Original U.S. WWII Medic 1942 McCord Front Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet with CAPAC Liner

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 CAPAC. The exterior was painted during wartime with the large white half circles used for early medic helmets, with red crosses in the middle. It looks to then have been updated later in the war by painting over part of the large white areas, as they made units with medics very easy to spot from the air. Really a great WWII Helmet setup here! Field Medic equipment is always very desirable!

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 161D, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of May 1942, not long after the U.S. entered WWII.

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 and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint, with only light wear and staining. It does look however like the bale on the left side of the helmet broke off at one point, and had to be re-welded, which has caused the paint on both sides to turn brown. There is also the usual wear on the stainless steel rim, which is now partly exposed, as well as a shell crack about 2 inches long on the front left side. These helmets were stamped from flat steel, which left a lot of stress in the metal, so cracks could happen. The shell chinstrap is completely missing.

The helmet comes complete with high pressure WWII issue and stamped with the CAPAC Manufacturing Company logo on the top, under mold number 10. Manufactured in Capac, Michigan this high pressure manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed cross with the words Capac in the crown. Capac Manufacturing Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery to the US Army in September 1942. They produced approximately between 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 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, though it is quite worn, and the leather has degraded quite a bit. It is dry and cracked, having shrunken a lot due to age and sweat damage. The liner as a hole does show staining and dirt from service. The leather liner chin strap is unfortunately almost completely missing, which is common.

WWII Medic helmets are among the most sought after of all M1 helmets and have become very difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct HBT straps and wartime dated. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

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