WWII M2 "D-Bail" Airborne Helmet & Inland Paratrooper Liner Set
This is an original early-WWII M2 "D-bail" paratrooper helmet set. 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. This example features an original field repair; both loops have been replaced with thick steel wire, which was passed through the factory weld-points, peened over the shell's exterior, and re-welded. The helmet showcases an original field repaint atop the factory finish and cork texture. The repaint has unfortunately concealed much of the heat stamp, however _09A is visibile. Its original brass-buckled khaki paratrooper chinstraps are still present, although one is torn and wedged between the loop and the shell. The helmet 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 paratrooper liners began their lives as infantry models and were later converted by McCord prior to being issued. This liner has 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 chinstraps. These characteristics date the liner's production to 1943. The khaki suspension is fraying throughout and the liner's front brim also exhibits a wartime repair. It comes complete with an original headband and neckband. The liner's exterior retains its original factory finish. Due to limited production numbers, the design flaw, as well as having to endure a war, original M2 helmets are incredibly scarce.