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Did I acquire a TS-3 steel helmet today?


Der Finn
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Picked this up today at the local flea market just as the dealer's wife set it down. Dealer said his father was a supply sergeant in the Army and the helmet was from 1946 (?). Everything the dealer had was post-WW2, except this helmet. The helmet is marked to the First Company, Governor's Foot Guard. Is it a TS-3 experimental, gentlemen? Opinions appreciated. BTW, helmet is almost MINT and came with Firestone liner. Chinstrap fasteners are non-magnetic, appear to be blackened brass. More pics to follow.

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Liner chinstrap was very dry and broke when I removed liner; it has slightly discolored the steel helmet shell from years of resting in place.....

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GeneralCheese

Don't normal fixed bails have sewn on chinstraps?

 

They do, but rivets on straps were somewhat common to either reattach them or reinforce them. Super nice shell though!

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GeneralCheese

It's a post-WWII helmet used by the Governor's Foot Guard of Connecticut.

 

No the helmet itself is early-WWII, but may have been used post-war.

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No the helmet itself is early-WWII, but may have been used post-war.

 

I suppose that could have been clearer. It is a WWII helmet modified post-war for use by the Governor's Foot Guard of Connecticut.

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aef1917,

Puzzled as to why you think this was modified for post-war use by the Foot Guard. The Foot Guard has been around since 1771. Couldn't this helmet have been issued to them early in the war? It appears to have original paint to me.. Also, in "Steel Pots" by Chris Arnold, the rivet-on chinstraps are shown on pages 100 and 101. Just asking..........

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aef1917,

Puzzled as to why you think this was modified for post-war use by the Foot Guard. The Foot Guard has been around since 1771. Couldn't this helmet have been issued to them early in the war? It appears to have original paint to me.. Also, in "Steel Pots" by Chris Arnold, the rivet-on chinstraps are shown on pages 100 and 101. Just asking..........

because thats what "1stCoG.F.G." stands for. it was used by them. but idk if its modified maybe repainted and or had new straps riveted instead of sewing them on.

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Postwar surplus is much more likely than a ceremonial state militia being issued with brand-new M1 helmets while regular Army personnel were still wearing the m1917a1 well into 1944. Every G.F.G. marked m1 I've seen has had the riveted straps, which strongly suggests that either refurbished surplus helmets themselves, or finished up some Army repaints that were lacking straps.

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Postwar surplus is much more likely than a ceremonial state militia being issued with brand-new M1 helmets while regular Army personnel were still wearing the m1917a1 well into 1944. Every G.F.G. marked m1 I've seen has had the riveted straps, which strongly suggests that either refurbished surplus helmets themselves, or finished up some Army repaints that were lacking straps.

the problem being by the end of the war they were producing rear seam helmets. so how could a front seam possibly be post war? unless you mean a helmet that was turned in after the war because thats the only way it could be "post war surplus" but why didnt anyone ask if he could read the heat stamp??

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Why would a TS-3 have a late-war stamped chinstrap buckle, rather than the cast, raised-bar version used on m1917a1 and early m1 helmets?

 

I thought it was well-established that these were post-WWII refurbs.

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Why would a TS-3 have a late-war stamped chinstrap buckle, rather than the cast, raised-bar version used on m1917a1 and early m1 helmets?

 

I thought it was well-established that these were post-WWII refurbs.

well unless im missing something, this is just an M-1 not a TS-3. the chinstraps are obviously not original to the helmet. the TS-3 helmet chinstrap went through the liner, it wasnt until the final variation of the modified helmets that the bales were welded to the shell and then the chinstrap attached just to that. this being the M-1. these straps are not original to the shell and were riveted rather than sewn which is obviously longer to do and more difficult.

 

by liner i mean suspension i dont think the TS-3 had a removable liner and i know for certain it didnt have a leather chinstrap

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Thanks for the video, WW2JAKE! I paused it on the TS-3 and it certainly appears the chinstrap is attached to the liner and not the steel shell (same photo is in Chris Arnold's book); however Chris Arnold also shows a picture of a TS-3 steel shell with riveted straps attached to fixed bails in the same book. I'm confused. Were there early and late versions of the TS-3?

