© 2019  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

PAST SALES 2

(click on pictures to enlarge)

WWII issue RAF tropical rank slip-ons for a Flight Lieutenant.

 

Perfect matched set of rank slides / slip-ons for the epaulettes of the bush jacket or KD uniform.

 

SOLD

RARE RAF Survival kit item:  anti-snake bite kit complete.

 

A rarely seen survival item: this  RAF issue anti-snake bite kit is complete with its lancet and sulphur capsule as issued. Manufactured by Gardner Co., London and engraved as such together with the A-crown-M, the nickel plated, double ended tube uncrews at both ends to reveal the sharp bladed lancet at one end and the still intact capsule at the other. Issued in survival kits carried by pilots and aircrews primarily in the far east but also in North Africa.

 

SOLD

US Navy "Signalcards" - a complete deck in original box.

 

A complete deck of 70 cards for learning distress signals and all other forms of communication between aircraft and ships, and ship-to-ship. Includes all semaphore, morse and descriptions of how to fire guns, use lights and lamps, flares etc. to attract attention for rescue and deliver messages when wireless is not available or radio silence must be observed. Hard to find complete and in this condition. Box has slight wear, cards are excellent.

 

SOLD

1943 issue first pattern internally wired RAF Type C helmet.

 

Nice early example of the internally wired Type C flying helmet which was first issued in 1943. This is an outstanding, lightly used helmet, very clean inside and out with the leather in superb condition. Complete with its internal wiring loom, Type 16 receivers, with long cord and both plugs. There is a nice embossed Air Ministry crown visible to the right cheek / chin area with the stores ref. number beneath (number not clear but crown is good). Good chin strap. Discernable from late war pattern which had 5 tabs for securing the goggles and wiring loom at the back, this one has 3 tabs and the wiring is fully enclosed. Size 2 (medium) which fits a male display head perfectly. Nice russet brown leather tabs contrast well with the dark brown leather of the helmet. A really nice example.

 

SOLD

RAF Type E* (E-star) oxygen mask complete with correct early pattern narrow breathing tube.

 

Hard to find in good condition and very difficult to find with the early narrow breathing tube correctly secured with its metal circlip. The mask shows light wear but no cracking or perishing. These early masks tend to be either made from a "hard" rubber or a soft rubber and the hard rubber types survive better, especially when stored properly. This example is made from the harder, stiffer type of rubber but it remains pliable with none of the usual edge crumbling. The rubber at the bridge is slightly uneven but remains flexible, not sticky in any way. As with many of these masks, the edge was trimmed to fit the wearer per Air Ministry instructions. It began life a a Type E and was factrory modified to E* standard by adding the mesh valve and the webbing straps. Leather and webbing harness are excellent and still has elasticity. Hose / breathing tube is excellent, no damage and no signs of cracking. Type 48 microphone is fitted. Microphone casing shows usual paint wear. Overall a very nice example of a scarce mask.

 

SOLD

US Army Air Corps Type D-1 flying goggles (sunglasses).

 

Though we think of these as sunglasses, the correct designation for this scarce and highly sought after item is "Goggles, Flying, Type D-1". That is because in those days, eyewear intended for protection (including from the sun) were called "goggles" whilst eyewear intended to correct vision were known as "spectacles." These D-1 goggles are in overall very good condition, well preserved and complete with their "comfort cable" coverings (one small fracture in the covering but no loss of material). The covering material is often missing or cracked and broken. Nice clear USAC vertical engraving on bridge and stored in a period Sheaffer pen case, as found!

 

SOLD

Great War, 1918 dated radio receiver headset for air to ground communication by RFC observers and artillery.

 

Beautifully constructed leather pouch-like container holding a single radio telephone receiver fitted on an elastic strap designed to fit securely over the head. Leather pouch is chamois backed and is clearly broad arrow stamped and maker marked F Ltd (with other less distinct markings). Radio receiver is dated 1918 and maker marked S.B.S. Co. Ltd D IV. Braided cord ends in standard connectors for attaching to a radio receiver. Presumable the single receiver would enable the observer to converse with the pilot while listening to the person on the radio. A remarkable piece of kit. Radio communication was in its infancy in WWI and surviving equipment is extremely scarce.

 

SOLD

AAF Type M-3 Anti-flak steel helmet in outstanding condition, with original

instruction sheet.

