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An Interesting Altered M-1 Flak Helmet


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#1 daniel griffin

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

I recently bought this interesting MI helmet with side hammered out to accommodate ear phones.

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#2 daniel griffin

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:42 PM

liner

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#3 ETO

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:53 PM

Greetings Daniel: That is a GREAT helmet. Superb example of a modified M1 used by the air crews of the USAAF. I've been looking for one for a long time and you supplied a real "gem" for us to view. Congrats on a top shelf acquisition
Best Regards
Zeke

#4 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

My guess would be it was never meant to be worn with the standard M1 liner, but maybe the leather helmet with earphones? And by the looks of the back of the shell being cut up higher, I would also guess this was designed that way to be worn more comortable while in a prone position. Just a guess though.

Very nice!!

Troy

#5 Ronnie

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

I think this was modified by cutting and welding this onto the helmet. I can't see how this could be hammered.
Ronnie

#6 aef1917

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:04 AM

I think this was modified by cutting and welding this onto the helmet. I can't see how this could be hammered.
Ronnie


I've had this helmet in-hand, and it's definitely not welded.

#7 Bugme

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:20 AM

These were not welded, the industrious ground crews developed a screw tool and die for doing this to the M-1. These are as rare and as sought after as the flip bill photographers M-1. This is one of three helmets on my very short list of must have in my collection someday. Worth every penny of whatever you paid Dan!

#8 USMC-RECON0321

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

These were not welded, the industrious ground crews developed a screw tool and die for doing this to the M-1. These are as rare and as sought after as the flip bill photographers M-1. This is one of three helmets on my very short list of must have in my collection someday. Worth every penny of whatever you paid Dan!


Can you tell us what was meant to be worn under this kind of modified shell? and who used it?

Troy

#9 aef1917

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:04 AM

Can you tell us what was meant to be worn under this kind of modified shell? and who used it?

Troy


These were worn over the flight helmet and earphones. There are a lot of variations, since they were all field expedients. Some have half-moon cutouts and some have rounded bumps as Third Herd noted above. There's one in Reynosa's M1 book which has had a flight helmet permantently attached to it.

They were used by bomber crewmen before the m3 came into service in 1943.

#10 Sabrejet

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:24 AM

Initially, the USAAF's technical people devised a technique involving a screw-jack to stretch M1 shells in order to create enough clearance for them to be worn over flight helmets/headsets. Their liners were also cut away to accommodate the receivers. Several variants exist...some remaining examples of which had "nose art" designs applied. As aef1917 says, this led directly to the M3...essentially just a factory-modified M1 shell.

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Edited by Sabrejet, 23 January 2013 - 06:28 AM.


#11 LarryM3

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

Spectacular example of the early field modified flak helmet Daniel !! These were designed to be worn without the M1 liner, they were placed directly overtop the standard leather A-11 flight helmet. I believe your example was intended to be worn in reverse with the cut-away portion over the wearers brow so as not to interefere with vision.

Larry

#12 cutiger83

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 07:33 AM

I found this article in the May 1944 Air Force Journal. I thought some of you might like to see pictures of the screw jack in use.

 

 

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#13 cutiger83

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 07:35 AM

Close ups

 

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#14 Government Issue

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 11:01 AM

Really great find Daniel. I've never seen another like it. I spoke with the son of a pilot who was in the 91st BG. He said his dad only occasionally talked about his experiences. He was on 26 missions. His dad would always find it funny when pilots were portrayed wearing crusher caps. He told his son after the first raid he went on over Europe, he and everyone of his crew acquired M1 helmets and wore those on every single mission they flew following. From what he said, apparently he never saw any of the flak helmets / vests during his time overseas. He just had a standard issue M1. 

 

Cat thanks for taking the time to find that article, too. It was a good read. Interesting to see the modified a hawley liner. Anyone know any reason they refer to it as a "summer liner"?




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