Item:
ONSV8542

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Original U.S. WWII Vietnam Reissued 1944 M1 Schlueter Swivel Bale Helmet with Kent State Epitaph

Regular price $895.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This helmet began its life as a very nice example of a Mid-War M1 Helmet produced by Schlueter. After the war, these helmets were put into storage, and were then reissued for use in the Vietnam war, when this helmet was then equipped with a USMC reversible camouflage cover. However, it does not seem to have seen much service, if any, and then was turned into a memorial for the Kent State Massacre, as indicated by the epitaph poem on the cover:

KENT STATE
MAY 4 1970

Deride The Eagle in us still
Your words Fall shattered
Distilled but Never still
Who would Know The Anger Force Instills
The Flower of our youth
The Innocent of That Kill
There is An Eagle in us still
Deride The Death of Four at Kent
Those Human Lives Spent
But Still remember Those are ours
Forget the Bayonet
Not One of us is innocent
Especially The Guard that Killed
Four.

In World War II the production of the M1 helmet began in June 1941 and ceased in September 1945. 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). They placed an "S" stamp on their helmet shells above their "heat temperature stamp".

Aside from the markings, there are some subtle differences between a McCord and Schlueter M-1 helmet shell. This can be found on the rims. A Schlueter helmet shell has a much straighter profile than the classic McCord brim. Also the weld marks for the fixed bales and rim are small and round on a Schlueter, while they are oval and wide for a McCord.

This nice later war production helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WWII parts and paint, with some light wear from service. The steel shell is marked with a large S and heat lot stamped 383A dating manufacture in about October 1944, after the switch to Manganese rims but before the switch to a rear seam. The small round welds on the front seam are also definitive for a Schlueter helmet shell.

This helmet features the correct front seam manganese rim and mid war production swivel bales. Much of the original "corked grain" OD green paint is still present on the exterior, so this shell was not deemed in need of reconditioning at arsenal after WWII. The shell chinstrap is present and intact, with the light wear from age and service. It is the correct late war OD Green #7 from a mid war helmet, with a stamped steel buckle.

The liner is correct high pressure 1980s issue liner which features a simplified rigging without any lacing in the center. This allowed for a much sturdier design, adjustable via buckles at the ends of the three straps. This design also did away with the A-washers, and instead it snaps onto the inside of the liner, making replacement much easier. The rigging is in very good condition, and still has a good condition sweatband installed, which shows markings on the rear. The helmet liner is definitely for a smaller size head.

The included USMC reversible camouflage cover is in excellent condition, and overall this helmet does not seem to have been used much when it was reissued for the Vietnam War. There is minimal wear, no staining or other marks aside from the written epitaph.  One of the tabs on the bottom of the cover is marked:

COVER, HELMET, CAMOUFLAGE
CONTRACT NO. 8056
FSN: 8415-261-6833

Schlueter helmets have become extremely difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine front seam example. The USMC Kent State Marked cover gives this a great bit of history. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year.

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