Original U.S. WWII Navy Seabee Corpsman’s Painted M1 Fixed Bale Helmet- Pacific Theater
Original Item: One-of-a-Kind. This is a unique example of a WWII M1 Fixed Bale Helmet belonging to a U.S. Navy Corpsman who was likely assigned to a Seabee unit. This example is in very good condition considering signs of honest wear from use, and decades of storage wear.
The Helmet features a shell painted with its original OD Green Paint with White Triangles Painted on either side of the helmet shell, which are occasionally observed on Seabee Helmets. In addition, a red cross is painted in the center of one side, while the other has an offset red cross (likely to allow the “6” to be painted in the center of the left side Triangle). The “6” could likely denote the 6th Naval Construction Battalion, which served in the Pacific from 1942-1945. In addition, three inverted chevrons appear on the front of the helmet, denoting the original owner was a Petty Officer 1st Class. Underneath the chevrons are the letters “ANG”, which could simply be the sailor’s initials, or a nickname (perhaps shortened from the name “Angelo”, for example.). Certainly not an uncommon practice.
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. 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).
This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint with front seam and fixed bails. The chin strap is the correct OD Green #3 with cast blacked brass hardware.
The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with an F logo over F5 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. This HBT suspension is somewhat loose within the M-1 helmet liner , which some portions still being held by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The three upper suspension bands are joined together with a shoestring. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The original liner sweatband is still intact and fitted to the liner, as pictured.
WW2 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. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!
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