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M3 Flak Helmet


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I’ve always wanted to add one of these to my collection, but they seemed to elude me. They were either in mint condition, $250 and up, “salty” condition missing parts, $150 and up, or refurbished/repainted and also $150 and up. One just went on ebay for $193 (http://www.ebay.com/...cvip=true&rt=nc) with shipping and it was complete although the outer finish was somewhat “salty.”


I picked this one up at a gun show this weekend less than half the one on ebay. All the webbing is intact, buckle and snap are good, and the felt pads in the ear pieces are present, although a little loose. As best I can tell it has the remains of the original fuzzy finish which has been worn smooth on the outside, but can be felt on the inside particularly on the metal band the webbing attaches to. I should add that the A washers appear to be in the white while the rivets are plated.


It also has a 2LT bar on the front and the designation “1st A.C.” on the back. The gold (not yellow) bar appears to have been put on with spray paint over a masked area. The white writing on the back appears brushed on over the same writing in green beneath it. I don’t know what the designation means so any help on that would be appreciated. Also, I think the M3 was developed in late 1943 and I would be interested if anyone has pictures of the helmet in use. The only picture I could find shows a B-17 crew walking out to their aircraft with their flak helmets cradled in their arms with other equipment.





















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That's a beauty! It's still on my list too, but other things keep getting in the way...and I don't want to pay too much either....


Congrats on such a nice complete example!





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A nice helmet for sure well done!

Could someone tell me who made these please McCord? And when production started and finished.

Thanks in advance



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That's a nice addition to the collection. I don't know for sure what 1st A.C. means but it might be 1st Air Commando Group. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1743. The 1st Air Commando was a composite group that flew fighters, B-25's, transport planes and liason aircraft. Fighter pilots would be unlikely to use an M3, but their use has been documented with medium bomber crews and transport crews. Somewhere on the forum is also a picture of an M3 being worn by a Liason pilot with the 17th Airborne.

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I tried doing the net thing on my M3 just for the hell of it. It's impossible to use a single net. The GI must've stretched one over the shell and around the hinges somehow, and then cut up another net to stretch individually over each of the ear cups. I'm not sure what was to be gained in doing this as the M3 has a matt OD flock finish which is non-reflective anyway!

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