Condition: Near Mint
Product Description: This M1 Helmet Fixed Bale is a killer example that has so much going for it. It’s in near mint condition! The exterior of the shell retains nearly all of the original cork textured olive drab paint, with only minor handling marks. It’s a front seam helmet (as all fixed bales are), and has a wonderful khaki chin strap with blackened brass fittings, still factory machine sewn in place. The interior of the shell retails loads of original OD paint and bears a typical heat stamp. This M1 Helmet Fixed Bale comes with an awesome early Hawley liner. The cloth covering on the liner exterior is completely intact, with light age toning. It’s really clean and all original. The inside of the liner is complete, with some darkening to the leather sweatband. The original brown leather liner chin strap is broken, butm still attached and all there. This is a top shelf GI steel pot, of a type that is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and quite rare in this outstanding condition.
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 This helmet was a replacement for the outdated 1917 pattern “Kelly” helmet, which saw only limited use very early in WWII.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, 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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