Original U.S. WWII 4th Armored Division 3rd Army Technician 4th Grade M1 Schlueter Front Seam Helmet

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is really something special. We have offered many M1 Helmets over the years, but only a very few have painted unit & rank markings. This helmet in particular has a very well executed 4th Armored Division insignia painted on the right side of the helmet. This division, unlike most other U.S. armored divisions during World War II, did not officially adopt a nickname for the division during the war. However, their unofficial nickname "Name Enough" came into use postwar; the division commander having said, "Fourth Armored Division was name enough"; "They shall be known by their deeds alone."

And their deeds were many, as after arriving in France a month after D-day, they became the spearhead of the Third Army, whose insignia is painted on the left side of the helmet. Under the command of General George S. Patton Jr., one of the central figures in Armored Warfare development, the Third Army advanced clear across France. During this the 4th AD played a critical role in many battles, especially the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of the war.

The rank insignia on the front of the helmet looks like a Sergeant Chevron, but has a "T" below it. This is for the rank of Technician 4th Grade. Technicians possessed specialized skills that were rewarded with a higher pay grade. These skills could be directly related to combat, such as those skills possessed by a tank driver or combat engineer, or skills possessed by those in support functions such as cooks or mechanics. It is possible then that this helmet was worn by an armored vehicle driver.

This helmet is marked to a truly legendary unit of the U.S. Army, and would make a centerpiece any armored warfare collection.

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 mid war production helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and paint, with some light wear from service. We were not able to locate the heat lot number and "S", as they are very lightly stamped on most Schlueter shells, and often covered by paint. However the small round welds on the front seam are definitive for a Schlueter helmet. With a front seam and swivel bales, this helmet dates from late 1943 to mid 1944, when the rear seam was introduced. 

M-1 helmet shells have 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 1944, due to issues with paint flaking off the bright stainless steel, a "rear seam" design was implemented, using non-magnetic manganese steel, which retained the paint and was not shiny. This helmet features the correct front seam rim and mid war production swivel bales.

The shell chinstrap is present and intact, with the light wear from age and service. The shell strap is the correct OD Green #3 from a mid war helmet, with a stamped steel buckle. It shows light wear, but is really in great shape. 

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over A 14 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. Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape, with a bit of rust staining from the fittings. 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 very good condition, showing light wear and just a bit of staining. There is a bit of oxidation and light rust around many of the snaps and fittings.

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine front seam example, with GREAT Unit markings on the sides. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.

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