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Near Mint Fixed Bale M1 Combat Helmet with Hawley Liner
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DESCRIPTION

An extraordinary example of a very early World War II M1 combat helmet with front seam, fixed bales, and a composition Hawley liner, with the entire set being in an essentially unissued condition and in a state that appears to reflect nothing more than the wear that would come from the set having sat on a storage shelf for decades.

The helmet shell displays the World War II cork infused combat green paint which is very nearly 100% intact, with only minor wear to the edges of the rim and a few small chips that would be expected if other helmets had been stacked on top of this one. There is no discernible heat stamp in the front of the shell, most likely because it was impressed very lightly and was then obscured by the interior paint. The bales are fixed and welded in place. The web chin strap, which has a "raised bar" buckle, is intact and shows no wear. On the right side and right rear exterior of the helmet there are several small light spots which make it appear as though, at some point in the helmet's life, a light colored liquid dripped from an upper shelf and left several short streaks on the exterior. These are not particularly distracting and might well be capable of being cleaned off of the shell.

The liner in the helmet is the pressed cardboard composition M! Hawley system. The Hawley liners were notoriously fragile and are almost always found in a state that reflects their fragility, with multiple chips and cracks. This example, however, is in as untouched a state as the helmet shell itself. The liner has no chips or cracks; the lighter green interior webbing is completely clean; and the interior leather components show only the mild toning that comes with age. The leather liner chin strap is present and is shows the typical signs of age dryness and creases from use where it was placed over the front rim of the helmet shell, but otherwise this Hawley liner is a magnificent example that, like the helmet shell itself, gives no indications that it was ever worn. Aside from the previously mentioned light spots to the exterior helmet shell, this M1 set looks very little different than the day in late 1941 or early 1942 when it was produced.