What is more important in the battlefield than a soldier’s body? His mind. For over forty years the helmet used by military forces was the M1 (search “M1 helmet” in top right corner), or GI helmet. It first came into use during World War II, and it remained the standard issue military helmet until 1985, when the PASGT helmet took over.
The GI helmet was first made in 1942, its predecessors being the Brodie helmet, which had been used by the US since 1917. There are two components to the GI helmet: the shell and the lining. The shell is made from steel, and the lining has several components, including a leather chin strap.
The helmet was originally designed to protect gunners who targeted aircraft from enemy fire. There were variations made to the basic M1 model by the Air Force, such as the M3, which enabled airmen with earphones to wear the helmets by featuring cutouts and on the sides of the helmets and plates covering the earphones. The M5 was another variation of the M1, which had larger plates that covered the earphones.
There were 20 million helmets made during its entire life, but original models have become rare. Be sure to get your GI helmet (search “M1 helmet” in top right corner) now before they become impossible to find.
Written by Craig Kent, member of the Best Military Surplus team.