Original U.S. WWII 1943 McCord Fixed Bale M1 Helmet with Seaman Paper Liner - Named To Sailor from USS Yorktown - Sunk at Midway

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with a Seaman Paper Company liner. 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 557C which indicates the approximate manufacture date of June 1943, just prior to the change 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.

This M1 shell has correct mid war fixed chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a stainless steel rim with a front seam. 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". Then in October 1944, the rims were changed to non magnetic manganese steel, due to issues with the paint wearing off the rim. Shortly after this in November 1944 the specification was changed to have the rim seam in the rear of the helmet.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint, though it definitely has seen use. There is some rusting in areas, as well as dirt and overall patina of age. It has the correct fixed bails and a stainless steel rim, which is missing paint, as is typical. The chin strap is the correct mid war OD Green #3 with a steel buckle.

The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a S for the SEAMAN PAPER COMPANY. Manufactured in Chicago, Illinois this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "S" in the crown. Seaman Paper Company started delivery to the US Army in September 1942. They produced approximately between 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.

The inside of the liner is marked with the name Richard J. Fields, a sailor who served aboard the USS Yorktown during WWII. Fields enlisted in the United States Navy on May 21, 1940 out of Indianapolis, Indiana and is seen to have been mustered on the Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown In May 1941, just before the Yorktown left for Midway.

This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner can 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 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. It shows wear and age from long service. The liner chin strap is missing and the leather sweatband shows signs of heavy wear and is dry, cracked and torn in some places.

An excellent genuine WWII named and issued helmet perfect for any collection! Ready to be researched and displayed!

USS Yorktown (CV-5)
USS Yorktown (CV-5) was an aircraft carrier that served in the United States Navy during World War II. Named after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, she was commissioned in 1937. Yorktown was the lead ship of the Yorktown class, which was designed on the basis of lessons learned from operations with the converted battlecruisers of the Lexington class and the smaller purpose-built USS Ranger.

Yorktown was at port in Norfolk during the attack on Pearl Harbor, having just completed a patrol of the Atlantic Ocean. She then sailed to San Diego in late December 1941 and was incorporated as the flagship of Task Force 17. Together with the carrier Lexington, she successfully attacked Japanese shipping off the east coast of New Guinea in early March 1942. Her aircraft sank or damaged several warships supporting the invasion of Tulagi in early May. Yorktown rendezvoused with Lexington in the Coral Sea and attempted to stop the invasion of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. They sank the light aircraft carrier Shōhō on 7 May during the Battle of the Coral Sea, but did not encounter the main Japanese force of the carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku until the next day. Aircraft from Lexington and Yorktown badly damaged Shōkaku, but the Japanese aircraft critically damaged Lexington (which was later scuttled), and damaged Yorktown.

Despite the damage suffered, Yorktown was able to return to Hawaii. Although estimates were that the damage would take two weeks to repair, Yorktown put to sea only 48 hours after entering drydock at Pearl Harbor, which meant that she was available for the next confrontation with the Japanese. Yorktown played an important part in the Battle of Midway in early June. Yorktown's aircraft played crucial roles in sinking two Japanese fleet carriers. Yorktown also absorbed both Japanese aerial counterattacks at Midway which otherwise would have been directed at the carriers USS Enterprise and Hornet. On 4 June, during the Battle of Midway, Japanese aircraft crippled Yorktown. She lost all power and developed a 23-degree list to port. Salvage efforts on Yorktown were encouraging, and she was taken in tow by USS Vireo. In the late afternoon of 6 June, the Japanese submarine I-168 fired a salvo of torpedoes, two of which struck Yorktown, and a third sinking the destroyer USS Hammann, which had been providing auxiliary power to Yorktown. With further salvage efforts deemed hopeless, the remaining repair crews were evacuated from Yorktown, which sank just on the morning of 7 June. The wreck of Yorktown was located in May 1998 by Robert Ballard.

The Battle of Midway
Armed with intelligence, Admiral Nimitz began methodically planning Midway's defense, rushing all possible reinforcements in the way of men, planes and guns to Midway. In addition, he began gathering his comparatively meager naval forces to meet the enemy at sea. As part of those preparations, he recalled TF 16, Enterprise and Hornet to Pearl Harbor for a quick replenishment.

