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Feeling LUCKY. A nice USAAF Type C surprise


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#1 38Driver

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:11 PM

I'll try and keep the long story short, but I'm a bit pumped at the moment :)

 

A while ago I nabbed a USAAF used RAF Type C Flying Helmet off eBay.  It was fairly beaten up with split seams, rock hard ear cups and no chin strap.  But it still had the US receivers in place and I could see a name stenciled inside so I figured it must be saved and I was the one to do it!

 

Once I got the helmet, my next step as always was to see if Stephen Silburn at Sefton Clothing would be willing to do the repairs.  As usual he said send it over.  I was wavering between having the rock hard ear cups replaced along with the stitching repair and the chin strap.   Once Stephen got it in hand, he noticed a bit of yellow paint near the ear cups and also what appeared to be tape residue.  Since often times the US receivers were taped in to keep them in place, that made sense.  He asked if he could attempt to replicate the tape and paint to get it  back to how it would have looked in 44-45.  That made sense to me so he went to work.  

 

While he was doing that I was trying to see if I could connect the name to an ETO pilot.  My first connection and the one I figured it to be was a pilot from the 366th FG flying Jugs with the 9th AF.  I'd found a photo and he was wearing a Type C.  But his did not appear to have taped in receivers so I figured I was probably out of luck.

 

I got the helmet back yesterday and was pleased with Stephen's usual amazing work.  I had it in hand again this morning in the sunlight just to get a better look when I noticed on the forehead what looked like a capital Y.    Closer inspection revealed the word LUCKY in all caps that appeared to have been painted on with yellow at some point and had mostly worn off.  I suppose from the goggles being used. 

 

But Lucky Lowman run a bell and I went scrambling for my books and computer.  Turns out Lucky Lowman was a fighter pilot flying Mustangs with the 20th FG 8th AF during WW2.  I'd remembered his name from a book on Vietnam Skyraiders  written by Richard Drury.  Some Googling and I turned up a couple articles on Lowman and well as a couple of photos.  It appears he is still living as well!

 

The photos show the helmet as it looked in 44-45.  In one photo LUCKY is clearly visible, while in the other it's been worn off a bit.  It also shows he didn't have a chin strap attached so I'll have to remove the one I had added!  So I have the Type C of Captain Lucky Lowman, 20th FG. 

 

Images of Lucky Lowman in WW2 showing the helmet in use as well as one showing the faded "LUCKY" and the helmet as set up now with B-8 goggles and A-14 as he had then.

 

And yes I'm more than excited.  What are the odds that the beaten up old helmet turns out to be  golden? :)

Attached Images

  • Lowman.jpg
  • LUCKY.jpg
  • Lucky1.jpg
  • Lucky5.jpg
  • Name.jpg


#2 pararaftanr2

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

Nicely done! Congratulations.



#3 bobgee

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 03:52 PM

Good one! Congrats -



#4 VenitHora

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 04:45 PM

Awesome!



#5 warguy

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:16 PM

Congratulations! So nice to see this history was preserved. Well done! Kevin

#6 phantomfixer

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 05:17 AM

now that is a great story!...The USAAF really helped us by taking crew photos...great save and detective work... 



#7 bazelot

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 09:01 AM

Nice one



#8 1canpara

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 10:53 AM

Wow! That’s amazing! I’m green with envy! That’s a very nice helmet and the restoration is fantastic!

Rick

#9 38Driver

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Posted 02 June 2019 - 09:50 PM

Postscript to this thread. Ive had the pleasure to speaking to Lucky Lowman, 97 years old and going strong. Turns out he has two sons. He gave his Type C to one son and his Vietnam combat helmet to the other. The one son, unknown to Lucky had let the Type C go about thirty years ago. The man was not happy.

So I sent it back with one request, that Lucky try it on to see if it still fit. His grandson said it opened a floodgate of memories so well worth it.

Image of Lucky 75 years later wearing the same helmet as in the photos above 😀

Attached Images

  • CB016D15-F136-4542-8608-6A273FCD077A.jpeg


#10 phantomfixer

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 03:41 AM

no doubt one of the coolest, noblest gestures....salute to you my friend

Looks like you made his day and then some...



#11 1canpara

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 07:20 AM

+ 1 What an amazing thing to do! Well done!

#12 rooster77

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 08:41 AM

That is a kind thing to do and amazing too!

And I have to say that who ever it was that gave Mr Lowman the nick name "LUCKY"

sure got that one right!!! Wow !!! 97!!

And reunited with his old flght helmet!

Wow!!!!

Thank you for sharing this!!!

Thanks to Mr Lowman for risking his life for our country!!!



#13 JDK

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Posted 03 June 2019 - 11:14 AM

Very cool! Great surprise for him I'm sure. 97 and going strong. Good for him!

 

JD



#14 Flightpath

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:57 PM

Great story and a very nice thing to do.

#15 AZPhil

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:04 AM

That is fantastic to see Lucky then and now!

 Good Job!!

 

Semper Fi

Phil



#16 VenitHora

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 06:38 PM

Great story and deed! Well done!




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