(click on pictures to enlarge)

Extremely rare RAF headgear assembly: Type B flying helmet, 1939 dated label and large size 3 with Type D oxygen mask and Type 21 microphone.


All in very good condition and 100% original. The Type B helmet is a generous size 3 in excellent used condition, named to F/O Decley (or de Cley) with nice AID stamp and superb 1939 dated Frank Bryan label. Leather is excellent condition, slightly grubby inside from use but no damage or wear. Retains early bakelite telephone holders, leather coverings to both Bennett buckles, leather zip pullers, metal V on chin strap, original sponge rubber pads (though these are dry and crumbling).  Mask has a few minor areas of mothing, mainly to right hand side and lower edge, but far better than average. Chamois is very clean. Complete with Type 21 microphone, full external wiring Q cord and Type C receivers  (10A/7063) with bell plug. The Type 21 microphone was announced i October 1940, just prior to the end of the Battle of Britain so may have seen service, though I still await photographic confirmation. Nonetheless, a rare and desirable set which is rarely offered these days.



Scarce early WWII RCAF cold weather /high altitide flying helmet with built in chin cup and extended neck protector, known as a "lappi".


Similar pattern to the standard Canadian Type B helmet, but with some notable pattern differences: the helmet features an extended chin strap, contoured to cover the chin and throat and fasten high on the left hand side. This long strap is known as a lappi and was standard on many early RAF flying helmets dating back to WWI. Also features nape adjustment strap to rear, and an extra long goggles retaining strap to secure goggles mask and oxygen mask. Essentially an early high-altitude version of the RCAF helmet. Leather is grubby from use and storage but overall soft and pliable; very good condition. Zip ear cups with Lightning zips, original sponge rubber rings inside to secure receivers. Red dye stain on one edge, doesn't detract in any way. An interesting variation, first of this type I have ever seen.





Luftwaffe model LKpS101 flying helmet with throat mics and lead removed


Very clean example of this classic Battle of Britain Luftewaffe helmet in a good size 58 and overall very good condition, except that the throat micrrophones and lead / plug have been neatly removed. This was probably done many years ago. Earphones are still present along with the celluloid inserts. Clean, no damage except one seam split in lining. Fabric and leather excellent. Would make a great restoration project for anyone who has spare communications gear or a helmet in poor condition. 

Priced accordingly.



USAF Cold War B-52 nuclear force protective flying helmet Type H-149 / AIC Headset MB-3.


A grim reminder of the Cold War nuclear threat, the MB-3 helmet / headset was designed for comfort and protection for the earliest crews flying the B-52 Stratofortress on round-the-clock missions carrying nuclear missiles in the event of a strike ever being necessary. Made from white leather (white was supposed to be reflective in the event of a nuclear blast) with a hard shell that was padded with foam rubber, the helmet could also be fitted with a detachable bill for protection aganst the sun. This example was definitely used but remains in good displayable condition, though it lacks its receivers (wiring and plug still present). The foam is dry and crumbling slightly. Quite a scarce helmet and it makes a striking display.



First World War Imperial German Air Service hard shell protective flying helmet


Very scarce flying helmet, which has definitely been "through the wars," but still displays remarkably well. The helmet, which was designed to absorb shock and protect the head and face in the event of hard landings (more pilots were injured in bad landings than in combat) features a padded comb across the top from front to back, and a similarly padded "bumper" around the crown. The shell is made from pressed hard leather and has an "18 finger" suspension liner inside. Heavy leather side flaps with half-moon shaped flaps protect the ears and cheeks, with a stiff peak to front and a soft leather skirt over the back of the neck. The top of the helmet was painted green for camoflage. The leather covering has come away from the padding at the front of the bumber and the top of the comb, as well as a small area to the back, exposing the felt padding inside whci appears to be secured with wire (see photos). This could have happened as the result of a crash or due to storage, although the remaining leather is quite solid and in good condition. Could be restored, if desired, but actually displays very nicely as is. Never messed with. A reminder of the early days of combat aviation. Marked inside and dated 1916.



Hard shell flight or motor cycle despatch rider helmet.


Every once in a while I get a helmet that is a puzzler. I have seen helmets of similar design described as "Early British despatch rider helmets" - perhaps so, but I am not convinced that is what this is. I believe it is an early hard shell flying helmet, of European origin - not British. the style, materials and hardware are just not consistent with British design. The snaps are marked NPD (or is is DPN?) but there are no other markings anywhere. So I offer it as an enigma and I invite your comments. Condition is good, with some wear to the leather and slight lifting to the canvas covering at the back, also the rear seam has opened up slightly (about a half inch) but this does not affect the integrity or displayability. It is well made and shows ilttle use. The asking price is $250 - a bargain for an early hard shell flying helmet - but I am open to any reasonable offer.



