Original U.S. WWII to Vietnam War M1 Helmet Lot of 4

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set of 4 Available. This is a very nice collection of M1 helmets from various time periods, but all originating from WWII. Two helmets are complete with liners and are offered in great condition, while the other two are just shells, ready to be paired with your liners. This is a wonderful lot to pick up if you are looking to either start collecting helmets or are just wanting to add these really nice examples to your already existing ones.

The following FOUR helmets are included in this lot:

- Late WWII / Korean War McCord Front Seam Swivel Bale: This is just to shell, no liner or chin strap. The heat stamp appears to be 634C indicating manufacture around August 1943. The shell is in great shape with minor surface rust on the interior and minor paint loss on the exterior.

- Unidentified Rear Seam Swivel Bale: This is just a shell, no liner or chin strap. This is a strange one for us and one we have not seen before. We do not believe it to be a European Clone. The bale welds resemble a Schlueter but there is no S present anywhere. The heat stamp is 623, no letter code and it is upside down. The rim is stainless steel and is seamed at the rear. A strange configuration for sure. The shell is in near perfect condition.

- WWII Schlueter Front Seam Swivel Bale With Paratrooper Liner: This M1 helmet is stamped with a clear S which is seldom seen on Schlueter shells! We cannot find a heat lot code due to the heavy green gloss paint on the inside. There is a small dent on the top of the shell with minor chipping throughout. The paratrooper liner is a correct high pressure example by Firestone. The webbing is semi complete, without chin cup, sweatband and is missing parts of the rear webbing and an A washer on the front. The “A” bales are still present.

- Late WWII McCord Front Seam Swivel Bale With Paratrooper Liner: This is a lovely example of a late war produced paratrooper helmet with liner and chin cup. The liner is a high pressure CAPAC liner with new webbing to simulate a paratroopers’ liner and is a product of the well known Murray Inc who manufactures high quality replica items. Every aspect of this helmet is original to WWII, except for the liner webbing. Still would make for an impressive display!

All helmets come ready for display!

At the entry of the United States into World War I, the US military was without a combat helmet; initially US troops arriving in Europe were issued with British Mk I Brodie helmets, and those integrated with French units were given French M15 Adrian helmets. The United States quickly commenced manufacture of a version of the Mk I, designated the M1917, producing some 2,700,000 by the end of hostilities. At that point, the shortcomings of the M1917, which lacked balance and protection of the head from lateral fire, resulted in a project to produce a better helmet which would also have a distinctively American appearance. Between 1919 and 1920, a number of new designs of helmets were tested by the Infantry Board in comparative trials along with the M1917 and helmets of other armies. One of those designs, the Helmet Number 5A, was selected for further study. This was an improved version of the Helmet Number 5, developed in 1917 and 1918 by Bashford Dean, the curator of arms and armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which had been rejected during the war because of its supposed resemblance to the German stahlhelm. Eventually, tests held at Fort Benning between 1924 and 1926 showed that although the 5A offered better side protection than the M1917, it was more easily penetrated from above and in some circumstances the shape of the helmet could interfere with properly holding and firing a rifle. Further ballistic tests at the Aberdeen Proving Ground resulted in the decision to retain the M1917 in 1934, which was then given a redesigned leather cradle and designated the M1917A1 or "Kelly" helmet.

In 1940, with World War II raging on in Europe and Asia, it seemed likely that the United States might soon be at war again. The Infantry Board resurrected the quest to find a better type of helmet, since the ongoing conflict had shown that the M1917, designed to protect men standing in trenches from falling shell splinters and shrapnel, would be inadequate on the modern battlefield. The board reported:

Research indicates that the ideal shaped helmet is one with a dome-shaped top and generally following the contour of the head, allowing sufficient uniform headspace for indentations, extending down in the front to cover the forehead without impairing necessary vision, extending down on the sides as far as possible without interfering with the use of the rifle or other weapons, extending down the back of the head as far as possible without permitting the back of the neck to push the helmet forward on the head when the wearer assumes the prone position, to have the frontal plate visor and to have the sides and rear slightly flanged outward to cause rain to clear the collar opening.

Accordingly, the board, under the direction of Brigadier General Courtney Hodges, took the M1917 shell as the basis of the new prototype, trimmed off the brim and added a visor and skirt-like extensions to protect the back and sides of the wearer's head. Rejecting the conventional systems of cradles, the new helmet was given a Riddell type liner and suspension system, based on the contemporary style of football helmet, with an adjustable strap for the nape of the neck to prevent the helmet from rocking. The resulting prototype was designated the TS-3, and the McCord Radiator Company manufactured the first examples from Hadfield steel. In tests, they were found to be able to resist a .45 ACP pistol bullet fired at point-blank range, exceeding the initial specification. The TS-3 was given official approval on June 6, 1941 and was designated "Helmet, Steel, M1". Full scale production commenced almost immediately.
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