Parachutes / Mae Wests

(click on pictures to enlarge)

RAF/RCAF parachute harness back cushion.

 

Same cushion was issued for both the seat type and chest type (observer) parachute harness. Khaki canvas well padded with webbing tabs to secure the harness straps. This example is most likely Canadian, but Canadian parachutes (made by Irvin) were shipped to all theatres for use during the war. Very good condition, with very minor storage soiling. No damage and no stiffness. A clear date stamp of 2.42. Hard to find accessory these days. 

$150 / £115 / €128  email to secure this item

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

RAF/RCAF parachute back cushion

WWII AN6519-1 life vest, pneumatic in excellent condition, dated Sept 27, 1944.

 

Essentially the redesignated name for the B-4 life vest after the agreement between branches of service to co-operate with use of compatible equipment. This "mae west" life vest is in immpeccable condition, showing very little wear or any signs of use. Rubberized fabric is in flexible condition, clean and with all fittings.  Well marked with the homogenous "Property US Government" so that it might have been issued to the AAF, USN, USMC or Coast Guard - or indeed to US army paratroopers. This is the fully modified version of the B-4 with all additional straps in place. Hard to find in better condition.

$325 / £255 / €85  email to secure this item

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest819

AAF AN6519 life vest819

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

AAF AN6519 life vest

1944 dated British Paratrooper 1942 pattern oversmock.

 

Originally designed to fit over the uniform, but inevitably replaced by the far more popular Denison, this oversmock was eassentially to protect the uniform during a parachute descent. Though not  "flying clothing" it was most definitely worn in combat and wartime dated examples are now quite scarce (most offered are postwar dated). It was notably worn by agents flown by RAF crews and dropped over occupied Europe so they could wear civilian clothing underneath without it getting damaged by the parachute harness. As such - a great display item alongside a RAF / SOE exhibit. In perfect condition, with a DOT zip fastener, perfect working zip, 2 pockets and the traditional "monkey tail" still fitted.

$375 / £285 / €320 email to secure this item

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

DSCN7246

DSCN7246

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

144 dated paratrooper oversmock

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

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

Early wartime RAF parachute bag

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

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

RAF Harnessuit

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

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

RARE Early AAC seat type parachute

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

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

US commercial life vest 1940s

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

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

AAF Back pack Parachute ripcord

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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