Item:
ONSV2872

Original U.S. WWII 5th Infantry Division M1 Helmet by Schlueter Featured in Painted Steel Book

Regular price $1,395.00

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Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an incredible helmet is featured on page 139 of the book Painted Steel, Steel Pots, Volume II by Chris Arnold. A copy of the book is included with purchase.

The 5th Infantry Division nicknamed the "Red Diamond", the "Red Devils", or "die Roten Teufel" was an infantry division of the United States during World War II and took part in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944. They also participated in the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany. Finding a Divisionally marked helmet with provenance is incredibly rare.

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.

This rare helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts and paint. Of most note is the red painted diamond to the front indicating issue to the 5th Division. The steel shell is stamped 380A S indicating Schlueter manufactured this helmet in 1944. M-1 helmet shells had 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). This helmet features the correct front seam rim and later war swivel bales.

The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a W for the Westinghouse Electric Co Manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed W in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer and had two production divisions; Micarta and Bryant Electric. The Micarta Division produced about 13,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and the Bryant Electric Division about 10,000,000. Westinghouse Electric Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery in May 1942. Westinghouse did have a contract to produce airborne liners and converted an unknown amount to airborne configuration. Westinghouse discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.

A true US WWII M-1 helmet liner can usually be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension. 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 a shoestring. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. All parts of this liner are original WWII manufacture and appear to be NOS!

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct original HBT straps, then add the 5th Division insignia to the front and this is on heck of a helmet for any collection!

5th Division in World War Two
On 16 October 1939 the 5th Division was reactivated as part of the United States mobilization in response to the outbreak of World War II in Europe in September 1939, being formed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, under the command of Brigadier General Campbell Hodges.

The following spring, in 1940, the division was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, and then temporarily to Louisiana for training exercises, before being transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison at the end of May 1940. That December the division relocated to Fort Custer, Michigan, from where it participated in the Tennessee maneuvers. The division went next to Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, in August 1941 for staging into both the Arkansas and Louisiana maneuvers before returning to Fort Custer that October. The division, under the command of Major General Cortlandt Parker from August, was stationed there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the United States in December 1941, thus bringing the United States into the conflict. As the winter passed the division was brought up to strength and fully equipped for forward deployment into a war zone. During April 1942, the 5th Division received its overseas orders and departed the New York Port of Embarkation (NYPOE) at the end of the month for Iceland. The 5th Division debarked there in May 1942, where it replaced the British garrison on the island outpost along the Atlantic convoy routes, and a year later was reorganized and re-designated as the 5th Infantry Division on 24 May 1943.

NORMANDY
The 5th Infantry Division, now commanded by Major General Stafford LeRoy Irwin, left Iceland in early August 1943 and was sent to England to prepare and train for the eventual invasion of Northwest Europe, then scheduled for the spring of 1944. Upon arrival in England the 5th Division was stationed at Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire in South West England, before moving to Northern Ireland.

After two years of training the 5th ID landed in Normandy on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944, over a month after the initial D-Day landings, and four days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, 9–10 August, captured Chartres, (assisted by the 7th Armored Division), 18 August,[9] pushed to Fontainebleau, crossed the Seine at Montereau, 24 August, crossed the Marne and seized Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The division then prepared for the assault on Metz, 7 September.[10] In mid-September a bridgehead was secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, at Dornot and Arnaville after two attempts. The first attempt at Dornot by the 11th Infantry Regiment failed. German-held Fort Driant played a role in repulsing this crossing. A second crossing by the 10th Infantry Regiment at Arnaville was successful.[11] The division continued operations against Metz, 16 September to 16 October 1944, withdrew, then returned to the assault on 9 November. Metz finally fell 22 November. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach (a suburb of Völklingen) on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the river Saar, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas.

On 16 December the Germans launched their winter offensive in the Ardennes forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and on the 18th the 5th ID was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, where it smashed through the Siegfried Line and later took part in the Allied invasion of Germany.

Across the Rhine
The 5th ID crossed the river Rhine on the night of 22 March 1945. After capturing some 19,000 German soldiers, the division continued to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27–29 March. In April the 5th ID, now commanded by Major General Albert E. Brown, after Major General Irwin's promotion to command of XII Corps, took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.

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