Posted 9 years ago
The above title is the nomenclature as read on the original box this item comes packed in. A better description is a bazooka loaders face mask. In case you don't know , a M1A1 2.36 inch, AT Rocket Launcher, was, in World War 2, also know as a "bazooka". The term bazooka was used because it supposedly resembled a musical instrument used by radio comedian Bob Burns.
This mask was mostly just a footnote in history as the operators and loaders of this anti-tank weapon disliked the mask and it was discarded by them. They found that in the heat of battle retrieving the mask took unnecessary minutes, the mask was hard to see through, and that the loader could just be clear of the back blast of the rocket by being to the side of the tube and the gunner used a shield built onto most tubes. Ultimately the Army did not require these to be used.
These are still available on certain sites, still in the box, but I received mine in a trunk, flat and folded, the worst for wear.
I'm not sure if the lenses on these are supposed to be tinted of if over 70 years they have yellowed. My guess is that they have turned this color over the years. The way they set on the manikin is not proper. They had been folded for so long they have creases in the leather and the plastic lenses have been cracked. The last picture (not a good one) is the inside and the wool, (I guess) around the eye pieces.