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WW2 British & Canadian Helmets, Crash, & Helmets, Steel, Royal Armoured Corps.

Article about: The first helmets for use in armoured vehicles were the Helmet, Crash, Royal Armoured Corps,sometime in the late 1930's.They seem to be made of cork & covered in material, I believe they

  1. #21
    SMP
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    Perfect RAC lid, Aaron. Congrats ! Did you get it at Stoneleigh ?

  2. #22
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    No not at Stoneleigh today, did you go?

  3. #23
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    Fantastic examples with the period photograph of them in use just makes this thread soooooo much better
    Thank You
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #24
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    Hi Aaron here are a couple more examples from my collection to add to the thread first one up is my war time Mk I HSRAC they were issued to the RCAC as well in and around July of 1943 the helmets Canadian designation reference number was (1A19120) the exterior has been repainted in a textured charcoal grey which IMO is war time applied as I have been able to find reference to this type of texturing found on the Canadian issued Steel Mk I's in Lucy's book tin lids .
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    I as well have a post war issued Mk II HSRAC with a rather intresting camo paint job bought this one strictly as a curiosity as I loved the camo pattern.
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    Regards Mark
    Always on the look out for WW II Canadian Helmets and Cam nets to add to my collection.

    Found a Canadian Mk II Medics Helmet and yes I know they are about as rare as hens teeth !!!!!

  5. #25
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    Default HSRAC Mk.II

    The Canadian Army procured quantities of the British Helmet Steel RAC, Mk.II in the 1950s under the designation Helmet, Soldier’s Steel, RCAC. This example has an FFL liner dated 1952.


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    Along with the Helmet Crash Tank Battalion (the Canadian name for the Helmet Crash, Royal Tank Regiment) they were used into the 1960s, in part because it was difficult to find a helmet compatible with Canada's eclectic AFV fleet (Centurion tanks, Ferret scout cars, M-113 APCs. Interestingly while I have seen no indication that the Canadian-made Helmet Crash Tank Battalion was used by he Canadian Army Overseas, some British-made Helmets Crash RTR did come to Canada. This one has a DND Property tag and has even acquired a NATO Stock Number.

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  6. #26
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    We should not forget that the fibre US Helmet Tank were used in large numbers by Commonwealth tank crew, in part because they were delivered as part of the equipment of US-made tanks.
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    Its Canadian designation was: Helmet, Crash, Tank, USA Pattern. Examples were tested in February, 1943 by the Experimental Wing of the Canadian Armoured Corps Training Centre in Borden Ontario. It was found to be light and comfortable and cold be worn for long periods without strain, if properly fitted. It withstood shock well (hitting the occupant with 4cm metal pipe at a force of 15kg, caused little discomfort. For extra protection, a Mk.II helmet with the lining removed could be worn over it, and it cold be worn comfortably with a respirator. The helmet did not interfere either with the use of goggles or the tank’s telescope. The fibre did not soften after 45 minutes exposure to artificial rain-fall. The only criticisms were ear-flaps did not accommodate the standard wireless head-phones, and the large perforations in the crown made it unsuitable for use in cold or wet weather.
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  7. #27
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    Thanks for the information & pictures to go with it, do you happen to know the maker name on the British HCRAC (the one that looks like the Canadian version) I'm pretty sure it was J. Compton Sons & Webb ?
    When I was a lad I lived a mile away from Bordon, we used to go the the army ranges & play on the little islands between the tank tracks while they went passed, Chieftain's mostly.
    Is that where Borden got it's name from, I believe the Canadians were in Bordon in both wars.

  8. #28
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    No it was made by HELMETS Ltd. Wheathamstead, St.Albans in 1940

    But I do have one HCRTR made by Compton & Webb, but interestingly it seems to have been used by a DR belonging to the British 10th Anti-Aircraft Division - if the insignia is anything to go by. Still it's not unknown for DRs to use tank helmets and vice versa.
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    Quote by tinlid View Post
    When I was a lad I lived a mile away from Bordon, we used to go the the army ranges & play on the little islands between the tank tracks while they went passed, Chieftain's mostly. Is that where Borden got it's name from, I believe the Canadians were in Bordon in both wars.
    Indeed, Bordon Hants was a major Canadian base in both Wars, but Camp Borden in Ontario where our Second World War Armoured Corps training centre was located took its name from our Great War Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden.
    Roger

  9. #29
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    I know HELMETS Ltd made the compressed fibre HCRAC, & they, & J.Compton & Webb made the other type as well, good to know thanks.
    Love the 10th AA Div flashed helmet.
    I have seen wartime footage of someone (para, sas) jumping out of a plane with one of these helmets.With just string & buttons holding the scrum on, how on earth it managed to stay on his head.

  10. #30
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    Default Tank Helmets in Canadian Use

    Here are some photos of HCRTR and HCRAC in Canadian use (however, one photo of a tank commander wearing his black beret slipped in, and the Tank Commander in the second from the bottom seems just to be wearing the scrum under his Mk.II)
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