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USAF Major HGU-55P / MBU-12P - early 90's

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Greetings everyone !
Today I'll be introducing you this HGU-55/P set from the early nineties, not as colorful as its older counterparts I posted before, but it deserves to be shared nonetheless.
The helmet is named and belonged to an USAF officer : Major MARTIN. It was sold as an F-16 pilot set, but I honestly have no way to assess the truthfulness of this information, so the plane type he flew shall remain a question mark.


It is a "classic" (all-grey) HGU-55/P made by Gentex, dated 1992, with two separate visors (clear and dark), the bonus of this grouping being a nice leather cover featuring the pilot's rank tag in golden colour.







The pilot's digitally labelled nametape was sticked on top of the helmet, replacing old embossed-type tapes from a previous assignment, as attested by adhesive marks and some black plastic remains (there were two on the top, and one on the back bottom).




It is interesting to note that the left bayonet's shell retention also features a digitally labelled inspection / due date (15 May) that matches the pilot's nametape's style.

Size is Large, with all the inner equipment present (liner, external plug, earphones / earcups) and in great condition.



The patina is overall pretty light, with a few scratches on the shell, yellowing around the glued parts, and the usual abrasion on the leather edgerolls due to the mask's and visor's friction.



The oxygen mask is a grey Gentex MBU-12/P, Short size.
Dated 1987-88-89, it predates the helmet and came complete with hose, mic, com cord / plug.
I can't be sure if it belonged to the helmet's pilot for there is no personal marking on it, but since it came with the grouping and is accurate to the period, it's perfectly fine by me anyway.



Any comment / opinion will, as always, be appreciated.
Hope you enjoy the share.
Cheers ;) - Vark_07





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Nice looking 55/P...

the insp date on the O2 receiver should have a year on it IIRC, and having served in several fighter squadrons, one being an F-16 squadron, I can say I have never seen a pilot put rank on the visor cover, call signs, unit patches etc but never rank, not saying your guy didn't, but most fighter jocks would be all over "that guy", just my opinion on the rank...otherwise a great looking helmet...

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Might have been a going away/retirement gift from the life support shop or just the squadron.  For early 90s, seems kind of odd to have the computer style labels,  usually saw the dynamo embossed ones for a good while.   Maybe the guy ended up using his old helmet later in warbirds or something and had some old AFE friends keep it up for him.  We may never know, but its still a nice setup, pretty clean.


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Thanks for your comments, gentlemen ;).


2 minutes ago, phantomfixer said:

the insp date on the O2 receiver should have a year on it

I was expecting this too, for all the recent (circa 2000 and beyond) pictures of inspection labels I've seen on the web feature a year (if sticker there is, of course).
Nevertheless, I've actually seen a few older pictures (from the 70's to 90's on MBU-5P and MBU-12 mostly) with just the month and day.

Perhaps they were checking masks more than once per year at that time ? Anyway, here are two example I've quickly dug out.





10 minutes ago, phantomfixer said:

I can say I have never seen a pilot put rank on the visor cover, call signs, unit patches etc but never rank

Neither did I, that's what I found very interesting in it !
From what you're saying, it could be taken for bragging, and would appear unlikely coming from an officier...
Is that possible that he could have ordered - or been given - a custom one, not to be worn in service, but for "personal needs" (retirement gift, display purpose, or so) ? Typing EDIT : just like mohawkALSE actually pointed out :)


40 minutes ago, mohawkALSE said:

For early 90s, seems kind of odd to have the computer style labels,  usually saw the dynamo embossed ones for a good while.

Indeed, for there are remains of such embossed labels on the shell. Since the helmet was issued in 1992, if he kept it throughout the 90's, I don't find them incoherent for the late 90's early 00's period.

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Very nice helmet. 

One question. The date on the O2 mask is 87-88-89, is there a dot next to one of the year markings to denote which year?


Here are some pics of date stamps. 







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Heck, I misread the inverted "9" from 89, it's actually a 6. So the mask shows 86-87-88.

I didn't know that the time stamp was only to show the year of manufacturing, I had a picture in my mind that it was showing a "period of use", after which it had to be replaced. You learn something new everyday !


Anyway, there is indeed some sort of dot next to 86.

Here you go, and thanks for your comment :).



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