Pre-WWII M1917A1 \"Kelly\" HELMET (McCord \'9C\'), Named, Complete, Near Mint For Sale

Pre-WWII M1917A1 \
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Pre-WWII M1917A1 \"Kelly\" HELMET (McCord \'9C\'), Named, Complete, Near Mint:

Pre-WWIIUSMC Army M1917A1 \"Kelly\" Helmet (McCord, stamped ‘9C’),Named,completewith intact LinerandChinstrap!!

Thisexample is a superior‘museum-grade’beauty!

Madeby the McCordRadiator & Manufacturing Co.ofChicago, Illinois before the war between 1936 and May of 1941.

Bataan;Corregidor; Wake Island; Pearl Harbor; Guam; Iceland mission; Sino-Japanese War!

Thiswas the helmet that we went to war wearing.

Pre-WWIMcCordRadiator & Manufacturing,heat stamped \"9C\".Theseweresuppliedto both the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and the Navy. (Aboard ships ofwar, helmets were part of \"ship\'s stores\" for use bylanding parties.) This modified M1917 helmet remained inthe USMC\'s and the Army\'s stateside supply system for the first yearof war.

NOTE:This steel shell is NEITHERoneof the WWI-era American manufactured examples, NORoneofBritish\"Brodie\" MKIor M1917manganeseshells that we acquired from Britain in 1917. This shell was madeimmediately before WWII and modified with a newly designedsteel-spring-frame-and-leather LINER.

Theolder shells were returned to Depots sometime between 1932 and 1936.But the \"Heat/Lot\"number(consistingof either a one or two digit number followed by a letter)establishes THISparticular helmet was one that was manufactured as part of a neworder placed with McCordRadiator & Manufacturing Companyin 1936 for an additional 900,000 shells. That order was interruptedin May 1941 and never completely filled when manufacturing shiftedover to the newly-introduced M1Helmet.

McCordRadiatorcontinued stamping the multi-digit \"Heat/Lot/Batch/CastCode\" numberson the underside of the brim of M1 Helmets, just as they had on theM1917A1 Helmets with numbers ranging from \" single to low2-digits\"to numbers in the \"high700s\" bylate 1943.

NOTE:The WWI-era American-made shells rolled and stamped during late-1917and 1918 did NOThave the one or two-digitsnumbers,but had the following class=\"western\" align=\"left\">UC,YJ, XH, ZA (CrosbyCo.),ZB(WorcesterPressed Steel Co.),ZC(EdwardG. Budd Mfg. Co.), ZD,ZE, ZF, ZG, ZG,ZH,ZJ(Columbian Enameling & Stamping Co.), and ZN.

Thisis the model helmet worn by USMC,Army,and Navypersonnel at PearlHarbor,on Bataan,Corregidor, Wake Island,the USMCcontingentto Iceland,and aboard USNwarships(left in in the flat O.D., or painted \"battleship gray\").It was worn stateside during the first months of the war as well. A number of these M1917A1 McCord contract helmets were also supplied to Chiang Kai-shek\'s Nationalist Chinesetroops during the Sino-Japanese War 1937-1941!


++This recognizable \"tin hat-shaped\" Helmet Shell was whatwas worn in the trenches of the WesternFrontas well as during the SiberianIntervention of 1918-1919to rescue the CzechoslovakLegionin Vladivostok(atwhich time the Helmet was painted snow-camouflage white) in the midstof the Russian civil war in support of the \'WhiteRussian\'forces.

++This was the Helmet shell worn by the \"ChinaMarines\"ofthe 3rdBattalion, 4th Regiment (whohad been offering their time aboard the USSChaumontin the Shanghai estuary) when they marched ashore on Shanghai\'swaterfront Bund in 1927 in response to the plea for protection issuedby Stirling Fessenden,the American chairman of Shanghai\'s InternationalSettlement\'s Municipal Council.Chang Kai Shek\'s NationalistArmyforces in their NorthernExpeditionwere attacking warlords, communists in Northern China, but alsoEuropean, Japanese, and American citizens.

++Photographs exist of U.S.Marineswearing this M1917 shell (with both the Matte Sawdust finish as wellas the glossy finish) with the Leather Chinstrap during clashes withJapanese at SoochowCreek andthe SinzaBridgeaslate as 1937.

