Product Description: This WWII US M1 Helmet is a choice and very desirable example that does not appear to have ever been issued. The shell is a late war, front seam, swivel bale type made by the less commonly seen maker Schlueter. The exterior of the shell retains very nearly all of the original wartime cork textured olive drab paint finish, with some minor marks and edge wear from handling over time. There is a mild, pleasant patina to the paint. The original WWII khaki web chin strap is present and complete. The inside of the shell is nice and clean, with no rust, and the desirable “S” (Schlueter) maker mark. This WWII US M1 helmet is complete with its original Firestone made liner. The liner retains over 90 percent of the original OD paint, and is complete with its original web suspension, which shows no sign of ever having been worn. The leather chin strap in the liner is broken, but is all there. Original WWII US helmets in this condition have become very hard to find. This one has exceptional visual appeal, and rates as excellent plus.
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 This helmet was a replacement for the outdated 1917 pattern “Kelly” helmet, which saw only limited use very early in WWII.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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