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were US M1917 helmets all converted to M1917A1 during WWII?


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did they still keep using the earlier M1917 helmets during the early WWII years? or did they replace all the liners with the improved M1917A1 liners?

 

it appears that some units were still using the old M1917 with the old WW1 style liner

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did they still keep using the earlier M1917 helmets during the early WWII years? or did they replace all the liners with the improved M1917A1 liners?

 

it appears that some units were still using the old M1917 with the old WW1 style liner

 

I believe the M1917 had mostly been replaced by the M1917A1 by Dec 1941 and all I've seen were WW1 helmets upgraded to the new specification. I've never seen a new factory made M1917A1 although I know they exist.

 

It seems that the changeover to the M1 helmet happened quickly. Even the Marines had them by the time they landed on Gualalcanal in Aug 1942 and if they had them you know the Army did.

 

Greg

Greg Robinson "marine-kabar"

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This is a bit out of my area of specialty and there is likely, with the popularity of U.S. helmets, someone that has an answer. Let me state that from the photographs I have examined the M1917 helmet was extensively withdrawn from service and replaced by the M1917A1. The process of rebuilding the helmets was probably such that units turned in the M1917 helmets in exchange for M1917A1s. The M1917s turned in then went to rebuild.

 

It is clear that the regular Army and Marine Corps had M1917A1s in the late 1930s and that the Phillipine Army had also been re-equiped. If there were any M1917 helmets in service they were probably in National Guard supply rooms and federalized NG units may have brought them on activization.

 

The production of the M-1 helmet was extrodinary and of course prioritized to units designated for OS deployment. I don't recall seeing images of any soldiers involved with the landings in North Africa in June 1942 with M1917A1s. However the Marine and Army troops deployed to Iceland and Britain in 1942 had M1917A1s.

 

As previously stated the Marines that landed on Guadalcanal in August 1942 were all equiped with the M-1 helmet, but of course still had M1903 rifles.

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this WWII soldier / sailor with an M1 Garand appears to be wearing the older M1917? look at the chin strap, I dont see the web strap with a hook that should be visible from his left side if it's the M1917A1? since the photo is B&W it's hard to tell if thats a leather chin strap or tan web? I just noticed the bolt handle on his M1 Garand is on the wrong side? the photo negative must be on the wrong side ?

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It looks like they flipped the negative on this one! Either that or that is one rare variant! LOL I can't tell if that chin strap is web or leather, it kind of looks like leather to me. I do know that the Army in the interwar years converted a ton of helmets over to the new liner/chinstrap configuration, mostly I'd imagine because budget didn't allow for new steel. Its a shame that the shadow is covering up by his ear, we would know for sure then!

 

John

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does that make the chinstrap look any better?

post-1584-1197462612.jpg

to me it looks as if the chin strap has some slight glare on it from the sun, which i would think could point to leather

 

if someone has the original and did i real detailed scan of the head area it might help.

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It would seem that virtually all helmets actually issued and in use at the beginning of the war were converted. I would surmise that there were probably quite a few in various storage facilities that were not yet converted, but I doubt they were intended for issue as is. If one realizes that even the Philippine Army of the Commonwealth period before the war apparently had the converted 17A1 helmets by the start of the war, it certainly looks like the old liner was out by the start. But if there is one thing I have learned, one can never say never!

 

CB

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It would seem that virtually all helmets actually issued and in use at the beginning of the war were converted. I would surmise that there were probably quite a few in various storage facilities that were not yet converted, but I doubt they were intended for issue as is. If one realizes that even the Philippine Army of the Commonwealth period before the war apparently had the converted 17A1 helmets by the start of the war, it certainly looks like the old liner was out by the start. But if there is one thing I have learned, one can never say never!

 

CB

 

I agree, the same thing with WWII M1 helmets with fixed bales & sewn on WWII chin straps still being issued during the Vietnam war and later, they didnt change all the chin straps to the clip on type

 

it's possible they may have used up existing stocks until they were unservicable before replacing with new liners

 

the army & marines had a a higher priority to upgrade the liners because of the infantry and combat personel

 

the navy probably had lower priority on needing to convert the liners on their existing stocks

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