Original U.S. WWII USAAF Bomber Crew M5 Steel FLAK Helmet
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very hard to find USAAF WWII issue M5 Flak Helmet, in very good condition. It does not look to have been issued or used very much, but it does have a lot of storage wear on the exterior shell. This has removed a lot of the fuzzy "flocked" coating on the exterior. It also looks to have had round insignia on the front and rear, but those have now been removed.
World War Two American bomber crews in the skies over Europe needed something more than their leather flying helmets to provide them with shrapnel injuries, however it took a surprisingly long time for a new helmet to be developed and deployed to meet that need. Not until December of 1943 did the M3 reach the ETO, it was the first of three versions of the American flak helmet. The M4 followed, and in January 1945, this model, the M5, became the standard issue to bomber crews.
Like the previous models, the M5 is a three-piece steel helmet comprising a skull and deep hinged ear-flaps. The ear flaps were modified compared to the M3 and M4, and made deeper to provide additional protection to the wearer's cheeks. The chin straps were now clipped to swivel bales, for more easy replacement, an advancement that made its way to the M1 helmet in the post war period. They were also made of leather, as with the M4 flak helmet, and had a chamois interior, until later in the war, when they were replaced with canvas. The M1-style front brim was also removed. Also, instead of the M4's cloth cover, the M5 has standard olive drab paint, but it is covered with a thin "flocked" fuzzy covering, which prevents fingers and skin from freezing to the helmet surface.
This example is offered very good condition, though as noted before, almost all of the flocked covering has worn away, probably from cleaning. There also looks to have been some type of insignia on the front of the helmet, which was removed along with the paint in that area. The interior rigging is complete with the forehead sweatband, which has just a bit of degradation on the reverse side. The original leather chamois backed chin strap is partly present, with the buckle end being broken off at the mounting bracket. This helmet also does not have the pads inside the ear covers, and does not look like it had them at any time in the past.
This is an excellent opportunity to own a very nice example of a hard to find helmet. Ready to display!
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