- How to date WWII and Later US M1 Helmets
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This combination gave the helmet a dark, coarse, appearance and texture. The stamp can be hard to see but can identify maker and approximate year of manufacture. These features are common to all WWII helmets and were never changed during the course of the war. Initial production helmets in to late had their rims seemed in the front. From to late , the seam met in the front center edge of the steel helmet. The rim was made of stainless steel which did not rust but shined excessively when exposed, as the paint normally did not hold up well under constant contact with hard surfaces.
At that time, the seam moved degrees to the center rear edge of the helmet. Originally, the chin straps were sewn onto fixed loops. This feature was installed on all front and early rear seamed helmets. The fixed loops were a weak point in the helmets design because the loops were in constant contact with the surface.
Enough became broken off that they were superseded by the swivel loop type chinstrap attachments in From to late , these loops were welded directly to the left and right side of the helmet. The airborne used a fixed loop in the shape of a half circle for most of the war but also used the standard swivel loop by the end of the war. From to late , chin straps were constructed of cotton webbing in olive drab shade number three top.
It was produced in different shades from khaki to light green. Although officially phased out in , the number three shade was used passed , until supplies were exhausted. The decision to adopt the shade of field gear material to the darker olive drab number seven bottom was made by the end of It is usually found sewn on to rear seamed helmet shells. Initially they were dyed olive drab number three which was technically a greenish khaki, but in practice was produced in varying shades from khaki to greenish khaki.
In , a decision was made to phase out olive drab number three in favor of olive drab number seven, or dark olive drab. By the end of , the new color change was implemented. This change was not completed over night by all manufacturers as the old number three material was normally used until exhausted. From to late , the chin strap buckle was made from a brass casting that can be readily distinguished by its brass construction and the raised bar cast into the top of the buckle. After , a simplified buckle was developed to ease construction and conserve brass.
The new buckle, stamped out of steel and painted black would remain unchanged for the rest of WWII. The adjustment keeper was placed at the end of the chinstrap to secure the extra webbing after adjustment. The manufacturing processes tabs used were the same as the buckle. On the underside of the buckle were two rounded tabs.
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These tabs were be replaced by square tabs in These parts are located on the right chin strap. Early adjustment buckles were cast in brass with a distinctive raised bar in the center and finished black. The end cap was used to secure the free end of the chin strap once it had been adjusted to the wearers chin. In , in order to ease production and save brass, a new blackened steel stamped buckle was approved along with a steel end cap. Late saw the resumption of brass in the production in metal hardware. This was the last WWII specification regarding the chin strap assembly.
This piece is located on the left chin strap and is used in conjunction with the buckle on the right side to secure the chin strap assembly under the wearers chin. The hook underwent the same material and finish changes as the buckle and securing cap at the same time. You can see this better in the shots below.
There are also some slight differences in the paint cork texture of the two models. The Schlueter also being slightly slimmer in shape compared to the McCord. Posted February 5, We know the M1-helmet to be an essential piece of the US infantry soldiers kit.
But from its outset it was probably designed with a little more in mind than just saving the lives of military service personnel from fragmented explosions, falling and flying debris of all descriptions impacting on that most vulnerable part of the human frame.
How to date WWII and Later US M1 Helmets
Its shape was also to be a good retainer for many things liquid. A perfect tool out in the field for boiling up water that would have been used for shaving or cooking. Even as a intrenching tool should it be needed the helmet was useful. The liner was a simple enough device to remove should any other task be required of the shell and just as easy to replace when finished.
It was easily adjustable and could be made to fit comfortably. It is often we see old footage of US soldiers running for cover with the straps of their M1's left unfastened and dangling to the sides or indeed simply fastened above and to the rear of the helmet brim. One hand balancing the helmet while the other holding a rifle. Although this was probably deemed to be foolish by some, it was in most cases more than likely that the soldier was quite happy with the excellent fit of his liner and so felt that his M1 would remain in place for most of the time despite the straps.
There was also the extra worry of having your head suddenly jerked to the rear in the event of a blast causing any number of injuries to the neck area should the straps be fastened around the chin. Working in tandem with McCord Radiator and Manufacturing they drew upon their own experience of developing tropical helmets for the Army.
The suspension system of this particular early liner was non-adjustable.
Later WW2 produced non Hawley liners would have an adjustable suspension system. Also there was now a hole punched to the front which would hold rank insignia when the liner was worn outside of the steel pot. Posted February 7, The above symbols can be found in the crown area of the liner. Hawley liners had the words 'Liner Fiber M-1' marked inside. Posted February 8, Below is a quick M1 dating reference I was able to find and my thanks go to Hardscrabblefarm for the use of.
Posted May 25, I have been attempting to find info on the stamps on the M1 steel pots. I have a helmet stamped MWA 16 and was wondering what that denoted. The M1 went back into production - Posted May 26, Posted April 13, Will get around to putting a WW2 liner in it eventually.
Helmet net is US or British. Posted April 14, Thanks for showing it here. Posted June 2, If you have a minute to look this over, do any discrepancies jump out at you when comparing the description below to the two pics? I will be back to this one. Posted June 7, I can't tell from those pics whether the bales are fixed or not. One looks fixed - the other swivel. Posted June 8, Posted June 9, Can I ask if you are sure that '' is a Schlueter produced M1.
Any S stamp you can see? Looks to be a much later M1 fixed with clip on straps. As you say, post war. Posted June 11, Couldn't find an "S" stamped anywhere near the number. That helmet came with a liner so its most likely post-war, too. Got it before I knew better.
I like the crushed cork texture on it, though. Do you know if that, or sawdust, was used on helmets during WW2? Posted June 13, Cork would have been the 'norm' for helmets of the period. I can only guess to the use of sawdust at some point? Sand textured smoother finish on later post war helmets along with new OD shade. Some say cork was added to deflect both glare and noise. Noise however - would have thought that a little too realistic under the circumstances. Thanks a lot for this excellent thread!
Very ninteresting and useful! I will soon, when there's more time, some pics of my 4 M1 helmets for evaluation on authenticity. Keep uk the good work. Posted June 19, However was common for wartime shells to be used in Korea and even Vietnam, either with a cover or sprayed with sand textured OD3 paint over the cork. Posted June 21, Oli, you're likely right about no sawdust on the M1 helmet. I had read in one of Reynosa's books that fine sawdust was blown onto the wet paint of the M helmets, and then more paint was applied on top of that, so assumed that was a method still in use in WWII. You may be able to see the rough texture of the sawdust in this shot of my No wonder it has such a classic look!
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- Dating the M1 Steel Helmet.
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Display as a link instead. Upload or insert images from URL. By Richard Auld , Wednesday at All Activity Home War Memorabilia: Prev 1 2 Next Page 1 of 2.
Share this post Link to post Share on other sites. M1- Helmet 2 To begin with the basics of the M1 we need to understand a little more about its composition and the various specifications involved.
Schlueter in the region of 2,, Stainless Steel or Manganese Rim Manganese rim added later in place of original stainless steel rim Normally a good indicator of a early war model is a shiny, paint loss' steel rim. Hook and Arrow Chinstrap Buckle. Shell thickness - 0. M1 Liner Manufacturers A unique feature of the M1 was its suspended liner system. A little over 33 million were produced.
The Steel Pot World War 2 saw millions produced of this unique for its time' helmet. The use of clasps' below indicate Postwar. M1 - Helmet 4 The M1 has a noticeable seam that is found on the attached helmet rim.