liner is in very 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. As with most, the edge area is damaged, with about 25% missing, and other parts hanging loose, as shown. There is also the usual deformation due to the paper construction.

Unlike most Hawley liners we have seen, this example has the same OD Green #3 HBT webbing suspension seem on the later low and high pressure liners. Usually these had the early pattern rayon linings. We do not know if this liner was retrofitted, or originally made this way. Due to how fragile they are, we assume it must be original production, as there would be little use to retrofitting one of these. The top tie string to adjust the fit is still present, and the sweatband is as well, though it is torn clear through and places, and quite degraded. The leather liner chin strap is present as well, but in very delicate condition.

If you were looking for a very early issue M1 Helmet and Hawley Paper liner with lots of research potential for the collection, this is it! 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 rayon 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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