 

By far the best example of the M-3 anti-flak helmet I have ever come across, it is in superb condition, retaining 99% of its original OD paint and flocked finish, with only the slightest sign of wear to the front edge. Both felt pads are still present in the ear covers and I would say this helmet was never issued or worn. Included is its original instruction sheet diagraming how to adjust the liner for the best fit. I hesitate to use words like "mint condition," because, after all, this helmet is well over 70 years old – but I will say it would be very difficult to find a better example.

 

SOLD

Rare original set of RAF kapok pads for the 1932 pattern life vest.

 

Set of 3 kapok pads, joined together by tape, for the 1932 pattern life vest. Oiled cotton pads stuffed with teased kapok added buoyancy to the inflated rubber stole inside the vest. Original examples are very difficult to source. I can see some evidence of ink markings but too faint to determine. 100% original.

 

SOLD

1930s / WWII Italian "Protector" brand flying goggles.

 

The last set of goggles from a small collection of Italian flying headgear I acquired a while back. Only these and the Ratti Cicogna goggles (listed elsewhere on this page) remain. Though they show their age, these goggles are still elegant and look good on display. Nickel plated frames with glass lenses (marked "Protector"), tubular orange rubber cushions and a silken elastic strap. All original. Frames and lenses are fine, cushions have hardened somewhat and have a break, but appear complete. Strap has wear and stretching at the ends, but retains elastcity. A rare pair of goggles which displays well in spite of its shortcomings.

 

SOLD

Excellent WWII Royal Navy officer's service dress (peaked) cap by Gieves

 

A second nicely tailored RN officers cap as worn by all branches of the Royal navy, including the Fleet Air Arm. Dark blue wool cap with patent leather peak and chin strap, black mohair band and excellent badge. Superb quality tailoring by Gieves. Another very good example with very light use but no wear or damage.

 

SOLD

RAF Type D desert flying helmet, intermediate unwired (external wiring) pattern in large size 3.

 

Tan cotton helmet with a satin lining and neck flap for sun protection in the desert. In superb condiiton, appears almost unused except for the initals B-L inked to the front. No idea of the significance, is it possible this was given to the optical firm of Bausch and Lomb for the purpose of flight testing or displaying goggles or spectacles? Intermediate variant without front two goggle strap tabs and with elastic chin strap, but unwired (no internal loom) with fittings for Type D mask as well as the later E, E* and G, so manufactured between 1942 and 1944. Cloth is clean and undamaged, rubber ear cups are superb and the elastic chin strap still stretches like new. Clean inside and a generous large size 3. A difficult to find variant that would be hard to upgrade.

 

SOLD

RAF Type F flying helmet. One of the most scarce items of post-war RAF headgear.

 

One of the rarest, yet more significant, items of RAF flying kit because it is often mistaken for the later and more common Type G to which it bears a resemblance. The G remained in service for well over 10 years, the The Type F was in service  for little more than a year and produced in very small numbers - however it was the first helmet designed to be worn under a "bone dome" (Mk I and Mk Ia crash helmet) and as such pioneered the RAF's entry into the jet age, used in Hunters, Vampires, Meteors, etc. It differs from the G helmet in having fewer masks snaps and different housing for the internal wiring. This is a size 4 (extra-large) and includes its large leather ear pads but no receivers or wiring. One of the goggle strap tabs has been removed, otherwise it is in very good, used condition, with no damage or excessive wear and still has a good blue colour.

 

SOLD

RAF 1936 pattern flying boots, size 9 (UK) named to a notable DFC winner.

 

It's always nice to find named items, with a bit of history, but it's rare to find named items that are in quite such nice condition – and a big size – as are these 1936 pattern boots. These are all original with wear but no damage. Good leather, good fleece linings, good soles and heels, retaining well marked Air Ministry marked pull tabs inside and named to  F/O  P. Ross who was an observer in a Beaufighter of 235 squadron RAF. Patrick Ross had flown several successful combat sorties, but for his pilot, Flt. Lt. Robert Right, this was his first operational flight, and both were awarded DFCs for engaging and shooting down of a Ju 290 long range patrol aircraft on convoy patrol.

The boots are a size 9 (UK) and in very good condition. Scuffing to tops which has been polished nicely so these display beautifully. Some copy documentation is included: log book page, Air Ministry news announcement of the combat and the relevant page of the 235 squadron operational record book.

