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Item:
ONSV6143

Original U.S. WWII 1945 M1 Schlueter Rear Seam Helmet with Korean War 98th Infantry Division Marked Liner

Regular price $425.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of a Late-War 1945 produced M1 Helmet produced by Schlueter, which looks to have seen extensive service post war. Like many of the helmets that remained after WWII, this helmet looks to have been reissued for service during the Korean War Era, and was most likely used long after. It was fitted with a new CAPAC / Westinghouse liner dated 1951, which has the shoulder sleeve and distinctive unit insignia of the 98th Infantry "Iriquois" Division on either side. The unit was reactivated post WWII in 1947 as a reserve unit, and later in 1959 became officially designated a training division, which is still functions as today.

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 late 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 marked with a large S and heat lot stamped 519A. This helmet was made after the switch to the manganese steel rim with a rear seam in November 1944, and collector research indicates production in early 1945. The small round welds on the seam and chin strap bale bases are also definitive for a Schlueter helmet shell.

This M-1 helmet shell was originally designed with a 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 October 1944, due to issues with paint flaking off the bright stainless steel, the rim material was switched to non-magnetic manganese steel. This material was not as shiny and retained the paint far better. Slightly later in November, a "rear seam" design was implemented.

This helmet features the correct late war manganese steel rim with rear seam and swivel bales. The shell chinstrap is present and intact, with minor wear, and is the correct OD Green #7 from a late war helmet, with a stamped flat steel buckle. Unlike McCord, who switched back to a brass buckle towards the end of the war, Schlueter continued to use the stamped steel buckles through the end of the war.

The liner is correct "high pressure Korean War Era issue and stamped with a W under mold number 19, for manufacture by the the Westinghouse Electric Co of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner are identified by an embossed "W" in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). There is also a CAPAC logo above this, with 5 1 surrounding it, indicating 1951 manufacturer. Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer during WWII. With the outbreak of the Korean conflict, they resumed making helmet liners, which were quite similar to the WWII configuration.

There is some confusion over these liners, and some believe that CAPAC purchased liner molds from Westinghouse, and added their own logo, while not removing the Westinghouse logo. Whichever it is, the liner is definitely Korean war issue, but very early, as the liner configuration is nearly identical to WWII, with the webbing color being the main difference.

This true US Korean War M-1 helmet liner be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WWII features include cotton dark OD Green #7 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape, with a bit of age fading. 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 leather shows only light wear, and is still supple, with light staining. There is not any major oxidation on any of the fittings. As with most Korean war liners, the liner chin strap is completely missing.

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, regardless of the manufacture date. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.

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