Original U.S. WWII 1943 M1 McCord Front Seam Fixed Bale Helmet with Vehicle Net and Westinghouse Liner - Complete
Original Item: Only One Available. 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 stamped 672 A which indicates the approximate manufacture date of Late 1943, just before the transition to swivel bales.
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 later M-1 helmet shells had a set of swivel (movable) 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 WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint.
The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a W for the Westinghouse Electric Co Manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "W" in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer and had two production divisions; Micarta and Bryant Electric. The Micarta Division produced about 13,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and the Bryant Electric Division about 10,000,000. Westinghouse Electric Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery in May 1942. Westinghouse did have a contract to produce airborne liners and converted an unknown amount to airborne configuration. Westinghouse 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 dated 1943. 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 a shoestring. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. Unfortunately the rear nape strap is slightly worn. The shell chin strap is original, it is unfortunately has the clasp side torn away. The torn piece of the chin strap has been kept with this helmet since it was torn many years ago and will be included.
These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct HBT straps. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!
Widespread during the Second World War, helmet nets were largely worn by American troops in the US Army Corps of Engineers, whose specialty 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 maneuvers. 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 standardized 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.
The M1 helmet is a combat helmet that was used by the U.S. military from World War II until 1985, when it was succeeded by the PASGT helmet. The M1 helmet has become an icon of the US military, with its design inspiring other militaries around the world.
Over 22 million U.S. M1 steel helmets were manufactured through September 1945. Production was done by McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company and Schlueter Manufacturing Company; the former developed a method to create an almost eighteen-centimeter deep bowl in a single pressing, which was an engineering milestone at the time.
In 1944, the stainless steel helmet rim with a seam at the front was replaced by a manganese steel rim with a rear seam, as well as the helmet bails being changed from a fixed, welded version to a swivel model in 1942, along with slight alterations to the shaping of the side brim. Further M1 helmets were manufactured for the Korean War.
Production continued during the Cold War era with periodic improvements; in 1955 a grommet in the front of the liner was deleted, in 1964 the liner construction was changed to laminated nylon and a new chinstrap design was introduced in 1975. The final contract for US M1 helmets was placed in 1976. The M1 was phased out of US service during the 1980s in favor of the PASGT helmet, which offered increased ergonomics and ballistic protection.
Following World War II, the M1 helmet was widely adopted or copied by numerous other countries and its distinctive shape was adopted as the NATO standard. Postwar analysis of wartime casualty figures by the US Army Operations Research Office found that 54 percent of hits to the M1 helmet failed to penetrate, and estimated that 70,000 men had been saved from death or injury by wearing it.
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