WWII US Army M-1 Painted 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.
The helmet is composed of a metal shell and a separate liner with a fiberglass shell. Both shells are
illustrated on the pictures below. Notice that the fiberglass shell has a metal grommet in the
front-center, this feature is known as the eyelet. This opening is where a rank insignia could be placed.
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 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 was too much. A switch was made to the swivel bail. The flexibility of this last
feature coped much better with any forces applied to the weld spot.
The item featured here is a WWII M-1 helmet liner.
The liner is made of fiberglass. It has a front metal grommet known as the "eyelet". This feature
allows the soldier to secure rank insignia to the helmet. This practice was discontinued after it
was discovered that snipers could target the officers by simply looking at the helmet.
The liner has several paint marks applied to the body. The name "Marble" has been applied to the
front. This was more than likely the owner's last name. A rank has also been painted just above
A vertical stripe runs across the back. This is known as the "leadership stripe" because it was a
way in which soldiers could figure out who the leader was and could follow him. This practice was
used extensively during amphibiuos landings in WWII.
This page is a recognition and identification guide for US hats and helmets. Multiple
detailed photos of a specific sample are provided. Descriptions point out clearly defined
points that should be noted.
One of the most commonly asked questions is "How much is my US headgear worth?".
A price guide is included here to address this question. The value of the hats and helmets
is reviewed over a period of several years. A trend can be observed. The present worth
of US militaria in the collector's market is illustrated.
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The liner is lighter than the helmet shell. It was not uncommon to see soldiers around camp wearing the
liner alone. A leather chin strap was provided so the soldier could keep the liner on while in movement.
The chin strap was thin. It had a black wire clip at each end. The clip was attached to the
chin strap post
riveted to the inside of the liner.
The suspension was secured to the liner. It consisted of a series of criss-crossing canvis straps that
were riveted to the side of the liner. Another section of canvis, covered with a leather strap, was
employed as a sweat band.
The manufacturer's logo was stamped on the crown section of the liner.
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