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USN/USMC Jet Age Flight Helmets


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Nice VX-4 APH-5 helmet that was upgraded to APH-5A standards with plastic visor tracks, plastic

visor housing, and the later twist type visor lock knob. The plastic ear cups with adjustment discs

were also upgraded from the foam/leather ear cups. The Blue Angels helmet appears to be an APH-5.

The aircraft is a Grumman F11F (later F-11) Tiger.

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  • 7 months later...

Thanks, Jerry.

 

VA-881 APH-5 and MS-22001 mask from Lt Gollardey. It seems that this one would be one of the earliest versions of the APH-5 helmet: visor knob with "scales", inner pads without space beetween them, dedicated design of the metal piece to stop down the visor, MSA label on the inner side of the shell.

 

post-2712-0-96660400-1511076882_thumb.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

My grandfather, Marine CWO John W Frederick Jr's H-4 helmet from the mid fifties with mask. At the time of the photo and when he used this helmet he was a Master Sergeant. The photo was taken when VMF(N)-531, then stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, reached 48,000 flight hours with the F3D Skyknight.

 

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post-155176-0-16816200-1513712036_thumb.jpg

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The checkerboard is a true evidence for u ?

 

No, but I have a brown dual visor helmet with a somewhat similar yellow reflective tape treatment...though more diamonds than "checkerboard"... that I know was worn by a Marine Captain that flew F-4's in Vietnam in 1966-1967...and maybe slightly later. Don't know his unit though, and this helmet perked my interest, because I thought there might be a clue to be had to help figure that out.

 

That leads to a question...is a brown helmet with yellow reflective tape squadron specific, or more generic across multiple Vietnam era Marine squadrons?

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gifdonation2018.gif

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Great historical H-4 helmet, John! Very interesting to note that H-4 helmets were still in service in mid-1958 when VMF-531 was celebrating 48 000 hours on F-3D Skynight.

 

Franck

 

Thanks Franck,

 

In October '58 VMF(N)-531 traded out their Skyknights for Skyrays and the RIOs departed the squadron. This is likely when grandpa hung up the H-4. He transitioned to a Marine Detachment at NAS PAX and was the NCOIC of the radar/fire systems shop with the Weapons Systems Test division, primarily working on the Phantom. I think he switched to the APH-5 with the new assignment. You can see that his pilot was already wearing an APH-5 in '58.

 

--John

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No, but I have a brown dual visor helmet with a somewhat similar yellow reflective tape treatment...though more diamonds than "checkerboard"... that I know was worn by a Marine Captain that flew F-4's in Vietnam in 1966-1967...and maybe slightly later. Don't know his unit though, and this helmet perked my interest, because I thought there might be a clue to be had to help figure that out.

 

That leads to a question...is a brown helmet with yellow reflective tape squadron specific, or more generic across multiple Vietnam era Marine squadrons?

 

I believe the VMFA-323 Death Rattlers were the only squadron to use the brown with yellow checkers, at least this was the case on their aircraft.

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I believe the VMFA-323 Death Rattlers were the only squadron to use the brown with yellow checkers, at least this was the case on their aircraft.

 

Thanks John...I really appreciate your insight and help!

 

While I could not cross check the Marine Captain that owned the helmet I have back to VMFA-323 or find a photo of anybody wearing a similarly painted and taped helmet in Vietnam, I did find the two period photos below.

 

The photos are not dated, but clearly from the Vietnam era. VMFA-323 left Vietnam in 1969, and returned to MCAS El Toro California...which is likely where these photos were taken.

 

What I thought was telling, was besides the brown and yellow checkerboard markings on the F-4, the squadron wall artwork in the first photo nicely illustrates the diamond shape that was used on the helmets. I know my helmet is a bit earlier than the one shown in the photo of the pilot, but the colors and design follows.

 

I still want to continue to see what more research might bring to light, but I think this is a significant step forward...thanks again!

 

VMFA_Wall.jpg

VMFA_Pilot.jpg

donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif


donation2017.gifdonation2018.gif

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Thanks John...I really appreciate your insight and help!

 

While I could not cross check the Marine Captain that owned the helmet I have back to VMFA-323 or find a photo of anybody wearing a similarly painted and taped helmet in Vietnam, I did find the two period photos below.

 

The photos are not dated, but clearly from the Vietnam era. VMFA-323 left Vietnam in 1969, and returned to MCAS El Toro California...which is likely where these photos were taken.

 

What I thought was telling, was besides the brown and yellow checkerboard markings on the F-4, the squadron wall artwork in the first photo nicely illustrates the diamond shape that was used on the helmets. I know my helmet is a bit earlier than the one shown in the photo of the pilot, but the colors and design follows.

 

I still want to continue to see what more research might bring to light, but I think this is a significant step forward...thanks again!

 

VMFA_Wall.jpg

VMFA_Pilot.jpg

 

What is the name of the Marine Captain whose helmet you have?

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