Message 3194, Jun 25, 2001
That oxygen mask is German I think. The comm cord is straight. This is typical German. Most ather air forces have the cord wrapped around the hose like a spring; (I think the English word is coiled?)
Message 3192, Jun 25, 2001
Hi all, Some time ago Doc reported on the "HGU-2A/PG" he has, this is the specimen with the APH like earcup discs and the P type like strap on the back, and ramshorn visor. On eBay I came accross this item (pictured below) and it is the same helmet although a little adapted. (single visor.....) The seller states it having English and German text in it. He also says it is an HGU-23/P. I have included Doc's example as well to give a comparison. My documentation does not give any info on the HGU-23/P so is this possible? Any thoughts?
Message 2107, May 5, 2001
By the way, I think that Frank's HGU-26P is actually an APH-6 (foreign version), but we shall see when it gets over here. I am fascinated by that hard-bayonet & MS22001 set-up, though. I never thought of using a single nylon strap through the rubber lugs on the MS22001 mask to allow use of bayonets--that is innovative and worth closer study, in my opinion.
Message 2108, May 5, 2001
Hi DocBoink, What an interesting cross-breed you have bought! It might be an HGU-22 shell with one-piece ramshorn visor and APH-6 type headphones with the external adjustment cups. On the other hand it could also be an APH-6 shell without the butterfly bayonet cutouts. The chin strap looks very HGU-22 like but I have never seen that nape strap adjustment system before.
The number of external screws suggest that it is equipped with a strap suspension assembly rather than the standard leather-covered foam pads. This and the plastic cover over the communications plug are common features with the Danish HGU-2A/P-D.
I wonder why it has the external headphone strings used on the HGU-26 when it also has the APH-6 type discs. The usual post for securing the string is also missing.
It would be very interesting to hear more about this helmet when you have received it.
Message 2109, May 5, 2001
Bluelight, Thanks for this post and your interesting comments on the "cross-breed". It is indeed an interesting helmet. Aside from the points you raised and the unposed, but obvious, questions that arise from evidence of these features, the rear strap adjustment mechanism looks very APH-7ish to me. Another reason why I felt this would be a worthwhile acquisition. I'll take some images of it and present a detailed examination's results after its arrival.
Must be an ex-Luftwaffe set-up of some sort. Perhaps German Naval Air? We shall see.
Cheers, Doctor Concussion P. "Crash-worthy" Boiiiiiiink, PhC(rash)
Message 2112, May 5, 2001
Yes it is German. I bought my HGU 26/P from Djabbah and everything he sells is German,mostly Luftwaffe i think.(He lives near Dortmund in Germany)
Message 2113, May 5, 2001
BINGO! Doc, you stirred my memory and made it come up with the answer to my "Now, where did I see this contraption before?" On Holger Braun's website there is a nice picture of a helmet just like yours from the German Naval Air Arm.
Message 2114, May 5, 2001
Thanks for that additional input on Frank's helmet and mask set-up, Tim. For anyone interested in the subject of our discussion (Luftwaffe "HGU-2A/P/G"), I have attached images of this set-up, showing left, right profile views, front view and rear view.
HGU-2A/P(G) with gold-plated dark visor. ęChris Carey
Message 2115, May 5, 2001
(((Sounds of resounding "AHA!" echoing in background))). Excellent memory recall, Bluelight. Thanks for this. I'll visit and check it out. I had this strange feeling that it might be German Naval Air. Looks like my intuitive powers have been heretofore undervalued (by myself, heh-heh). This is the part of this hobby that I like best--the sleuthing and resulting discoveries that abound after a number of us get focused on something.
Thanks again for this additional information, Bluelight!
Message 2130, May 6, 2001
Hi All, Have seen this type of helmet also in the Netherlands about 15 years ago. A number of them came from Germany and were sold as surplus. When you check out the Mart aviation page, see there restauration projects pic. Visible are also a number of these helmets (at least shells). Could be used for parts maybe?
