Jump to content

Likely mfg. period for this APH-5? Tanx!


BlueBookGuy
 Share

Recommended Posts

BlueBookGuy

hello everyone,

never had much interest in vintage Army, or helicopter, flight helmets but this APH-5 could (maybe) find an ultimate place on a full-size character instead of staying among a few others on a shelf. Just need to have at least a mfg. date if possible, so to better know if it can match other types of gear.

Could anyone kindly discover more infos from the tag, i.e. an earliest mfg. date for this specimen? Not able to pick out any references, differently from tags of other helmets I've had.  Here a couple details should they be useful: shell's paint looks like sprayed when edgeroll was already there (some tiny traces being over the black rubber), and comm. cable doesn't have the leather segment covering it when exiting the shell.

Thanx again!  Blue.

 

20210707_160155.jpg.0a50402b9f375a45b6f744c4982628c5.jpg

 

 

20210707_160625.jpg.de96ac3e0bcb3222d4b52cd3b639d43b.jpg

 

 

20210707_160951.jpg.b203bc8842dc64b542bff8282d1568e8.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

p.s. had been told by seller years ago it is from 1966, just are there on the tag any such references?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

viking73

Hi, the seller was correct. "DSA-100" in this case means it was a 1966 contract date.

 

-Derek

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

Thanx very much.

Please any tips about the cable entering the shell with constant thickness? Almost all specimens seen in pictures (and, a few personally) show that enlargement some centimetres long. Maybe here a later replacement?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mohawkALSE

If you are talking about the ICS cord going into the large rubber grommet in the rear left section, it looks normal to me.   Thats how the Sierra made helmets were that Ive seen, some of the older Gentex helmets, I think 66 and earlier had the same setup but sometime had like a small leather boot there that always dries out over the years.   So I'll assume thats what you might be referencing.  I don't have either of the helmets with me, but I have a white Gentex 66 dated helmet and it has the leather boot outside of that grommet, then my father 1968 Sierra is exactly as this one is, only the rubber grommet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

Thanx Mohawk,

so I can assume nothing wrong if that leather boot isn't present here around the ICS cord where exiting the shell. Was used to often see on helmet tags a two-digit number following the 'DSA-100', meaning the contract date, here absent, Viking73 confirmed 1966 as the correct date even without that number.

So in the end this is a Sierra-made, '66 contracted, helmet much likely to have been originally white finish? Traces of OD paint are noticeable on  the rubber edgeroll in some spots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mohawkALSE

Its very possible it was white and painted, that was the fate of many white helmets around the 66-67 time frame for Vietnam.   The inside shell material around the label sort of seems like it could have been white, and I do see the paint on the edge beading.   It might have just been repainted OD though, not really sure.    With the contract numbers, the usual 2 digit date codes were added in 1967, so pre-67 contracts will lack them in the normal 4th and 5th digit spot in the contracts.  Some earlier 60s contracts sometimes had the date in the last 2 or3 digits of a contract.   This helmet is a very nice piece for a Vietnam display, can go many ways with it either as a rotary wing setup or a fixed wing setup from that time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

very kind Mohawk, precious infos.

Yes I'd like having it to stay permanently on an helo aviator together with the tigerstriped full flight suit patterned after a K-2B (or one of the proper Navy's coveralls, so much similar to K-2Bs), jungle boots, and HAU-7/P gloves. Technically the suit could be more correct if worn by a Marine aircrew since it looks like those that were Japan-made (or Okinawa), and some vintage pics comprove these custom-made coveralls were in use as early as summer-autumn 1965 in a tiger pattern quite similar to mine's   -   much possibly the 'John Wayne Dense Pattern' but not 100% sure.

Still unsure whether or not an Army aviator could turn out correct if clad in such a garment, will see with more documentation.  Infos about the APH-5 are interesting though, thanx again.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jerry_k

Franco I guess it would be best impression for you with your tiger suit:

 

image.png.6b2625247c3cbe9f9c4e8b6c0b802b50.png

43603244422_763d5a359f_k.jpg

 

You have to only find a correct SPH-1 helmet and Bu.Aero flak vest.

 

Cheers,

Jerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

Jerry yes these are striking photos and comprove many USMC helo aviators used tigerstriped one-piece flight suits (in addition to those styled in two-piece fatigue garments), my APH-5 is a typical Army one and as such could be not fully correct...  unless the character  - by private ways -  had been able putting his hands on a prized striped suit unofficially.

