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VA-42 Helmet

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Recently found this early VA-42 helmet. I believe this is an early A-6A used helmet. The mask is torn but still displays okay with the hardman Christmas tree fittings. The helmet has a name but is hard to read. I would like to know if this is in fact an early A-6 helmet, and any help with the name would really be appreciated. Thank you.





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Your VA-42 Green Pawns modified APH-5 flight helmet was probably used into the mid 1960s with the white

paint and reflective tape markings. The lightning bolts on the visor housing may have been from VA-176

Thunderbolts. Both squadrons were stationed at NAS Oceana in VA. There is no boom microphone assy.

which leads me to believe that the helmet in its latest condition was not used with the

Douglas A-1 Skyraider, North American T-28 Trojan aircraft, and Grumman TC-4 Academe aircraft. However,

the MC-3A oxygen mask hose end connector could have been used with these aircraft and may not have been

used with the Grumman A-6 Intruder aircraft. It all depends when the green anodized metal oxygen mask

hose end connector was introduced for the Martin-Baker GRU5 ejection seat used in production versions

of the A-6 Intruder. The Grumman YA2F-1 Intruder used a Martin-Baker ejection seat with a horse shoe

soft type parachute container with a curved single loop upper face curtain ejection handle. Could this

seat have been installed in the very, very early A-6A Intruders and the mask may have used the MC-3A

connector? Also, it is possible that the very early GRU5 ejection seats could have used a MS-22001

(A-13A) oxygen mask equipped with a MC-3A connector because the MC-3A and the green Grumman mask hose

end connector had the same quick disconnect on the bottom. The MC-3A had an additional connection for

the bailout bottle hose and the Grumman green connector was a cylinder without a connection for a bailout

bottle. The GRU5 seat also used a rigid upper ejection handle that was pointed in the front, along

with a soft back type parachute container. It is also possible that the USN could have kept the

Grumman green connector because it was unique to the A-6 acft. and put a MC-3A connector on it

when they let the helmet/mask set go. Also possible that the mask with the MC-3A could have been

one used earlier in the aviator's career during training flying another type of aircraft. What are

the dates on the mask outer left or right cheek flaps and the upper molding on the hose just below

the clamp? This hose with the internal communications cable and parallel (to the hose) external

molded cable with JJ-026 plug for the cable from the helmet earphones was introduced by or during

1964. The earlier reinforced low pressure mask hoses with the internal cable had an external

molded cable with the JJ-026 plug that was perpendicular to the hose. Also note the snap?

installed on each side of the helmet. What type of microphone element is installed in the mask?

Nice helmet/mask set. Hope this helps.







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Great info! Thank you for the detailed info on the possible configurations.


The mask shell has a 1957 date, and the hose is stamped 1966 1st quarter. I would guess he had the mask issued earlier in his career and had the newer hose with fittings attached when he went to the A-6. The inside of the mask has a round mic that has come loose from the rubber mask. I will get some more pics later today.


So, based on your info provided, and the dates found on the mask, this could POSSIBLY be an early A-6 mask pieced together when the LCDR transitioned to the new aircraft. I need to info LCDR J. D. Brooks.

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The mask microphone element appears to be a ANB-M-C1 / MC-254A which was replaced by the M-94 series

beginning around 1967-1968. There was either an amplifier or microphone holder attach to the back of

the M-94 series elements when used with the MS-22001 (A-13A) masks. Also, was the plug at the end of

the helmet earphone cable replaced at one time? Still trying to figure out why there are snaps on the

sides of the helmet. Possibly for nuclear flash protective goggles? The USAF added snaps to some

of their helmets for this purpose. I have heard that the A-6 aircraft was equipped with nuclear

flash blinds that could be put into position around the canopy area.

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The plug at the end of the helmet cord LOOKS original, but the solder job has been redone at some point. The helmet plug could have been replaced at some point. There is a metal tag on the helmet cord with a P/N on it. The helmet cord is marked;


P/O H-67A/U




The O2 mask exhalation valve is marked with a mfg. date of FEB 1963. The cord at the end of the mask hose has two repairs made. One repair at both ends.


Hope this helps.

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So you're the guy who outbid me on eBay for this helmet :).


Glad it went to a good home!



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Thanks for letting me win this one!!


I spent two tours in VA-42 during the early and late 1980s, so this one has become my favorite!!



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Great APH-5 helmet! The mask is certainly this one for the A-6 Intruder BUT the o2 connector is not the good one. I presume that someone has added it at one time for display or any such other. The o2 hose is correct for Intruder or some other USN attack/fighter aircraft equiped with ejection seat and shoudn't have the MC-3A connector, I guess.


What could be the snaps on each insignia on the helmet?



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