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M-38 Tankers' Helmet w/ M-3 Flak Helmet


Sabrejet
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Wartime photographs exist of US tankers wearing M3 flak helmets over their regular M-38 crash helmets. This was obviously an expedient method as neither helmet was actually designed for this purpose. Having examples of both these helmets in my collection I decided to try it out and, as you can see from the accompanying photographs, the combination works! I'm not sure how widespread this practice was, but in the immediate post-war period M5 flak helmets were also used by tankers, pending the development of a dedicated tankers' crash helmet.

 

Additional items seen here include Polaroid goggles, T-30 throat-mic and an SW-141 press-to-speak switch, all standard issue components of armor crewmen's kit.

 

First...the tanker's helmet.

 

 

 

post-8022-1346752609.jpgpost-8022-1346752600.jpg

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Wow!....looks like a match made in heaven!!!.....and heres one of my all time favorite period photos of the 187th in Korea linking up with tankers to illustrate your awesome display!.....mike

oops, looks like they are wearing the cloth covered flak helmets but same idea!!

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That is indeed a great picture Mike...thanks for adding it. Looks as though those tankers are wearing cloth-covered M4A2s, but the basic principle remains the same.

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In 1949 the Army actively contemplated using either the M5 or the M4A2 flak helmet, in conjunction with the leather A-11 flight helmet, as the official tank crew helmet. Extensive field tests were done with the M4A2 finally being chosen as the best of the two. Nothing further was done until the Korean War began and the Army began activating National Guard and Reserve tank battalions to ship overseas. It was found that the Army only had approximately 44,000 of the 1938 Pattern tank helmets left in inventory so the decision was made to issue tank crews the M4A2 flak helmets (as seen in the photo). The M4A2's proved to be generally uncomfortable and unpopular so were soon 'lost' in the field.

 

Larry

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In 1949 the Army actively contemplated using either the M5 or the M4A2 flak helmet, in conjunction with the leather A-11 flight helmet, as the official tank crew helmet. Extensive field tests were done with the M4A2 finally being chosen as the best of the two. Nothing further was done until the Korean War began and the Army began activating National Guard and Reserve tank battalions to ship overseas. It was found that the Army only had approximately 44,000 of the 1938 Pattern tank helmets left in inventory so the decision was made to issue tank crews the M4A2 flak helmets (as seen in the photo). The M4A2's proved to be generally uncomfortable and unpopular so were soon 'lost' in the field.

 

Larry

 

Interesting. Thanks Larry!

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Die Fledermaus!

 

Looks really good that combination.

Thanks for posting this.

 

Erwin

 

Thanks Erwin. Shall I withdraw to the Batcave?! ;)

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Looking at Mike's photo above, it appears that the tankers are not wearing their M4A2s over tankers' helmets. Therefore, I assume they're simply being worn over a regular headset? On that basis, I've re-created what this arrangement might have been like.

 

post-8022-1347014732.jpgpost-8022-1347014723.jpg

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Accessories include an HS-18 headset with PL-354 jackplug, T-30 throat-mic and M-1944 goggles. All parts are of WW2 vintage.

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Awesome Ian! You come up with the coolest stuff!!! It's nice to see everyone's M1 helmets too, but I really enjoy seeing things out of the norm.

(I learn a lot that way) :thumbsup:

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  • 1 month later...

Conversely, have you seen the photos of the first P80 Shooting Star pilots who are wearing tankers' helmets? They cut the ear flaps off and had sewn summer weight cotton flying helmets into them - the real forerunners of the P1 flight helmet!

 

A

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Conversely, have you seen the photos of the first P80 Shooting Star pilots who are wearing tankers' helmets? They cut the ear flaps off and had sewn summer weight cotton flying helmets into them - the real forerunners of the P1 flight helmet!

 

A

 

Yes...I have seen those Ashley...but only in period photographs, never in the collectors' market! :(

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That's right my friend! bought on e-bay in January of this year!!

 

 

That is very cool with the Armored Force patch...thanks for adding it to the thread!

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