Type AN-H-15 summer flying helmet
As a part of the clothing and equipment standardization program, the AN-H-15 was intended for both Army and Navy use.
Constructed of khaki Byrd cloth with integrated rubber receptacles for ANB-H-1 earphones and featuring a chamois lined semi-circular brow piece, it was standardized in April 1943 to replace the Type A-9 summer flying helmet.
The newly designed rubber earcups were the result of extensive research at Harvard University. They provided effective noise insulation and were easily mass-produced and factory-installed.
Compared to its predecessor an improved fit was obtained by an elasticized rear replacing the facial drawstrings. To the rear of the helmet we find three leather retaining straps, the central intended for the wiring loom and the two lateral ones, sewn on one side and fixed by snap fasteners on the other, foreseen for the goggle strap. A velvet covered leather chin strap buckles on the left and snaps on the right.
While early examples of the AN-H-15 were issued without provision for oxygen mask attachment, later specimen were factory produced with leather panels having three, later four snap fasteners installed to accept the now standardized type A-14 mask. An additional snap was eventually fitted on the helmet over the wearar's left jaw to provide an even more secure fit of the mask.
Type A-14 diluter demand oxygen mask
Please click here for a detailed description of the A-14 mask.
Polaroid variable density goggles
These variable density goggles were designed and manufactured by Polaroid who applied their patented principle of polarization. They were primarily designed for air gunners for observing the trajectory of tracer ammunition.
The varying degrees of density are achieved by one specially coated lense rotating across another. A centrally mounted knob turned the lenses for the desired effect. This first Polaroid type features an additional flip down shield to observe tracer ammo in bright sunlight.
Drawback of these goggles are the very restricted field of vision and their tendency to break or freeze up.