Message 2137, May 6, 2001
Hi Hud, Thanks for this. '15 years ago' would place it at about mid to late 80s or so. Good information. I'll dial up the AM site and take a look. Single blade straight Sierra bayonets is also significant for time frame of use, as is the MS22001 mask (assuming that this set is properly and correctly paired).
Message 2141, May 6, 2001
Hi DocBoink, I think they are older than that. German Naval Air Arm F-104s were regular visitors to Karup AB in the beginning of the 1980s, and right now I am looking at one of my own photos of a GNAA RF-104G taken May 12th, 1981. It has a Gueneau 316 helmet sitting on the windscreen.
Message 2142, May 6, 2001
Yes, you are probably right on that score. I wasn't pinning it down accurately enough--just sort of "ball-parking" it in my mind. The helmet is probably early 80s, all right. Perhaps even late 70s. I'll know more after it gets here, of course. Interesting that a gold anti-nuke flash visor was used as a "second" lens. Germany didn't have a nuclear strike mission; I wonder if the gold visor was just used as an extreme sun filter by the Marinefliegers or whether it was obtained from US Navy stocks of the APH-6 type helmet types that were originally fitted with this visor for use in (USN) A3J and RA5 nuclear strike missions? Bird strike prophylaxis would certainly make sense (even in Starfighters), but I am puzzled by the use of the distinctive nuke visor on this helmet. Hmmmm.
Message 2143, May 6, 2001
Hi DocBoink, Germany did indeed have a nuclear strike mission so your golden visor is genuine. One of many factors causing the large number of German F-104 crashes back in the 1960s was the fact that due to a strong sense of commitment to NATO the German Air Force had F-104s on nuclear alert instead of on the flight line for training missions in spite of the fact that they had a very low in-commission rate. In some periods pilots had as few as 2-3 flying hours per month.
Speaking of the F-104, Robert Calvert comes to mind. The song "Catch a Falling Starfighter" is not fair to the German Air Force. Once they analysed their problems properly and took the right precautions they were more safe than other F-104 users. The Germans ended up with a final accident rate of 1.59 per 10,000 hours. The Canadian was 1.96!
Also, during the first ten years of service, Germany lost 10% of their total number of F-104s. Comparable figures for Belgium, Canada and Italy are 11%, 23% and 24% respectively. My guess is that the Germans crashes were more visible because they had so many F-104s - 917 a/c all in all.
Message 2147, May 6, 2001
Hi DocBoink, My small grey ones are not up to speed these days, I think it's about time that I stop sniffing glue. It finally dawned on me that the German Naval Air Arm did not have a nuclear mission. They conducted anti-shipping attacks with Kormoran missiles and maritime recce missions. They used to operate those F-104s as if they were 450 kts missile boats.
The German Air Force had the nuclear mission in their four fighter-bomber wings JBG31, JBG32, JBG33 and JBG34. In addition to that they also had two recce wings (AKG51 and AKG52) and two air defence wings (JG71 and JG74) operating the F-104.
One more item that finally got unstuck from my sticky grey mass. I think that Flash Aviation had a Luftwaffe HGU-2A/P(G) helmet on their website until recently. It was white with a light blue visor housing with some kind of figures on. The details elude me. But it was definitely Luftwaffe. So, your helmet is probably Luftwaffe rather than Marineflieger.
Message 2148, May 6, 2001
Aha....more details surface in the cerebral miasma of convoluted reckoning (how's that for turning a phrase>--probably the Bernard Shaw ancestry). Funny you should mention stuck valves in the sticky grey mass, as I have seemed to experience similar recall problems ever since I volunteered for that 'pre-frontal lobotomy' experiment in Air Force basic training, many moons ago...
It would indeed be logical that the nuke flash visor indicates Luftwaffe use, rather than Marineflieger use. By the way, Denmark flew Starfighters also, I believe. Did Danish Starfighter pilots use twin visor set-ups (for either bird strike or other applications)?