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Greg Long

US Carrier Plane Captains Brown Shirt Headgear

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Hi,

The number and letter on there headgear what does it stand  for

Is 'P" for plane caption - what is the number following it stand for e.g.  P2

 

Greg

from Downunder

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The number identifies the squadron, 1 for the 100 series, 2 is the 200 series, etc.  P is the Line Shack, D is powerplants, M is airframes, C is corrosion, Q is QA, E electricians, T avionics, O ordnance S safety, L supply.

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Sorry, Rightwinger but that's mostly wrong info. the correct info can be found on this page here....

https://info.publicintelligence.net/USNavy-CVN-FlightDeck.pdf

 

See Appendix "H" for a complete listing of markings for shirt, flotation vest (float coat), and helmet (cranial or brain bucket, depending on how viscreal you are 😜 ). This by all means is not the last word on how a helmet is marked. For example, in 1979, before I grew up and became an Aviation Ordnanceman, AO, I was assigned to V4/Fuels Division on the USS Saratoga as a member of a flight deck fuel crew. The regulations were somewhat looser back then and we had access to a literal rainbow of reflective tape, including, believe it or not, black. The backs of some flight deck helmets on the USS Saratoga were works of art as we were allowed to personalize our helmets as long as our job's color was still visible, in my case back then, purple. That said, as I wasn't that creative, I flunked finger painting, the back of my helmet had the outlines of my home state, California and the county I lived in, Kern, all in white reflective tape on an reflective orange background.

 

When I left the ship I was allowed to keep my helmet and float coat, ie; stole them, and in later years the helmet had the back painted yellow to better fit my job as a handler in both my Reserve and civilian occupations. The front piece was left in purple plastic and the original orange tape stripe over white panel pattern. I still have that item wit the original liner and hearing protection but over the years the foam rubber pads in the ear cups are gone having turned to dust ages ago. As for helmets in VP-65, VFA-305, HAL/HCS-5 and China Lake Station Weapons, those were property of the units and were marked per NAVAIR, TYCOM, and/or unit/local instructions. If you to an internet search for flight deck personnel images you will find a whole slew of exceptions to the rules and examples that I've listed. Sadly, those same rules governing flight deck helmets apply to Aircrew helmets as well but again there are exceptions to every rule. 

 

At the most basic level jerseys and float coats are the one color_ blue, yellow, red, brown, green, or purple_ with lettering and numbering. Adding to that are black vertical stripes,  on the front and back that a broken to leave a space for special letter lettering such as (in vertical format) stripe segment-space-VFA-305-ORD-stripe. One other special marking if you can call it such, is a person's crow or rank insignia. I'm sure it's been covered before and the info is easily found so I won't be going over that. As a rule of thumb, for helmet markings for the period of the hard plastic two piece cranial in the 1970s until about 1987-90 when the regulations were tightened up, headgear was as colorful as the person was able and allowed to make it. After the enforcing of the instructions headgear, to this day for the most part, is basic color, white reflective patches with lettering and numbers. 

 

                                                                                                                   

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You notice that every in NATOPS about squadrons states for cranial markings, ‘squadron designator’, 1P, 2E, 3D, 4O, and so on.  

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Posted (edited)

In my personal experience as well as a member of several different type commands, P-3, HH-1K, HH-60H, F/A-18, A-6 as well a a flight deck crew member of two aviation rates, Aviation Boatswains Mate-Fuels (ABF) and Aviation Ordnanceman (AO), I personally have never to my recollection seen a the letter "O" used for Ordnance on a brain bucket. I admit to some minor memory loss from several very minor stokes, but all pic in my 1980 ship's MED Cruise album show otherwise. As NAVAIR is the got to publications for line operations concerning flight deck and flight line personal that is the publication I provided the link to. As I said, there are always exceptions to every rule and SOP so if you were to provide a picture of the odrnanceman's helmet in question I will concede that point Having said that, I did not post to prove that I was more right than anyone else. I posted a link to an official publication that answered the question asked as well as personal anecdotes on the practices common on the USS Saratoga between 1979 and 1980. I do not try to 'out do' another member but I will give information and real life examples as it is everyone's best interest to have the best information available on a given subject. I embarrassed myself very badly with one of my first posts because I was rightfully called out for giving the wrong information because of my faulty memory. I had answered a question that I knew was right only to be proved wrong in. The fact that it was something I should've known as an AO, especially an AO rate resident expert and unit instructor, made my embarrassment that much worse. Therefore, before I posted on this topic I not only read, but reread the NAVAIR instruction as well as look up official and personal photos of flight deck cranials, especially those in my own rate, AO.

 

In looking over the NAVAIR instruction, nowhere does it say anything about markings on the helmets. Officially, this is what is foot noted in NAVAIR 00-80T-120 Appendix H.....

 

2. Helmets for all personnel shall be marked with a 6-inch square (or equivalent) of white reflective tape on the back shell and a 3-inch by 6-inch (or equivalent) of white reflective tape on the front shell. Landing signal officers are not required to wear helmets or sound attenuators when engaged in aircraft control. Helmets shall have a 2-inch piece of velcro on the left side of the front shell and velcro on the survival light.

