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Helmet & Hat Display- Legion of Valor Museum

Visited 11-11-10

The Legion of Valor museum in Fresno, California, has the largest collection of WWII era helmets and hats that we have seen so far. The collection includes hats and helmets used by both Allied and Axis countries including: Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States.

A variety of hats and helmets from all branches of the U.S. military are represented at the museum including: Marine Corps, Army, Army Air Corps, Army Air Force, Army Nurse Corps, and Navy. A medic's helmet, flak and flight helmets are also on display.

Great differences in hat design can be seen between the countries involved in World War II, as well as between the military branches, different campaigns, specific useage, and dress versus combat hats and helmets. Sometimes it was possible to identify the country a soldier was fighting for, just by the hat or helmet he was wearing.

Interesting changes in flight helmets can be seen between the leather aviator's helmet and the rigid plastic helmet which had an inner liner. The rigid helmets were developed to increase pilot safety in the new jet aircraft.