Aeronautical Headgear North American
U. S. N. / Marine Corps AN6540-2L Flying Helmet
A good late WWII example with the designation AN 6540-2L. The 2 signifies the size as a medium; USN issue helmets came in four sizes with 1 being small, 2 medium, 3 large and 4 Ex-large. The L suffix denotes "leather" - as opposed to W for winter or S summer. This suffix was not always added. The leather shell is in excellent virtually unmarked condition and all seams are tight. The chin strap has the velvet cover in place; the leather shows minor cracking. The second buckle, often mistaken as a "second chin strap" is actually for the direct fitting of an oxygen mask -usually the A-8B. The silk drawstrings are missing and this helmet displays a common fault in that the receiver housings both have slight cracks at the 12.00 and 06.00 positions. This occurs because over time, the rubber dries out and shrinks. The receivers on this helmet are JT-ANB-H-49 by Joyce Teltronic Corp and would suggest this helmet has been used post war as the receivers date to a 1949 contact. The helmet is fully wired ;the loom shows minor abrasion but this does not detract and is fitted with a PL 540 jack plug. The Inside of the helmet is very clean indeed showing evidence of light use only. The woven label confirms the designation and the maker as Slote & Klein against contract N-Z288S-12364. This is a late WWII contract number and probably indicates made during 1945, but retrofitted or modified with later communications. Not mint but a very decent display example of a helmet that does not turn up every day. More detailed photographs available on request. Many thanks to our friend Mick Prodger for assistance with the identification and description of this item.