On View
Military History Gallery
Double Victory: The African American Military Experience
Manufactured by
Shepard Airtronics, Inc., founded 1960
IMCO Products, Inc., American
Used by
General Newton, Lloyd W., American, born 1942
Subject of
United States Air Force Thunderbirds, founded 1917
ca. 1974
plastic , leather , metal , nylon , cloth
H x W x D: 35 × 10 × 10 1/2 in. (88.9 × 25.4 × 26.7 cm)
Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton graduated from Tennessee State University in 1966 and became an Air Force fighter pilot. He flew 269 combat missions, including 79 over North Vietnam. In 1974, Newton became the first African American pilot in the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. He retired from the Air Force in 2000 as a four-star general.
Red, white, and blue flight helmet with black visor. Flight helmet is predominantly red, with an illustration on the back. Illustration on helmet depicts an eagle with four fighter jets in a white star at its center. Blue stars set against a white background surround the eagle. Blue type below the eagle reads, [Thunderbirds]. At PR and PL sides of helmet are metal mechanisms that the flight oxygen mask clips in to. Type on each of the mechanisms reads, [60C4459/IMCO PRECISION/PRODUCTS INC.]. Painted at the center of the helmet's front is [Fig]. Helmet's visor is adjustable using a white knob. Type on white knob reads, [LOCK ASST. VISOR/8475-722-7292/ F/N 66D1722/SHEPARD AIRTRONICS INC.].
Tools and Equipment-Military
Clothing and dress
Race relations
U.S. History, 1969-2001
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of General Lloyd "Fig" Newton
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at NMAAHCDigiTeam@si.edu

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