Item:
ONJR22HGF029

Original U.S. WWII M1 McCord Front Seam, Swivel Bale Helmet with Period Markings, Net and Firestone Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. 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 has swivel bales and a front rim seam, which along with the flat stamped blacked steel chinstrap buckle, usually indicates production at the end of 1943. However, this helmet has a low production lot number, indicating that it was most likely made very early in the war, and then refitted mid-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.

The early M-1 helmet shells had a set of fixed 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, production changed to swivel style bales.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all original WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint with front seam and swivel bails. The shell is marked 374F indicating manufacture in December 1942. The Swivel bales must have been added later in the war around late 1943, once the helmet was refitted. It has the original correct sewn on chinstrap with a steel stamped buckle. It also has a fantastic green helmet net in excellent condition and is complete with drawstring.

The Captain’s bars and painted “follow me” stripe on the reverse are both period correct, great examples. Vertical lines indicated officers and horizontal lines indicated non-commissioned officers. The idea was to provide a ready method for troops to identify their NCOs and Officers during combat operations while not making it obvious to the enemy who was presumably to the front. It was only used for a limited period of time since in practice it had the potential to make the wearer a target.

The liner is correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over A19 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 can be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension, though it is a rough, worn and degraded condition. The HBT suspension is held within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers, which have rusted. The original leather chinstrap is missing and the leather sweatband his torn, cracked, dry and degraded.

These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct HBT straps wartime dated. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

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