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Thanks for the video, WW2JAKE! I paused it on the TS-3 and it certainly appears the chinstrap is attached to the liner and not the steel shell (same photo is in Chris Arnold's book); however Chris Arnold also shows a picture of a TS-3 steel shell with riveted straps attached to fixed bails in the same book. I'm confused. Were there early and late versions of the TS-3?

my guess is that the book may refer to the the final stage that after being put into service was designated the M-1 meaning the prototype that was accepted though obviously i am not exactly sure. but after further research the TS-3 did NOT have a removable liner and did not have spot welded bales as the M-1 did.

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aef1917 is correct, this is not a TS-3. It is a surplus fixed loop M-1 with replaced chin straps. Many people mistake the riveted chin strap as automatically making the helmet a TS-3 when in fact it is a post war update. I've owned three helmets like this over the years. This method of attaching was used by National Guard, Army and Marine Reserves as well as State Militias all through the 1950's. This rivet attachment was also used by many of our allies in South America who used our surplus. The rivets can be found in various sizes.

Since all the focus is on the strap, it is important to know that the TS-3 can also be found with sewn on straps however, the definitive evidence of the TS-3 being different is the chinstrap loops themselves. The photo of a TS-3 loop shown below is from the Paul Reijnders collection. I hope he'll jump on here to provide more information.

One last thing, Chris Armold's name has an "m" not an "n". :)

TS-3 Loop.JPG

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Paul Reijnders

As Already said, your helmet is not a TS-3. It is a surplus fixed loop M-1 with replaced chin straps.

 

Scott "Bugme" Stevens asked me to jump in, so here is some usefull information.

 

Regards, Paul

 

In late 1940, the United States set out on a policy to have the best equipped army in the world. To meet this goal the United States Army was given the task of developing a new protective helmet for its soldiers. Knowledge gained by observing the events in the then active European war, suggested that the helmet which was used during the first world war would not provide the protection required. The job of developing this new helmet was given to the U.S.Army Infantry Board at Fort Benning, Georgia, The Infantry Board immediately set out to establish a set of characteristics essential for the new helmet te meet. The Infantry Board stated the following in its report :

Research indicates that the ideal shaped helmet is one with a dome-shaped tap and generally following the contour of the head , allowing sufficient uniform head space for indentations, extending down in the front to cover the forehead without impairing necessary vision, extending down on the sides as far as possible without interfering with the use of the rifle or other weapons, extending down the back of the head as far as possible without permitting the back of the neck to push the helmet forward on the head when the wearer assumes the prone position, to have the frontal plate flanged forward to form a cap-style visor, and to have the sides and rear slightly flanged outward to cause to clear the collar opening.

The idea of a helmet and a separate liner had been suggested as early 1932, but research into this goal was halted in that same year as the idea did not seen feasible at the time. With the need for a new helmet in late 1940, the Army again sought a two piece helmet. The reason behind the two piece helmet was that with such an item, the helmet liner could be worn by itself in forward areas in place of he standard garrison cap, and when combat was necessary, the soldier could quickly don the heavy steel body. With this preliminary specification written out, development of the new helmet began in earnest.


STEEL BODY DEVELOPMENT

On 6 January 1941, shortly after the Infantry Board had issued it’s report, the U.S.Army Ordnance Department officially began to attack the problem of developing a new “pot-shaped” helmet.The Ordnance Department began to acquire an assortment of many different types of foreign helmets, then in use in the European war, for ballistic and metallurgical test purpose .At this time the Ordnance department requested the services of the personel at the Metropolitan Museumof Art in New York.
On 7 February 1941 the McCord Radiator and Manufacturing Company of Detroit, Michigan was awarded a contract by the Ordnance Department to produce sample dies and 200 sets of experimental helmet bodies and liners. McCord was awarded this contract since it was the only American company engaged in the production of combat helmets, having been given a contract by the Rock Island Arsenal to produce M-1917A1 helmets for the U.S.Army on 27 November 1940. McCord met the challenge and the manufacture of the 200 sample helmet bodies produced bij the sample dies was begun in March 1941.

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