This sailor coming down the ladder means some shipmate's about to be rescued from a very dangerous situation.
This photograph is from the 17th edition of the Bluejacket's Manual, the traditional handbook of the American sailor for over a century. These black and white photos were copied from my BJM from 1970.
The waterproof black hose connects the wiring from the headlamp to the waterproof battery box.
The battery box clipped to the sailor's belt. This is a typical WWII repair party M1 in all respects.
This rear view provides a glimpse of the battery box and also identifies the helmet as belonging to repair party two, and stowed in repair locker two. The repair lockers were located in strategic areas of the ship and were completely redundant in equipment.
Though not brilliant by the standards of today's technology, these little headlamps did help save ships for over 40 years.
This battery box is well marked, another in my collection is not.
Clearly marked "OFF", whatcha call "sailor proof".
Note the original green corked finish under the thick layer of sand and flat red paint.
Marking on the rear of the helmet.
Close up of the front seam on this earlier M1.
You can just make out the heat treatment numbers.
This model has the swivel bales,
and some pretty "salty" (literally) hardware. Seagoing M1s could be exposed to a lot of salt spray and corrosive powder smoke. While I was on destroyers, I seldom saw a pristine M1.
The marking "UNIT 22" causes me to think that this helmet was from a larger ship. The sooty grime and firefighting foam residue on the surface also leads me to believe that it has seen action.
These were the good guys,
and this trusty M1 was their helmet for nearly half a century.