IJAAF/IJNAF WINTER HELMET
Imperial Japanese private purchase winter flying helmet
This helmet is constructed of high quality brown leather segments, which are more numerous than it is the case with standard issue Japanese flying helmets.
Lining consists of rabbit fur and brown silk with the only marking being a size label.
Two snap-down goggle strap retainers and an adjustment strap (note the back-snap fastening) are fixed at the rear. There are two pressed leather donuts, normally found with army aviation helmets, with additional adjustable air-vents to accommodate ear receivers. A "navy style" snap-up front brim and adjustable chin strap (with the same back-snap fastening) complete the outfit.
It is interesting to note that this helmet incorporates navy and army features while omitting definite identification aids like the army star or a naval cotton ID label. These characteristics, the high quality fittings (buckles and metal snaps instead of rings and bakelite buttons) and the size label indicate a private purchase helmet rather than a standard issue item. The general appearance, despite the missing star at the front, possibly speaks for the helmet having been used by an army pilot.
There exist several variations of private purchase helmets. They were made for both navy and army aviators and you could buy them as is, or have custom features added or removed as you liked - as long as you could afford to pay for it. The mix of features resulted in army and navy pilots wearing helmets with custom features of the other service, a fact, which reportedly was not uncommon.
Yamamoto experimental folding flying goggles
This is a pair of folding lightweight goggles with slightly amber tinted glass lenses, felt lined face pad and leather trim with four aeration holes around the strap attachment. It is very similar to the Aoki Hikari lightweight goggles also featured on our website. One source states that it represents a late war 1944 pattern for an experimental rubberized jet helmet.