WWII Era M-1 "Fixed Bale" Helmet with Unique Card and Flame Design
This M-1 has all the components of an early World War II issued helmet, but the hand-painted exterior brings a uniqueness unlike any other. The king of diamonds and red flames have unknown significance other being a work of art. It appears that the paint was done during the post-WWII era, but a specific period is uncertain. Westinghouse manufactured the liner and it is completely intact. The shell has “fixed” chinstrap loops, a front seam stainless steel rim, and an olive drab chinstrap with early cast brass buckle. These attributes combine to give the helmet a 1943 or earlier production date. However, the cast brass buckle was the first type used on the M-1 so this helmet could have been produced as early as 1941.1 Obviously, the helmet’s painted exterior is a quite unique work of art. Originally painted olive drab, it is dominantly painted with a one-eyed king of diamonds playing card on the front. Red flames outlined in yellow extend out from the card and engulf the remainder of the helmet. Fields of black are used to separate the flames. Furthermore, the inside of the shell has been spray painted silver. The artwork appears to be of post-WWII origins, possibly Vietnam era, and the flame design has striking resemblances to the U.S. Army 119th Infantry Division’s insignia. Except for black outer paint, the liner is consistent with a 1943-manufactured Westinghouse liner. The suspension is made of olive drab herringbone twill fastened by green steel “A” washers. All the liner components are intact including the headband, neckband, and chinstrap.
|United States||World War II|
|Infantry Helmet||1941 — 1988|
|McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company|