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Toptex 3BM


horridohutch
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horridohutch

Hello Gentlemen

Hoping to find some help on a recent addition to my collection. I usually collect US Navy helmets but for obvious reasons I could not pass this one up. Its an attributed helmet to a F-106A project officer and in beautiful condition. The leather inside is nice but after 50 plus years is a little dry. I have been asking around and am hoping there is something that might be suggested for care, rather than restoration. I want this helmet to make it to posterity, it is most certainly deserving. I am also wondering if there is anywhere a database for the Toptex helmets, possibly using the serial number? 

    The skinny on the helmet is this, Colonel R Thomas Goetz wore this helmet from the early 60s to a point I assume when he retired. The mask is a MBU-5 dated to the mid 1960s. Mr Goetz flew F-86

F-106 and F-104 aircraft as I have been able to find out right now. Simply a wonderful example of a rare helmet and I am grateful to add it to my collection, hope you all are well during this time we are in. 

 

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phantomfixer

indeed a wonderful helmet...it is always great to see these rare, named helmets in such good condition, being preserved....like he took it off from his last flight..... 

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Vark_07

A major addition to your collection, no doubt, Hutch !
Its excellent condition, rarity, and the fact it's named with the attached history make it a treasure set.
 

All the 3BM examples I had seen so far were fitted with MS-22001 masks & the Hardman shell assy, so it's nice to see a late cross-strap MBU-5/P harness assy paired with it, using the Christmas Tree bayonets & receivers.

Side note for the dating : during the searches for my last writeup, I had found a couple of HGU-2A/P w/ MBU-5/P of the late 60's to early 70's customized with the same Christmas Tree bayonets and receivers (not the regular cast receivers), so, even if these setups were on the verge of disappearing in the early 70's, I guess your (much rarer) example still fits in this given period. I tend to concur, Col. Goetz might have flown with this helmet until his retirement.

 

Regarding the dry leather, there are creams (meant for purses, shoes, couches and coats) that nourish, softens -and thus help preserve- this fragile material with some success, I guess there's little risk in trying them !

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Airborne-Hunter

I would highly suggest to NOT apply anything to the leather. Leather products over time do more damage than not - look at the German helmet field for evidence. Any product will simply darken the leather and make it look odd. More so, the specific construction of the Toptex liner is one of leather over foam. The foam is a petroleum based polyurethane. It breaks down with exposure to moisture and petroleum products. Anything posed to the leather is likewise posed to the foam. I wouldn't risk anything. Don't touch it. 

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Vark_07
1 hour ago, Airborne-Hunter said:

More so, the specific construction of the Toptex liner is one of leather over foam.

The presence of foam changes everything indeed. Knowing this, I would totally agree with you, not touching it seems wiser.

Thanks for your input.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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