IJAAF SUMMER HELMET

IJAAF summer flying helmet

 

The summer flying helmet of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Forces, readily identifiable as an IJAAF item by the five-pointed leather star sewn to the forehead, was produced in a variety of different colors of leather. What all versions had in common was the green cotton twill lining and the basic construction in an eight-piece pattern with domed, oval-shaped molded earcups of pressed leather (often wearing ink stamps on the inside), two snap fastener secured goggle retaining straps above or behind the earcups, chinstrap and a tightening strap at the back. The latter two strap arrangements had double ring buckles for adjustment.

A Kanji mark consisting of a series of punched holes indicating the size of the helmet can normally be found on the left side of the helmet just above the chinstrap.

This specimen has the goggle retaining straps on top of the earcups. This arrangement is often referred to as the "bomber pattern". 

As it is the case with many IJAAF helmets today, the star on the forehead has been removed sometime in the past.

Yamamoto streamlined goggles

These goggles were manufactured by the Yamamoto Optical Lense Factory, established at Osaka in 1911. From 1941 they also produced anti-dust eyewear and aviation goggles. Yamamoto being a very common name in Japan, it can safely be assumed that the company had no connection with the famous admiral of Pearl Harbor fame.

The glass lenses have a more streamlined shape than the obiquous "hawk-eye" goggles and are hold by purple colored metal frames with air vents on top and the company name kanji's embossed near the strap attachment points. The reddish color of the frames seems to be a common feature for Yamamoto-built goggles, as can be seen with the other two specimen featured on this website, the experimental lightweight pattern and the more standard hawkeye pattern.

The elasticised strap is attached to the frames by means of small double rings and a leather connector. It is much narrower than the ones normally found on other aviation goggle types. The felt lined facepads are filled with a material (rubber foam?) which has deteriorated and thus has lost much of its volume during time.