 

SOLD

 

 

RAF Other Ranks peaked cap dated 1938.

 

A scarce item of headgear, because the wearing of peaked caps by Other Ranks was suspended during the war for all branches except RAF Police and Motor Transport. This cap appears to have never been issued or worn, and the wool is moth-free and undamaged. The rubberized peak is slightly deformed from age / storage but retains its shape with no cracking or damage. Small size (6-3/4) but great AID stamp and clear 1938 date to leather sweatband. Good chin strap. Badge shows signs of plenty of polishing!

 

SOLD

WWII RAF issue braces / suspenders for SD and BD uniform trousers.

 

Appear unissued or unworn. No markings which is not unusual for such accessories, but these are in excellent condition. White webbing straps with leather ends / button holes for wear with the Service Dress or Battle Dress (Suits Aircrew / War Service Dress) trousers. Issued to both officers and enlisted personnel.

 

SOLD

RAF breathing tube / hose for the Type G oxygen mask.

 

A very nice breathing tube / hose for the Type G oxygen mask, complete with plastic connector at the mask end and Air Ministry marked brass bayonette connector with alligator clip at the other end. Rubber shows no signs of perishing, no cracks or splits and is still perfectly pliable. Twine binding at both ends is strong though shellac coating has mostly worn off. These tubes are getting extremely difficult to source these days.  

 

SOLD

RAF early wartime wiring loom complete with Type 25 microphone and Type 16 receivers, as well as full length Type Q cord and bell plug.

 

Getting extremely difficult to source these days.  A complete wiring loom assembly to complete your E, E* or G mask and modified B, C, D or E helmet. Tan cord is fitted with 10A/12406 receivers (Type 16) and type 25 microphone.  Microphone has some paint loss and lacks black rubber retaining ring and bell-shaped plug lacks the coiled spring – but these can be sourced elsewhere or scavenged. Slightly grubby from use but no damage or fraying and overall in very good condition. 

 

SOLD

Rare and interesting variation Type B flying helmet with unusual snap / stud configutation.

 

A well used but beautifully complete Type B flying helmet which jas been modified by adding addition "male" snap fasteners on either side. Carfeul study shows the spacing is identical to the spacing for the usual "female" snaps as used with the Type D oxygen mask, suggesting that this helmet was actually modified to fit a similarly modified Type D mask (with the female snap fasteners) or possibly prototype E masks which had this configuration. This makes this a very interesting and unique find – especially given this helmet clearly saw some action! Overall condition is very good. The leather is excellent though shows very slight evidence of possible exposure to heat at the front - the leather remains quite pliable but appears to have shrunk very slightly. It is extremely grubby inside (Brilcreme?) but no damage and retains leather pullers, leather covering to both Bennett buckles, telephone holders and sponge rubber inserts. It has no label (either never had one or it was removed before it was worn because there is no evidence it ever had one). That said, I believe it is an early production run, because the crown is very heavily padded. My guess is a size 2 and it fits well, if snugly, on a standard male feature head.

 

SOLD

RAF Type G oxygen mask in absolutely impeccable condition and stamped with a 1944 date.

 

One of the absolute best Type G oxygen masks I have seen in many years (and I've been lucky enough to have some great ones in the past year or so!). This is superb and appears unissued and unused. The rubber is as flexible as when new, no signs or cracking even around the lugs. Nosewire firmly in place, clean suede lining, perfect Type 48 microphone. Harness still fully elastic. Early, more textured upper surface plus flat attachment hook. Best of all, it has a clear white ink stamp on the base of the mask with a nice clear 44 date - the first time I have ever seen a Type G mask dated.

 

SOLD

A scarce pair of RAF Battle of Britain Mk IV flying goggles.

 

Much more scarce than the later Mk IVB goggles - even though all Mk IV series goggles were announced in the same AMO in July 1940! The Mk IV was difficult to manufacture and quite fragile because it required multiple hand-finished parts; the lenses were produced in 4 separate pieces and fitted by means of a hinged opening at the front of the goggles.  This pair of Mk IV goggles is in very good conditon, retaining 95% of its black painted brass finish, soft leather with a velvet backing, good strap which is well marked (but too faint to show in the photo). Good "spring" loops. The crescent section of one lens is slightly delaminated and has a chip in the corner (doesn't show when displayed). The rubber cushions have partially hardened but are better than most. A very decent pair of goggles. 

