© 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 5

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Outstanding pair of RAF 1943 "escape" pattern flying boots complete with ultra-rare knife as issued to cut away the tops.

 

This is a superb pair of 1943 pattern flying boots, of the "escape" pattern, showing very little wear or use, overall excellent condition, but what makes them truly spectacular is the fact that they still have their small folding knife contained inside the pocket in the right boot. The knife is very simply made from one folded blued steel frame and one sharpened blade, wrapped in waxed paper and inserted into the small pouch inside the right boot. The knife was produced cheaply and intended only for cutting away the top of the boots then discarding. It has no markings of any kind but is 100% correct and original. Boots are in lovely condition. Both zips work perfectly, both are Lightning maker marked  - one with the A-crown-M, the other with a broad arrow but otherwise a perfect matched pair. Leather is superb; sheepskin lining is clean and white; suede is clean with no wear; soles and heels are original and show only right use and wear; still fitted with original laces. The boots are not uncommon - although they seldom show up in such great condition; however the knife is extremely rare. 

 

SOLD

Early WWII AAF B-6 flying helmet in excellent condition.

 

Lovely early example of the USAAF Type B-6 flying helmet made from shearling with leather reinforced seams, chin strap with fleece wrap and fitted with hoojks for the A-9 and A-10 oxygen mask, also modified by adding snaps each side for the A-10 revised oxygen mask. Condition is far better than most, the shearling is in great condition with no damage and only the slightest hint of surface cracks around the snaps (no evidence of "pulling through"). Size medium so it fits a male feature mannequin display head just fine. No receiver cups fitted and never were; probably worn with a HB-7 headset over the top which was a common practice among bomber crews. Medium brown finish and tanned leather reinforcement indicating early production (later examples were coated after assembly with a dark brown polyacrylate).

 

SOLD

RAF issue "sea boot" socks.

 

Issued throughout the war but made famous by Battle of Britain fighter pilots, "Sea Boot" socks were named after the socks that sailors wore which were coveted by RAF pilots and aircrews and issued by the Air Ministry (as well as the Royal Navy) for wear inside their flying boots. Made from thick, heavy, cream coloured wool which will pull up over the knee and turn down over the flying boots, this pair is unissued, unworn, perfect condition and both are marked with a nice clear broad arrow stamp.

SOLD

Reproduction second pattern (solid nose) Nitsche and Gunther splitterschutzbrille / anti-splinter goggles in box.

 

I normally do not offer reproduction items but with some of the more scarce items they offer an affordable alternative for collectors to fill a gap. These reproductions began coming out of Eastern Europe several years ago and are almost certainly moulded from originals, so close are they in detail, right down to the NiGuRa logo and size engraved into the frame (NiGuRa: Nitsche and Gunther of Rathenow). These have dark tinted glass lenses and an elasticated strap and come in a cardboard box almost identical to the originals. Excellent condition and very well made.

 

SOLD

Great War Royal Flying Corps "maternity" tunic by Burberry of Haymarket, London, with outstanding pilot wing.

 

The maternity tunic was designed as a flying coat, with a double wrap-over front to keep the wind out. It became extremely popular with both officers and enlisted men in the RFC and was often worn as part of the day-to-day uniform. This example is absolutely brilliant, because it was clearly worn as a flying jacket and saw plenty of action. It has just the right amount of wear, some minor repairs, and oil staining on the sleeves consistent with those infernal early oil-leaking aero-engines and with swinging a prop. The pilot wing is a beautifully made and scarce pattern. Made by Burberrys of Haymarket it has the classic maroon label in the neck as well as a numbered label in the inside pocket. There is no name - most officers didn't feel the need to write their name in their daily uniform - but peraps burberry has records and could identofy it from the faint pencilled number. These maternity tunics are extremely difficult to source and this is a lovely used example.

 

SOLD

Post WWII RAF Sunglasses, Type G, minus one lens.

 

After the war ended, the WWII issue Mk VIII spectacles were redisgnated as Type G Sunglasses and given the new stores ref. no. 22G/1398, so these are very similar to the wartime issue. Sadly, one lens is missing (left). I have not attempted to locate a replacement but I am sure one or both could be replaced to provide a perfectly wearable pair of sunglasses. Case and the frames are well marked, though the lid of the case has lost much of its leatherette covering. Sold "as is" for restoration or parts only.

 

SOLD

SCARCE RAF Mk IIIB* Bayonet Union (oxygen mask hose connector) for the Type D oxygen mask in orignal box.