 

3. Three reflective international orange stripes, 1-inch wide, evenly spaced, running fore and aft on top of the white reflective tape. a. All air department officers. b. Air department Chief Petty Officers and Leading Petty Officers. c. EOD team members. d. All ordnance officers and gunners. e. Ordnance handling officer and gunner. f. Arresting Gear Topside Petty Officer.

 

4. Helmets for all personnel who have not completed flight deck observer qualification shall be marked (front and rear) with a “T” using 1-inch wide blue reflective tape over the existing reflective tape (front minimum 2-inch tall, rear minimum 3-inch tall lettering).

 

5. Helmets for all aircraft directors under instruction shall be marked (front and rear) with a “U/I” using 1-inch wide blue reflective tape evenly spaced over the existing reflective tape (front minimum 2-inch tall, rear minimum 3-inch tall lettering).

 

Please note that paragraphs 4&5 were added after my retirement from the Navy in 1998 after 20 years of Active and Reserve service to my country. "Legally", ie; according to this instruction, there should be no extra markings other than the white panels on the front and back of the helmets. As a Safety Petty Officer I would have been in my right to order all letters and markings on my shop's helmets removed but in doing so I would've been regarded as a fool and rightfully so. The helmet markings are for lack of a better term a 'tradition' of each and every Navy and Marine Air Wing. Leaving a model figure's cranial devoid of any markings would be bland but according to NAVAIR, the only correct color scheme. As I have said more than a few times, there are exceptions to every rule and regulation.

 

 

If you feel I slighted you or gave faulty information then I applogise but, to my best abilities I gave the best that I could not only find but had personal, first hand knowledge of. I would rather give a fellow modeler too much info over a wider time period than not enough if only to deny everyone's common enemy, rivet counters, an opening to criticize one effort. In this instance I stand by my statements and hope that they are what a fellow modeler was looking for as well as making sure others have that same knowledge for their own projects. 

Edited by HCS-5 AO1
added quote from NAVAIR instructions

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The AO’s used O when I was a Blaster, and they use O at 106.  It depends on the the squadron.  If you scroll through the hornet weathering thread in jet modeling, there are a few in there with O.  I rarely post here anymore, I don’t even remember how to post pictures anymore, lol.

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After further digging on the internet I was able to find a total of five pics of Red cranials with the letter "O" on it, three of which were USMC Ordies, the majority of the pics shown and what I wore on my shop's gear was nothing for VP-65, "230" at NAWS China Lake due to the fact that we wore either Navy dungarees or blue coveralls, or unit designator starting or ending with "W". In the internet search the majority turned up the same with "W" appearing in most of the shots. There for, to a certain degree I stand corrected but, it did take a lot of looking around to find these five shots, so I will extend an apology. I did edit my second post to show the actual NAVAIR instruction footnotes. Saying that, I still stand by what I said because of actual experiences on the flight decks of the Saratoga in 1979-80 and the Nimitz in 1992 as well as the flight lines at NAWS China Lake, NAWS Pt Mugu, NAS Fallon, NAS North Island, NAS Barbers Point and NAS Moffett Field. Twenty years will have a person see a few places and ships. Depending on how one looks at things it was either good or bad luck to spend time on only two aircraft carriers but there you are.  

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Actually, you both are correct, it just depends on the time frame being discussed.

 

Before early 90's, AO1 is correct, it was basically a grab bag of markings applied to cranials. After 91/92 time frame, things started to get more standardized. First, CAG's started coming up with their own standards and then towards the late 90's CV NATOPS came out with a standardization for all float coats and cranials.

 

RW is stating the current standards (and the standards for the past 10-15 years), AO1 is stating the standards (or lack of) before the early 90's.

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Thankyou for the replies all  good info

Here is what I am asking I have photos of Brown Shirts with 3P on the back of there head gear what does the 3P stand for

 

Greg

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Posted (edited)

The 3P means the brown shirt is a Plane Captain for the third squadron, aircraft who's side number (modex) starts with 3xx.

 

So, if you are doing a diaroma and the aircraft side number is 207, the Plane Captain's cranial will have "2P".

 

 

 

Edited by GW8345

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Thankyou

So the 1/32 Growler I'm doing is 502 that means the Plane Captains' cranial would be "5P"

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Posted (edited)

Yes.

 

Edited by Spook498

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Who cares what you had on your cranial.  What I cared about is that any of you with XYZ on your helmet knew the "roof", and you were able to keep me from walking into a turning E-2 prop, help find my plane in the middle of a rainy night, or not break my neck getting down a catwalk back inside the ship (or on a real bad day throw soemthing under my wheels as I screamed "lost breaks" on Land/Lanch).

 

signed...a Naval Aviator (who didn't belong on the roof unless I was going to fly, conduct FOD walkdown, or help wash a plane on a no-fly day).   

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On 6/20/2019 at 10:35 AM, Collin said:

Who cares what you had on your cranial.  What I cared about is that any of you with XYZ on your helmet knew the "roof", and you were able to keep me from walking into a turning E-2 prop, help find my plane in the middle of a rainy night, or not break my neck getting down a catwalk back inside the ship (or on a real bad day throw soemthing under my wheels as I screamed "lost breaks" on Land/Lanch).

 

signed...a Naval Aviator (who didn't belong on the roof unless I was going to fly, conduct FOD walkdown, or help wash a plane on a no-fly day).   

😂 That's good...that's dam good.   

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