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History of World War II Helmet Liners


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Another special liner used in World War II was the one produced for jungle troops. These liners were made only by Westinghouse and came from their standard production run. The only unusual aspect was the camouflage paint system developed by Westinghouse. The different camouflage colors were applied by airbrush through templates, using a type of stenciling process. Approximately 10,000 liners could be camouflaged per day. A total of 854,225 jungle troop liners were procured in 1942 and 1943. In March of 1944, painting of the camouflaged liners was discontinued and approximately 300,000 were repainted olive drab. The reason given was that helmet nets were more effective than camouflage paint. This seems rather strange since nets were usually not worn on liners and also the liners were generally inside the steel shell in combat anyhow.

 

Another view of the jungle troop liner.

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A view of the rear.

 

Here is one additional liner. It is a parachutist's liner converted from a Firestone ground troops liner. I don't know whether these liners were converted late in WW II or after the war, perhaps for the Korean War. Firestone was not given a contract to produce parachutist's liners.

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Here is one additional liner. It is a parachutist's liner converted from a Firestone ground troops liner. I don't know whether these liners were converted late in WW II or after the war, perhaps for the Korean War. Firestone was not given a contract to produce parachutist's liners.

 

This liner was originally made early in the war as it had the silver finish on the A-washers. Note that the A-straps are attached by separate rivets. I don't know whether these liners were modified by unit riggers or whether the work was done under contract. All of the parachutist's liners produced during the Korean War and thereafter had the A-straps attached by separate rivets.

 

This concludes my thread on the World War II helmet liner.

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This liner was originally made early in the war as it had the silver finish on the A-washers. Note that the A-straps are attached by separate rivets. I don't know whether these liners were modified by unit riggers or whether the work was done under contract. All of the parachutist's liners produced during the Korean War and thereafter had the A-straps attached by separate rivets.

 

This concludes my thread on the World War II helmet liner.

 

I notice that several members have asked questions. I will attempt to answer them.

 

The Massen manuscript, on Page 10 states regarding the original fiber liner: ...the fiber body was to be made of two shells, each a one-piece rigid fiber form, impregnated with varnish or other water insoluble and water repellent materials, securely cemented together with a suitable thermoplastic or thermosetting material which shall be insoluble in water. Over this body was cemented smoothly a piece of olive drab gabardine or twill... The strength test of the liner proper was that it support, when dry, a load on top of the crown of 100 pounds without failure at rim or sides of the crown.

 

On Page 12 Though procurement continued for a year, the fiber helmet liner was considered unsatisfactory almost from the first. It had extremely high moisture absorption, poor dimensional stability, low strength and poor durabillity. The cloth outer layer was easily frayed, quickly worn through and soon soiled. For its probable length of service, it also was considered to be comparatively expensive, unit prices for the liner, with suspension and chinstrap installed, ranging from $1.4878 to $1.54.

 

Someone asked if these photos are of liners in my collection. Yes they are. I have been fortunate to acquire some of these specimens.

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The earliest liners modified for parachutists were produced by the McCord Radiator & Manufacturing Company from standard Hawley fiber liners. The first contract was signed on 24 January 1942 for the modification of 8,000 liners. These modified fiber liners are extremely rare today as very few survived. The first plastic liners for parachutists were made by Inland Division of General Motors under a contract for 75,000.

 

 

hi all

i did see a general fibre para conversion on ebay a few years ago. it looked ok to me and had i the moneyat the time i would have bid on it, but this day and age who knows.

pdm

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