Here is a little something from my grandfathers time in the Marine Air Corps. After WWII he stayed in the reserves and was called up for Korea. He never ended up being deployed to Korea but managed to keep his helmet and flight suit from the training. My grandmother relayed to me one time that he was really frustrated by the call up. Not that they were recalled but in the way they were. Almost everyone of them was already a veteran of the Pacific and by now had settled down with families. Then instead of having the men get checked out in planes like the F4U Corsair (which many had already flown before) or A1 Skyraiders which would have been very familiar planes flying very familiar missions, they decided to have them all switch to jets. With the vastly different handling characteristics they apparently lost a number of pilots in training, only to have them end up not being needed for the war as it was winding down.

Navy H-3 Helmet
This is an early 1950s Navy H-3 flight helmet. This one was used in Marine F2H Banshees and I believe F9 Cougars. Saw an old video I found years ago that showed what looked like a Cougar taking off at El Toro but it was 20 years ago so I could be wrong. I’ll dig through the foot locker and see if I can find the squadron. My grandfather was getting trained up in jets for the Korean war but by the time all the transition training was done the war was over. He kept all his flight stuff and it ended up being he kids Halloween costume for a number of years. Unfortunately that means this was particularly well taken care of for a long time and end up just sitting in an attic after years of wear and tear from the neighborhood kids. As you can see from the broken snaps and straps and the degradation of the rubber and leather. but most of its still there at least.

1950’s Flight/G-Suit
This was used in F2H Banshees and F9F Panthers/Cougar. I think I have a VHS somewhere showing the owner wearing this and climbing into a Cougar at El Toro during his conversion training from propeller jet aircraft for the Korean War. After it’s service life this suit and helmet went on to be the Halloween costume de jour for my mom, uncle and their neighborhood friends for a number of years. So a remarkably good condition one considering how much it was used without care to preservation.

1 Comment

  1. COtt says:

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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