Item:
ONSV21W62

Original U.S. WWII McCord Front Seam Fixed Bale 90th Infantry Division M1 Helmet with Firestone Liner

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, fitted with a very nice liner by Firestone. The helmet definitely looks to have seen long service, and has been field repainted at least once. Being that it is an early war pattern, it likely saw long service during WWII.

The front of the helmet bears the red interlocking TO insignia of the 90th Infantry Division, originally called the Texas-Oklahoma Division, later the "Tough 'Ombres". This division saw service in the European Theater of WWII in Normandy during D-Day, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe.

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 does have a faded heat lot number, however we are unfortunately not able to read it. With fixed bales and a front seam, it is definitely from the early to mid war period.

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 very good condition 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 October 1943, issues with the fixed bales breaking off resulted in a change to the "swivel bales". Then in October 1944, the rims were changed to non magnetic manganese steel, due to issues with the paint wearing off the rim. Shortly after this in November 1944 the specification was changed to have the rim seam in the rear of the helmet.

This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts, though the shell has definitely been repainted on the inside and outside. Even with this there is still the usual wear on the stainless steel rim, which is now partly exposed. It has the correct mid-late war OD green #3 Chin strap with a stamped brass buckle and brass end clip on the other side.

The liner is painted white and is the correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over F 7 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 OD Green #3 cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in good shape. 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 OD green string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The sweatband is still present with some light wear and staining, and the liner chinstrap is present and intact, a real rarity.

A very nice genuine WWII issue helmet from a U.S. Army Division that saw much action in the European theater, perfect for any collection! Ready to display!

Combat Chronicle of the 90th Infantry Division:

The 90th Infantry Division landed in England, 5 April 1944, and trained from 10 April to 4 June. First elements of the division saw action on D-Day, 6 June, on Utah Beach, Normandy, the remainder entering combat 10 June, cutting across the Merderet River to take Pont l'Abbe in heavy fighting. After defensive action along the river Douve, the division attacked to clear the Foret de Mont-Castre (Hill 122), clearing it by 11 July, in spite of fierce resistance. In this action the Division suffered 5000 killed, wounded, or captured, one of the highest casualty rates suffered in WW II. An attack on the island of Saint-Germain-sur-Sèves on 23 July failed so the 90th bypassed it and took Périers on 27 July.

On 12 August, the division drove across the Sarthe River, north and east of Le Mans, and took part in the closing of the Falaise Gap, by reaching 1st Polish Armored Division in Chambois, 19 August.

It then raced across France, through Verdun, 6 September, to participate in the siege of Metz, 14 September – 19 November, capturing Maizières-lès-Metz, 30 October, and crossing the Moselle River at Kœnigsmacker, 9 November. Elements of the 90th Infantry assaulted and captured the German-held Fort de Koenigsmacker 9–12 November.

On 6 December 1944, the division pushed across the Saar River and established a bridgehead north of Saarlautern (present-day Saarlouis), 6–18 December, but with the outbreak of Gerd von Rundstedt's (Army Group A) drive, the Battle of the Bulge, withdrew to the west bank on 19 December, and went on the defensive until 5 January 1945, when it shifted to the scene of the Ardennes struggle, having been relieved along the Saar River by the 94th Infantry Division. It drove across the Our River, near Oberhausen, 29 January, to establish and expand a bridgehead. On 19 February, the division smashed through Siegfried Line fortifications to the Prüm River.

After a short rest, the 90th continued across the Moselle River to take Mainz, 22 March, and crossed the rivers Rhine, the Main, and the Werra in rapid succession. Pursuit continued to the Czech border, 18 April 1945, and into the Sudetes mountain range. The division was en route to Prague when they came upon the remaining 1500 emaciated prisoners left behind by the SS at Flossenbürg concentration camp. Today, a memorial wall at the former camp honors the 90th as the liberators of Flossenbürg concentration camp.[3] A week later, word came that the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945. On that same day, Erich Hartmann, the highest-scoring fighter ace in history, along with a squadron of the elite Jagdgeschwader 52 fighter wing (the highest-scoring fighter wing in history), surrendered to the 90th.

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