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Some of my WWII Naval Aviator flight helmets


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Newest setup. Nicely named AN6542 helmet with goggles which saw plenty of action and is oh so well documented. It is named to John Z. Colt who was a pilot with VT-23 on the USS Langley. It is named both on the helmet and the goggle strap to Ens. J. Z. Colt. On the brow it says "Ens. John Z. Colt VT-23" in very faint letters). Thanks to Dave (Maverickson) for digging up a lot of interesting facts about John Colt's service with VT-23. Colt flew many strikes against Okinawa, Amami Shima / Jima and Kikai Jima. From what I have gleaned VT-23 joined the entire air group for a concentrated

group effort to hit the airstrips from where kamikaze planes were taking off.

 

This is from his obituary: "Enlisting in the Navy he served in the Pacific Theater as a Grumman TBM pilot aboard the carrier USS Langley CVL-27. Their most notable battle was at Okinawa. A story learned from his crew tells of a forced landing on an enemy occupied island, where John repaired the TBM, then flew the plane, his radioman Fix, and gunner Hawkins safely back to the fleet"

 

The island he landed on was Okinawa on April 23rd 1945, it is mentioned in Lyman Fix' log book and it looks like the airstrip was partially held be the USMC on one side and the Japanese held the

portion on the other. Problem being Colt landed on the Japanese held side of the Airstrip. It looks like they still managed to fix the plane and take off after that. All this information came from Lyman Fix' family (Colt's Air Crewman).
Aside from the strikes and the landing on enemy held territory there is another well documented close call with that crew. There is an article done by Lyman Fix(Colt’s Air Crewman) that involves Fix, Hawkins (2nd aircrewman) & Colt about a crash landing on the USS langley and getting out of the plane & then pulled back up aboard. There were lots of USN type perfectly clear & concise pix made of the incident. The accident was a result of coming aboard the USS Langley with a flat tire. I will add pictures of the entire article and and pictures of the actually crash landing with a picture of Colt himself in full flight gear being hoisted back on to the deck of the USS Langley.
I also got copies of Lyman Fix' log book with all the strikes they flew and the accidents they had. I am going to post them as well. Knowing that this is the exact setup Colt used during all his missions is priceless to me and I am so glad I am now the custodian of this setup.
Again thanks to Dave (Maverickson) for his hours of research and invaluable help on this.

 

 

 

 

 

Tom this helmet is nice and have a good history but did you repair it and re-attached a chin straps tabs?

 

Regards,

Jerry

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Latest and greatest. This is a rare green deck helmet fitted with earcups and earpuffs. No straps have been added to the back of the helmet for the goggles, either the pilot didn't need them or the flight helmet was used with glasses. Beautiful setup. I wish it was named.

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Latest and greatest helmet. Never seen one quite like this one before. It is a red deck helmet heavily modified for flight use. The back was modified to make the fit more comfortable, 3 loops were were also added to hold the goggles. The position of the loops is pretty high up but it makes perfect sense when the goggles are on the helmet. Last but not least the AAF rubber earcups are held in place with a very heavy and thick material which I had never seen before used on a flight helmet. Strangely enough the receiver cord goes inside the material which i had never seen done before either.

The helmet is attributed to Ensign (later Lt JG) Hugh F. Carlin, DOB 12-24-1920, who passed away in 2005. Ensign Carlin served on the USS Altamaha (CVE-18), a US Navy Escort carrier during WWII he joined the navy in 1942 and served through the end of the war.

 

 

 

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Thanks Jerry. Nope i didn't do anything with it. I thought I would replace the cups but it displays very well as is so i don't want to mess with it. It sure is a unique setup. I love it. One of my best pieces.

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Been following this thread for a while and I have to say fantastic collections everyone. I'm particularly fascinated with the variety and usage of deck helmets because it's interesting to see the different colors and modifications made to them. Does anyone know what companies produced deck helmets?

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Gerber is the only manufacturer I can find on my deck helmets. It looks like they had a monopoly going. Anyone knows if other manufacturers made deck helmets in WWII?

For reference this is my small collection of plain deck helmets and they were all made by Gerber:

 

 

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Latest and greatest, WWII green nylon helmet with modified chinstrap (cut down and instead of the buckle a snap was added to the strap and the helmet itself). Nice mod which I had never seen on a green nylon helmet before. Also a oxy hook was added to the back of the helmet to hold the oxygen mask in place when not used. I only have seen 3 other helmets modified that way before and I had never seen it done on the nylon helmet version.

 

 

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Now something extremely unusual. I just purchased this setup which was completely covered in lacquer at some point to preserve it. While I 100% disapprove, the deed was done when I got it so there was no going back. It is a very interesting setup because it is so customized. The setup started its life as a light commercial leather cap and the pilot added a customized strap on the back (with 2 snaps), volcano earcups, ANBH1A receivers and oxy snaps. When I got it the goggle strap was completely wrong so i carefully removed it and replaced it with an original strap. The result is almost a work of art and displays really well. The mike boom support frame riveted to the side does not have a post war 383 contract number so that particular boom mike support could be potentially of WWII vintage but it looks like it was added at a later date than all the previous modifications. It looks like that helmet saw a ton of use. Again not something you see everyday

 

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