 

One of the most sought after accessories for a Battle of Britain display is this Mk IIIB* connector for the mask hose (or flexible tubing) 6D/101. This example comes with its original cardboard box, well marked with Air Ministry nonenclature. The connector is solid brass, with fully functioning hinge and spring. Connector is also well marked with stores reference number and broad arrow as well as acceptance mark. Beautiful condition.

 

SOLD

RAF Type D oxygen mask blank end cap, 6D/108

 

Another scarce accessory for the Battle of Britain era type D oxygen mask. As issued , the Type D oxygen mask was fitted with these chamois covered blank end caps, meaning no microphone was fitted. They were worn this way for preliminary training and flying whenever communication was not required, but invariably discarded and lost once a microphone was issued in its place. Few therefore survive. Overall very good, clean condition, well marked, ready to clip onto your Type D mask or display alongside.

 

SOLD

 

Early RAAF shoulder eagle for the Tropical uniform.

 

Previously listed as a RNAS badge, this early RAAF embroidered shoulder eagle would have been worn on the upper sleeve of the tropical uniform tunic. I am informed that unlike the RAF and RCAF, the RAAF used eagles facing in the same direction for both left and right sleeves, this tis would have been worn on either arm. Quite scarce.

 

SOLD

Very scarce RAF flying helmet / oxygen mask clip.

 

One of the more scarce and hard to find accessories: the clip which snaps onto the right hand side of the flying helmet for securing the E*, G and H type oxygen masks. Excellent used condition and complete with the small nuts and bolts for securing in place.

SOLD

AAF / US Army officer's peaked / visor cap doeskin wool.

 

Not a true "crusher" though the peak is quite flexible. Unusual tailor: Nebraska Clothing Co. Doeskin wool felt is beautiful with one of two very small surface nips. Dark green (chocolate) mohair band is also nice. Inside, the sweatband is completely missing (if it ever had one?) and there is a tear to the oilcloth interior exposing the gold satin lining. Overall a decent cap that could be displayed as is or would restore well.

 

SOLD

RAF officer's sidecap dated 1945 with "war economy" plastic buttons

 

RAF officer's sidecap in overall excellent condition, showing no mothing or damage, just light soiling from age. Cap is well marked inside and dated 1945, and is fitted with the "war economy" plastic buttons as well as a very nice gilt officer's crowned eagle badge. Issue type clothing for officers tends to be slightly more scarce than tailored uniform items, and might suggest this was a field promotion from the ranks. A very nice example and unusual to see officer's caps with the plastic buttons.

 

SOLD

WWII US Navy pilot's instrument flight manual dated 1945. Hard cover 144-pages, well-illustrated.

 

11" x 8.5" horizontal format printed in full-colour and lavishly illustrated with colour diagramd and drawings. Superb presentation. Excellent condition.

 

SOLD

Superb WWI RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) photo album to a career RAF officer.

 

Oustanding photo album to Edgar Arnott Hodgson RNAS / RAF which tells his life in pictures, from the handpainted family crest and early pages of his schoolwork to his career in the RNAS and later with the RAF. Album measures 9.5" x 7.5" and over 2" thick with 118 photos plus newsclipping, invitations, announcements etc. detailing his childhood, teenage yaers, scouting, military service as a pilot in France with the RNAS. Most photos are large and all are high quaity. He retired as a Group Captain, RAF. One of the loose pictures shows Hodgson with Douglas Bader. Annotated throughout, a fabulous piece of history with many of the photos dating back to the mid-19th century.

 

SOLD

Late WWII RAF lightweight flying suit known as the "Beadon Suit" complete with its belt and scarce escape / survival back pack.

 

Issued late in WWII for RAF pilots and aircrews flying over South East Asia and in danger of being shot down or force-landing in jungle areas, the Beadon suit incorporated multiple pockets for carrying specific survival items; one of the items was a back pack, made matching fabric and carried inside the suit, which could be attached to the outside of the suit using the belt, or if conditions were too hot and humid, the suit could be discarded and the backpack and the belt used alone. These suits were mostly issued to high altitude reconnaissance pilots flying unarmed single engine photo-recon aircraft. Though the suit was also issued after the war, its use was limited and it was phased out fairly soon and is thus not a common item. This Beadon suit is in good, used condition, perhaps slightly faded. All the zips and snap fasteners on the suit are in good working order and there is no damage. There are a couple of small, neat sewn repairs but these are to the back and hardly show. Some light marking on the back of the shoulders which again does not detract. The wool collar is surprisingly good, with one small darned area. The concealed wool "mosquito" cuffs are excellent. Knees are reinforced with chamois inside. The canvas webbing belt, which is often missing, is excellent. The survival backpack, stored inside, is also in excellent condition except the zip has separated in a couple of places and does not close - although the DOT puller is present. The canvas webbing straps attach to the belt of the suit. A hard to find item in this complete state. Both items retain labels with broad arrow and 22C numbers and the owner's embroidered tailor's label with his initials, "RK."

