Original U.S. WWII Medic 1944 McCord Front Seam Swivel Bale M1 Helmet with Firestone Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Swivel Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with a correct WWII Firestone liner. The exterior was painted during wartime with the small white circles used for later war medic helmets, with red crosses in the middle. Originally the white sections on medic helmets were much larger, but those ended up making them 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 with what looks to be 1 0 4 8, which would indicate production in August - September 1944, just before the move to a manganese rim. Wartime production was in full swing when this helmet was produced.

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 mid-late war swivel 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 most of its original WWII parts. The original "corked grain" can still be seen on the exterior, however the shell definitely looks to have been repainted while in service, probably when it was turned into a "medic" helmet. It has the correct swivel bails and a front seam stainless steel rim, which is missing paint, as is typical, even after it was repainted. The chin strap is the correct later war OD Green #4, and definitely shows wear. It is fitted with a mid-war pattern stamped steel buckle.

The liner is the correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with an F "Shield" logo over F 1 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 the leather in worn condition, showing sweat staining from service. The liner chin strap is also present, a real rarity, and also shows service wear and staining.

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 WWII issue liners with the correct HBT straps and wartime marked. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

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