Original U.S. WWII 1943 M1 Schlueter Swivel Bale Helmet with Westinghouse Liner and Korean War USMC Cover

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a Mid-War M1 Helmet produced by Schlueter, complete with its original liner. After the war, these helmets were put into storage, and were then reissued for use in the korean war, when this helmet was then equipped with a 1953 dated USMC reversible camouflage cover, complete with an EGA stamp.

In World War II the production of the M1 helmet began in June 1941 and ceased in September 1945. 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. Although McCord was supposed to be the single source of M-1 helmet shells, by the summer of 1942 a second company was enlisted to help the production effort. This was Schlueter Manufacturing of St. Louis, Missouri.

Schlueter began production of its M-1 helmet shells in January 1943. Schlueter produced only 2,000,000 M-1 helmet shells during the war (both fixed and swivel). They placed an "S" stamp on their helmet shells above their "heat temperature stamp".

Aside from the markings, there are some subtle differences between a McCord and Schlueter M-1 helmet shell. This can be found on the rims. A Schlueter helmet shell has a much straighter profile than the classic McCord brim. Also the weld marks for the fixed bales and rim are small and round on a Schlueter, while they are oval and wide for a McCord.

This nice mid war production helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and paint, with some light wear from service. The steel shell is heat lot stamped 125A dating manufacture to late 1943 (199A was December 1943), after the swivel bales were introduced. We were not able to locate the "S" under the heat lot number, as they are very lightly stamped on most Schlueter shells, and often covered by paint. However the small round welds on the front seam are definitive for a Schlueter helmet, and the heat lot number is far to low to be for a Swivel Bale McCord.

This M-1 helmet shell has an 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, a "rear seam" design was implemented, using non-magnetic manganese steel, which retained the paint and was not shiny. This helmet features the correct front seam rim and mid war production swivel bales.

The shell chinstrap is present and intact, with the light wear from age and service. The shell strap is the correct OD Green #3 from a mid war helmet, with a stamped steel buckle. It shows light wear, and is really in great shape. 

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 cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape, with a bit of rust staining from the fittings. 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 in good condition, showing light wear and just a bit of staining, with some fraying at the back. There is a bit of oxidation and light rust around many of the snaps and fittings. The liner chin strap is unfortunately completely missing.

The included USMC reversible camouflage cover is in excellent condition, and overall this helmet does not seem to have been used much when it was reissued for the Korean War. There is minimal wear, no staining, and the EGA (Eagle Globe Anchor) stamp is visible on the front of both sides of the cover. One of the tabs on the bottom of the cover is marked:

TAP-M24 29 APRIL 1953

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine front seam example. The USMC cover gives this a great bit of history. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.

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