Original U.S. WWII Battle Damaged 4th Infantry Division 1944 McCord Swivel Bale M1 Helmet with Seaman Liner
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Swivel Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with a correct WWII Westinghouse liner. The front of the liner bears the painted insignia of the 4th Infantry Division, called the "Ivy Division", or "Iron Horse". There is also a white marking on the back of the helmet, known as a "follow me" stripe, so this was probably issued to a Junior Officer, such as a Lieutenant.
The helmet shell also has a great bit of "battle damage" to it, in the form of a large dent in the top, which has also cracked the steel near it. There is also a crack close to the rear rim, so this must have been quite a heavy blow.
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 with what looks to be 858A, which would indicate production in March - April 1944. Wartime production was in full swing when this helmet was produced.
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.
This M1 shell has correct mid-late war swivel chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a stainless steel rim with a front seam. 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". Then in October 1944, the rims were changed to non magnetic manganese steel, due to issues with the paint wearing off the rim. 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 most of its original WWII parts. The original "corked grain" can still be seen on the exterior, however the shell definitely shows wear from service, in addition to the battle damage. It has the correct swivel bails and a front seam stainless steel rim, which is missing paint, as is typical. The chin strap for the shell is missing.
The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a S in an oval over mold number 10, for the SEAMAN PAPER COMPANY. Manufactured in Chicago, Illinois this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "S" in the crown. Seaman Paper Company started 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 cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very good shape, though half of the "neck" webbing is missing.. 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, though not secured at the back, and shows moderate stain and wearing. As with many helmets, the liner chin strap is completely missing.
An very nice genuine WWII issue helmet, marked to a famous infantry regiment, perfect for any collection! Ready to display!
The 4th Infantry Division during WWII:
The 4th Division was reactivated on 1 June 1940 at Fort Benning, Georgia, under the command of Major General Walter Prosser. Commencing in August the formation was reorganized as a motorized division and assigned (along with the 2nd Armored Division) to I Armored Corps, being officially given its motorized title in parenthesized style and then formally as the 4th Motorized Division effective 11 July 1941. The division participated in Louisiana maneuvers held during August 1941 and then in the Carolina Maneuvers of October 1941, after which it returned to Fort Benning. The division transferred to Camp Gordon, Georgia, in December 1941, the month America entered World War II, and rehearsed training at the Carolina Maneuvers during the summer of 1942.
The division, now under the command of Major General Raymond O. Barton, then moved on 12 April 1943 to Fort Dix, New Jersey, where it was again reconfigured and redesignated the 4th Infantry Division on 4 August of that year. The division participated in battlefield maneuvers in Florida starting in September and after this fall training exercise arrived at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, on 1 December 1943. At this station the division was alerted for overseas movement and staged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, beginning 4 January 1944 prior to departing the New York Port of Embarkation on 18 January 1944. The 4th Infantry Division sailed to England where it arrived on 26 January 1944.
The 4th Infantry Division assaulted the northern coast of German-held France during the Normandy landings, landing at Utah Beach, 6 June 1944. The 8th Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division claimed being the first surface-borne Allied unit (as opposed to the parachutist formations that were air-dropped earlier) to hit the beaches at Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Relieving the isolated 82nd Airborne Division at Sainte-Mère-Église, the 4th cleared the Cotentin peninsula and took part in the capture of Cherbourg on 25 June. After taking part in the fighting near Periers, 6–12 July, the division broke through the left flank of the German 7th Army, helping to stem the German drive toward Avranches.
By the end of August the division had moved to Paris, and gave French forces the first place in the liberation of their capital. During the liberation of Paris, Ernest Hemingway took on a self-appointed role as a civilian scout in the city of Paris for his friends in the 4 ID. He was with the 22nd Infantry Regiment when it advanced from Paris, northeast through Belgium, and into Germany. J. D. Salinger, who met Hemingway during the liberation of Paris, was with the 12th Infantry Regiment.
Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany
The 4th then moved into Belgium through Houffalize to attack the Siegfried Line at Schnee Eifel on 14 September, and made several penetrations. Slow progress into Germany continued in October, and by 6 November the division entered the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, where it was engaged in heavy fighting until early December. It then shifted to Luxembourg, only to meet the German Army's winter Ardennes Offensive head-on (in the Battle of the Bulge) starting on 16 December 1944. Although its lines were dented, it managed to hold the Germans at Dickweiler and Osweiler, and, counterattacking in January across the Sauer, overran German positions in Fouhren and Vianden.
Halted at the Prüm River in February by heavy enemy resistance, the division finally crossed on 28 February near Olzheim, and raced on across the Kyll on 7 March. After a short rest, the 4th moved across the Rhine on 29 March at Worms, attacked and secured Würzburg and by 3 April had established a bridgehead across the Main at Ochsenfurt. Speeding southeast across Bavaria, the division had reached Miesbach on the Isar on 2 May 1945, when it was relieved and placed on occupation duty. Writer J. D. Salinger served with the division from 1942–1945.
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