Product Description: This is a nice, worn example of a wartime made swivel bale US M1 helmet. The shell is a textbook WWII example, with a front seam to the stainless steel rim. The exterior of the shell retains nearly all of the original, cork textured olive drab paint finish, with a light, even age patina. The rim has the typical and expected paint wear, and the interior of the shell is all-original and uncleaned. The wartime khaki chin strap with blackened brass fittings is factory stitched to the bales. This original swivel bale US M1 helmet is complete with its original liner. The exterior of the liner had a yellow band painted around the circumference; this was overpainted with typical olive drab paint. The interior of the liner retains the original suspension system, with some slight moisture deterioration to the leather band. There is no chin strap on the liner. These wartime helmets have continued to become more sought-after and harder to find in recent years. This is a solid, representative example, in very good 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 This helmet was a replacement for the outdated 1917 pattern “Kelly” helmet, which saw only limited use very early in WWII.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, 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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