US M1 Fixed bale helmet 502nd PIR, Market Garden/Bulge


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This M1 fixed bale helmet has been restored to look like it might have been worn by a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment during Operation Market Garden or the Battle of the Bulge. The helmet was stripped of post war paint then repainted and re-corked the correct shade of WWII olive drab. The 502nd Hearts, and NCO bar were hard rendered as the originals were.

The helmet has a 600 series heating lot number which means the shell was produced in 1943, right before the switch to swivel bale helmets.

The restoration was done to reflect the helmets typical of paratroopers after Normandy. In early 1943 production was ceased on M2 paratrooper helmets. Due to this As early as Normandy there simple wasn’t enough para helmets to go around. The solution was to issue regular Infantry M1 fixed bale helmets pared with a jump liner. In the case here the helmet was fit with a 2nd pattern Westinghouse jump liner. The liner is original WWII production. It was rebuilt with new webbing, original 1944 production blackened A washers, and O.D. #7 Westinghouse A-yokes. The baby durable snaps are Dot marked as all originals were. The O.D. #3 web chinstrap is a variant that came out in 1944 to replace the leather versions. These were quite common by Market Garden. The helmet was then fit with a net, scrim and a 1st aid pouch tied to the front as was frequently done by American paratroopers.

The helmet has been aged and weathered to give a nice battled worn look. If you have ever wanted one of these rare paratrooper helmets, this is a great example without the crazy prices the originals can fetch.

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