 

SOLD

RAF Mk II flying goggles (Goggles, flying, lightweight in correct AM parlance).

 

Goggles, flying, lightweight were first issued in the 1930s and declared obsolescent before WWII started, but due to problems and complaints from fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain, we re-issued in the summer of 1940. They are now as iconic as the Mk IIIa or IV goggles. This pair is in good displayable condition, and the springs are good, but the leather covering the springs, which was very thin and delicate, has torn and separated in places from use, age and storage. The goggles still look good; have the nice blue tinted lenses, brown silk mask and blackened brass frame with leather rear strap. Getting very hard to find.

 

SOLD

RAF Spectacles, anti-glare Mk VI by Polaroid.

 

Another scarce pair of protective glasses for aircrews. The Mk VI manufacured by Polaroid was worn by all branches of the RAF (Fighter, Bomber, Coastal Commands) for reducing glare over water. Laminated glass lenses in plasric frames with tinted green side-shields and an elastic strap. Very good condition except one lens shows obvious signs of darkening / delamination.

 

SOLD

RAF Suits , Aircrew, Blouse with unusual leather name tag.

 

Often incorrectly referred to as "battledress" - the Suits, Aircrew were issued in late 1941 for wear by aircrews only, and only during combat operations. Essentially these were considered flight suits. In late 1943 the pattern was changed slightly and the suits were redesignated "War Service Dress" and issued to all servicemen including non aircrews. This is a 1943 dated aircrew only blouse in very good, used condition, and named to R.A. Woodhouse, who does appear in the 1946 officers list. He was a navigator and was promoted to Flying Officer in July 1945. The leather name tag, an idea borrowed from US 8th Air Force personnel, was adopted by very few RAF squadrons. This is only the second or third example I have ever come across. They do show up in period photographs from time to time (see last picture for an example). Woodhouse needs more research. Blouse also has a correct flat pattern Navigator brevet and F/O rank lace to the epaulettes. Blouse shows wear, especially around the collar,  but overall very good condition.

 

SOLD

RAF Type C flying helmet modifed for typical US 8th or 9th Air Force use with ANB-H-1 receivers and braided Y-cord.

 

A very good example of the RAF Type C helmet, the first internally wired type, (3 leather tabs and fully concealed wiring) issued in 1943 and modified for use in US aircraft by installing ANB-H-1 receivers with a braided Y-cord and PL-54 plug. Helmet is a good size 3 (large) and shows soiling inside (hair oil / Brilcreme?) but no damage. The rubber ear cups have closed and reshaped around the ANB-H-1 receivers which are in tight but still offer some pliability. One rubber earcups shows slight deterioration to the rubber at the edge but nothing serious and does not detract from the appearance of the helmet. Leather is excellent. A lovely example of this scarce variation in a generous size.

 

SOLD

Luftwaffe M42 single decal steel helmet

 

In absolutely lovely condition, brought back by a P-51 pilot and stored in his garage until given to a neighbor. Dark blue grey painted helmet with 95% original eagle decal to left hand side. Original liner shows use but complete and leather is in good condition, marked size 58, lacks drawstring. Chin strap was added but is an original 1942 dated example. Well marked inside rim ET66 and number 1465. A very nice example.

 

SOLD

RAF Mk IX Spectacles with case.

 

I believe these are RAF Mk IX spectacles. Not often encountered - in fact I have only ever seen one pair previously, and that was in the RAF Museum reserve collection. Mk IX spectacles were standard prescription spectacles fitted with special arms that incorporated an elastic strap so they could be worn with a flying helmet. As such, the franes could be different styles and materials. Like Mk X spetacles, (which were issued to Coastal Command for glare over water) Mk IX spectacles were produced with both metal plated and plastic frames. This example has metal frames and is fitted with grey tinted glass instead of prescription lenses; which may have been an option or they may have been changed later. They come with a standard olive green metal case as issued with the RAF Type E1 spectacles. Though not as exciting as most RAF goggles, they are scarce. Very few aircrew were permitted to fly with prescription lenses - usually only intelligence officers and senior observers. An interesting item.

 

SOLD

Unusually marked A8-B oxygen mask - probably 1950s era, but looks exactly the same as WWII issue and is in very good condition.

