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M4- Anti Flak Helmet - Britisch made / Modified

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For pilots, navigators, and door gunners, modified M-1 helmet or M3 Anti Flak helmets greatly improved their chances of surviving an encounter with flak. However, many positions in aircraft, such as cramped upper turrets and lower ball-turrets, were so small that it was impossible to wear a helmet the size of an M-1. The main problem was the helmet sat too high on the head.

The Chief Surgeon of the Eighth Air Force, Colonel Malcolm Grow, was determined to find a solution to the dilemma and developed an anti-flak helmet specifically for aircrew members who occupied the tight confines of turrets. His initial design weighed just over two pounds and looked like a skull cap. Unlike the M-1, the "Grow helmet" as it was often called, did not have an internal suspension. It rested directly on the leather or cloth flying helmet. A prototype was submitted to the Ordnance Department for consideration and was designated as the T3. Tests concluded that while the helmet did not have the protective qualities of the M3, it did improve survivability. The helmet was redesigned as the M4 and placed into service.

The M4 was manufactured in two versions : One in England and the other in the United States. Both were constructed of overlapping pieces of Hadfield Manganese. The British made was covered with dark brown leather and the American made M4 was covered with olive drab twill / cloth.


The one below is the British made M4 but modified !! Both sides with two extra studs for ear-protection caps. These caps are also made from Hadfield manganese and covered the same way. During the years of collecting this is the 2nd complete one I ever saw. If there is someone between us who has any information of this rare Anti Flak helmet, please let me know, thanks !!


Regards, Paul


Always looking for rare or nice US WWII helmets

If you are interested visit my website www.ww2supply.com

Maybe there is something you like !!

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Awesome!! :w00t:


Sabrejet :thumbsup:

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"


Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon





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  • 1 year later...

This will interest you: http://www.iwm.org.u...object/30016156




History note



Introduced experimentally by the USAAF in 1945, nearly 11,000 were produced in order to protect the areas exposed between the helmet and the armoured vest. Early versions were made of leather while subsequent versions were fabric-covered. Sometimes known as the 'Queen Anne', many were sent to war zones but development was halted in June 1945 as other superior ballistic materials were later examined and tested.


Physical description



Neck armour: leather-encased manganese steel sections with dot fasteners and straps. The neck armour forms a high protective collar that is secured around the wearer's neck at the throat, covers the neck and sides and attaches to the M4 series of flak helmets.

- Sjef -

By God, I think the Devil s#!+$ Dutchmen. [sir W. Batten, 1667]

Actively seeking: WWII USAAF, ETO and PTO bomber crew related items.


My collection


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I have found one at the outskirts of West-Nijmegen, Overasselt. At the location many gliders were landed, so i determinited it as a 'glider-pilot' helmet..


Photo's of the m4-relic:






The leather outside and Chinstrap were also on it, i still have to conservate them, but it's clear it's a Brittish made helmet.

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