Original U.S. WWII 1944 M1 McCord Front Seam Swivel Bale Helmet with Firestone Liner and M44 Helmet Net
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with complete Firestone liner with chin strap and M44 helmet net. 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 1054 B, indicating approximate manufacture during October 1944, shortly before the move to a rear seam.
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 McCord, the primary contractor.
This M1 shell has correct mid-late war swivel chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a rim with a front seam. 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 from stainless steel to manganese steel, due to issues with the paint wearing off the rim. Both had non-magnetic properties to avoid interfering with compass readings. 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 WWII parts. The original "corked grain" can still be seen on the exterior, with no sign of repainting that we can see. It has the correct swivel bails and a rare front seam manganese steel rim, only produced for a few months before the move to rear seam. The chin strap is the correct mid war OD Green #3, with a late war pattern stamped brass buckle. The shell is covered with a very lovely M44 helmet net, with the correct elastic band, looped and sewn together in the rear.
The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over mold number 48 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 can be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner. 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 intact, but is slightly worn from age and use. The liner chin strap is unfortunately missing.
An excellent genuine WW2 issue helmet perfect for any collection! Ready to display!
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.
- This product is available for international shipping.
- Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal, Amazon & Sezzle