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WW2 US M1917A1 Steel Helmet – Wake, Corregidor & Bataan

WW2 US M1917A1 Steel Helmet – Wake, Corregidor & Bataan

$375.00
Product code: 32

Availability: SOLD

Quick Overview:

An original US manufactured Second World War M1917A1 Transitional Steel Helmet stamped ZB53 and fitted with its complete revised suspension system. The helmet is finished in its original olive drab ‘sawdust’ textured anti reflective paint finish. 

Details

An original US manufactured Second World War M1917A1 Transitional Steel Helmet stamped ZB53 and fitted with its complete revised suspension system. The helmet is finished in its original olive drab ‘sawdust’ textured anti reflective paint finish.

This is a complete and original example of a WW2 US M1917A1 Steel Helmet in museum quality condition. Also known as the “Kelly” or “Bataan” helmet by collectors, the M1917A1 was a gap filler between the WWI M1917 and the WWII M1 Helmet. It is a modified M1917 with improved liner, suspension, and chinstrap. It was this helmet that most US Soldiers and Marines wore at the outbreak of World War 2 even though it was already obsolete by this time. With the USMC the M1917A1 helmet saw action on Wake island and Bataan

In 1917, when the US entered WWI a new model helmet was adopted. The M1917 was a copy of the British ‘Brodie’ helmet but it soon became apparent that the design had some major flaws, of which poor side and rear protection and its innate instability were the most significant. To address this second issue a new suspension system was designed, and in early 1936 a Field Modification Order was dispatched, ordering that all M1917 helmets were to be fitted with the new suspension setup and a new chinstrap. These modified helmets were designated M1917A1 by the US military. The new suspension system was made of steel strips, padded with leather and with a leather pad in the crown. The new chinstraps were made of khaki webbing, and closed with a hook and arrow buckle. The same chinstrap would later be fitted to the new M1 helmet. It was looped through the bales of the shell and then sewn to the loops fixed to the suspension itself.

As the US moved closer to war the Rock Island Arsenal issued a contract in 1940 to the McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Corporation for approximately 2 million M1917A1 helmets. After 900.000 new helmets had been delivered the rest of the contract was terminated in favour of the new M1 combat helmet. The helmets of the 1940 contract have "17A" stamped behind the rim seam. The absence of that mark on this helmet indicate that it is one of the originally converted types.  Although a throwback to WWI and considered obsolete at the time, the M1917A1 helmet was the primary combat helmet for the US forces in early WWII.  For interest 2 pictures of US Marines in the Pacific wearing these helmets are attached, one of which shows Marines wearing a mix of M1917A1 and M1 helmets in early 1942.

The M1917A1 helmet was made of manganese steel painted lusterless olive drab, with a sawdust anti-reflective texture. A leather liner with hair-filled pads and two-piece canvas webbing chinstrap (with brass hook and buckle) made the updated version far more comfortable and sturdier than the M1917 original. A small nut at the apex of the helmet holds the liner in place. The M1917A1 weighs just over 1kg.

This particular example which is stamped with the production code ZB53 and is still finished in its original US O/D Olive Drab sand textured painted finish patinated consistent with age and use (see pictures).  The suspension system and chinstrap are complete and in museum quality condition. The helmet has not been restored.

From Australia, this US M1917A1 Steel Helmet is one of the best and most original WW2 helmets I have come across.  If you only want the very best in your collection, this ‘museum quality’ example of a type worn by US forces at the outbreak of WW2 is it.  It’s a beaut.

Additional Information

Weight (kg) 1.5000
Country of Origin United States
Pattern M1917A1 Steel Helmet (ZB 53)
Maker McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Corporation
Year of Manufacture (circa) 1940