Item:
ONSV4712

Original U.S. WWII 1944 Lt. Marked M1 McCord Swivel Bale Helmet with Firestone Liner - 3rd Armored Division

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine late WWII Issue U.S. Army M1 Helmet, with Lt. Rank Insignia on the front of both the shell and the liner. Additionally, the liner itself has the Insignia of the 3rd Armored Division, as well as the SPEARHEAD logo, the nickname of the division.

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 1052E, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of September - October 1944.

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. 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). 

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.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint with front seam and swivel bails. The chin strap is the correct mid war OD Green #3 with blacked brass hardware.

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over 45 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 be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. In this case, the hole was used as a convenient spot to attach a Lt. insignia. We unfortunately cannot tell if it is a 1st or 2nd Lt bar.  Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner,  which has unfortunately degraded. This HBT suspension is held tightly within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The sweatband is unfortunately entirely missing. This definitely looks to be a helmet that saw long service, possibly in after the war.

An excellent genuine WWII issue helmet, with rank and unit insignia. Ready to display!

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