++This is also the Helmet shell worn by the American RegularArmygarrison(Infantry,26th Cavalry, Coast/Harbor Defense of Subic and Manila Bay,etc.) and thePhilippineScoutsof the PhilippineDepartmentin the 1920s and 1930s before the introduction of this modifiedM1917A1\"Kelly\" Helmet withthe improved Liner and Web Chinstrap.


+This well-preserved McCordRadiatorDepot-modified example ;was issued to an infantry officer with the 53rd Infantry Regiment but remains free of conspicuoussigns of wear or abuse! As mentioned above, this is NOTthe \"Brodie\" Mark 1 shell which was made of thelighter British21 Gauge Steel, but the heavier AmericanM1917modelmade of heavier 19GAUGE non-magnetic Manganese Steel).

+The ChinstrapBails (or Loops) areNOTthelighter wire British \"Brodie\" bails, but the heavier 12Gauge Iron Wire usedby American contractors. Also the bails are attached with steelHarnessRivets andNOTBritish\"Split\" Rivets



+ZEROdents or rust!!


+ ZERO paint loss. The original, depot-applied, rough-textured \"SAWDUST\"EXTERIOR PAINT isexcellent condition, showing only the gently \'patina\' of careful wearand storage!


+TheMcCordRadiator \"Heat/Batch/Lot/CastCode\" number,\"9C\",stampedon the underside of the rim is clearly visible upon carefulinspection beneath the O.D. paint.

+The steel TRIMonthe Brim is secured at the seam with \"oval\"shapedpunch marks, characteristic of McCordRadiatorhelmets.

+The circular leather, horsehair-filled CROWN/DOME PADis INTACTand undamaged, unstained from perspiration and correctly andperfectly laced beneath the tongues of the Liner to the steel-spring Frame.

+The original gray WOOL-FELTBANDis still present beneath the Leather Liner!

+The four-tongued leather LINERisintact and has never been oiled. It is remarkably clean, entirelyfree ofmajorperspiration stains, stenciling,orexteriorstamps. The Liner displays the typical \'patina\' of AGE SPOTTING. The narrow leather LACEhas been correctly threaded through the four bare steel EYELETSand adjusted for wear!

+Beneath one of the tongues is the black-ink-stamped \"flamingbomb\" logosof the ORDNANCECORPS,but Ihavenot unlaced the tongues of the leather to photograph the “ordnancebomb” stamp for fear of damaging the almost-century-old leather.There ishandwritten name/rank/unit andin ¼” lettering is the name of an officer, a First Lieutenant, with the 53rd Infantry Regiment:



+ During WWII the 53rd Infantry Regiment, composed of Selective Service, men was a part of the 7th INF DIV The 53rd was sent to Alaska during the Aleutian Island Campaign and the battle for the Attu and Adak Island to counter the Japanese threat.

On 31 August 1942 American forces attacked Adak Island after scouting it two days earlier. To keep the Japanese on Kiska occupied, missions were flown there by bombers from the Eleventh Air Force. They were escorted by fighter aircraft, including P-38s from Umnak over 600 miles away

+The original hemispherical NUTand its LOCKWASHER(that secure the steel liner frame to the shell) is present

+ZEROfraying or cuts to distinctive mustard-khaki WEBCHINSTRAP withthe \'box stitching\' for the J-Hooks.One minor and NEGLIGIBLE RUST STAINS from the blackened steel KEEPER which typically occurs on 99% or these helmets.

+Theunique brass CASTCHINSTRAP BUCKLE retainsits finish and is in perfect condition.



The artillery and small arms fire ofWorld War I caused disproportionate head wounds that awakened theneed for a steel helmet for Allied troops. The first to issue helmetswere the French forces followed by the British and Americans. Thefirst US Army protective helmet was the British Mk I, theshallow-dome British helmet designed by John L Brodie and issued in1915 to British forces. The Mk I was adopted by the U.S. since theBritish could furnish helmets while the U. S. was still setting upproduction. The Mk I, with an American modification to thesuspension system and a different metal alloy, was designated as theUS Model M1917 steel helmet, issued to U.S. Soldiers andMarines serving in France as the AEF.

The M1917 helmet was made ofmanganese steel with a fixed liner and leather chinstrap with slidingbuckle. The leather/felt/netting liner had an integral suspensionthat separated the wearer\'s head from the steel dome but did notprovide much comfort. The M1917 was painted lusterless olivedrab, with a sawdust anti-reflective texture. Individual unitspermitted other color schemes, paint and markings, although drillingthe helmet to attach insignia was prohibited after drilling was foundto weaken it.

