As American industry geared up to produce the thousands of war planes envisioned by President Roosevelt in early 1942, the only question was whether enough pilots could be trained to fly them. Top front line naval aviators were brought home from the war zone to staff the intensive US Navy pilot training programs being launched across the country. Naval aviation cadets flew the N3N "Canary" with their instructors seated behind them, vocalizing firm directions through the specially designed "Gosport" tubes attached to the cadet's flight helmet. Many cadets wore the Navy leather training helmet with a distinctive dual strap and buckle closure chinstrap carrying a thick chamois covered pad at the underside; prospective naval aviators were instructed to land heavily in preparation for landing on pitching carrier decks at sea, and the thick pad helped prevent jaw injuries.
This US Navy USMC Marine WW2 PILOT TRAINEE GOSPORT TUBES BROWN LEATHER FLIGHT HELMET is in very good condition, with a tear to the top end of the leather chinstrap, a small scuff in the lower back left crown, a small tear in the front right edge seam, some light loose stitching to the upper front right edge of the thick pad at the underside of the chinstrap, some darkening to the lining, and with some scattered drying and age wear evident (ALL pictured). Otherwise, the helmet is in fine shape, with no other damage to the smooth "tobacco" brown leather construction.
Most interestingly, it boasts the classic dual strap and buckle closure chinstrap with a thick chamois covered pad at the underside, sports the original brown leather covered ear cups with darkened metal Gosport tubes and velour interior ear pads, and features brown finished metal "glove" snap goggle retention tabs at back. It's tagged a "7 1/4" on a typical Navy black and gold size label inside, exhibits the familiar chamois lining, and is a fine example of a very rare, original US Navy USMC Marine WW2 PILOT TRAINEE GOSPORT TUBES BROWN LEATHER FLIGHT HELMET. We have shown a photo of a US Navy flight instructor in WW2 wearing a very similar training helmet; he likely grabbed the helmet for the training flight to afford himself the same jaw protection as the flying cadet.The item "US Navy USMC Marine WW2 PILOT TRAINEE GOSPORT TUBES BROWN LEATHER FLIGHT HELMET" is in sale since Monday, June 21, 2021. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\WW II (1939-45)\Original Period Items\United States\Hats & Helmets". The seller is "abramsantiques" and is located in Claremont, California. This item can be shipped worldwide.