Parachutes / Mae Wests

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Scarce early wartime RAF Parachute Bag. 

 

Scarce early issue RAF parachute bag, made from heavy khaki canvas with webbing reinforced straps and handles, heavy duty Lightning zip and large, crisp clear Air Ministry property mark on both sides.

Zip works well but needs to be treated with care. If pulled too quickly it will not catch all the teeth and not close properly - however, with care this can be remedied and I have successfully opened and closed it several times without any problem. All the teeth are present and the slide is smooth. There is one small area (about 1cm) where the fabric has separated but this does not affect the smooth operation of the zip slide. The bag is also named inside on one of the flaps to Sgt. C. Johnson with his serial number. Overall grubby, it would clean up well I'm sure, but that is up to the new owner. These things are better left as is in my opinion!

$165 / £135 / €155  email to secure this item

Reproduction set of kapok pads for the RAF 1941 pattern Mae West.

 

Excellent set of three reproduction kapok pads for the RAF 1941 pattern yellow life saving waistcoat. Comprise one neck cushion and two side pads for the flotation chambers. Made from tightly woven unbleached cotton, stuffed with kapok for buoyancy and stamped with official looking Air Ministry markings, stores ref. information and even an AID inspector's mark. They look the part and fill out a vest nicely.

$45 / £40 /€45  email to secure this item

WWII RAF Dual-Purpose Combined Pattern Flying Suit (Harnessuit) by Irvin Air Chute Co. dated October 1940.

The Irvin Harnessuit or "Combined pattern" flying suit, was developed to enable the parachute harness to be enclosed in a garment to prevent it from snagging on the aircraft, and to incorporate a floatation device into the same garment so that it was not necessary to wear the "Mae West" separately. It was produced in three variations: single purpose for a chest type parachute; single purpose for a seat type parachute; and this version, which is the more difficult to find: dual-purpose which allowed either a seat type parachute pack or a chest type pack to be attached. Though no pack is included, nor the harness, the suit itself is in excellent, unissued condition and displays well. It contains the separate button-in holder for the flotation stole which is often missing (note: stole not installed). All zips work fine (two fully separating DOT zips at the front and Lightning zips on the pockets). Great label and October 1940 date.

$575 / £495 / €540  email to secure this item

RARE complete early US Army seat type parachute made by Pioneer, dated March 1942, including its packing/use log card.

 

Manufacture date March 5, 1942, US Army Type parachute by Pioneer of Manchester, Connecticut, complete with its harness, back pad, pneumatic rubber seat cushion, D ring, heavy duty bungee straps, all correctly packed with its complete original silk canopy. Compete parachutes are extremely difficult to source these days and this is a beauty. Though soiled from storage it is in very good condition, the harness and pack have no damage,  just a few small rust stains and one worn spot on outside of the pack fastening flap where it has been rubbed. The black rubber cushion has one small split to the front and light surface crazing on the top where the rubber is crumbling slightly, but it is still soft and pliable and displays perfectly.  The parachute comes with its post-war dated log card which shows its manufacture date of 3/5/42, and that it was jumped in October 1948 and last packed in July 1949. 100% original and a rare find.

$1,000.00 / £800 / €920  email to secure this item

WWII or early post war period commercial life vest probaby for passengers on commercial flights.

Single chamber, blue grey rubberized fabric life preserver fitted with an auto-inflation mechanism as well as a top-up tube. Fastens by one webbing tape around the waist and one tie at the front. It looks like a cross between a German Luftwaffe issue vest and a USAAF issue B-5 but is marked Knapp and Monach, St. Louis, USA on the mechanism. No other markings that I can see. Lacks cartridge but in excellent, unused condition.

 

$55 / £44  / €50  email to secure this item

AAF Back Pack parachute "ripcord" comprising "D" ring and cable with release pins still attached.

 

Back Pack parachutes were used throughout the war, from 1942 onwards, by both fighter pilots and bomber crews, although they are thought of as somewhate scarce (and are certainly less common than either the seat pack or the clip-on chest pack). This ripcord comprises the D-ring handle with long cable and a series of 4 release pins, all of which are present. The handle is stamped AN 6571-1 with a W in a circle.

 

£20 / $25 / €24  Click to secure item

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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