Original WWII U.S. Late War Produced M-1C Paratrooper Helmet With 82nd Airborne Markings and Korean War MSA Jump Liner and Chin Cup - Complete

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a genuine late war rear seam swivel bale M-1C helmet with original paint. This M-1 paratrooper helmet is what would have been used during WWII by members of the various Parachute Infantry Regiments towards the end of the war and into the Korean War era. There are a few repaints visible which was not uncommon, there are even 82nd Airborne decals on each side of the helmet, unfortunately they are mostly covered.

M1Cs were a variant of the U.S. Army’s popular and iconic M1 helmet developed in WWII to replace the M2 helmet. There were several differences between the M1 and M2 including the bales (chin strap hinges). The M2 had fixed, spot welded “D” bales, so named because of the shape they took. It was found that these bales broke when sat down or dropped. It was refitted to use the swivel bales, which could be moved around and was therefore less prone to breaking.

The M-1C helmet retains its original cork grain paint and swivel bale chinstrap loops. It also has original shuttle loom sewn chinstraps set with original hardware and snaps. The shell is marked 1116H indicating it was manufactured by the McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit Michigan in late 1945. The shell itself shows heavy signs of use and wear, all evident signs of a long life of military use.

The liner is a genuine WWII issue helmet liner by MSA, which was then modified at the arsenal to be a paratrooper liner. Westinghouse was the only manufacturer of “ready to use” paratrooper liners. The liner is at its core a correct "high pressure" style M-1 Helmet liner manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances of Evans City, Pennsylvania, as identified by an embossed stylized MSA logo in the crown. Mine Safety Appliance started M-1 helmet liner 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.

A true US WWII M-1 helmet liner can usually 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 sweatband is intact, and in good condition with cracking present. The “A” yokes are in wonderful condition but lightly stained and partially torn. The leather chin cup is in very nice condition with minor cracking on the straps but still in great condition. The leather liner chinstrap is present and still solid.

Paratrooper helmets and liners are the hardest to find of all WWII M1 helmets. This one definitely saw extensive wear and use, it’s stained, beat up and has a very salty look to it.

A fantastic and affordable way to display a genuine Airborne WWII helmet with nearly identical wartime looking post war liner!

M1C Helmet
The M1C helmet was a variant of the U.S. Army's popular and iconic M1 helmet. Developed in World War II to replace the earlier M2 helmet, it was not made available until issued to paratroopers in January of 1945. It was different from the M2 in various ways, most importantly its bails (chinstrap hinges). The M2 had fixed, spot welded "D" bales so named for their shape, similar to early M1s. It was found that when sat on or dropped, these bails would snap off. The solution was the implementation of the swivel bail, which could move around and so was less susceptible to breaking.

Like the M2, its most visible difference from the standard infantry M1 helmet was the liner. The liner of the M1C, like most paratrooper liners, had a set of "A yokes" or straps fixed to the side of the liner to enable the use of a four-point chinstrap with leather chin cup to give support to the head and neck and prevent adverse movement during jumps. It used a simple but strong and reliable belt loop-type connection to secure the chinstrap to the a-yokes, which could be opened or closed from either side and thus partially removed without tools. This retention system was not significantly different to the M2's, and the normal infantry chinstrap could still be attached to the helmet shell if desired. Often, however, these modified liners could not be manufactured in time for jumps so they were modified by the soldiers themselves.

Another difference of the M1C was the chinstraps (this was seen on the M2). The chinstraps found on the M2 and M1C both had a button snap on the end so as to be fastened to the liner.

Despite the numerous differences between the M1C and the standard M1 helmet, the shell of the M1C is practically identical to standard swivel bail infantry helmets, making a concrete identification of a helmet as an M1C difficult. There's an argument to be made that the important part of an M1C is actually just a liner with the four-point chinstrap that can slip into any M1 helmet.

The M1C would continue in US service after World War II, with a new split-fabric chinstrap introduced between the Korean War and the Vietnam War not dissimilar to the one seen on the later PASGT helmet, but retaining the belt loop-style chinstrap connection. The M1C would remain in service until the adoption of PASGT, though the M1C would remain a fairly uncommon sight after Korea. They do turn up in various non-airborne units in Vietnam photography, however, suggesting that outside of jump-rated units they were treated like any other M1 and that they were perhaps more common than some thought.

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