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St. Clair M1 Set

Article about: andy thats a really nice helmet you have there ! the blood thing is a bit strange but still cool !

  1. #1
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    Default St. Clair M1 Set

    Since I've shown my Hood Rubber set, I thought I'd show it's low pressure "brother" set I have, the St. Clair.
    This one is interesting for a couple of reasons.One is the possible blood spatter on the inside of the front seamed fixed bale pot. If it is blood, then the liner was obviously not being worn at the time. Is it blood? I'm not sure, and would ask for your opinions?
    The heat stamp on this McCord pot dates to around August 1943. I've checked under high magnification, and the pot only seems to have one layer of paint, this is quite dark, but that seems down to natural weathering, not an overpaint. Also, due to the fraying of the chinstraps at the bales it seems the pot may have been near salt water during it's lifetime, and maybe this could have had an impact on the paint colour. I've seen this type of chinstrap fraying before on Navy and Marine helmets too.
    The darkish greens shown in the photos of the pot and liner are pretty much true to life colour, though maybe just a touch on the dark side compared to full natural light.
    For help in identification of a St Clair liner, they have a shallow dip cut out on each side near the liner chinstrap fixing to help it fit snugly under the pot bales. The Hood Rubber low pressure liners do not have these, or the large yellow "SC" for St. Clair painted in the liner dome! Sometimes though, the yellow "SC" may be worn away, or the seller on an auction site has not photographed the mark, then the Hood and St Clair can look similar due to their low pressure construction. The shallow dip helps identify the St Clair in that case from it's rarer counterpart. I've tried to show this shallow cut-away in the photos.
    Also this liner seems to have it's original factory paint, which is rare to see. It seems to be a darker green than other liner types, and is rough textured with what looks like a fine sand type substance.
    The liner chin strap would insist on looking like a Euroclone strap tonight, those being of a lighter brown in colour than the US dark russet brown. This is because, I believe, that I was using my new "daylight" Chinese photography lamps indoors, and is therefore my fault! It really is dark russet in "true" daylight Honest!
    The photos are all hi-res, so will enlarge very well (twice), except the really close macro's.
    Enough nattering, here's the pics.
    All comments on my theories above, or photo quality welcome.

    Best Regards,

    Andy
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    Last edited by aj4010; 01-13-2013 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Grammar

  2. #2

    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Please let me start by complementing you on what I believe is a lifetime of dedication towards the iconic "M1"helmet.....your collection shows very fine examples of all early "M1"infantry production lids.some as we know are extremely rare to say the least!!!!.I personally find the whole concept of collecting very controversial at best....we rely on what we read in books etc...and yet they themselves are very contradictary for example-"helmets of the ETO"clearly state that in july 43 all brass production on the chinstraps was dropped and the IRON variant was produced in both raised and flat buckle until may 44 but in the very same book it clearly shows a fixed bale McCord with a heat treatment number of "660"around sept/oct 43 with a raised brass buckle which apparently stopped being produced some 2/3 months earlier,so brings the McCord heat chart into question?in regards to its entire accuracy.do you have any fixed baled schlueter lids?also do members here contrive to except that "HAWLEY" and "GENERAL FIBRE" were in fact two completely seperate production companies therefore "GENERAL FIBRE" would then be the rarest of all WW2 liners with a total of just 120,000 produced.....I forgot to ask in your collection thread whether the OFFICER M1's were ETO with follow me stripes?do you own any "DECAL"lids?or AIRBORNE?A wonderful collection to bootall the best Jake.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Wow Jake, a lot of questions!
    Ok, these are my views only.
    As regards the brass buckle issue, yes I do believe that they did stop production due to shortages. The point here I think, and I have mentioned it before is the supply system. It had to be a huge system due to the sheer number of helmets ordered. How many brass buckles had already been made when production stopped? How long did it take to use up the stocks? Was the production, supply and particularly the parts storage system an organised FIFO or ad hoc?
    The McCord chart is not that accurate, and is approximate in it's prediction. The problem is with us I believe, the collectors who have taken to quoting a rough estimate system as some kind of bible these days. I'd be happy if it would guarantee to tie the production date down to the year!
    As regards the Hawley issue, well I cannot speak for other collectors, but to me the term Hawley seems to have become a generic term amongst ourselves, meaning both kinds, just a laziness that I have been guilty of. Yes, I think the General Fiber liners are very rare indeed.
    My "Follow Me" stripes have suffered the indignity of the over-paint unfortunately, and I am highly suspicious of perfectly painted M1's that are about, unless they have a rock solid provenance, so I tend to avoid the "painted ladies." Even with the ones I have, it is almost impossible to say what is 100% original, or even when in it's long lifetime the paint was applied. UV light helps, but that is not infallible.
    So far, I have successfully avoided finding an airborn lid that I could buy, but then again I do still have a house!

    Thank you for your kind words,

    Best Regards,

    Andy

  4. #4

    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Another talking point is this chinstrap buckle...what do the guys here think of it in terms of it being Brass or Iron?.....Jake.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    I'll go with blackened steel on that one

    Best Regards,

    Andy

  6. #6

    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Thank you andy for valuable input..I put this buckle up purely as another well have a pop at the "helmets of the eto book"it is stated that steel was only used on some very early "J"hooks but never on buckles....so when i see late war lids(those made after june 44)they appear to have a steel buckle and yet the book claims that brass resumed in june 44 and therefore how can this possibly be made of steel?also this buckle is from a lid heat stamped 279 which as you know is 1942 and again it is stated that only the raised brass buckle was availible until the end of 42 with the arrival of the flat brass version...so steel being used in 42?perhaps they simply forgot to mention it,or maybe there's a lot we really still dont know about "M1"s thanks Jake.

  7. #7

    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    On the case of the blood stain, it looks too glossy to be paint of that time. IMO it looks like blood.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    reference books as i see are only a guide & not to be taken as gospel as theres always new info cropping up in this hobby even the authors of these books will tell you this.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Many were factory refurbed later in their lives I believe, fixed bales being replaced with swivel etc, and straps replaced too.
    I have a few OD7 straps on early lids, although again according to "the book" both helmet producers had a run of darker OD7 webbing early on in their production cycle for a short time.
    The book is a general guide only I think to what must have been a massive production run, which could not be turned off and on easily around a specific date, if you consider the many sub-contractors involved in the delivery system and the communication problems in managing it that there must have been. Clearly, evidence in hand contradicts some of the information in the books.
    All good fun though! It would be a bit boring if the experts were right 100% of the time. We'd have nothing to talk about here, and everybody would agree on everything.

    Best Regards,

    Andy
    Last edited by aj4010; 01-16-2013 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Presentation

  10. #10

    Default Re: St. Clair M1 Set

    Thanks Nick and Andy do you have a lot of books?if so is there a similar train of thought with all the authors or are they all very differant as I only have the one mentioned previously....cheers Jake.

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