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Item:
ONSV3268

Original U.S. WWII USAAF 1943 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Helmet with Liner Personalized by Squad Members

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful!! It's rare that we get a WWII U.S. helmet with such great research potential! Here we have very nice example of a genuine mid WWII Issue U.S.A.F. issued helmet, with a liner that was quite personalized. Not only did the owner install a U.S. Army Aviation Branch pin in the front eyelet hole, they also look to have had the members of their squad write their names and addresses on the outside! There are 8 different names and addresses, complete with rank, and the handwriting style definitely differs for each, indicating that each was written by a different person.

The names and addresses listed on the liner are:

PFC. R.C. TITTSWORTH
709 BELMONT AVE.
SHELBYVILLE
TENNESSEE

PFC. JOE M.ARNOLD
622 ARTHUR ST.
LA GRANGE, GA.

PvT. EUGENE BOLDREGHINI
766 E. 16th St.
HOUSTON 2 TEXAS

PFC. William H. Twilley
407 Maryland Ave
Cambridge, Maryland

BULLETS THOMAS
MT. OLIVE, ILLINOIS

SgT. AL DURKEE
8 TENNIS ST.
ALBANY,
N.Y.

PvT. A.C.WARIWANCHIK
R. D. # 2
Salem, N.J.

T/SGT J.H. FREEMAN
ROUTE #1
BELOIT, WIS.

We unfortunately do not know if one of these names is the owner of the helmet or not, but with so many names and addresses, it might be possible to identify which unit these soldiers were part of. A fantastic research opportunity, and a great condition helmet!

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 575B, which indicates the approximate manufacture date of July-August 1943, right before the switch to swivel bales for securing the chin strap.

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 total production of M-1 helmet shells during the war reached 22,000,000. Of these about 20,000,000 were produced by the main contractor McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit. Although McCord was supposed to be the single source of M-1 helmet shells, by the summer of 1942 a second company was enlisted to help the production effort. This was Schlueter Manufacturing of St. Louis, Missouri. Schlueter began production of its M-1 helmet shells in January 1943. Schlueter produced only 2,000,000 M-1 helmet shells during the war (both fixed and swivel). 

The early M-1 helmet shells such as this one have a set of fixed (static) 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). In October 1943, issues with the fixed bales breaking off resulted in a change to the "swivel bales".

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 early war OD Green #3 with cast brass hardware. 

The liner is correct "high pressure" WWII issue and stamped with a W for the Westinghouse Electric Co Manufactured in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "W" in the crown (which is still Westinghouse's logo to this day). Westinghouse was the largest M-1 helmet liner producer and had two production divisions; Micarta and Bryant Electric. The Micarta Division produced about 13,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and the Bryant Electric Division about 10,000,000. Westinghouse Electric Company started M-1 helmet liner delivery in May 1942. Westinghouse did have a contract to produce airborne liners and converted an unknown amount to airborne configuration. Westinghouse 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, which in this case has a U.S. Army Aviation Branch pin installed. Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in excellent condition. 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 somewhat worn, with a bit of dry rot on the edge, but it is still mostly intact. The liner chin strap is present, and is the earlier type with blacked brass hardware and buckle.

An excellent genuine WWII USAAF issue helmet, with wonderful squad personalized liner, perfect for any collection! Ready to research and display!

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