SALES May 2019

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Very scarce early US Army Air Corps Type A-4 Flight Helmet.


The A-4 was considered a summer flying helmet, despite being made of chamois lined cape leather, and was standardized for issue in the 1920s, remaining in inventory until it was finally declared obsolete in 1944 - thus it essentially connected the two world wars and was still available for issue well into WW2. This example is in good condition. The leather is soft  and smooth with a few scuffs and minor surface nicks, but overall displays well. The thin unlined forehead / brow piece shows some loss - however these were usually either folded side the helmet  of cut off so it does not detract.  lining is fairly clean with no damage. This helmet features padded ears and chin strap and has never been modified for adding communications, though it has had a strap added to the back to secure goggles in place. A nice example with a good label. In spite of being a small size, it fits a standard male feature display head very well.  A very scarce helmet.


US Army Air Corps  American Transport Flying Goggles by American Optical.


Often confused with the B-6 goggles, but this is technically the commercial version - though they were undoubtedly worn by Air Corps pilots and crews (B-6 goggles differed only in having tube vents welded to the frames). A superb pair of goggles, with plated frames, clear glass lenses, pliable soft rubber cushions in excellent condition and elastic strap with "Sunny Chang's" written in script on the back. Most of the elasticity in the strap has gone, but it is not stretched out. Contained in their original aluminum case and retaining original instruction booklet with detailed diagrams on how to care for the goggles. A lovely pair of goggles.



Willson style N86 goggles with case, dated 1918


Originally marketed as "Universal Side-Shield Goggles" these goggles were renamed N86 - perhaps for a Navy contact, since Willson was a major supplier of equipment to the US Navy. Patent dated 1907, 1912 and 1918, the yellow lenses were specifcally for seeing through haze and were issued to naval aviators to search for enemy shipping in hazy conditions. A very good example in great condition, the leather clean and pliable, and still contained in their original green tin case with card insert printed wth patent details. 



WWII RAF Other Ranks uniform shirt with separate, detached collar, large size.

Very good condition Other Ranks (enlisted, including all ranks of NCO) cotton shirt, showing light wear but no damage, repairs  or excessive wear, just slight soiling from age / storage. This is the style of shirt that opens all the way down, rather than just the half-button front. It has good ink markings, including a serial number, though thee are faint. Collar has clear WD arrow and stores ref. number. All buttons present. Collar size is 16" which is fairly large and the shirt is also quite large. 


WWII RAF hand held torch for ground crew and aircrews.


Small hand held torch (flashlight) for RAF groundcrews and aircrews. Dark blue metal cylindrical body, 6.5" long x 1-5/8" diameter  with both ends threaded to permit changing batteries and bulb. Two-way switch for flashing or locking in the on position. Well marked with stores ref. number 5A/434-5391 and a broad arrow. Well used with chips to paint (retains about 85-90% original paint) but no dents or dings. 56MAS1 scratched on side which could be a depot or aircraft serial number. Would look great as part of an airman's kit display; these are the small things seldom found that make a display complete! 


Pacific war aircraft relic 2. Piece of alloy taken from the remains of a crashed kamikaze aircraft.​

A piece of aircraft alloy, retaining almost all of its green painted finish, measuring approximately 7" x 2", taken from the remains of a crashed kamikaze / suicide aircraft which crashed into the USS Pinkney, a USN hospital ship, on April 28, 1945. Note from the veteran who gathered this and the other items listed is included and he writes that the thin, metallic green paint enabled japanese aircraft to fly faster than US aircraft. An interesting relic, well worth researching, and great for displaying alongside any Pacific War collection.



"Griff on the Gremlin". 64-page small format hardback book published 1943 .

Sold to help raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund to help wounded airmen, the 5" x 7.5" book focuses on the well known "gremlins" who are responsible for every mishap that could possibly occur to a pilot. Written by D.J. Marshall and illustrated by Len Kirley, the book is full of humor and typical RAF jargon. There were several books on the folklore of the "Gremlins" but eventually authorship and their invention was credited to Roald Dahl, himself a RAF fighter pilot, who while traveling in America, trademarked the Gremlin name with Walt Disney who made a movie about them. This in one of the pre-Disney originals and as such is quite a rare book.


AAF training booklet for air gunners:

"Get that Fighter."

Training booklet published November, 1943 for Air Gunners, with all kinds of details on how to shoot down fighters. 64 pages, 4" x 7" with multiple fold-out pages showing how to shoot at specific enemy aircraft (German and Japanese). Named to Pvt. David Ackerman with his serial number and class of 44-8. Very interesting. I have only come across one of these previously.


USAF F-86A Sabre jet Flight Operating Instructions


Date 25th October, 1951 and revised 5th February 1952, this official operating handbook for the F-86A Sabre jet was published by the Secretary of the Air Force. 668 pages includes descriptions, diagrams and photographs of every detail of the F-86A Sabre. Almost 2-inches thick this manual lists every part of the aircraft. Invaluable to an owner of anyone interested in the history of the early jets and the first swept wing fighter jet in service with the USAF.


