Product Description: This is a beautiful and absolutely top-shelf example of the classic WWII US Army M1 helmet. It’s a textbook original wartime helmet that has a lot going for it. The exterior of the killer early fixed bale, front seam helmet shell retains nearly all of its original, coarse cork textured olive drab paint, showing only minor wear. It has a desirable, attractive patina that is very slightly chalky, as is typical for uncleaned original helmets. The original khaki chin strap is completely intact, with a wonderful, rich patina to the blackened brass fittings. The front of this M1 helmet has a textbook wartime set of Captain bars. The shell still retains its original camouflage net. The net shows matching wear, with a couple of minor breaks to the netting in a few spots, but no major damage. This helmet is still complete with its original matching liner, which has Captain bars painted on the front. The liner is in excellent condition and shows only light wear, a perfect match to the shell. The liner is manufacturer marked and the suspension webbing appears to be complete, though there is a break in the leather liner chin strap. There is a typewritten name label affixed to the inside of the liner, with the original owner’s name and service number, giving this one great research potential. It continues to get harder and harder to find a great original M1 helmet such as this, in the original WWII configuration. This one would be hard to upgrade.
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 This helmet was a replacement for the outdated 1917 pattern “Kelly” helmet, which saw only limited use very early in WWII.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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