Sunday, June 15, 2008

USA, Combat Vehicle Crewman's helmet - Vietnam

second in a series of twelve

I saw this scrawled on more than one barrack wall:

As I slide down the long bannister of life I'll always remember Vietnam as a long splinter in my ass.



The Helmet


The non-ballistic CVC helmet was a lightly padded crash helmet for wear inside all US armored fighting vehicles during the Vietnam era.  This specimen, manufactured by Sierra Engineering in 1966, mounts integrated send/receive electronics emblematic of the advances of radio and intercom communications in the post WWII era.


The exterior draw string allows the wearer to snug up the earphone cup allowing a better fit.

This side view affords a good view of the boom microphone as well as the send/receive switch box.

This helmet provided very good overall head protection for the bumps and jars typical of AFV living.

The Suspension



The CVC suspension has components similar to the M1 liner.


The OD webbing, "A" washers, and adjustment buckles are typical of the M1, although this suspension is configured quite differently than that of the M1 liner.


Unlike the M1, the CVC leather sweatband is only a partial affair, contacting merely the forehead of the wearer.  Also note the 1/4 inch thick sponge rubber padding which lines the entire dome of the helmet.

The manufacturer's label, sewn into the rear of the head band, is very crisp and provides quite a bit of information.  This particular helmet was manufactured in 1966, back when many Americans still thought the war was "winnable".  Funny, the Vietnamese were thinking the exact same thing.

The electronics




The Roanwell Corporation, manufacturer of the CVC electronics, is still going strong.  Click here for their website.



The individual earphones are comfortable and heavily padded to provide maximum acoustic insulation inside the noisy environment of the armored vehicle.


Both earphones snap in and out of the shell, for ease of replacement.



The articulated boom on the microphone is remarkably adjustable and engineered for durability.


Close up of the microphone.  "Basher one, requesting sit-rep on the beach party question, over"


By the way, the GIs in the photos are off an armor website, these aren't guys I served with... I had my own problems.

All in all a fine piece of protective gear, much better engineered than MacNamara's exit strategy. 

provenance:
accession number: MOA harmold1.279
Helmet - Crash Vehicle Crewman
Acquired 1979, Lansing Michigan.
Purchase price :$20.00
Condition: excellent

Next Monday, another tanker helmet.

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