Yorktown, too, received orders to return to Hawaii; she arrived at Pearl Harbor on 27 May, entering dry dock the following day. The damage the ship had sustained after Coral Sea was considerable, and led to the Navy Yard inspectors estimating that she would need at least two weeks of repairs. However, Admiral Nimitz ordered that she be made ready to sail alongside TF 16. Further inspections showed that Yorktown's flight elevators had not been damaged, and the damage to her flight deck and hull could be patched easily. Yard workers at Pearl Harbor, laboring around the clock, made enough repairs to enable the ship to put to sea again in 48 hours. The repairs were made in such a short time that the Japanese Naval Air Commanders would mistake Yorktown for another carrier as they thought she had been sunk during the previous battle. However, one critical repair to her power plant was not made: her damaged superheater boilers were not touched, limiting her top speed. Her air group was augmented by planes and crews from Saratoga which was then headed for Pearl Harbor after her refit on the West Coast. Yorktown sailed as the core of TF 17 on 30 May.

Northeast of Midway, Yorktown, flying Vice Admiral Fletcher's flag, rendezvoused with TF 16 under Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance and maintained a position 10 miles (16 km) to the northward of him.

Patrols, both from Midway and the carriers, were flown during early June. At dawn on 4 June Yorktown launched a 10-plane group of Dauntlesses from VB-5 which searched a northern semicircle for a distance of 100 miles (160 km) out but found nothing.
Meanwhile, PBYs flying from Midway had sighted the approaching Japanese and broadcast the alarm for the American forces defending the key atoll. Admiral Fletcher, in tactical command, ordered Admiral Spruance's TF 16 to locate and strike the enemy carrier force.

Yorktown's search group returned at 08:30, landing soon after the last of the six-plane CAP had left the deck. When the last of the Dauntlesses were recovered, the deck was hastily respotted for the launch of the ship's attack group: 17 Dauntlesses from VB-3, 12 Devastators from VT-3, and six Wildcats from "Fighting Three". Enterprise and Hornet, meanwhile, launched their attack groups.

The torpedo planes from the three American carriers located the Japanese striking force, but met disaster. Of the 41 planes from VT-8, VT-6, and VT-3, only six returned to Enterprise and Yorktown; none made it back to Hornet.

As a reaction to the torpedo attack the Japanese CAP had broken off their high-altitude cover for their carriers and had concentrated on the Devastators, flying "on the deck", allowing Dauntlesses from Yorktown and Enterprise to arrive unopposed.

Virtually unopposed, Yorktown's dive-bombers attacked Sōryū, making three lethal hits with 1,000 pounds (450 kg) bombs and setting her on fire. Enterprise's planes, meanwhile, hit Akagi and Kaga, effectively destroying them. The bombs from the Dauntlesses caught all of the Japanese carriers in the midst of refueling and rearming operations, causing devastating fires and explosions.

Three of the four Japanese carriers had been destroyed. The fourth, Hiryū, separated from her sisters, launched a striking force of 18 "Vals" and soon located Yorktown.
As soon as the attackers had been picked up on Yorktown's radar at about 13:29, she discontinued fueling her CAP fighters on deck and swiftly cleared for action. Her returning dive bombers were moved from the landing circle to open the area for antiaircraft fire. The Dauntlesses were ordered aloft to form a CAP. An auxiliary 800-US-gallon (3,000 l) gasoline tank was pushed over the carrier's fantail, eliminating one fire hazard. The crew drained fuel lines and closed and secured all compartments.
All of Yorktown's fighters were vectored out to intercept the oncoming Japanese aircraft, and did so some 15 to 20 miles (24 to 32 km) out. The Wildcats attacked vigorously, breaking up what appeared to be an organized attack by some 18 "Vals" and 6 "Zeroes". "Planes were flying in every direction", wrote Captain Buckmaster after the action, "and many were falling in flames." The leader of the "Vals", Lieutenant Michio Kobayashi, was probably shot down by the VF-3's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander John S. Thach. Lieutenant William W. Barnes also pressed home the first attack, possibly taking out the lead bomber and damaging at least two others.

Despite an intensive barrage and evasive maneuvering, three "Vals" scored hits. Two of them were shot down soon after releasing their bomb loads; the third went out of control just as his bomb left the rack. It tumbled in flight and hit just abaft the number two elevator on the starboard side, exploding on contact and blasting a hole about 10 feet (3 m) square in the flight deck. Splinters from the exploding bomb killed most of the crews of the two 1.1-inch (28 mm) gun mounts aft of the island and on the flight deck below. Fragments piercing the flight deck hit three planes on the hangar deck, starting fires. One of the aircraft, a Yorktown Dauntless, was fully fueled and carrying a 1,000 pounds (450 kg) bomb. Prompt action by LT A. C. Emerson, the hangar deck officer, prevented a serious fire by activating the sprinkler system and quickly extinguishing the fire.

