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Original U.S. Late WWII M1 McCord Rear Seam Helmet with Int'l Molded Plastics Liner and Helmet Net

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful example of a late WWII Produced M1 Helmet, with a rear seam swivel bale shell by McCord, and a "High Pressure" liner by International Molded Plastics. It also is fitted with a lovely helmet net, fitted with pieces of brown and green colored burlap, to help increase the camouflage profile. It shows wear consistent with service, and likely saw some service post war, but it is still in quite good condition. It is also marked with a yellow 1 on the outside, but we do not know the significance of this marking.

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 1138E, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of December 1944 - January 1945, towards the end of the war in Europe.

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. In 1944, to deal with paint wearing off the very shiny stainless steel rim, the material was changed to manganese steel in October, and then the seam moved to the rear in November.

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 a rear seam and swivel bails. The chin strap is the correct late war OD Green with blacked brass stamped hardware. The shell and chinstrap do show wear from service, with corrosion on the rim, and fading and staining on the chin strap. This really has the look of a helmet that was "really there", probably in the Pacific Theater.

The liner is correct "high pressure" WWII issue and has a tiny embossed “little man” over IMP in an oval in the crown over a number 3. This is the manufacturer marking of International Molded Plastics, Inc, who manufactured liners in Watertown, Massachusetts. IMP started M-1 helmet liner 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.

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 good condition. 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 service worn condition, with the leather stained and somewhat stiff due to use, having mostly torn away from the fabric backing. The liner shows overall oxidation and staining from wear and moisture, and as with most examples seen, the original leather liner chin strap is missing, with just one of the end clips still present.

A very nice late WWII issue helmet with a great camouflage net, perfect for any collection! Ready to display!

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