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US Navy Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5

Article about: I picked this hardhat up about 6 months ago, off of eBay. Although not a “military issue” helmet, it does have a long service in the US Navy and I thought it to be a nice piece to add to the

  1. #1

    Default US Navy Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5

    I picked this hardhat up about 6 months ago, off of eBay. Although not a “military issue” helmet, it does have a long service in the US Navy and I thought it to be a nice piece to add to the helmet collection. Below are a couple of photos of the hardhat and a couple of the floating drydock ADFM-5. Also I included a bit of history on ADFM-5 for anyone that might be interested.

    I have likely (unknowingly) sailed by the ADFM-5 several times during my many visits to Subic Bay in the 80’s. The ship in the floating dry dock, in the last photo, is the USS Kinkaid, Spruance Class Destroyer D D-965. I had the opportunity to provide technical assistance aboard this ship back in 1983 and received a Letter of Accommodation, from the Destroy Squadron Commander, for this service. At that time, I was stationed aboard the USS Oldendorf, D D-972 which was attached to the same destroyer squadron, Desron 7. Anyway, enough patting myself on the back, here are the photos:

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    Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5
    The MSA hardhat markings indicate that it was used aboard the Auxiliary Floating Dock Medium (AFDM) No. 5. This is a typical safety hat of the 1940’s, worn by workers in a construction environment. This particular helmet is believed to be a Type K Skull Guard model and was likely worn by one of the shipyard workers, either civilian or military, assigned to AFDM-5. The two red hash marks may indicate that this hardhat belonged to an officer.

    AFDM-5 was originally designated as YFD-21 (Yard Floating Dock). YFD-21 was build buy the Everett Pacific Shipbuilding Co. in Everett, Washington and was commissioned February, 1943. Its original name may have been USS Rebuilder however, this is unconfirmed.

    During World War II YFD-21 served at Espiritu Santo Island, New Hebrides Islands, Samar, Philippines Islands and at Olongapo, Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. In 1945 (uncertain if during or post war) YDF-21 was re-designated AFDM-5 and continued its service through the Korean and Vietnam War, while stationed in Subic Bay. In 1979 AFDM-5 was renamed Resourceful and re-designated as Medium Auxiliary Repair Dry Dock (ARDM-5). In 1992, ARDM-5 was towed to Guam Shipyard to relieve ARDM-8 while it was being re-certified. On Tuesday, December 16, 1997, Typhoon Paka, with peak gust wind speeds of 240 mph, the highest wind speeds ever recorded over land, swept across the island of Guam. ARDM-5, in Apra Harbor, took on water as a result of damage caused by the typhoon. ARDM-5 was removed from service and struck from Navel Register on August 22, 1997 ending her 50 plus year long career as a US Navy floating dry dock.

    In 1999, Malayan Towage, which is the Philippine's largest towage and salvage company, purchased the ARDM-5 and returned her to Subic Bay for repairs and return to civilian service. The drydock arrived at the Port of Manila's North Harbor terminal in late November 1999 where it was fitted with additional equipment including a 100 ton capacity floating crane. Malayan Towage negotiated with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to station the drydock at its former home at Bravo Pier. ARDM-5 (no longer using this designation) is believed to remain an active floating dry dock to this day.

    As AFDM-5 did not receive this designation until 1945, this hardhat can date back no earlier than 1945. An examination of a number of Vietnam era photos, of AFDM-5, showed all the yard workers wearing much newer style hardhats allowing us to assume this hardhat is dated some time after WWII on into the mid 50’s.

  2. #2

    Default Re: US Navy Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5

    A cool lid and for sure a part of US naval history.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3
    ?

    Default Re: US Navy Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5

    Interesting. It has the liner fastened in the same manner as the Zuckerman

  4. #4

    Default Re: US Navy Shipyard Hardhat ADFM-5

    Quote by Scout View Post
    Interesting. It has the liner fastened in the same manner as the Zuckerman
    Scout, I've never inspected a Zuck up close but I'm assuming the liner is held in by the lace, around the circumfrance, as it is with this hardhat. These hardhats are quite common and are still made today, with a different liner and attachement system however.

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