Original WWII 101st Airborne 327th Glider Infantry Regiment Medic Helmet- U.S. 1944 M1 McCord Front Seam with Seaman Paper Co Liner
Original Item: Only One Available. During World War II, the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment ("Bastogne Bulldogs") was a gliderborne regiment of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division. The 327th is the stuff of legend, they fought in Normandy through Carentan, the regiment played a pivotal role in Operation Market Garden battle, then at Bastogne, Belgium, the 327 held half of the perimeter.
The 327 often is slighted by fans of the 101st Airborne Division as riding in a glider is not deemed as perilous as parachuting in battle. Several companies of the 327 suffered casualty rates as high or higher than many paratrooper regiments. Some companies, such as A, C, and G, and the 401st took casualties as severe as the most engaged paratrooper regiments. On D+2, glider flights into Market Garden suffered a 30% loss of gliders.
WW2 Medic helmets are among the most sought after of all M1 helmets and have become very difficult to find in recent years, ones that feature genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct HBT straps wartime dated. However, one from such a legendary regiment is certain to appreciate in value year after year!
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 stamped 864Bwhich indicates the approximate manufacture date of March 1944.
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 later M-1 helmet shells had a set of swivel (movable) 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 WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint.
The liner is correct high pressure WWII issue and stamped with a S for the SEAMAN PAPER COMPANY. Manufactured in Chicago, Illinois this "high pressure" manufactured M-1 helmet liner is identified by an embossed "S" in the crown. Seaman Paper Company started delivery to the US Army in September 1942. They produced approximately between 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 M-1 helmet liners and discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.
This true almost unissued US WWII M-1 helmet liner be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) cloth suspension. 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 a shoestring. This way the wearer could adjust the fit.
The shell chin strap is original, and the helmet net is original WWII issue in excellent condition!
These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WW2 issue liners with the correct HBT straps wartime dated. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!
Part of the 82nd Infantry Division was transferred to the 101st Airborne Division 15 August 1942. All equipment and personnel assigned to the regiment were designed to be carried in the Waco CG-4A glider. Although ostensibly the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment during World War II was a part of the 101st Airborne Division, the majority of the unit landed by sea on Utah Beach in the afternoon of 7 June 1944, because of a shortage of glider tow planes. Some elements did reach shore on D-Day, 6 June, but because of rough seas, beach traffic, and the fact that the paratroopers of the 101st had already achieved many of their objectives, the landing was delayed. The 327th suffered a few casualties going ashore from enemy fire and were strafed by enemy aircraft. Near Ste. Come DuMont (southeast of the village), the 327th was camped right next to German paratroopers, separated by thick hedgerows. German-speaking soldiers in the 327th engaged in taunting the enemy. The 327th took several casualties by enemy mortars. By 8 June, the 327th had entered the front line, largely in reserve of the 506th until crossing the Douve River near Carentan. First and Second Battalions guarded Utah Beachhead's left flank northeast of Carentan. Company C was hit hard by friendly fire mortars while crossing the Douve. Official findings blamed enemy mines. Company B also suffered casualties in the incident.
The 327th suffered heavy casualties while advancing on Carentan via what is now the city Marina from a northeast direction and other casualties approaching Carentan from the east. G Company led the attack on the west bank of the marina canal. A Company of the attached 401 was on the east bank of the canal. Concealed German machine guns and mortars inflicted the most casualties. Chaplain Gordon Cosby earned a Silver Star for bravery in the face of the enemy for assisting wounded glider men in front of heavily armed German soldiers. The 327th played a pivotal role with the 501st and 506th of the 101st in taking Carentan. The 327th marched through the town and East to be possibly the first unit of the Utah Beachhead to link up with the Omaha Beachhead around the four-villages area of le Fourchette, le Mesnil, le Rocher and Cotz. It was then directed South between the bulk of the 101st and the 75th Infantry Division of the Omaha Beachhead.
The unit was commanded by Col. George S. Wear through 10 June, when command was turned over to Col. Joseph H. Harper. Although not official, the men of the 327th understood that Wear was replaced because of friendly-fire artillery casualties while crossing the Douve River. Officially, enemy mortars were blamed.
