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USMC APH-5


Wayward Son
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Wayward Son

The Helmet Fairy paid a visit and dropped off a beautiful gold MSA produced "NAVY" APH-5. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a package deal consisting of the helmet, Navy MS-22001 mask and rigger made helmet bag.

 

The helmet has a terrific well used, but not abused, overall condition. It cleaned up real well, and a light polish with a carnauba car wax brought out a very nice luster. The tinted visor slides nicely, and the "Devo" stepped visor knob spring lock works as it should.

 

While cleaning the interior of the shell, I located some identifying information on the foam liner between the padding. "-IRVAN- USMC" was hand printed in ball point pen. At this point in time, I have not located any information on the aviator via basic web searches.

 

The mask is dated to what I assume to be February, 1956. The mask adjustment and retention straps were missing when I took possession of the mask. I had some old USGI webbing that Uncle Sam didn't want back when I left the Army. I sourced some mil-spec snaps and a snap setting kit and made the replacement straps seen here.

 

I'm very happy to have this set in my collection. I like to imagine that it is the late, great, John Glenn looking down from his "Project Bullet" F8U Crusader on 16 July, 1957.

 

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Vark_07

As I told you by PM, this is a wonderfully well-preserved early APH-5 example ! 👍

The rare push-to-unlock stepped knob, the M-6A/UR boom mike and coiled comm cord are very nice assets to this set, not to mention the terrific job you did polishing it and crafting these mask straps, kuddos !

The time stamp on your mask shows indeed a mfg. date of Feb 1956 (coincidence, it's the very same as my APH-5's mask !).

 

 

Side note : although the 60-70's era decal sheet frequently encountered on APH-6s and SPH-3s featured both USN / USMC half-split markings (NA_VY, US_MC), the APH-5s seemed to have been issued most commonly with the NAVY emblem (with half-split wings and individual letters) regardless if the aviator belonged to the USN or USMC (as it seems to be the case with your example).

As a matter of fact, I've managed to dig only one APH-5 example sporting a "MARINES" (not USMC) decal on the web, the vast majority of them sporting the NAVY markings.

Any additional insight on this matter would be great.

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cricket

Is the mask com cord spliced?  I’ve never seen a coiled cord like this…

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Wayward Son
12 hours ago, cricket said:

Is the mask com cord spliced?  I’ve never seen a coiled cord like this…

There is some very old and brittle electrical tape wound at the bottom of the coils, but I can't tell if it is covering a repair or a splice in the cord. I do know that area of the coiled microphone cord in my patrol cars over the years is the most likely area to start falling apart with frequent use. They were repaired in a similar fashion.

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AMT500E
On 7/5/2021 at 12:57 AM, cricket said:

Is the mask com cord spliced?  I’ve never seen a coiled cord like this…

Yes!  

 

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Vark_07
On 7/5/2021 at 6:57 AM, cricket said:

Is the mask com cord spliced?  I’ve never seen a coiled cord like this…

Neither have I with these old setups, but that's the charm of it !

Since the cord is spliced and the 2-pin plug seems to be the correct PL-291 for this 50's era, I'd bet it was some kind of a "rigger" cord custom (or repair).

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