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H3 Helicopter Helmet USMC

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I am a fixed wing multi-engine and rotary wing pilot. I have been flying for 43 years. I have all of my fathers things from WWII/Korea.

My father served in WWII as a USMC Naval Aviator South Pacific and the Korean War as a USMC helicopter pilot in the original

HMX-1 and VMO-6. I believe the VMO was Observation primarily and MASH Evac.

I have had his H3 (?) helmet for decades as he passed in 1994.

I have several pictures of pilots and my father wearing this type of helmet during helicopter cold weather op's.

I am wanting to know if the "cloth" head helmet belongs with this H3?

Are these items common?



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I do not know if this helmet was required for mission flight or cold weather op's.

Ther.e are several photos wher the USMC cap was worn under headset.


Sykorsky HO5S (civilian S-52)


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looks like it goes with it...but the front upper retention straps have been cut??

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Nice H-3 or H-4 helmet. The H-3 helmet has two buckles on the sides for liner adjustment. The H-4 has one. Sometimes people

get the two helmets confused. I believe the H-4 was issued just after the Korean War. The cloth liner that you have is correct

for a later H-3/early H-4. The earlier H-3 liners have three snaps on each side for oxygen mask attachment instead of two.

The two snaps on the front and the two on the back of the H-3/H-4 shell were added at a later date to help keep the helmet from

blowing off during egress from the aircraft. Earlier helmets just had the snaps on the sides for the chin strap/liner attachment.

Communications for helmet liner:

-Early--9824 receiver earphones for use with a spliced communications cable with a PL-54 or similar plug.

-Middle--P/O AN-H-87/U earphones for use with a one piece rubber cable with a large rectangular junction connecting the 4

earphone wires to the main cable. Has PJ-054B plug.

-Late--P/O H-87A/U earphones for use with a one piece rubber cable with molded in plug, AN-H-87A/U cable.


Based on the helmet and liner that you have pictured, I would probably use the middle era earphone/cable/plug set. Probably from

1953 time frame.


-The boom microphone would have a square black colored carbon element on a fixed (not break-away) boom with a male PL-291 plug.

-The goggles were probably a variation of the B-8 marked USN on the top. The goggle strap would probably be partial elastic/canvas

with a snap on each side for the helmet. The goggle lens could be gray or clear. Possibly green or amber also?

-The oxygen mask used would be a MS-22001/A-13A green rubber with cotton (not nylon) helmet attachment straps. Mounted in rubber

loops on the mask and not the metal X bracket. Mask microphone would be the AN-B-MC1 with a black rubber cable and PL-291 plug.

The hose end connector would be the 191A2 with a green bottom.

-There was also a nylon liner with a mesh top for the H-4 helmets.

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The white helmet pictured with the gold helmet is probably a H-1 or H-2. The liner in the helicopter photo has silver colored

snaps with natural colored leather tabs. The helmet liner that you have has black colored snaps with green dyed/painted leather

tabs. Hope this helps.

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Great helmet and comments.

I am continually amazed by the level of knowledge by members of this forum.


JDSCO, welcome aboard and I look forward to seeing other items from your father.


Semper Fly, John

Wanted: USMC Helicopter related items

Collector of Marine Corps Helicopter / Rotary aviation items from the late 1940s to present


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This is my father, not sure of the date but I believe it's 1950-1952 time.

That's the helmet. I'm recalling my Dad removing the ear phones/jack from the cloth helmet so I could wear the cloth helmet for Halloween.

I might have been 8 or 9 , don't really know.


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The H-3 in the Korean War photos probably does not have the front and rear snaps added for the liner yet. I believe the snaps were added around 1953-1954 for the H-3 and H-4 helmets in at least high performance aircraft. Patrol aircraft like the P2V Neptune may not have had the additional snaps added to their helmets?

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