US Navy aviation flight deck crew helmet in bright green. Korean War period.


Navy flight deck crews on aircraft carriers used colour coded helmets and jerseys for their various trades and duties begining in WWII - armourers, engineers, fitters etc. each using a differerent colour. Often these were white helmets painted with designs or solid colours but later, coloured cotton helmets and jerseys were manufactured or supplied to the deck crews. This example, in bright green, while being the exact same pattern as those issued in WWII< is actually of poat war manufacture, but displays fine to fill a gap. It has a US Navy Beaureau of Aeronautics label, but a MIL Spec contract  number dating it as Korean War. Unissued condition. 




Luftwaffe AUER Model 295 goggles dated 1941.


Lovely pair of Luftwaffe AUER Model 295 gogles dated 1941. One piece cushion in dark grey rubber with AUER moulded into the bridge, alloy frames painted dark grey/green and dark green elasticated strap, plus clear lenses. Strap wtill has full elasticity, cushion is fully pliable, with minor surface cracks to bridge but no damage. One frame is stamped 295 and the other is stamped 1941. An exceptionally nice set of these flying goggles.



AAF Polaroroid 1021 "All-Purpose" goggle kit complete.


Excellent Polaroid 1021 all-purpose goggle kit as used by AAF and USN pilots and aircrew, tankers and other military personnel. Rubber is still flexible, strap is still elastic, come fitted with green lens and includes three alternative lenses in the cotton wrap case. These used to be a common item - not so any more - especially in such great condition!



Unknown flying goggles - perhaps Japanese?


Beautful set of period flying goggles which, so far, have defied positive identification! One of the great things about collecting is that every once in a while you come across something you have never seen before. I have shared these with other collectors who concur; they look Japanese and may well be an early style: 1930s perhaps. Very well made with hinged chromed frames, curved lenses,  leather cushions and an elastic strap which is somewhat stretched out. Sold as seen. If anyone can offer any help with ID, please feel free to drop me a line!



AAF Polaroid 1065 (B-8) flying goggles with amber lens.


Very good used pair of these mid-late war flying goggles with nice pliable rubber frames and amber lens for seeing through haze. Marked Polaroid 1065 which was the original nomenclature prior to issue as B-8 goggles. Good strap retaining elasticity, clean chamois backing.



WWII RAF Type G oxygen mask in unissued conditon.


Type G oxygen mask in absolutely incredible, unissued condition. The rubber mask body is quite excellent, showing no sign of use or wear, with early production style heavy stippling to moulded finish. Fitted with a bakelite blanking cap in place of the microphone (stores ref. 6D/775) and complete with its nosewire and grey elastic webbing harness. Rubber is totally pliable and clean, brown suede lining shows no sign of use. Harness is clean and shows no use but most of its elasticity is gone, one brass snap lacks brown covering. A text book example of this scarce mask in a medium size.



WWII RAF Type Type G oxygen mask breathing tube.


Type G oxygen mask hose / breathing tube in superb condition. Black rubber corrugated hose shows no signs of cracking or perishing, fitted with correct plastic screw-in connector for the G / H mask at one end and a superb brass bayonette connector at the other end, complete with Air Ministry engraving and crocodile clothing clip. Incredible condition.



RAF Type D oxygen mask tube (reproduction).


I offer very few reproduction items, but this particular oxygen mask accessory is very rarely encountered, because the rubber technology of the 1940s did not support longevity! This however, is such a good replica, it is only because the rubber is in such great condition I am able to tell! The braided covering is cotton (most repros I see have braiding made from synthetic material) and correctly coloured (it matches perfectly a couple of examples of originals I have which are sadly  not in displayable condition). Full length (60 inches). One only.



AAF HS-38 / HB-7 pilot or aircrew headset complete and good condition


WWII US Aamy Air Forces HS-38 headset comprising HB-7 headband with ANB-H-1 receivers and correct wiring with PL-354 red plug. Dusty from storage but overall very good shape with good wiring and MX41 / AR composition rubber cups. Leather covering on the headband is very clean and metal is rust free. Unusually, the two receivers are both different brands, though both made in Chicago: one by UTAH and one by Shure Bros. A decent used set in need of a good crusher for display (see uniforms / hats for a superb enlisted crusher to go with this).



WWII issue M-422A goatskin leather flying jacket.


