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USMC Early flying helmet?


Maxrobot
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Maxrobot

I have this leather helmet that is lined with seal fur. On one side is painted "USMC" and the other, the number "32". It has snaps for the chinstrap. I bought it at a junk shop on Long Island, N.Y. in the early 1970s. Long Island was, of course, home to Grumman, Brewster, Curtiss and others beside hosing USN Floyd Bennett Field and the seaplane facility at Port Washington. Has anyone ever seen such an article, and is it a very early flying helmet? The painted markings have faded over the years sine I obtained it.

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Old Marine

It’s hard to see from the photo, but the last letter looks like an "S".  If it is an "S", it probably means USMS United States Maritime Service.  It could be foul weather gear for deck hands.  The USMS academy is on King's Point Long Island.  But, this is just a guess based on the photo.

 

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Maxrobot

Based on the photos, I can see where someone would see something other than USMC.  This is a scan from a looseleaf page in my old, old notes (late 1960s-early 1970s)  that I still have. The lettering/ stenciling was much clearer when I first picked it up. Image my frustration when, over ten years ago< i discovered mildew or mold and a degradation of the helmet!

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Airborne-Hunter

The early USMC flight helmets that I am aware of are what I would consider private purchase. I think this follows. I know in the early 1920s there was a large marine air base near or at Quantico. 

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pararaftanr2

I can take you at your word that it says "USMC", but have you done any further research to confirm your theories about your helmet? Have you found any photos from the era of Marine aviators wearing something similar? What about goggle straps, which are typically found on flight helmets? I don't see any. Your notes say "pre-1920 for sure".  You also mention Grumman, Brewster and Curtiss with a possible Long Island connection, but Grumman wasn't founded until 1929, Curtiss was in Buffalo and Brewster, although they had a Long Island facility, didn't start making airplanes until the early 1930s.

Your helmet may very well be a pre-1920s Marine flying helmet, I don't know, but it seems more research is needed to reach that conclusion with any certainty. 

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