Product Description: This M1 Fixed Bale Helmet is a really solid example of this now extremely popular collectible artifact. It is entirely in its original WWII configuration, and was obtained directly from a veteran’s family. The shell is a desirable, early WWII production, fixed bale, front seam example. The exterior retains about 95 percent of the original wartime cork textured olive drab paint, with some light wear and scattered marks as well as a very pleasant, uncleaned old patina. The chin strap remains factory machine sewn in place and complete, and is the correct early khaki style with brass fittings. The inside of the shell retains nearly all of the original paint, with no rust. This WWII US M1 fixed bale helmet is complete with its original liner. The liner is nice and clean, and retains nearly all of the original flat OD paint. There is a square of white paint on the front of the liner, likely some sort of rank indicator. The suspension inside the lining is all there, and is the correct herringbone twill khaki webbing. The sweat band is still intact, and a partial leather chin strap is still present. The liner interior shows only light, honest wear. This helmet has a great look, and is in excellent condition overall. These helmets just keep getting tougher and tougher to find like this.
Historical Description: The US military adopted the M1 helmet in 1941, near the outbreak of WWII. This helmet was a replacement for the outdated 1917 pattern “Kelly” helmet, which saw only limited use very early in WWII. WWII production M1 helmets featured a rim around the edge, made of a separate steel strip, with the seam in the front. Early helmets had chin strap bales that were fixed, and simple wire fittings that were brazed into place. Later wartime production helmets had a more complex “swivel bale” chin strap attachment system. The M1 helmet had a removable liner, initially made of a pressed composite material with a cloth color, later replaced with a more rigid liner made out of a plastic material that did not have a cloth cover. The shell itself was made to be one size fits all, and was made by only two manufacturers, while the liners were made by a variety of different companies. For camouflage purposes, the United States Marine Corps issued a cloth cover for this helmet, while the US Army generally used a helmet net for this purpose. M1 helmets existed in a variety of paint finishes, including gray helmets for US Navy use, and were further customized with a variety of indicators such as rank or unit assignment.
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