The regiment played a pivotal role in Operation Market Garden battle near Best, in the Netherlands, encircling a large German force which had been pressured from the west by the tank-supported 502nd of the 101st. Sgt. Manuel Hidalgo and Lt. Hibbard of G Company risked their lives in a humanitarian effort to get the enemy to surrender before being annihilated by the 327th. In the Market Garden operations, some companies in the 327th suffered two-thirds casualty rates before arriving at Opheusden. 2nd Battalion, especially Company G, suffered heavy casualties from a brutal shelling in the churchyard at Veghel. The large artillery shells were launched from the Erp vicinity. Dutch collaborators aided German scouts and were executed by the Dutch underground after the shelling.
At Opheusden, the 327th withstood repeated assaults by the enemy and heavy artillery barrages. In Rendezvous with Destiny, Rapport and Arthur cite British officers that indicated that the barrage suffered by the 327 was as intense as anything they had seen, and rivaled what the British pummeled the Germans with at El Alamein in North Africa. The fighting along the west and northwest perimeter in the Ophuesden (the Island) area was as intense as any fighting in the area. E Company engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy near the railroad track switch house south of Opheusden. The enemy repeatedly hurled their units unsuccessfully at the glider men and suffered high casualties.
At Bastogne, Belgium, the 327 held half of the perimeter (including the 401, which was acting as the Regiment's 3rd Battalion and later officially became a part of the 327). Numerous intense fights erupted along the 327 sector including two brutal fights at Marvie and more to the west in the 401 section. The Germans attacking were of the Volksgrenadiers and the elite tank-based Panzer Lehr. At Marvie the 327 was outnumbered by 15 to 1. Facing only two US companies, G Company, supported by several tanks from the 10th Armored Division and E Company in reserve, the German commander took his whole division further west. At Marvie, the Germans lost six tanks and several half tracks. One tank did break into Marvie, but was destroyed trying to make a run towards Bastogne. Several days later, during the night of 23 December, the enemy attacked in force with tanks. The road through Marvie was blocked when G Company mistook a US tank destroyer for a German tank and destroyed it on the village bridge. The Germans overran Hill 500 just to the west of Marvie and broke through the gap between F and G Company. The enemy then put rear pressure on the F Company Command Post. A platoon sized paratrooper element came to support F Company. The German forces managed to place tanks behind US lines between Marvie and Bastogne. The glider men of Company G and Company F were pushed back from 500 to 1000 yards during the intense fighting, but did not break. Unable to make quick progress, the Germans pressed the attack until morning, but withdrew when the German Command Center was destroyed by US artillery. Again, the 327 was badly outnumbered by the enemy.
After the break through by General Patton's tanks, the 327th proceeded to the north sector of the Bastogne theater of operations. There, 2nd Battalion was involved in clearing Champs after a German armored element broke through paratrooper lines. Companies A and C suffered intense casualties and were consolidated into one company call ACE. Later, the 327 made an open field maneuver against armored enemy troops east of Foy, which helped secure that village. The ferocity and speed of the open-field attack surprised the Germans and the paratrooper regiments on the flanks of the attack. German forces attacked the flank and surrounded ACE Company in Bois Jacques. After that, the enemy was primarily in withdrawal mode back to Germany.
The 327 often is slighted by fans of the 101st Airborne Division as riding in a glider is not deemed as perilous as parachuting in battle. Several companies of the 327 suffered casualty rates as high or higher than many paratrooper regiments. Some companies, such as A, C, and G, and the 401st took casualties as severe as the most engaged paratrooper regiments. On D+2, glider flights into Market Garden suffered a 30% loss of gliders. Later, the 327 was involved in action near Hagenau, France in Alsace.
Inactivated on 30 November 1945 in France, the regiment was redesignated as the 516th Airborne Infantry Regiment on 18 June 1948 and active from 6 July 1948 to 1 April 1949 and from 25 August 1950 to 1 December 1953 at Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky. As was the case with many combat divisions of World War II fame, the colors of the 101st Airborne Division and its subordinate elements were active only as training units and were not organized as parachute or glider units.
On 27 April 1954 the 516th was relieved from assignment to the 101st Airborne Division and activated at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on 15 May 1954, again as a training unit. On 1 July 1956 it was reorganized and redesignated as the 327th Airborne Infantry Regiment, an element of the 101st.
Paratroopers from the 327th escorting black students into Little Rock Central High during the 1957 integration crisis
On 25 April 1957 the colors of Company A, 327AIR were reorganized and redesignated as HHC, 1st Airborne Battle Group, 327th Infantry, and remained assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (organic elements concurrently constituted and activated). This was the only active element of the 327th Infantry during the Pentomic era. When the Army abandoned battle groups for brigades and battalions, the unit was reorganized and redesignated on 3 February 1963 as the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, an element of the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
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