Original U.S. WWII 1943 M1 McCord Swivel Bale Front Seam Helmet with Period Mickey Mouse Paint Job

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great example of a genuine mid WWII Issue U.S. Army M1 Helmet, with a correct WWII Issue liner. It also has an amazing WWII Period "Mickey Mouse" painted on the front of the helmet. It shows wear, chipping, and degradation, so it was definitely added to the helmet during active service, and would make an excellent part of any collection.

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 562B, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of July - August 1943. This was before the "official" changeover to swivel bales, so it may have been left over in the factory, or possibly had the bales replaced after the originals broke off, however we see no evidence of replaced 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 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.

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. The shell's heat lot was stamped before the change, however the helmet for some reason stayed at McCord until the swivel bale period.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint, though it definitely shows overall wear, and wear on the "Mickey Mouse" as well. It features a correct front seam and swivel bails. The chin strap is the correct mid war OD Green #3 with with a steel hook and stamped brass buckle, so this was outfitted during the changeover back to brass.

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 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 very good shape. 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 still present, however it shows use and degradation of the leather, so this is a helmet that was used. The liner chin strap is missing, except for about an inch left on the left side. Both of the liner chin strap attachment loops are present.

An excellent genuine service worn WWII issue helmet with a fantastic "Mickey Mouse" period paint job. Ready to display!

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