Original U.S. WWII / Korean War Paratrooper M1 Helmet Liner by Westinghouse

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an original WWII issue M1 helmet "high pressure" liner, stamped with the Westinghouse Company logo, and is an original manufactured paratrooper liner. Many liners were "updated" after production to fill the need, but this example was that way from the start. The liner is complete with full suspension and sweatband, with the original “US” stamped paratrooper chin strap. The liner is definitely a 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.

This true M1 liner can be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct features include OD Green #3 cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner. 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 the correct tie string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The original suspension is definitely aged and worn, with some tears. The sweatband is no longer present. The paratrooper chin strap extensions are both complete with their cast steel buckles, and are in the correct OD Green #3, which matches the aged color of the rigging perfectly. The leather chin cup is in a lovely slightly worn condition.

Paratrooper liners are the hardest to find of all WWII M1 helmet liners. This fine example is almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

M1C Helmet
The M1C helmet was a variant of the U.S. Army's popular and iconic M1 helmet. Developed in World War II to replace the earlier M2 helmet, it was not made available until issued to paratroopers in January of 1945. It was different from the M2 in various ways, most importantly its bails (chinstrap hinges). The M2 had fixed, spot welded "D" bales so named for their shape, similar to early M1s. It was found that when sat on or dropped, these bails would snap off. The solution was the implementation of the swivel bail, which could move around and so was less susceptible to breaking.

Like the M2, its most visible difference from the standard infantry M1 helmet was the liner. The liner of the M1C, like most paratrooper liners, had a set of "A yokes" or straps fixed to the side of the liner to enable the use of a four-point chinstrap with leather chin cup to give support to the head and neck and prevent adverse movement during jumps. It used a simple but strong and reliable belt loop-type connection to secure the chinstrap to the a-yokes, which could be opened or closed from either side and thus partially removed without tools. This retention system was not significantly different to the M2's, and the normal infantry chinstrap could still be attached to the helmet shell if desired. Often, however, these modified liners could not be manufactured in time for jumps so they were modified by the soldiers themselves.

Another difference of the M1C was the chinstraps (this was seen on the M2). The chinstraps found on the M2 and M1C both had a button snap on the end so as to be fastened to the liner.

Despite the numerous differences between the M1C and the standard M1 helmet, the shell of the M1C is practically identical to standard swivel bail infantry helmets, making a concrete identification of a helmet as an M1C difficult. There's an argument to be made that the important part of an M1C is actually just a liner with the four-point chinstrap that can slip into any M1 helmet.

The M1C would continue in US service after World War II, with a new split-fabric chinstrap introduced between the Korean War and the Vietnam War not dissimilar to the one seen on the later PASGT helmet, but retaining the belt loop-style chinstrap connection. The M1C would remain in service until the adoption of PASGT, though the M1C would remain a fairly uncommon sight after Korea. They do turn up in various non-airborne units in Vietnam photography, however, suggesting that outside of jump-rated units they were treated like any other M1 and that they were perhaps more common than some thought.

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