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Some of my WWII Naval Aviator flight helmets


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Hi Jerry and All,

Since you noted a lack of posters in this topic recently, I thought I'd share a project from last year. This small grouping of two flight helmets and a set of goggles was attributed to a Navy flier's estate. As you can see by the seller's photos, the condition was less than perfect:

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I thought they were salvageable and the price turned out to be reasonable. After a gentle cleaning and some leather dressing for the ear cups, I installed earphones in both helmets. The goggles were a bit more challenging, but with a brass brush, the corrosion came off the frames and ferules. Pad and strap were also replaced. I felt the end result was worth the effort. They are still salty, but more representative of how they would appear in service.

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Thanks Jerry. Here is another one in the NAF-1092S / M-450 series. It is manufactured by Mario G. Mirabelli. These are easily recognizable in vintage photos due to the fact that this was the only manufacturer of these helmets that had external seam reinforcements. The other three manufacturers kept them inside the helmet.

 

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Extremely well put!!!!!!!....and great helmets!...I am admiring all the leather chincups!!.....mike

 

Amen, the experienced gear is just more fun.

Always looking for uniquely marked helmets, WWI and WWII American Field Service items, WWII and earlier USMC items and named or numbered medals and medal groups.


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Paul, thanks for sharing those helmets with us. You actually did a very good job cleaning them up. What kind of brush do you use to clean them?

I will post more helmets soon as I've been busy lately :)

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Hi bazelot,

You are most welcome. The brush I referred to looks like a plastic handled toothbrush, but has brass bristles. They come with fiber or steel bristles also and I use all three for different applications. I've found them at gun shows in the past. I've also seen them in a three pack at the big box home stores more recently. A word of caution though. Although the clean up of the Charles Fischer Spring goggles went well and did no damage, I've found that the plating on the American Optical manufactured AN-6530 goggles is very fragile (it has a tendency to flake off) and won't stand up well to the same treatment.

I look forward to seeing more of your helmets!

Best regards, Paul

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Hi bazelot,

You are most welcome. The brush I referred to looks like a plastic handled toothbrush, but has brass bristles. They come with fiber or steel bristles also and I use all three for different applications. I've found them at gun shows in the past. I've also seen them in a three pack at the big box home stores more recently. A word of caution though. Although the clean up of the Charles Fischer Spring goggles went well and did no damage, I've found that the plating on the American Optical manufactured AN-6530 goggles is very fragile (it has a tendency to flake off) and won't stand up well to the same treatment.

I look forward to seeing more of your helmets!

Best regards, Paul

 

THanks for the info Paul. I will buy one of those small brushes and try them on a pair of goggles I have in mind. I own around 20 pairs of AN6530 and MKII that are in excellent shape but I also have 2-3 pairs that need to be cleaned up I also did realize that some withstood the test of time better than others.

You really have agreat collection. I would love to see it in person!!

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Hi Bazelot.

 

Here are two of my old helmets ( nothing special but looks good )

 

First:

Very used AN6542( late model with sewn chin strap ) with probably orginally installed TH-37 earphones with extension cord. It is not typical to see late war helmet with early war earphones(TH-37) but earcups look like receivers were there for a long time! I put under the helmet USN (very used condition with named stamp under bill "Tunner") hbt baseball cap used like a sun visor, we can see very often these type of configuration. Goggles are AN6530 with brown rubber face pad.

Unusual combination with the ball cap... Makes sense... I like that you included the period photo...

Phil.

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One more for today. An un-named M-450-1 by B-G Inc. I like the stitched chin cups. Displayed with my favorite pair of AN-6530s. They are early Charles Fischer Spring with the riveted upper vents (as found on the Mk-II goggle), tan pad and are fitted with sky lookout lenses. Note the early blued hardware on the goggle strap.

 

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Great looking setup...

Phil.

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