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USAAF aircrew headgear, c.'44 featuring M4A2 flak helmet.


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This display illustrates what a USAAF bomber crewman would have worn in combat in the ETO in '44. The oxygen mask is an A-14, the goggles are early B-8s with khaki elastic straps and the flying helmet is an A-11 with ANB-H-1 receivers and wiring loom. Protection is provided by the M4A2 Flak Helmet (recently acquired via the forum) which was essentially an M4 with the addition of ear protectors and an OD cotton cover. Interestingly, this example features an M4 stock label which has been altered by hand!

 

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By way of comparison, here are examples of the M4A2's predecessor (an M3) and successor (an M5)

 

post-8022-1345289359.jpgpost-8022-1345289365.jpg

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The leather covered M4, originally developed in the UK by Col. Grow, Chief Flight Surgeon of the 8th AF. This evolved into the M4A1/2 by virtue of the addition of ear protectors and a cloth cover.

 

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You are my role model, Ian :thumbsup:

 

It will be easy for me to post my collection in the DISPLAYS forum some day in the future.

No need to go in to all the trouble of taking clear pictures and neatly displaying my items one by one. I will just have post the links to some of your treads and I am done. :lol:

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It's a good thing that you don't collect Medals, I'd be embarressed to display mine!

You have a wide ranging, and excellent collection. :thumbsup:

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That is a nice looking set up you have there Ian. It looks like you have a great set of 3 flack helmets. I never get tired of looking at AAF "stuff".

Steve

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That is a nice looking set up you have there Ian. It looks like you have a great set of 3 flack helmets. I never get tired of looking at AAF "stuff".

Steve

 

 

Thank you Steve. I'd like to add an M4 to the collection sometime but as you know they're scarce...and expensive! As a matter of fact one showed up for sale on the forum recently but was sadly beyond my present collecting budget! :pinch:

 

Ian

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General Apathy

post-344-1345322050.jpg

 

 

Hi Ian, as requested by you in email my H-28-CL flak helmet, sadly little is known about this model other than there were nine ( out of ten ) still in the original 1945 packaging when I found them.

 

good topic :thumbsup:

 

ken

 

 

:blink:

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Thanks Ken....that is an absolute killer! I really envy you that one. But why the big yellow star?! :think: As far as I'm aware, to date, no research has come up with a plausible explanation. It looks great...but kind of bizarre at the same time! :o

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Thanks Ken....that is an absolute killer! I really envy you that one. But why the big yellow star?! :think: As far as I'm aware, to date, no research has come up with a plausible explanation. It looks great...but kind of bizarre at the same time! :o

 

That's what I would like to know!

It looks like something from Super Mario.

 

post-9199-1345323469.jpg

 

But it is one I have to have someday.

 

@ General Apathy; any idea on the current price of these.

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General Apathy

post-344-1345323605.jpg

 

 

Thank you Steve. I'd like to add an M4 to the collection sometime but as you know they're scarce...and expensive! As a matter of fact one showed up for sale on the forum recently but was sadly beyond my present collecting budget! :pinch:

 

Ian

 

Hi Ian, here's my M-4 on a rare occasion out the shoebox in the garden in the sun. :lol:

 

ken

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post-344-1345323605.jpg

Hi Ian, here's my M-4 on a rare occasion out the shoebox in the garden in the sun. :lol:

 

ken

 

Show off!! :lol: Got an M4A1 by any chance Ken? (silly question?!)

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General Apathy
That's what I would like to know!

It looks like something from Super Mario.

 

post-9199-1345323469.jpg

 

But it is one I have to have someday.

 

@ General Apathy; any idea on the current price of these.

 

Hi Sjef, I have had the H-28-CL helmet about twentyfive years and not heard of any for sale recently.

 

Made late 44 Contract No.W33-038-AC8141, Fox Chase Knitting Mills Inc.( Miller Parachute Division )

 

ken

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post-344-1345322050.jpg

Hi Ian, as requested by you in email my H-28-CL flak helmet, sadly little is known about this model other than there were nine ( out of ten ) still in the original 1945 packaging when I found them.

 

good topic :thumbsup:

 

ken

:blink:

 

Ken - was there any information on the packaging like dates or depot shipped from, etc. ?? Larry

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Hi Sjef, I have had the H-28-CL helmet about twentyfive years and not heard of any for sale recently.

 

Made late 44 Contract No.W33-038-AC8141, Fox Chase Knitting Mills Inc.( Miller Parachute Division )

 

ken

 

Thanks, Ken for the info and pictures of the H-28-CL as well as the M4!! :thumbsup:

I have never seen one for sale ever.

There are some USAAF head gear reference websites that depict an H-28-CL. The first time I saw it I thought (like everyone else would) the yellow star was added privately.

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General Apathy
Ken - was there any information on the packaging like dates or depot shipped from, etc. ?? Larry

 

Hi Larry, sorry to say that the find was about twenty-five years ago and I had a five to six hour time slot in a five floor ex-industrial unit that had been stuffed to the ceilings with US militaria in the early 50's. I was attempting to fill a U-Haul truck with quantity and time was the esscense, sadly detail was overlooked.

 

great fun though. .................... :lol:

 

ken

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General Apathy
Thanks, Ken for the info and pictures of the H-28-CL as well as the M4!! :thumbsup:

I have never seen one for sale ever.

There are some USAAF head gear reference websites that depict an H-28-CL. The first time I saw it I thought (like everyone else would) the yellow star was added privately.

 

Hi Sjef, as can be seen the yellow star is factory machine sewn on and done before the armor plates were inserted as there would be no way to sew anything to the helmet surfaces once the plates were in place.

 

The box of nine I found were all exactly identical brand spanking new old stock unissued in a carton just one missing, which the warehouse owner had previously taken out to see what the carton held and it had disappeared over time somewhere in the mountains of militaria.

 

ken .

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Hi Sjef, as can be seen the yellow star is factory machine sewn on and done before the armor plates were inserted as there would be no way to sew anything to the helmet surfaces once the plates were in place.

 

The box of nine I found were all exactly identical brand spanking new old stock unissued in a carton just one missing, which the warehouse owner had previously taken out to see what the carton held and it had disappeared over time somewhere in the mountains of militaria.

 

ken .

 

 

Must've been a thrill to "discover" them Ken?! Maybe we should start a sub-thread on the theme of the "yellow star" and what its intended purpose was?! At a time when US war production was in top gear and most manufacturing processes were streamlined to husband materials and time, it seems almost counter-productive to produce a flak-helmet which then required sheets of leather to be dyed yellow, stamped-out into star shapes and then sewn by a machinist onto the basic leather cover which would've inevitably consumed additional materials and time. Go figure! :think:

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Must've been a thrill to "discover" them Ken?! Maybe we should start a sub-thread on the theme of the "yellow star" and what its intended purpose was?! At a time when US war production was in top gear and most manufacturing processes were streamlined to husband materials and time, it seems almost counter-productive to produce a flak-helmet which then required sheets of leather to be dyed yellow, stamped-out into star shapes and then sewn by a machinist onto the basic leather cover which would've inevitably consumed additional materials and time. Go figure! :think:

 

That is exactly what I am thinking. It somehow seems like backward evolution if you compare it to other flight clothing like jackets, trousers and flight helmets. Those evolved from being made out of leather to cotton and than synthetic fibres. Cheaper materials and cheaper designs over time. Also the yellow star doesn't make any sense to me from a heraldic point of view.

 

Thanks for the additional info, Ken.

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