Renamed the G-1 just after the war, this example was issued to a US Navy Air Gunner towards the end of the war and is therefore an M-422A. Subtle differences between the two styles included the ink stamped USN behind the collar and the zip (wartime style Conmar). The jacket saw very little use and the leather is in near perfect condition. There are a few very small bald spots in the collar and some moth nips to the cuffs and waistband, although replacements are readily available if desired. Original zip works perfectly and all buttons are present. Size is marked 38 on paper tag inside pocket (fits more like 40-42). Owner removed leather name tag and label before parting with it but I will make this information available to buyer if required.



WWII RAF neck tie.


An extremely rare iyem of uniform clothing: the neck tie worn by both officers and enlisted personnnel during the war. This is a simple construction tie made from linen, and as such is probably from an enisted or NCOs uniform. No amrkings that Ican see, just a plain, black, linen tie. A vey scarce item.





US Army officer's overseas cap with rank of major oak leaf


US Army officer's overseas or side cap in soft 'doeskin" wool and the colour known as "chocolate" with gold / black piping and a gold oak leaf denoting rank of major. Could be Army Air Forces or any other branch - all wore the same style. Size 7.5 in very good condition with one small moth hole on the right hand side and minor damage to leather sweatband inside (seen in photo) otherwise near perfect. 



Scarce and interesting grouping of ID documents to a RAF / RCAF Air Gunner promoted from other ranks to officer.


William Edwin Burroughs appears to have been a Welshman who joined the RAF and became an officer with the RCAF (he has two sets of papers with 2 serial numbers, as is correct for such promotion). This grouping comprises 2 x Service Pay Books for his RCAF service,  2 x Flying Clothing Issue cards and one ID card. The Flying Clothing cards, highly collectoble in their own right since they document the flying kit as issued at various times during the war, are dated December 1942 and April 1945 with various dates and signatures inside. Lots of very interesting information about his flying kit issue. Burroughs was qualified as an Air Gunner - this is a great research project.



RCAF officer's tunic with good RCAF pilot wing plus scarce Canadian "ops" wing.


Very nice RAF tailor made officer's tunic with Flight Lieutenant rank lace to the cuffs, a good padded RCAF pilot wing, Canada shoulder titles and a very nice original operations wing to the pocket pleat. the ops wing was unique to Canadian aircrews and denoted completion of a tour of ops. The wing was sterling with a gold wash and this example retains  ost of its gold finish. As issued they were fitted with screw posts on the back - which meant having to punch holes in the uniform; yet orders were strict that these could NOT be worn while n flying duty (in case the wearer was captured and recognized as being of significance - yet I'm sure if captured and 2-big holes were found in the uniform tunic, the enemy would still suspect the wearer!). Interestingly, the owner has had the screw posts removed and replaced with a period pin-back fastener; very sensible. The wing is maker marked Stephenson and Sterling to the back.

Tunic is in very good condition with litle wear and no damage that I can see, though some minor mothing to the wool background on the pilot wing. Tailored by Simpsons of Piccadilly but unnamed. The belt is detached which is not uncommon for a privately tailored uniform. One of the small lower pocket buttons is missing but this could easily be replaced. 



Very good pair of WWI RFC flying goggles manufactured by Triplex.


A very scarce pair of early WWI Triplex flying goggles  with blackened brass frames, spring-loaded cloth surrounds with fur trim and elastic strap. Strap has lost elasticity but still functions, lenses nice and clear with no signs of delamination. Some loss of paint to frames but not serious and retains all Triplex brand gold foil on leather at sides as well as stickers to lenses. These were the standard issue type for all British pilots and aircrew in the Great War.



Absolutely outstanding pair of RAF 1941 pattern flying boots, with little if any evidence of wear.


This is a truly spectacular pair of boots for the collector who wants the best of the best. These boots appear to have almost no wear at all. The suede is impeccably clean, the rubber "galosh" section is soft and pliable. the AM crown marked zips are perfect, the tongues are marked (size 8) and AID stamped. The leather ankle straps look as though they have never been unbuckled since coming from the factory. Fleece lining is clean, thick and full with no wear or bald spots. The soles show the slightest wear, as if they were tried on and walked up and down in - but  that's about it. Soles and heels are 100% factory original complete with "ITSHIDE" marked heel. This pair of boots would be very difficult to upgrade.  



WWII RAF Canada shoulder titles.


Matched pair (2) of Canada shoulder titles (white on blue barathea background).  




