Original U.S. WWII M1 McCord Swivel Bale Front Seam Helmet with Vietnam War Liner - 5th Infantry Division

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine late WWII Issue U.S. Army M1 Helmet, which saw a long service life. After WWII it continued in service, along with many other M1 helmets, and probably saw use during the Korean war era, and then during the Vietnam war. The original WWII liner was replaced with the new 1950s-1970s style, which vastly simplified the internal rigging, also making it much more sturdy.  At some point it was also repainted, and now has a very nice "RED DIAMOND" on the front, the Insignia of the U.S. Army 5th Infantry Division, also known as the "Red Devils."

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 no visible heat lot stamp, but the oval shaped spot welds on the front seam are definitive for a McCord Shell.

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" that this helmet has.

This helmet has seen long service, so the original paint is not visible anywhere. However the texture can still be seen through the layers of paint. It does show some small dents and other issues, typical of a helmet in long service. The shell chin strap is unfortunately completely missing.

The Vietnam War era "high pressure" liner is stamped simply U.S. / 73 on the inside, without any type of maker mark. It has the three fixed sawtooth loops on the interior for attachment of the rear support, however it does not have it installed. The sweatband is other rigging is also completely missing, with just the overall support remaining.

A very interesting WWII helmet that possibly saw use during two later wars. Ready to display!

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