 

The rubber is superb, the bladder is solid and pliable and the mask is overall in very good condition, bar a small break in one of the reinforced cardboard strap retainers. Elastic harness and leather straps with hook at the back; long black rubber tube with connector. Evidenty had a microphone installed at one time. The markings are faint (obviously utlized an old mould) but the Ohio logo in a diamond is present, and the type A-8-B. Government property markings look to have been blanked out so perhaps this was a commercial type or even for clandestine use? Motivated consignor - hence low asking price!

 

SOLD

RAF 1941 pattern flying gauntlets, large size 9-1/2 in outstanding condiiton.

 

Really superb pair of 1941 pattern gauntlets, with diagonal zips. Condition is excellent, showing hardly any where, though the original owner painted a large "R" and "L" on each - presumably so he could identlify and find them in the dark? Also a very large size 9-1/2. Leather is in superb conditon, showing very little wear. Inside is very clean and both gloves have nice crisp A-crown-M stamps. Though not a perfect matching pair (left and right gauntlets were manufactured in different plants to discourage theft) they are very close in colour. Zips are slightly different pattern but both original and work perfectly. Zip puller on one has been resewn at some tme but again is 100% original. Getting hard to find in such good condition, especially in this large size.

 

SOLD

Early AAF Type A-6 Flying Boots. 

 

Unusual early pair of AAF Type A-6 flight boots. These boots are the early style, with cross straps retro-fitted in the factory; a single strap and buckle across each foot. Cross straps and ankle straps were eventually added as standard on these boots, to alleviate the problem of losing boots when bailing out of aircraft. These were possibly rigger fitted, but the straps and buckles are of the standard manufactuer's type rather than improvised. Also of interest are the zip fasteners; both are matched and identical except for the pull-tab; one is marked "Conmar" and the other is marked "Ideal." Research shows that the Ideal Fastener Co. founded and owned the Conmar brand - so again, this is simply an early zip fastener. The zips are in perfect, smooth, working order. These boots are in excellent condition, with no damage or excessive wear, no cracking or hardening of the polyacrylate coating. The  have the early, lighter reddish brown coating rather than the dark brown found on later issue boots. Great labels (Hood Co.) and size Extra Large.

 

SOLD

WWII AAF AN6513 chest harness with red fabric tacked to straps to indicated type of pack to be fitted.

 

Overall a very nice example of the AAF chest type harness incorporating the September 1944 regulation amendment to use red fabric, instead of paint, to signify the type of pack to be used. This harness is in very good condition and identical to wartime issue, but both the webbing and back pad are dated October 1946.  There is one small area on the back of the shoulder where the harness webbing has been repaired but this could be easily redone to look better  (or left alone. It does not detract). Otherwise it is in excellent condition. An opportunity to own one of these scarce items at a substantially lower cost than they usually sell for because of the postwar date

 

SOLD

RARE First style silk RAF "Goolie" chit  (blood chit) used in the Far East by pilots and aircrews to bargain with local people if shot down, injured or evading capture.

 

Printed on pure silk and made locally, so not always the cleanest printing, these first style blood chits ("Goolie chits" in RAF parlance) are now quite rare to find, especially in good condition. This example is in very good condition, with minor staining and a few worn areas but no damge. Contains a message to potential helpers in 17 languages promisong a reward for help once the japanese have been chased away. Later editions were printed in black ink as well as the red and blue and had fewer translations.

 

SOLD

RARE historic RMS Lusitania sailor's cap tally.

 

Extremely rare and 100% original cap tally from the "Donald Duck" style sailors cap worn my men serving on the RMS Lusitania. RMS Lusitania was a Royal Mail Ship and passenger liner sailing from New York to Great Britain which was sunk by German U-boat of the coast of Ireland on May 7th, 1915 with the loss of 1,198 lives.The attack on civilians helped turn American opinion against Germany although it would be another 2 years before the USA entered the war. Lusitania artifacts are extremely rare. I have had this in my possession for many years, having obtained it from a reputable dealer.

 

SOLD

 

WWII era collar studs for RAF shirt with detachable collars.

 

Here's an accessory most people overlook and they never seem to be available. Collar studs for the shirts with detachable collars. You need one for the front and one for the back.  Seven available. No perfect matches but some very close: mother of pearl, celluloid (mock ivory) and just plain plated copper. 

 

SOLD