WWII M2 "D-Bail" Airborne Helmet & Inland Paratrooper Liner Set
This is an original early-WWII M2 "D-bail" paratrooper helmet set. The helmet's heat stamp of 229A dates its production to July 1942. During WWII, McCord Radiator & Manufacturing Co. produced roughly 20 million steel helmet shells. Of those 20 million, just 392,000 were made as the paratrooper M2 version, with some estimating the production total at a much lower 118,000. These helmets had a significant design flaw; any considerable pressure put on the loops, would often cause them to snap at the welds. On this example, one of the welds on the wearer's right side loop has failed. Thankfully, the remaining weld is still strong, however we do not recommend resting the helmet on its loops. The helmet retains its original olive drab factory finish, cork texture, and brass-buckled khaki paratrooper chinstraps. The helmet's interior is named to a paratrooper with the initials "H.R." It has recently been paired with an original Inland paratrooper liner. Interestingly, Westinghouse was the only company that provided ready-to-use airborne helmet liners during the war; each of the 75,000 Inland produced airborne liners began their lives as infantry models and were later converted by McCord prior to being issued. The liner features non-painted steel A-washers, factory-installed khaki A-yokes, steel wire buckles, and brass sockets to accommodate the corresponding snaps on the shell's chinstrap. These features date the liner's production to 1943. The khaki suspension is strong and intact. It comes complete with an original headband, neckband, and green-buckled leather liner strap. The leather components have deteriorated with time. The liner's exterior retains its original factory finish, with hand-painted rank insignia of a second lieutenant over that of a sergeant. Due to limited production numbers, the design flaw, as well as having to endure a war, original M2 helmets are incredibly scarce.