Wonderful hand-painted bookmark on aircraft canvas, a souvenir of England.


Absolutely superb piece of hand-painted art, probably by the same airman who would have painted nose-art on aircraft or the back of flying jackets etc. depicting a bald eagle clutching a swastika and the message "Best wishes from USA in England". Canvas is painted in the same olive drab paint used on early B-17s, P-38s, P-47s etc. Measures approximately 9" x 4" and in excellent condition. 


RARE WWII RAF oxygen mask hose for G and H mask with high-altitude bale out attachment.


Essentially a standard RAF mask hose which has been modified by adding a section of metal pipe with a bale-out attachment and an addition length of rubber tubing for the standard Mk IV bayonet connector. These were used in PR aircraft and some fighters towards the end of the war, with a narrow tube connecting the pipe outlet to a bale-out oxygen bottle attached to the parachute seat cushion. Hose in in very good condition, showing some light cracking in the corrugations but perfectly solid. Light oxidation to clip. A rare item which will connect to any G or H mask.


AAF MC162-A earcups for ANB-H-1 receivers / HB-7 headset also sewn to flying helmets.


Soft, thin rubber cups for use with the ANB-H-1 receivers in the HB-7 headset, but also frequently sewn to the A-9 and B-6 flying helmets for installing telephone receivers. A matched pair in excellent condition, with no hardening or deterioration to the rubber. Quite difficult to find these days.


Luftwaffe Sommerfliegerkombi / summer flying suit in unissued, unworn condition - a remarkable find.


The classic Luftwaffe Fliegerkombi in completely unissued, unworn condition; with two large factory applied paper tags sewn to the left sleeve, undisturbed, one of which bears the date of 1/43. This is the standard summer issue one-piece overall flying suit made from light brown woven fabric. It was designed to be strong and resilient but lightweight and comfortable, and included a built-in emergency "ring-pull" quick release strip in the event of injury or wound requiring quick and painless removal of the suit. This same style of suit was worn thought the war, from the Battle of France and Battle of Britain through the Blitz and all through the defence of the Reich. It went through a few minor refinements, such as the addition of the ring-pull quick release and the changing of the fly-zip from horizontal to vertical, otherwise it remained the same throughout the war. This example is absolutely stunning. The zips on this suit retain all their plating, shiny and bright as when new, and work perfectly. There is some minor verdigris in a couple of places but this will wipe off with a soft cloth. I never like to use the word "mint" because, after all, this garment is over 75 years old - but it is as pristine as when it came out of the factory. Without doubt, this suit would be impossible to upgrade. A fantastic example.


RAF issue Mosquito Boots.


One of the most misunderstood items of footwear in the RAF inventory! Mosquito boots, which were constructed of suede that varied in colour from tan to gold to green (this particular pair are a rather nice shade of greenish-gold) were specifically for issue to ground crews working in desert and tropical climates, in order to prevent all sorts of insects, including but not limited to mosquitoes (scorpions, spiders and other poisonous creatures) from getting inside the boot and biting the wearer, which could lead to infections, malaria and other injurious results. Pilots and aircrews, on seeing these boots, took an instant liking to them and hijacked them for their own use, so that they became a popular flying boot, often seen in period photographs.   

This pair is in excellent condition, all original, with cords instead of the more common tapes for drawstrings, well marked with the WD arrow and what might be a date of 1-44 . They are a size 8. By no means a commonly found item.

Other styles of boot are often passed off as Mosquito boots (one style with unlined canvas uppers and black shoe sections is predominant, but these are not RAF issue despite resembling the 1939 pattern boot, and NOT mosquito boots – insects can bite straight through canvas!). These were made of thick but soft and comfortable suede to keep out insects. A very good example.


RAF i1939 pattern boots, as worn by fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain.


Lovely pair or 1939 pattern boots, dated 1940 with great Air ministry marked leather pull-tabs and named to a J. H. Leighton.

The boots show use and some wear (interestingly around the tops showing that they were worn with the trousers tucked in). The fleece is solid, with just a little wear. Canvas is in very good shape (they are often worn through at the ankles) with a light stain on one side which might clean up or probably should be left alone. Leather soles might be replacements but if so are almost certainly wartime, and original rubber heels.

These were issued for less than 2 years before the RAF gave up on them (they would get wet running through dewy grass in the morning, and then freeze at altitude). Getting very hard to source these days.


© 2020  Vintage Flying Helmets

Superb original WWI WRAF photograph


Excellent and large fornat original photograph showing three women of the WRAF in WWI. an outstanding example of the uniforms they wore c.1918-19.  Approx. 4" x 6" with slight creasing / cracking at bottom corners.


£28 / $35  / €30  email for more details