IJA TANKER HELMET
Imperial Japanese Army winter leather helmet
This winter helmet is somewhat of a mystery. Recent research indicates it being a tanker helmet rather than a flying helmet.
We are lacking photographic evidence so far.
It features the following characteristics:
- stitched size marking, indicating a large size helmet, on the left side above the chin strap
- chin strap with double ring buckles
- lack of army star (removed?)
The basic construction consists of six triangular segments in a pin-wheel pattern which is typical for naval aviation helmets There is also a complete lack of insignia to indicate the branch of service. The only marking present is a very fainted and unfortunately illegible ink stamp inside the helmet.
The lining consists of two types of rabbit fur, combined with a lozenge-quilted lining on top, fixed to the inner shell by a cloth mesh stitched to a soft insulating material.
The outer shell is made of dark brown leather, including a leather chin strap, double ring buckles, a reinforcement strap of leather encompassing the helmet at the height of the brim, and top hinged earflaps snapped down horizontally by means of three stud fasteners each. The latter would allow Gosport tubes or electrical earphones to be inserted for communication.
Noteworthy is the lack of goggle retaining straps and any type of tightening strap.