Original U.S. WWII / Korea 1945 7th Infantry Division Major General Painted M1 McCord Rear Seam Helmet with Firestone Liner - Attributed to Major General Normando Antonio Costello

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine and impressive example of a late WWII helmet, adorned with a painted U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division Logo on one side. It is likely that this helmet saw post-war service, possibly even during the Korean War, making it difficult to determine when the divisional insignia was added. The helmet was acquired along with an aged museum tag indicating that it belonged to Major General Normando A. Costello, a distinguished graduate from West Point's Class of 1929.

Upon graduating from the esteemed West Point, Costello embarked on a highly distinguished military career, commencing with his service in Europe during the Second World War. Subsequently, he also served during the Korean War, and later assumed the position of Commanding General of Fort Jackson from 1956 to 1958. Ultimately, the he retired during the Vietnam War in 1964. Although the available information is limited, it serves as a valuable point of departure for further research.

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 1276C, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of March - April 1945, just prior to V-E day.

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 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).

The early M-1 helmet shells had a set of fixed (static) 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). In October 1943, issues with the fixed bales breaking off resulted in a change to the "swivel bales" that this helmet has. In 1944, to deal with paint wearing off the very shiny stainless steel rim, the material was changed to manganese steel, and the seam moved to the rear.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint with rear seam and swivel bails. The chin strap is the correct mid - late war OD Green #3 with blacked brass stamped hardware. The strap shows age and wear related fading as shown.

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo 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 missing frontal eyelet hole, indicating late Korean War manufacture. Other correct features include cotton OD herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in solid condition with light wear. This HBT suspension is held within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers, and the three upper suspension bands are joined together with the correct OD green string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. Unfortunately the sweatband and liner chin strap are completely missing.

An excellent genuine WWII issue helmet marked to the 7th Infantry Division, which possibly also saw action in Korea, perfect for any collection! Ready to display!

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