 

Will see, no haste at all. Never at the top of my collecting list back then, so do not wish hurrying up and stumble into some errors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mohawkALSE

Id personally stick with an original Army format with a helmet like that.   Something correct for that era could either be a K-2B flight suit, or a lot of times in Vietnam earlier 1968 and prior guys could be seen wearing the OD green utilities or even the OD jungle fatigues while on flying duty.  Those didn't become unauthorized til later 68 time frame when the new 2 piece nomex flight suits made their appearance in Vietnam.  Some actually preferred to wear the K-2B over the 2 piece nomex as they used to claim they were pinchy in the hot humid environment but other enjoyed the 2 piece nomex since when waiting around you could remove the shirt.   In regards to like the tiger style suits and private purchase/custom made stuff, they didnt seem to be very common in the Army rotary wing area,  some of the fixed wing crews who flew the OV-1 Mohawk got custom black flight suits, or camo suits that were all patterned similar to the K-2B.  Some Army aircrew also sometimes acquired Navy type CS/FRP-1 1 piece nomex flight suits in the late 60s time frame.  Was sort of a stop gap while the new 2 piece nomex suits were being sent to Vietnam.   The 2 piece were in such high demand for S.E.A.  that when my father left Vietnam in 1970 and rotated back to the US, he was again issued a old K-2B flight suit since all the nomex was being sent directly to Vietnam priority. 

 

As for gloves, Army wise in the mid to later 60s (lets say 66-68) the grey B-3A flyers gloves would be most correct but there probably were some other variants floating around.  Ive seen some earlier to mid 60s pics of crews wearing either USAF type MA-1 leather flight glove shells or the HAU-6 leather glove shells.  Come 1968 the CS-FRP-1 nomex flight gloves were becoming more the standard but the B-3As were still around.  When my father was in flight school in 68 to early 69 he was issued the grey B-3As with K-2B flight suits, then when he got to Vietnam May 69 he was issued the FRP-1 nomex gloves with his 2 piece flight suit.  He had a APH-5 still when he got in Country til around Dec 1969 and was finally issued a brand new SPH-4.  Again as I said with the 2 piece nomex being in demand, so were these new helmets so when he left Vietnam he had to leave the SPH-4 and again used the APH-5 back in the US.  He didn't see an SPH-4 again til about 1972 when he went into the Army National Guard.  At that point the SPH-4 and 2 piece nomex was the standard.   He got to keep his APH-5 since they had no more use for them and didnt want them back.

 

Jungle boots or just the plain leather combat boots/flight boots would be correct for boots of that mid to later 60s time frame as well, both can certainly be seen in numerous pics during the war.  Eventually the jungles were unauthorized as they were a burning hazard.

 

Army wise you don't have to worry about a survival vest,  very rarely you would see any being worn by Army helicopter crews until the very end of the 60s and then when they became standardized in 1970.  OV-1 crews seemed to be the only Army crews wearing survival vests from the mid 60s and on.  For those fixed wing crews like the OV-1 they wore the Army marked version of the yellow MK-2 life preserver and then moved on to the Army version of the SV-2 and also wore USAF SRU-21P vests.  Later in 1970 the 21P became the Army standard for Aviation.  For armor in the mid 60s the M-1952A frag vests were worn by aircrews, even the OV-1 fixed wing crews at times for flak protection.  Come 1966-67 time frame helicopter crews were starting to be issued the new Chicken Plate ceramic armor vests.

 

Can go alot of ways for this display depending on the date range you wish to depict and aircraft type.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BlueBookGuy

Great infos!! Wouldn't imagine some aviators kept their APH-5 well into 1969...  not thinking necessarily at the SPH-4s helmets as their replacements, rather the AFH-1 model. Evidently, preferences and availability often dictated many choices.

Thanx very much again  -  Blue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AMT500E

 "availability often dictated many choices."

 

 ie: If we ain't got it,..you can't have it!

This is absolute with many supply issues across the entire military spectrum

during any time of conflict/war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mohawkALSE

Was very much what was available.  In the 69-70 time frame my father was there, guys in his unit has a mix of APH-5s and AFH-1s at first then later the SPH-4 was in the mix as well.   I know another gentleman who served a couple tours in Vietnam and he told me when he reported for his first tour the unit showed him a pile of various used helmets, all were APH-5 variants but was a mix of both Army and even a few older Navy variants,  some the original helmet colors, some also has been painted.  He ended up choosing a Navy helmet that was painted and went with that.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...