Original U.S. WWII 1943 Captain's McCord M1 Fixed Bale Front Seam Helmet with Matching Firestone Liner and Net
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a 1943 or earlier WWII M1 Helmet with original Captain’s rank painted, complete with original khaki chinstraps with blackened brass hardware, Foliage net, and its original Westinghouse liner. Interestingly, The liner has a lieutenant’s rank on the front, indicating that the lieutenant was most likely promoted to Captain and had not gotten around to changing the rank on the liner. These pieces have been together a long time! This is one of the more attractive WWII US helmets we have had the pleasure of offering in recent years!
The steel shell on this example exhibits original paint to the exterior, some corrosion to the interior, and some corrosion to the interior of the shell in the crown. The rim appears to be stainless steel, which helps date the helmet to Pre-1944. Early to mid 1944 was when the manganese rim was introduced. M-1 helmet shell originally had 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 1944, due to issues with paint flaking off the bright stainless steel, the rim was changed to use non-magnetic manganese steel, which retained the paint and was not shiny. Shortly after this in November 1944 the switch was made to rear seam from front seam.
This helmet features the correct fixed bales and a heat lot number of 699A which indicates Pre-October 1943 manufacture as swivel bales began production around that time. The helmet still retains all of its original WWII parts with some light wear from service. The exterior still has the original "corked grain" OD Green paint retained well, with areas of light wear. The shell strap is the correct OD Green #3 from a mid war helmet, with a stamped blackened brass buckle. It shows only light wear, and is really in great shape. The net is a section cut from a GI Vehicle net, which was quite popular with the troops during WWII.
The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over F4 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.
This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner can be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner. 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 intact. The shell chin strap is original, however the line chin strap is missing.
This is a fantastic example of an M1 helmet used during WWII. Comes ready for display!
Widespread during the Second World War, helmet nets were largely worn by American troops in the US Army Corps of Engineers, whose speciality was camouflage. They were also worn by British and Commonwealth troops.
Soldiers devised the helmets themselves, putting net across the exterior surface to stop the shine, as this could have given away their presence outdoors when on manoeuvres. They would insert cloth or leaves under the net, so that when the weather was wet, the shine wasn't visible.
In America, the “camouflage factories” began producing a large number of nets. They were staffed by the Army Engineers, with the sole purpose of producing camouflage materials for the military, cutting up large camouflage nets into tens of thousands of smaller pieces.
British factories were also commissioned to supply the nets, but because of the huge demand in the US, they were able to produce only around 40% of what was needed. They fell three to six months behind the US Army's procurement schedule and thus more nets were manufactured in the States instead.
The troops traditionally used shrimp nets to mask their helmets and there were a number of different styles, such as the 0.5-inch Normandy-style helmet net, the 0.25-inch British-style and the style worn by the 3rd Infantry Division, which was a tightly-woven net.
Nets were also useful for storing miscellaneous items, such as cigarettes, bandages and small first aid kits. Various sizes of net were used by the Army, as there wasn't a standard design. The nets' squares usually ranged from 0.5 inches to 0.75 inches.
In 1943, the Army finally introduced a standardised helmet with a net as part of the uniform issue. The M1943 uniform included trousers, jacket, boots and helmet, with a net secured with an elastic band. The net's squares were much smaller and were only 0.25 inches in a tight weave.
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