Original WWII USMC Named M1 Schlueter Fixed Bale Helmet with MSA Liner and Camo Poncho Cover
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a great example of a U.S. Marine Corps M1 Helmet, named to Lt. R. Kozlowski, and fitted with a "field made" custom camouflage cover. We have seen several of these covers before, made from the U.S.M.C. reversible camouflage ponchos, and this definitely the nicest one we have had. Definitely a great display piece, with some great research potential.
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 spot welds used to attach the chin strap bales and secure the stainless steel rim are larger and oval shaped on McCord helmets than on the Schlueter.
This Schlueter helmet is a very nice example and still retains original parts and paint. The steel shell is stamped with a large S under heat lot 20C, a very early number indicating Schlueter manufacture and dating from January-February 1943. The M-1 helmet shell has an stainless steel rim with seam in the front. Stainless steel 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 features correct early front seam and fixed welded chin strap bales.
This helmet is a fine example and still retains all of its original WW2 parts and the shell has all original "corked" grain paint. There is the usual wear on the stainless steel rim, which paint does not adhere well to. The helmet shell is also covered with a custom camouflage helmet cover, made from part of a USMC Reversible poncho, which is quite well executed and still supple.
The liner is a correct "high pressure" style M-1 Helmet liner, which was manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances of Evans City, Pennsylvania. This is identified by an embossed stylized MSA logo in the crown. It is also marked with mold number 24. 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. MSA still exists today, marketing a wide variety of safety equipment.
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) cloth suspension. This HBT suspension is held tightly within the M-1 helmet liner by rivets and a series of triangular "A" washers. The Sweatband is intact, and in good used condition. The three upper suspension bands are joined together with an OD green tie string. This way the wearer could adjust the fit. The liner chin strap is unfortunately missing, but there is a shoe string tied around the rigging to take its place. The shell chin strap is original, with some wear, and the correct early war brass hardware.
The front of the helmet liner is marked KOWZLOWSKI over a Lt. bar, most likely for a 2nd Lt. in the Marine Corps. There are also the initials R K scratched into the sweatband, and marked with marker on the rigging. We have not been able to find any information regarding Lt. R Kozlowski, making this a great research opportunity.
These helmets have become increasingly difficult to find in recent years, especially named examples with Genuine WWII Liners and custom made covers. Almost certainly to appreciate in value year after year!
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