Original U.S. WWII 8th Infantry Division MP Helmet - 1943 McCord Front Seam with Westinghouse Liner
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine 8th Infantry Division Military Police helmet. It features the 8th ID insignia painted on the front along with MP and the a classic WWII white military police stripe. The original cork textured OD green paint is still present, meaning the exterior of this helmet has not been altered since the war. This helmet is an incredible example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts including the shell, liner, webbing and both chin straps. Just excellent.
The U.S. WWII M-1 fixed bale helmet was only produced from 1941 to1943. 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 stamped 437A which indicates the approximate manufacture date of March 1943, making this a mid-war McCord shell.
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 later war M-1 helmet shells had a set of swivel (non-moveable) 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).
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. The liner chinstrap, back & nape strap and sweatband are post war replacements.
These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue Military Police helmets. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.
8th Infantry Division in WWII
During World War II, the 8th Infantry Division was sent to Europe to fight against the Axis. After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 4 July 1944, and entered combat on 7 July. Shortly after its arrival, the division captured the French cities of Rennes and Brest. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River, 26 July, pushed through Rennes, 8 August, and attacked Brest, France in September. When U.S. Brigadier General Charles Canham, who was at the time the deputy commander of the 8th Infantry Division, arrived to accept the surrender of German troops in Brest, the commander of the Brest garrison, General Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke asked the lower-ranking man to show his credentials. Canham pointed to his nearby troops and said "These are my credentials". That phrase has since become the 8th Infantry Division's motto.
Following these actions, the 8th turned eastward toward the German border, taking part in the heavy fighting in the Hürtgen Forest in November 1944. The Crozon Peninsula was cleared on 19 September, and the division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved to the Hürtgen Forest, 20 November, cleared Hürtgen on the 28th and Brandenberg, 3 December, and pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on 23 February 1945, Duren taken on the 25th and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th. The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, 7 March, and maintained positions along the river near Koeln. In early March 1945, the 8th had advanced into the Rhineland. It fought its way into the Ruhr region the following month.
On 6 April the division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by the 17th had completed its mission. After security duty, the division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe, 1 May, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.
On 2 May 1945, as it advanced into northern Germany, the 8th Infantry Division encountered the Neuengamme concentration camp Wöbbelin subcamp, near the city of Ludwigslust. The SS had established Wöbbelin in early February 1945 to house concentration camp prisoners who had been evacuated from other Nazi camps to prevent their liberation by the Allies. Wöbbelin held some 5,000 inmates, many of whom suffered from starvation and disease. The sanitary conditions at the camp when the 8th Infantry Division and the 82nd Airborne Division arrived were deplorable. There was little food or water, and some prisoners had resorted to cannibalism. In the first week after liberation, more than 200 inmates died. In the aftermath, the United States Army ordered the townspeople in Ludwigslust to visit the camp and bury the dead.
The 8th Infantry Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988.
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