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U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

Article about: Here's a little something I've had kicking around for a while now and keep meaning to add to the forum. The mask came with a whole load of other stuff that I bought trade from the good old U

  1. #1
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    Default U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Here's a little something I've had kicking around for a while now and keep meaning to add to the forum. The mask came with a whole load of other stuff that I bought trade from the good old U.S. of A. When I noticed this in the parcel I thought that it was worth keeping for my own collection.



    The mask itself is the second type or version of the U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask, being nether an Army nor Navy item, and is in fact a hybrid of components used by both services. The face piece is the Army version in back rubber, with navy style filter canister and harness. Apparently designed to be used primarily by the Navy, however due to supply out stripping demand, ended up being used by both services. The M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask was only ever made in very limited numbers, with production figures ranging from 1000 - 3000 units produced annually, due to its specific designated use, by service personal who required the need to use optical equipment during a gas attack. Troop and servicemen such as Artillery officers, Snipers and Ships Captains etc, would carry this type of mask and its latter versions instead of the standard Army or Navy equivalent. The M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask series was soon superseded by the NDO 1 (Navy Diaphragm Optical, USN Marked face piece) and the U.S. Army M2-10-6 Lightweight Optical Gas Mask.





    My Mask came complete with its bag and anti-dim kit, and was manufactured in late 1943 by (MSA) Mine Safety Appliance of Pittsburgh, who also made a large range of civilian and military respiratory equipment during both world wars, and are in fact still in business to this very day.



    Footnote:

    Remember some WWII gas masks can contain blue asbestos so should never be worn.


    Nige.
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    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  2. #2

    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Awesome example of a very unique mask

    Thanks for showing

    Danny

  3. #3

    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    I had 2 of these I played with as a kid.............. along with my fathers ww2 Marine dress uniform belt. They both even had grey carry bags marked US Navy.

  4. #4

    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    My son picked one of these gas masks up a few months back, that was tucked away on a back shelf of a military emporium store. He had no idea what it was other than it was US Navy and probably WWII vintage by the style. We havn't found much more info on it than what is written in this thread. We need to figure out and locate the carrier for it. He'll get to disply it, for the first time, this coming weekend.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Hi MySonsDad,

    The carrier for this gas mask is the navy pattern haversack/bag, as used with all other navy diaphragm type gas masks which have the filter canister across the back of your neck. The most common of these is the ND MK IV mask uses the same type of bag, the main and only difference is the writing on the front, plus the colour of the bag itself early Navy and Army Bags are Khaki yellow, late Navy bags are a bluish grey colour, the writing print of the face of these bags states as follows;

    Navy Early style Khaki bag/Navy Grey? "MARK 1 OPTICAL GAS MASK"

    This is the correct pattern bag for Navy use of these Hybrid Masks

    Navy Mid-production onwards Navy Grey Bag "NDO MARK 1"

    This bag is for the Navy Diaphragm Optical, this looks very simular to the Hybrid mask but the face piece is marked "USN - U" and is actually different molding to the M1-1-5 Model

    Army Khaki Bag"OPTICAL GAS MASK M1"

    Used with both the standard Army and Army/Navy Hybrid model M1-1-5 in a land based role.


    As a footnote I've seen examples of this hybrid gas mask issued with both Navy types/styles as well as the Army type of bag, again depending on when and to which branch of the service the mask was issued to.

    Nige H
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  6. #6
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    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    That is neat! Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Just curious Nige H, your footnotes states,

    "Footnote:
    Remember some WWII gas masks can contain blue asbestos so should never be worn."

    I'm wondering, because I recently purchased one of these masks, are you speaking of the filter or the mask in general? I have yet to hook the hoses up and attempt breathing through it's filter canister. I was going to use this for a project and figure a way to divert the intake. Any ideas on where the fore-spoken Asbestos might be hiding?

  8. #8

    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    The problem lies in the filter. But fibres can be lurking in the tubes.

    But not attempt to wear it.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Hi Zeke,
    this subject has been quite well covered on the forum, regardless of the asbestos risk they can be full of all kinds of dust and other muck such as mould spores etc, also the problem is some WWI - Mid 1980's gas masks contain asbestos pads where as others do not, the problem is there is no clear list of who used what form of asbestos and when or if at all, so do as Ade says and don't wear your Gas mask. Finally on the subject of loose fibres this can apply to gas mask case, satchels and bags (if issued with a mask) as they could contain asbestos fibres from the filter canister, due to the mask having been stored inside its issue bag for its entire life span, again as stated previously this is down to the progressive deterioration of the asbestos cloth in the decades since the filter canister was originally manufactured

    Nige.
    "Now, I've designed this like a collapsing bag ! "

  10. #10
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    Default Re: U.S. M1-1-5 Optical Gas Mask

    Well whatever the mask is , its one hell of an ugly looking brute, no need for gas, a dozen men wearing them heading towards you would scare the bejeebers out of anyone, i reckon i know where the Tie fighter masks came from in star wars now lol

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