Original U.S. Vietnam War Helicopter Pilot Marine Corps Task Element SHUFLY APH-5 Helmet and Named Flight Suit

Item Description

Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. Marine Task Element, code named SHUFLY was the first Marine Task Unit to provide air support during the Vietnam War beginning in 1962. The tasking represented the first large unit commitment of a Marine unit to Vietnam during the anti-communist struggle in Southeast Asia. The mission was to provide assault support, offensive air support and air reconnaissance, with primary objective being troop lift and resupply to United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (USMACV) and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces engaged in combat operations. The challenges experienced while in Soc Trang established tactics and procedures still used by Marine helicopter units today. HMM-362 (Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron) and Marine Air Base Squadron 16, Sub Unit 2 were the first units to deploy in Operation SHUFLY. New squadrons rotated in approximately every four months until 1965 when the United States' involvement in Vietnam drastically increased. Each squadron was deployed on a four-month rotation with four months in Okinawa, Japan, four months aboard ship and four months in Vietnam.

Included in this named set are the following pieces:

- Helicopter Pilot Gentex APH-5 Helmet by Sierra Engineering Company. The helmet is in overall very good complete condition with the liner, headset, boom mic, and tint visor. The helmet is maker marked by Sierra Engineering Company and is a size large. Also included is a felt carrying bag. This is a rare Vietnam era original rare helicopter helmet in wonderful complete condition!

The US Army introduced their first flying helmet, the APH-5A or APH-5 Quartermaster helmet in 1959. It was an adapted version of the US Navy Aircrew Protective Helmet no. 5 (APH-5). The change was mainly in the communications system as the US Army used the same impedance standard as the US Air Force. With the introduction of the APH-5A the number of head injuries incurred during US Army aircraft accidents was reduced by half compared to the number of head injuries incurred before helmets were used.

The early examples of the APH-5A had the same thick foam rubber edge roll as the US Navy APH-5 and usually came in white color. Later examples had thin black rubber edge beading and usually came in olive drab color.

- Cotton flying suit with U..S Marines TASK ELEMENT DANANG - VIETNAM PATCH, Name tag that reads Jolly Martin and sterling Air Assault Badge. Suit is a size large and in very good condition.
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