Original WWII U.S. Navy Flight Crew Named 1941 M1 McCord Fixed Bale Helmet with Westinghouse Liner

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a fantastic early war M1 helmet, named to a member of the U.S. Navy Aircrew. The exterior of the helmet has been painted over with dark "navy" blue, and the insignia of the U.S. Navy Air Crew has been painted on the front, under the name KIRWAN. The paint shows age and staining, so we are fairly confident that it is original to WWII. A really great collectors opportunity!

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 54B, a very low number which indicates the approximate manufacture date of August-September 1941, just before the U.S. entered into WWII.

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 early 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 WWII parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint, visible under the blue overcoat. It features a front seam, fixed bales, and the correct stamped brass buckles for the OD Green #3 chin strap.

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 produce airborne liners and converted an unknown amount to airborne configuration. Westinghouse discontinued production around August 17, 1945 when the war ended.

This true almost excellent condition US WWII M-1 helmet liner 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 sweatband and the majority of the liner chin strap are missing, but could easily be sourced on the surplus marking.

These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially genuine WWII issue liners with the correct HBT straps and buckles. The U.S. Navy Aircrew is something we have not seen before, and with a name is definitely worth further research. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!

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