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WWII US Army M-1 Hawley Liner Helmet -
The M-1 steel pot helmet is one of the most utilitarian designs produced for a U.S. helmet and one of the longest lasting. Many news reels and pictures show the GI's using their helmet to cook, dig, carry water and many other functions.

This helmet might be one of the most recognizable icons of WWII. Approximatelly 8 million helmets were produced during WWII by a large number of companies.

The design of the helmet consisted of a steel outer shell with a separate fiber glass inner shell, known as the liner. The outer shell came with a fixed canvis chin strap while the liner had a lighter duty, removable leather chin strap. What makes the helmet featured here more interesting is the use of a cardboard base liner. This design was done in very small numbers. as one might expect, cardboard does not hold up well to the rigors of combat. The liner was soon discarded. The cardoard helmet limer is known as the Hawley liner.

The M-1 helmet was introduced in 1941. The early versions of the helmet had a fixed bail. later on the armed forces figrued out that the failure rate in such design was greater because the force exerted on the bail when the soldier was runing was too much and would cause the bail to break. The seam was located in the front of the helmet.





The following photograph illustrates the fixed bail design. The design consists of a wire-type bracket directly welded to the main body of the helmet. This is a rigid approach that does not allow any give when in motion.

The chin strap was looped to the bracket and stitched closed. The example featured here has a figure eight pattern.



The M-1 Helmet

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  1. FAQ's
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  8. Purchasing WWII US Headgear



The shape and characteristics of the Hawley liner were identical to those of the fibergalss counterpart. The differences were the material of construction and the absence from teh front metal gromet, which is where insignia could be placed.

The suspension was made of a series of canvis straps. The sweatbad has a leather cover. The whole assembly was riveted to the body of the liner. Small buckles were provided to adjust the suspension. However, doing so was difficult and very clumsy.

The hawley liner was issued in very small numbers during the early days of World War Two.





The following photos show some of the damage that was common to the liner. The areas that were exposed to the most contact showed the problems. For example, the rim of the liner was covered with a thin layer of canvis. This would break apart and show the cardboard itself. This is a serious problem in any wet weather situation.















The inside of the liner is stamped with black ink. The information reads "Liner-Fibre - M1". The post for the leather chin strap is riveted directly to the liner. As it can be seen here, the leather chin strap was secured to the post by using a small wire hook which snapped into place when pressure was applied.

The buckle and hook design for the regular canvis chin strap is also visible in the photo below. The M-1 helmet continued to use the same basic chin strap design until the helmet was discontinued in the 1980's. The only differences between the various years consisted on the shape of the hardware.









US headgear in general is currently being reproduced. It is becoming more difficult to be able to tell the fake ones from the real ones because the quality of the reproductions is improving. The collector must become familiarized with the construction style and materials employed in the manufacturing of this headgear. Attention to the details is critical in order to be able to determine the authenticity of the collectible.



If you have an interest is seeing other American military headgear, you can do so by going to our US Military headgear identification guide. Where we cover Army, Navy, Army Air Force and other organizations.




PRICING GUIDE INFORMATION

The value for the US Army helmets and other military antiques and collectibles is provided as a means to educate the collector community and individuals who have a general interest on the field. The following is an estimated value. Prices may vary in every state and every country. This service is provided courtesy of MilitaryItems.com . The source for military antiques and collectibles in the web.

Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Value $340.00 $350.00 $375.00 $440.00 $470.00
Availability Rare Rare Rare Rare Rare
Invest Grade A A A A A


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