Original U.S. WWII Captain’s Rank Painted McCord M1 Fixed Bale Helmet with Firestone Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent example of an untouched “Battle Worn” Early WWII U.S. Fixed Bale M1 Helmet with painted Captain’s Rank. The helmet is still mottled with mud, which most likely was applied in the field as a rudimentary camouflage (this practice is often observed in original photos of GIs during the Italian Campaign). The mud, in fact, has been on the helmet so long that it is almost impossible to remove as it has gently adhered itself into the exterior paint over the years. In addition, the original cork textured 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.

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. 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 helmet is stamped 395 C which indicates the approximate manufacture date of January 1943.

The early M-1 helmet shells had a set of fixed (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 the correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with the Firestone Manufacturing Company logo stamped in the crown. The liner is fitted with a frontal eyelet, and features OD#3 (aka Khaki) web HBT suspension fitted by blacked A-Washers. The liner comes complete with WWII correct sweatband and nape strap. The liner chinstrap is a correct WWII version with a green-painted buckle.

This is an excellent example, which shows signs of having been together for a very long time (not pieced together like a majority of the helmets on the market today). The only unfortunate detraction is that the buckle on one side of the chinstrap assembly is missing (torn off), which may in fact explain how this helmet has remained in its original condition. After having had the chinstrap torn off, the helmet may have been considered unserviceable, and sent home by the captain as a souvenir. This is merely speculation, of course.

A fantastic example of a wartime rank painted officer’s helmet, ready for display!

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