US Air Force pilots of the late 1950s were on the cutting edge of rapid advances in aircraft design, flight gear, and technological innovation. Records for altitude, speed, range, and duration were routinely set and broken in those exhilarating times. USAF "Century Series" fighter-bomber and interceptor pilots regularly flew at Mach 1 plus, and new hard shell "bone dome" flight helmets, oxygen systems, "G" suits, high altitude pressure suits, nylon flight jackets, and advanced communications avionics were developed to meet their needs.
USAF "jet jockeys" of the late 1950s were issued the classic P-4A flight helmet and MS 22001 oxygen mask. This US Air Force 1950s FIGHTER PILOT "THE PRINCE" CALLSIGN GENTEX P-4A FLIGHT HELMET is in very good condition, with some drying and crazing to the leather oxygen mask attachment tab at the right front, moderate crazing to the "winged star" decal at the left crown, some fairly deep scuffing at the back right crown, some scattered scratching and darkening around the exterior, some whitish spot soiling to the leather portions of the interior suspension, missing the darkened brass stud from the leather oxygen mask attachment tab at the left front, and with some light overall age wear evident (ALL pictured). Otherwise, the helmet is in fine shape, with no other damage to the tough fiberglass construction, which retains approximately 90% of the original glossy off-white exterior finish.
Most interestingly, it's a Size Large, bears the classic full color "winged star" decal of the U. AIR FORCE" at the left crown, and carries the pilot's callsign, "The Prince, hand marked in greenish ballpoint pen in elegant Olde English lettering on white medical tape neatly affixed at the front crown.
The helmet sports the original tinted visor with a fully functional hard black rubber pull down knob with slide locking mechanism, brown leather oxygen mask attachment tabs at the lower front, main wiring with end plug neatly stowed at back, darkened brass "glove" snap closure white canvas chinstrap with felt lined chamois sliding pad, matching white canvas nape strap with brown leather trim, brown rubber edge rim, brown leather and purplish nylon HBT interior suspension, retractable black rubber interior ear cups with cushions, and metal ear phones, features the traditional "winged star" outline stamping of the U. AIR FORCE" in white on the interior top crown pad, and exhibits both of the original "P-4A / GENERAL TEXTILE MILLS INC. " (Gentex) USAF nomenclature labels inside, the paper version of which is stamped with the date, "APR 1958. It boasts the original US Air Force 1950s MS 22001 Oxygen Mask in fair condition, with a complete tear to the top end of the hose, which has been recently repaired with clear tape (it will only temporarily hold the two pieces together), both of the rubber nose tunnels having torn away, allowing the brownish OD nylon nose strap to hang well below its intended position, moderate drying and crazing to the edges of the face piece, and with moderate overall age wear evident (ALL pictured). Otherwise, the mask is in fair shape, with no other damage to the tough OD rubber construction.
Most interestingly, it's marked "MASK OXYGEN / MS 22001 / SIZE MEDIUM" at front, Achushnet / PROPERTY U. GOVERNMENT" at the right side, and "DATE OF MFR.
/ 59 at the left side. It's complete with the original brownish OD nylon attachment straps with darkened brass hardware, as well as the original OD rubber oxygen hose with "three pin" metal end piece, and the set is a fine example of a very rare, original US Air Force 1950s FIGHTER PILOT "THE PRINCE" CALLSIGN GENTEX P-4A FLIGHT HELMET. The item "US Air Force 1950s FIGHTER PILOT THE PRINCE CALLSIGN GENTEX P-4A FLIGHT HELMET" is in sale since Monday, September 28, 2020. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Vietnam (1961-75)\Original Period Items\Hats & Helmets".
The seller is "abramsantiques" and is located in Claremont, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.