Luftwaffe victory schnapps / shot glass


A tradition passed down from the Imperial German Air Service in the First World War and maintained by some Luftwaffe squadrons at the beginning of WWII, was the presentation of a schnapps glass to pilots who scored an aerial 'kill" or victory. As victories mounted, the practice was discontinued, but during the Battle of Britain these small metal cups were plentiful. Few have survived - I suspect that many were smelted for their value in making munitions. This is an example of one. Just 4 cm high and most likely silver plated, it is marked M.ET. to the base and what looks like it might be the "Assman" logo stamp (can't be sure). with a gilt droop-tailed eagle soldered to the front.  A wonderful souvenir.




Luftwaffe cigarette / cigar lighter


Simple alloy tube with screw on cap at both ends for opening / igniting and fieling or replacing the flint. Marked Eigentum Luftwaffe. Appears to have never been used although shows wear to the outside. Neat accessory since almost all pilots and aircrew smoked in those days (Adolf Galland famously had a cigar lighter installed in his cockpit!).



Luftwaffe aircrew and paratrooper parachute storage bag.


Made from coarse light brown hessian or burlap with webbing handles and green cotton reinforced edges. Large flap cover with lift-the-dot style snap fasteners. These bags are extremely tough and hardwearing and were used for storage and transportation of parachute equipment by Luftwaffe pilots, aircrews and paratroopers. Quite a scarce accessory, especially in this kind of condition. This example shows very little wear, slight sun fading, all snap fasteners are in place, there are no "thin" spots or holes in the material.



WWII 1941 Pattern RAF Flap Type Life Vest "Mae West" complete with its flap intact, 1941 dated stole / bladder with inflation lever mechanism and kapok pads.


One of the rarest items of RAF flying kit. The 1941 pattern life vest  (correctly named "Waistcoat, life saving, inflatable, stole pattern") was first issued at the beginning of 1941 following the loss of so many pilots during the Battle of Britain wearing the inadequate and green camouflaged 1932 pattern. It differed from the 1932 pattern by having a dye pack attached and it was self-inflating from a lever operated CO2 cartridge. In July 1941, this "Flap Type" was announced with the addition of a triangular flap added to the back to increase visibility.

By April 1942, the flaps were ordered to be removed from all exisitng life vests, but this example, dated 1944, was manufactured under licenced contract in Palestine by Franz Levi of Haifa (and has a superb label), for use by the RAF in North Africa, and made to the original 1941 specifications. This vest has no leg tapes, no grab handles, no pockets; just the dye flap (no dye pack present) and plastic buttons. Dot style zip is aso marked "Made in Palestine." Complete with yellow silk covered stole / bladder dated May 1941 which has the inflation lever mechanism (no CO2 cartridge), plus a good set of kapok pads. The Levi life vest is extremely rare in its own right – all the more so for retaining its flap. Condition is excellent.



Scarce RAF evasion and escape purse with  double sided silk/rayon map sheets C and E.


Rubberized fabric purse marked MAPS ONLY C/D E/F containing one original silk/rayon maps  for evasion and/or escape. Double sided map features sheet C (Holland, Belgium, France and Germany) and sheet E (Germany Protectorate, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) even though the pouch indicates C/D, E/F. This is a more unusual variation (most maps were printed back-to-back with consecutive sheets, ie. A+B, C+D etc). MAPS ONLY indicates that the purse contains no currency - some of these kits occasionally contained French, Belgian or Dutch banknotes in case needed and were marked accordingly. Map is in stunning, bright condition, has never been used and is still folded.  Purse had the top cut off to access the contents. These purses were issued to both RAF and USAAF crews and often contained a small compass and sometimes a hacksaw and other escape aids, sometimes just maps as in this case. The purses are quite scarce . An excellent find.


Scarce AAF Gun Bore Sight Kit Type J-2 for checking and aligning the bore on the .50 cal. machine gun as well as  20 mm and 37 mm canons.


Scarce and vital piece of equipment for groundcrews maintaining the weapons on both fighter and bomber aircraft, this Gun Bore Sight Kit is complete with all components in a fitted wooden case and in excellent condition. Made by Bell and Howell, Chicago, and dated 1943. One of the wood support blocks in the case is absent but all instruments are present and well marked per the list attached inside the lid. A very uncommon item, makes a great display and all optics look good.



AAF War Bond Poster by renowned photogapher and designer Victor Keppler.


Truly stunning original WWII War Bond poster by Victor Keppler (with his signature in the bottom left hand corner). The colour is bright and the artwork is terrific: a WWII bomber crewman wearing a B-2 cap, HB-7 headset, B-3 jacket, A-3 pats and B-4 life vest plus his parachute harness - all in brilliant detail. Some lovely lady even added a kiss to the centre of the poster (see red smacker on his collar!) this is NOT part of the print but was added!


