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Strange Helmets on a Bomber Crew


gitana
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I came across this photo of the crew of the B-26 'Mr. Fala'. You can find it fairly easily online as their nose art was featured in Colliers.

 

Anyway, the crew seems to be wearing M-1 helmets with a winged 8 ball painted on the front. EXCEPT for the guy on the left and the right. What do you think?

 

Here's the full photo.

 

post-14792-1346269412.jpg

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The USAAF tinkered with M1 shells before the M3 Flak Helmet was standardised. This is possibly a rigger-made (for want of a better term) example? It certainly bears no resemblance to any of the standardised aircrew helmets! :think:

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The USAAF tinkered with M1 shells before the M3 Flak Helmet was standardised. This is possibly a rigger-made (for want of a better term) example? It certainly bears no resemblance to any of the standardised aircrew helmets! :think:

 

Ian is correct that prior to the introduction of the M3 flak helmet there was quite a bit of improvisation going on at the local base level. M1 helmets were cut and altered, as in this photo, but also spread wider to allow radio headsets or hammered out over the ear area for the same reason.

 

Larry

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I must have pretty much all of the standard references on USAAF gear from C.G. Sweeting's Smithsonian publications on. All refer to and/or illustrate modified M1s of one type or another, but none of them features these particular variants. Therefore, this is a very significant picture from a researcher/historian's perspective.

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My guess is that they flyer on the right is the Bombardier.

 

That was my thought as well. The guy on the left looks like he may be wearing a hawley liner - it seems to fit closer to the head than an M1, even modified.

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