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US Army Aviation Life Support Equipment


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The 1969 contract vests that I had used a radio pocket for the RT-10/URC-64 radios. It was square-shaped with a zipper

along part of the side and along the top with a piece of Velcro for the sage green nylon radio antenna cover located on

the lower side of the pocket. The 1966 dated vest had snap closure pockets in which the pocket flaps had sides that were

covered. The radio pocket for the 1966 vest was square-like with a zipper across the front and a snap closure for the

antenna cover on the side of the pocket. The 1968 vest had snap closure pockets in which the pocket flap sides were open.

The radio pouch was the same as the 1966 version (zipper across the front), except the antenna cover had Velcro closure.

Hope this helps.

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ok ,thank evertybody for all the precious informations.Looking carefully in one phot album I found a picture of a 1st air cav crewmen,one of them wearing (i guess)an USAF SRU 21/P vest,at least judging by the shade of the color of the vest.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is one that was dual purpose not listed there. Yellow MK-2 Life Preserver, like the common "BUAER U.S.N." marked ones. The Army actually had "U.S. ARMY" marked MK2 life preservers in the early 60s. Yes it was a life preserver but it also carried survival items like the MK13 flares, dye marker, survival light, mirror, whistle etc. A friend that I've talked to over the years was a OV-1 Mohawk pilot all through the 60s with multiple tours in Vietnam wore one of the Army MK2's in Vietnam as a survival vest in the 1964-65 time frame. He actually had 1 cell inflate on him accidentally when the pull cord got snagged on something in flight and had to puncture it with his knife. The Army marked MK2 are pretty rare to find, I've only seen 2 for sale and missed out on them plus they had cost a pretty penny. Settled on a cheaper Navy one for the time being.

 

In his late tour in 68-69 they had started wearing mesh net survival vests (21P) with LPU-2 underarm life preservers.

 

Not doubting the use of the C-1 by the Army but has anyone ever seen pics of that? Id love to see some which would then make me have to go out and buy one.

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I put the C-1 on the list due to my presumption that the Army continued to outfit its remaining aircrew with equipment remaining in inventory after USAF became a separate service. I've not seen any photos of these in use.

 

Different question: A local surplus store has several unissued examples of CMU-33 vests for sale. They are not the CMU-33A with the harness assemblies. Did the Army do the development work on the Airsave or was the CMU-33A an Army adaptation of a Navy vest?

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how about a timeline for this life vest?it has some issues from a C1 but others from the SRU 21/P.My guess,but I admit I could be deceived from my interest for the VN era Army aviation issues,it's from the Vn war.

it has seen some good use,there is a lot of let's say discolorations between the areas not shaded and the inside of the pockets.It's heavy canvas,good sturdy construction,named to a major ADAMS

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  • 3 years later...

For what it's worth(probably not much),we didn't have any survival vests during my 1 year in Viet Nam(May 70 to may71),but other units sure could have.I would like to know when that picture in post #84 was taken.The only we had was the ceramic chest protector, aka "chicken plate".

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My father didn't have a vest in Nam either (Mar 69-May 70) but I did see pics of 1 guy in his unit having one that he might have picked up elsewhere. There was USAF units around so he might have been able to acquire one. They seemed to regularly trade rides in the OH-6 for rides in OV-10s and O-2As. My father only recalls carrying his RT-10 survival radio in the pocket of his Chicken Plate and then his survival knife and Smith 38 in a locally made cowboy style holster. He doesn't recall any aircraft survival kits either in the Hueys which the few clear pics of the inside of his aircraft I didn't notice any either. The fixed wing side in the late 60s Army OV-1 aircrews wore the 21P survival vest, some even had Navy SV-2 vests. Not long after the OV-1 vest was produced combining features of both survival vests. Ive seen a few pics of those and would die to actually find an original from around 1969 or so. Earliest OV-1 vest Ive seen was 1973 which looked basically the same as those produced til the late 80s.

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