Original WWII U.S. Navy “Battleship Grey” Painted M1 Swivel Bale Helmet with MSA Liner

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. This is an excellent example of a WWII U.S. Navy Painted M1 Helmet. It is a circa 1944 M1 McCord Front Seam Swivel Bale Helmet, painted in battleship grey-blue with MSA Liner.

The U.S. WWII M-1 helmet was only produced from 1941 to 1945. 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 38 A under the brim of the helmet, which is partly obscured.

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 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).

This Helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint. It features a front seam, swivel bales, and the correct stamped black-painted steel buckle for the Olive Drab Chinstrap (which show traces of battleship grey paint near the bales).

The liner is also and is the correct “high pressure” WWII issue and stamped with the Logo for the Mine Safety Appliance Company. The exterior of the liner shows signs of being repainted several times , with a layer of yellow underneath a top coat of olive drab paint. This is not surprising for navy helmets, as liners and shells alike tended to be painted various colors for various duties aboard ship. Being reused and recycled within the supply system of the ship, this makes perfect sense. The liner is intact with all of its khaki suspension, sweatband, and possible post-war replaced leather liner chinstrap.

This true US WWII M-1 helmet liner can be identified through the frontal eyelet hole. Other correct WW2 features include cotton herringbone twill (HBT) OD Green #3 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 Original sweatband has lost some of its leather due to dryness and deterioration.

True WWII Navy Helmets are getting harder to find. This is an excellent opportunity to obtain one that is ready for display!

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