Original U.S. WWII USMC Red Patch Shore Party Marine M1 Fixed Bale Helmet with Westinghouse Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a rare example of a genuine WWII Front-Seam Fixed Bale M1 Helmet made by McCord Radiator, with a Westinghouse liner. The helmet has a rare "Red Patch" insignia painted on the front and reverse sides.

The red patch dates back to the early days of WWII during the Battle of Guadalcanal. After the initial assault on the beachhead, follow-on troops came ashore and confusion on the beach led to landing support Marines (then known as shore party) and infantrymen getting mixed together. Some shore party Marines went inland along with infantry battalions, while some infantrymen were left behind on the beach. It is not known for certain who made the decision, but a device was created in order to distinguish the shore party Marines: a red patch on the trousers and hat, referred to by Marines as a cover, (a patch was not put on the blouse because many Marines did not wear them due to the heat of the South Pacific). Around the same time, Naval Shore Parties, now known as Beachmaster Unit One began to wear yellow patches on their uniforms, as they do today.

Shore party Marines were either assigned to pioneer battalions or as part of an infantry battalion's shore party. Pioneer battalions consisted of shore party Marines, combat engineers, and heavy equipment operators and were in charge of establishing beach support areas in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Pioneer battalions were sometimes used to relieve infantry battalions on the front lines and were often involved in heavy fighting in places such as Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal. One of the more notable shore party Marines was 1st Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr., executive officer of the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines' Shore Party, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Tarawa.

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 559B which indicates the approximate manufacture date of June 1943.

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 nice 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 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 WW2 parts and the shell has original "corked" grain paint, which is in good shape.

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 producce 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. Other correct WWII features include cotton OD Green #3 herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension liner, with the webbing in very 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 present, though the leather has deteriorated due to sweat and age. Also one of the securing clips is missing, as is the entire liner chin strap. The shell chin strap is the correctly mid-war issue OD Green #3, with brass hardware, and is in very nice condition.

A very nice genuine WWII issue helmet, with rare Red Patch Shore Party insignia, perfect for any WWII Marine collection!
  • This product is available for international shipping.
  • Eligible for all payments - Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal & Sezzle


Cash For Collectibles