Measures 30" x 42"


The downside: the poster has been around since 1943 or so and it's been pinned on a wall. It has some wear and tear to the surface (notably in the sky) and has been folded. It has however been professionally mounted on archival linen and the worn areas carefully touched up (corners, creases from folding etc). Hang it on the wall and no one will notice - but if examined closely the touch-up can be seen.


The upside: as I said, the colour is rich and bright and this is one of the rarest Kepplers. It will enhance any AAF display or collection.


It will be posted rolled up lossely in a tube for protection.




AAF oxygen mask extension hose.


WWII period or just afterwards AAF oxygen mask extension hose. Fabric covered corrugated hose with standard WWII style connector at the end for attaching to the demand regulator. Other end of hose does not have a fitting - could be used to attach directly to mask or would have a "female" connector for the mask hose. Is marked with date  of 2 - "something" but year is illegible. Useful and seldom seen accessory.



Cold War period RAF Type M pressure breathing oxygen mask.


Dated 1955, this mask was the RAF's  first new design of mask for the jet era and incorporated pressure-breathing for high altitude jets such as the Canberra, Meteor, Hunter etc. Prior to this, the RAF had tried the unsuccessful Type J (a modified wartime Type H) and then reverted to the US designed A-13. The M was successful and remained in service for several years until superseded by the P and Q which remained in use for over 50 years. The M was moulded in distinctive blue/green rubber. This mask is in decent, solid shape; grubby and slightly stiff but overall still quite pliable. It lacks its tube and one set of attachment straps, though it retains its right hand strap with hook, type 57 microphone with cord and plug, metal exoskeletal former and all other details. Quite a scarce mask. Could be restored or perhaps used for parts.



Extremely rare and superb large AAF recruiting poster.


Large AAF poster. Size 37” x 27” (94 cm x 69 cm). Fabulous condition. Unmounted. Slight creasing  but no damage that I can find. Outstanding painting of two pilots shows No fading, rich colour and incredible detail, right down to the markings on the B-3 life vest. Has professional archival mounts to top / back from being in a frame.



Rare and iconic RAF propaganda / public announcement poster.


Classic and famous RAF poster in large format.  29” x 19.5” (74 cm x 50 cm) showing a crisp photograph of a flight crew member wearing a parachute harness and 32 pattern mae west and carryiong the parachute pack and a Type B helmet. He also wears the classic spotted scarf. No fading. Rich colours. Blue sky background and bright orange square with “Careless talk may cost his life” message. Very rare and highly desirable poster. Has professional archival mounts to top / back from being in a frame. Some small professionally applied tape repairs on back where the thin artime paper has split from being folded, but very minor. Overall very good condition.



Amazing RCAF propaganda / public announcement poster.


“He’s doing his part are you doing yours?” depicting a b/w photo of figure of a pilot wearing a Sidcot suit, gauntlets and seat type parachute harness, Type B helmet and Mk III goggles. 33.5” tall x 22” wide (85 cm x 56 cm) on a bright red/orange rectangle. Old tape along the edge has bled through from the back but this can be concealed if framed - although it’s not a huge detraction. No damage besides minor creasing and has professional archival mounts to top / back from being in a frame. 



AAF  parachute "ripcord" comprising "T" ring and cable with release pins still attached.


Many AAF crew members saved these as souvenirs if they had cause to use their parachutes and they are missing from many complete parachute displays. This is in excellent condition and could be installed to complete a  display. Handle is stamped with a W in a circle and the number 79 - presumably an inspector's stamp. 



Stunning First World War Imperial German flight observer's badge.


Absolutely superb and very scarce First World War Imperial German flight observer's badge, struck in one piece with the enamel chequerboard motif applied. Not being an expert in these types of badges I took it with me to Louisville where several well known and highly respected experts examined it and pronounced it 100% genuine and correct. Though unmarked, it is almost certainly manufactured by Juncker, probably late wartime production but still a very high quality badge. Original pin. No damage to the glass enamel. An excellent example.



WWII AAF handbook of operation and flight instructions for the P-38D and E and the F-4 photo-recon aircraft.


Technical Order 01-75FB-1. Dated June 25, 1942, this is a 38 page "Pilot's Notes" booklet on flying the  Lockheed P-38 Lightning pursuit aircraft, published by Air Service Command at Wright Field. A wealth of technical information and fabulous photographs of the inside of the cockpit etc. The P-38 was on of the most successful and revolutionary designs of the war, called "fork-tailed" devil by the enemies it knocked out of the sky.



© 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