Original U.S. WWII - Korean War Named M1 McCord Front Seam Helmet painted Red with Firestone Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Issue U.S. Army M1 Helmet, complete with its original WWII Liner. This helmet, like many WWII helmets, was later reissued for use during the Korean war, as the M1 Helmet was still in service, and would remain so until 1985. It was painted red, possibly for use with a training unit, and also is named on the interior to a soldier.

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 287C, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of September 1942.

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.

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".

This helmet however has the swivel bales, even though it was produced long before their introduction. We have concluded that most likely when reissued, the original bales may have been damaged, so they were removed and replaced with the swivel type, and the shell was repainted. At this time the Korean War style chin strap with metal fittings was installed as well, with the modified buckle that would give way under a heavy load. We had considered that with the low heat lot number it might be a Schlueter shell, however the heat lot would indicate a rear seam Schlueter. Also the oval welds on the front seam are definitive for McCord.

The inside of the helmet has the following name added in white paint:

3A - 49
US 55 530 294

We have not been able to find any information on this individual, so we leave it as an excellent research opportunity.

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over A 24 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 frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 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. The sweatband is complete, though it does have some tearing and staining from wear. The leather liner chin strap is actually intact, something we see very rarely. It does have the expected wear, but it is still supple.

An excellent genuine WWII issue helmet with some very interesting history, reissued for the Korean war and painted Red. Ready to display!

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