Original U.S. WWII Korean War Reissue Named 1942 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Helmet - California Military Reserve

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made in 1942 by McCord Radiator, fitted with a WWII  with a Firestone liner. The helmet was then reissued to an officer for use post war, most likely during the Korean war. Both the helmet shell and liner are marked on both sides with the unit insignia of the Korean War Era California National Guard Reserve - 1st Division, which existed 1951-1963. This unit was originally known as the California Defense and Security Corps - 1st Security Zone during 1950-1951.

The back of the helmet features the iconic "Follow me" stripe on the back, put on the back of officer's helmets do increase rearward visibility. The front of both the liner and helmet also have a gold stylized Oak Leaf insignia, indicating that the owner of the helmet marked on the liner, ERVIN D. STUART, held the rank of Major. Named officer helmet from the Korean war are quite rare to find, and highly desirable, especially when they are reissued WWII helmets.

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 204A which indicates the approximate manufacture date of June 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.

This M1 shell has correct early war fixed chinstrap loops, called "bales," and a stainless steel rim with a front seam. 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 November 1944 the specification was changed to have the rim seam in the rear of the helmet.

This helmet is a fine example, though it was refitted for the Korean war. The shell was repainted inside and out, though it still does have much of the original textured "corked grain" paint on the exterior underneath the new darker Korean War OD Green paint. The shell chin strap was removed, and looks to have been replaced due to the wear on the bales, however the replacement was removed at some point.

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over 21 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, which has the rank insignia installed. 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. There is a printed rayon label stitched to the rigging reading ERVIN D. STUART, the helmet's owner. The sweatband is complete, but shows much deterioration. The shell chin strap is unfortunately completely missing.

An excellent genuine WWII issue helmet, reissued to an officer for the Korean war with great unit markings. Ready to display!

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