By February 1918. 700.000 Americanmade M1917s had been delivered. By the end of WW I, on 11November 1918, more than 2,700,000 American M1917 helmets hadbeen produced.

In 1936,the M1917A Transition Helmet was produced by refurbishment andretrofit of M1917 models. The M1917A used the M1917steel shell and incorporated suspension and chin strap changes thatwere later standardized as the M1917A1.


DonovanWebster, from the SMITHSONIANMAGAZINE,May 16, 2017

How the Military Helmet Evolved Froma Hazard to a Bullet Shield

Noarea of military technology might be more indicative of how changehas come to war than the American military helmet.

“In1917,” Blazich says, “when America entered World War I, we used avariation of the British helmet of the time, called theBrodieHelmet,or Mark1 helmet.”The American helmet was called the M1917.

Effectively an overturned metal dishweighing about 1.3 pounds, with a basic liner to keep a soldier’sscalp from chafing against the helmet’s manganese-steel alloyshell, plus a solid chinstrap that cinched tight, it was a primitivetool at best. As a protective device, Blazich says, it didn’t domuch more than keep explosion-driven rocks off the tops of soldier’sheads while they were in the trenches of France. “Though it couldalso be protective against shrapnel, which was also a big concern inthat war,” Blazich adds.

Yet with no real face and side-skullcoverage, it left troops wide open to facial and cranial injury, andlasting disfigurement from shell fragmentation was an enormousproblem in World War I.

The BrodieHelmet alsohad other inherent dangers. Thechinstrap, which once tighteneddown, was hard to release: so if a Doughboy’s helmet got trapped orlodged between objects the situation could prove fatal, as thesoldier would have a difficult time getting the helmet off and wouldtherefore be trapped and immobile on the field of battle.

Still, despite the M1917’sliabilities, innovation remained slow. In 1936, a slightly moreprotective version was rolled out, calledthe M1917A1, or“Kelly” helmet. It had a more comfortable helmet liner andan improved canvas chinstrap. The intent of these changes was toimprove the helmet’s overall balance and performance. But it stilldidn’t provide the kind of protection from side assault that theWar Department desired.


Helmets and Body Armor inModern Warfare by Bashford Dean PH.D., Curator of Armour,Metropolitan Museum of Art U.S.A. and formerly Chairman of theCommittee on Helmets and Armor, Engineering Division of the NationalResearch Council U.S.A., page 130,

\"The manufacturer was requiredto demonstrate that his product was proof to shrapnel ball, forty-oneto a pound with a striking velocity of 700 foot seconds. This testwas given to ten helmets in the first thousand, three helmets in thesecond and third thousand, and two helmets in each succeedingthousand. No requirement was given as to the depth of indentation orthe deformation allowed, the decision in this regard havingapparently been left to the discretion of the inspecting officer. Allhelmets, however, were to bear the initial of the manufacturerand the heat number of the steel...\"

So, just what are these heat numbersand how do they work? The internet has the following entry under\'Heat Numbers\':

A \'heat number\' is an identificationnumber that is stamped on a material plate after it is removed fromthe ladle and rolled at a steel mill.

Industry quality standards requirematerials to be tested at the manufacturer and the results of thesetests be submitted through a report, also called a Mill Sheet,Mill Certificate or Mill Test Certificate (MTC). The onlyway to trace a steel plate back to its Mill Sheet is the HeatNumber. A heat number is similar to a lot number, which is usedto identify production runs of any other product for quality controlpurposes.

The samearticle also carries a photograph of a modern day heat number in situon a steel plate - a long and fairly complex string of informationwhich clearly means something to those inside the industry, but asfar as I can tell, this number will be imprinted onto the initialrolling of the sheet of steel concerned.


Regardingthe origin of the descriptive adjective \'Kelly\' applied to theM1917A1 Helmet, two possibilities have been suggested:

(1)Director of the Infantry School\'s Department of Experiment,where the bulk of interwar helmet evaluation took place, was Lt.Col. R. H. Kelley. (research courtesy of aef1917,June 9, 2022)

(2) Onethesaurus lists a \'kelly\' as a slang for \"a man\'s stiff hat,as a derby or straw skimmer.\" (research courtesy ofPHANTOMFIXER, June 9, 2022.)

NOTE: Any overage in postagewill be refunded.

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