USAAF flak helmets

When the USAAF started to operate from the air fields in England, their main purpose was day light bomb raiders over occupied Europe. The Germans relied mostly on their flak guns to prevent the bombers to drop their load. The American bomber crew suffered mainly from shrapnel injuries all over the body and the head. To offer some protection the 8th Air Force started to develop anti-flak gear. At the very start the head protection was a regular M-1 helmet with cut-outs for the earphones.Than experimental gear was tested (T-3 helmet) and later on the headwear improved and special metal ear flaps were added to the M-1 helmet. This resulted in the M-3 helmet. The last modification was the M-5 helmet with longer ear flaps to protect the cheeks.

For the turret gunners the available space was very milited and therefor a large M-1 helmet couldn't be used. So a new helmet had to be develloped, the M-4 helmet (M-4, M4A1, M4A2 and a rare version H-28-CL project).

Another special helmet was the Auxiliary Air gunner's helmet, type G-1. 

 

Flak helmets

 

 

Left: M-3 flak helmet, side view.

Middle: A felt-like ear cushion was fixed inside the ear flaps to protect the earphones of the flight helmet.

Right: Inside view of the web suspension system. The M-3 helmet used a webbing chin strap.

 

Left: General view of the M-5 helmet, note the absence of felt inner ear protections.

Right: Webbing suspension system similar to the one used in the M-3 helmet. The M-5 helmet has a leather chin strap.

 

Left: The canvas covered M4A2 helmet. This helmet hadn't a suspension system and the chinstrap is leather.

Right: Leather covered H-28-CL project helmet which is basically a leather covered M4A2 helmet with a few modifications. These helmets are easily identiefied because of the large yellow star sewn on top.

 

 

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