 

SOLD

Exceptionally rare Royal Flying Corps pilot / observer full length leather flying coat with wrap-around front and a genuine pilot wing.

 

Very few of these wonderful leather coats survive and they rarely come up for sale, yet they were so iconic to RFC aircrews in the Great War. This example shows plenty of combat action,  though perhaps surrisingly the leather is still strong and remains glove soft. It shows typical wear to the arms and shoulders which would have been outside the cockpit and exposed to the elements. Much of the chrome finish is worn in these areas. The left upper arm and sholder area shows the most wear, yet remains surprisingly strong. I would not say the coat was fragile (even though it looks it). It retains its original buttons and belt, though part of the leather covering to the buckle is now worn away. Snaps on cuffs and pockets are fine. Blanket lining is excellent, with one small repair. The inside of the collar has some issues with the stitching but apears to be all there. It could easily be displayed as is or restored. Interesting addiotn - it has lovely 100% original RFC pilot wing sewn to the front. This was never authorized or required and my first thought was why would someone add this? It is possibly a period addition, or may have been added post-war, perhaps for a museum display, but it is an original wing so I have left it alone. 

SOLD

RAF War Service dress blouse to a Segeant Pilot, size 6.

 

An excellent example of a RAF War Service Dress blouse (or battledress as they have become known) to a Sergeant Pilot with good flat embroidered pilot wing and single set of sergeant's stripes to the right sleeve (as was correct). Eagles are sewn to both shoulders. Interestingly, all insignia are hand sewn includsing the eagles. Though BDs were usually issued with the eagles machine sewn in the factory, they were removed by officers. Perhaps this BD had previously been issued to an officer and then reissued to an NCO pilot who was told to replace the eagles? Who knows! All insignia are original and the BD is in excellent condition. Marked as 1943 pattern which is the year the WSD was introduced (prior to that they had been issued only to aircew as "suits, aircrew" and not to be worn except whilst on flying duty).

 

SOLD

WWII RAF booklet "Evidence in Camera" – a journal for RAF stations to share information gathered by photo recon pilots with all aircrews. FINAL ISSUE dated March 1945.

 

Published by the Air Ministry, this a special edition and is the FINAL ISSUE devoted to the history of the PR and PI personnel. 48 pages plus cover of aerial photographs taken over enemy territory to help aircrews identify features and targets. Amazing photography. These were official publications and restricted to intelligence personnel only. Surviving examples are scarce! Excellent condition.

 

SOLD

WWII booklet "Fleet Air Arm" - The Admiralty Account of Naval Air Operations.

 

Published by the Admiralty at the end of the war, 128-pages plus cover, soft cover. An invaluable source of photographs and information on the Fleet Air Arm and its battles in WWII. Because it was printed on wartime paper, these booklets are often badly torn  - this one is in excellent condition.

 

SOLD

WWII RAF booklet "Evidence in Camera" – a journal for RAF stations to share information gathered by photo recon pilots with all aircrews.

 

Published by the Air Ministry, this is Volume 4, number 2, dated July 12, 1943. 48 pages plus cover of aerial photographs taken over enemy territory to help aircrews identify features and targets. Amazing photography. When finished with, these books were to be treated as "secret waste" - thus surviving examples must be very scarce! Has been glued into an album and back cover is missing about 50% of its surface, but otherwise very good condition.

 

SOLD

RNZAF embroidered pilot wing.

 

Gorgeous fairly heavily padded silk embroidered wing for a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot, WW2 or at least pre-1951. Wool background and black cotton backing material. Never been sewn on. I have been suspicious of this wing since acquiring it several years ago but cannot find anything actually wrong with it; have shown it to various people whose opinions I respect and most are favourable. However I offer it as always with my guaranteed refund policy if you don't agree or don't like it.

SOLD

 

Scarce RAF face defenders for the Type B helmet / Type D mask.

22C/68 - Can't remember the last time I was able to offer a set of these! Issued with the Type B helmet to protect the face from the exposed metal snaps freezing at altitude, they were invariably sewn to the sides of the Type D mask for the same reason. A very hard to find accessory and these are a good matched pair in excellent condition, lightly soiled and with superb A-crown-M markings.

 

SOLD