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Unusual Flight Helmet


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#1 MarkUSA

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 03:37 PM

  Anyone care to speculate as to what type of helmet this is?

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#2 phantomfixer

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 04:52 PM

Looks to be a USN H5 with a USAF suspension, and field expedient camouflage...digging the crossed swords...air cav?



#3 unclegrumpy

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 06:16 PM

The aqua Captain's bars are a bit strange.  The camouflage is reminiscent of 1960's model car spray paint colors, and makes me wonder if there are several things going on here, with the last being this might of been in the hands of teenagers.  It is hard to say with this one, but I do know there are a number of good things out there my friends and I messed up attempting to "improve" them.



#4 MarkUSA

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:05 AM

Looks to be a USN H5 with a USAF suspension, and field expedient camouflage...digging the crossed swords...air cav?

   Well done! I concur that it is a H-5 with USAF suspension and (possibly) earphones.



#5 MarkUSA

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 05:14 AM

The aqua Captain's bars are a bit strange.  The camouflage is reminiscent of 1960's model car spray paint colors, and makes me wonder if there are several things going on here, with the last being this might of been in the hands of teenagers.  It is hard to say with this one, but I do know there are a number of good things out there my friends and I messed up attempting to "improve" them.

     What I considered unusual was a USN helmet with USAF webbing and (possibly) avionics. However I must admit that I have no knowledge concerning insignias or how helmets are painted.



#6 Steve B.

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:31 AM

Could the "Captain's" bars be two Lieutenant bars that are tarnished or have verdigris giving them the greenish color?



#7 unclegrumpy

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 08:38 AM

     What I considered unusual was a USN helmet with USAF webbing and (possibly) avionics.

 

The mix of parts is not uncommon with H-5 helmets.  

 

The #28 scratched on the back is a potential clue, because it could indicate a rack or issue number, which could in turn mean that at one point this helmet was not issued to one individual, but checked out as needed.  The Captain's bars...if that is what they are...throw that into question, but not if this helmet had multiple lives.  

 

One thing that could maybe explain the cav sabres, is the flight helmets from this period and the helmets being developed for vehicles have similarities...and Gentex was developing both simultaneously.  It would not be much of a stretch for a very limited production flight helmet to be turned in, and then reused to field test the similar features they were working on for vehicles.

 

This is a helmet that will always have some mystery.  I think it is clear it was a flight helmet, that was then repurposed, that then was maybe repurposed at least a third time...either in a use associated with the military...or maybe with with kids who decided to improve the paint...though the #28 is scratched into the spray paint, so that could mean those artistic teenagers were in the military.


Edited by unclegrumpy, 11 June 2018 - 08:43 AM.


#8 AMT369D

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:32 AM

After giving this a good look, it appears to be a Marine Corp Tanker helmet ( Gentex MC-1) that a leather crown pad (from a "P" helmet) was

laced onto the original web suspension with added MX2088s for earcups (not totally uncommon).

curiously, I must add that the dual mic jacks are not present (H-5) but only one on the right side which is typical MC-1, nor is the

comms switch that's found on the left side of the H5

I think it quite possibly could be a legit "as used" item, especially out of the late 50s!!

Since the shells of both the H5 and the MC-1 were from Gentex and out of the same mold, not hard to transition from one

to the other, albeit difficult nowadays, to acquire all the comms pieces to make a true H5

Gentex also made a motorcycle helmet (H-70) that shares the same shell and web suspension as the H5 and MC-1.

Based on the wide range of mods that went on in the ALSE realm 60 or so years ago, its not unfathomable to

run across an anomaly with the "ridged accepted practice" notion regarding an individual piece now and again.

 

 

Below pics are of a USMC MC-1 set up to resemble an H5.

This one utilizes the same basic helmet components but none of the H5 comms.

Still looks cool with B8s and an Y yoke MS22001, next to the rest on display!

True, authentic H5s are a bit of a rarity to say the least and the folks who have them

are fortunate to have that bit of history.

 

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#9 AMT369D

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:07 AM

couple more photos

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#10 AMT369D

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:07 AM

.

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#11 phantomfixer

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:23 AM

AMT...the OP helmet lacks the "bumps" on the forehead and rear, as found on your MC-1, I am guessing for the suspension mounting

 

 

I think it is a H5..The OP helmet has the leather tabs for the O2 mask with what looks to be factory rivets, the rubber stud for the earphone strings, the two screws on the left and right side for the earphone mounting



#12 AMT369D

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 10:45 AM

"AMT...the OP helmet lacks the "bumps" on the forehead and rear, as found on your MC-1, I am guessing for the suspension mounting"

 

Possible, altho there are several images on the web of H-5's that display varying degrees of "bump" where the webbing rivets are used.

The thing most interesting about the "OP" helmet is that the only comms jack is on the right side, while H-5's were either left and right jacks

w/ switch, or left side only (typical USAF variant). 

MC-1 was equipped with a right side jack, only from Gentex.

Admittedly there is always something odd and even with "provenance" that comes out of the late 40s thru the 60s that can be puzzeling at times,

but I cant ever remember seeing an Air Force H-5 variant with a (non TO'd) single right side comm jack, or any other USAF flight helmet that had a jack on the

right side. As for the MX2088s and string pulls,.. that has been explained as a USAF mod for the 5 and there are other helmets out there with that same installation.

Oh, but then there's the leather tabs & oem rivets! Yep, that is probably the single most interesting aspect of this enigma helmet, and again leaves you wondering......

At the very least, it is a very cool piece and would always be welcome in my collection. ;-)

BTW,..There is a groovy Bill Jack flight helmet from the 343rd Recon Sqdrn with A-13, on the "infamous" auction site that is equally cool.
 


Edited by AMT369D, 30 October 2019 - 10:50 AM.



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