The second bomb to hit the ship came from the port side, pierced the flight deck, and exploded in the lower part of the funnel, in effect a classic "down the stack shot." It ruptured the uptakes for three boilers, disabled two boilers, and extinguished the fires in five boilers. Smoke and gases began filling the firerooms of six boilers. The men at Number One boiler remained at their post and kept it alight, maintaining enough steam pressure to allow the auxiliary steam systems to function.
A third bomb hit the carrier from the starboard side, pierced the side of number one elevator and exploded on the fourth deck, starting a persistent fire in the rag storage space, adjacent to the forward gasoline stowage and the magazines. The prior precaution of smothering the gasoline system with carbon dioxide undoubtedly prevented the gasoline from igniting.

While the ship recovered from the damage inflicted by the dive-bombing attack, her speed dropped to 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph); and then at 14:40, about 20 minutes after the bomb hit that had shut down most of the boilers, Yorktown slowed to a stop, dead in the water.

At about 15:40, Yorktown prepared to get underway; and, at 15:50, thanks to the black gang in No. 1 Fireroom having kept the auxiliaries operating to clear the stack gas from the other firerooms and bleeding steam from No. 1 to the other boilers to jump-start them, Chief Engineer Delaney reported to Captain Buckmaster that the ship's engineers were ready to make 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) or better. Damage control parties were able to temporarily patch the flight deck and restore power to several boilers within an hour, giving her a speed of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) and enabling her to resume air operations. Yorktown yanked down her yellow breakdown flag and up went a new hoist-"My speed 5." Captain Buckmaster had his signalmen hoist a huge new (10 feet wide and 15 feet long) American flag from the foremast. Sailors, including Ensign John d'Arc Lorenz called it an incalculable inspiration: "For the first time I realized what the flag meant: all of us — a million faces — all our effort — a whisper of encouragement."

Simultaneously, with the fires controlled sufficiently to warrant the resumption of fueling, Yorktown began refueling the fighters then on deck; just then the ship's radar picked up an incoming air group at a distance of 33 miles (53 km). While the ship prepared for battle, again smothering gasoline systems and stopping the fueling of the planes on her flight deck, she vectored four of the six fighters of the CAP in the air to intercept the raiders. Of the 10 fighters on board, eight had as little as 23 US gallons (87 l) of fuel in their tanks. They were launched as the remaining pair of fighters of the CAP headed out to intercept the Japanese planes.
At 16:00, maneuvering Yorktown churned forward, making 20 knots. The fighters she had launched and vectored out to intercept had meanwhile made contact with the enemy. Yorktown received reports that the planes were "Kates". The Wildcats shot down at least three, but the rest began their approach while the carrier and her escorts mounted a heavy antiaircraft barrage.

Yorktown maneuvered radically, avoiding at least two torpedoes before another two struck the port side within minutes of each other, the first at 16:20. The carrier had been mortally wounded; she lost power and went dead in the water with a jammed rudder and an increasing list to port.

As the ship's list progressed, Commander Clarence E. Aldrich, the damage control officer, reported from central station that, without power, controlling the flooding looked impossible. The Chief Engineer, Lieutenant Commander John F. Delaney, soon reported that all boiler fires were out, all power was lost, and that it was impossible to correct the list. Buckmaster ordered Aldrich, Delaney, and their men to secure the fire and engine rooms and lay up to the weather decks to put on life jackets.

The list, meanwhile, continued to increase. When it reached 26 degrees, Buckmaster and Aldrich agreed that capsizing was imminent. "In order to save as many of the ship's company as possible", the captain wrote later, he "ordered the ship to be abandoned".

Over the next few minutes the crew lowered the wounded into life rafts and struck out for the nearby destroyers and cruisers to be picked up by their boats, abandoning ship in good order. After the evacuation of all wounded, the executive officer, Commander Irving D. Wiltsie, left the ship down a line on the starboard side. Buckmaster, meanwhile, toured the ship one last time, to see if any men remained. After finding no "live personnel", Buckmaster lowered himself into the water by means of a line over the stern, by which time water was lapping the port side of the hangar deck.

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