(click on pictures to enlarge)

Superb named and customized USAF HGU/26P flying helmet with MBU/5 oxygen mask


A departure from my normal inventory - but too good to pass up! Really nice set to a USAF flight instructor, Major "Jack" Exon (or Exxon) 455th Flying Training Squadron from the mid-1980s. HGU/26 helmet with dual visor, the interior finished out with luxury leather padding (more like a Gentex Toptex helmet) complete with receivers and all wiring, plus MBU/5 oxygen mask retaining orginal "dymotape" labels with his name and date. Visor housing has reflective tape red and blue arrowhead decals and a silver Cessna T-37 trainer, plus his name "Jack" and major's oak leaf. Helmet and mask are used but well taken care of with no damage. Mask is dated 1984. The foam rubber inserts in the earcups are powdery otherwise this set is excellent. Dual visors both work perfectly.






WWII RAF officer's peaked / visor cap in very good condition.


Very nice example of a RAF officer's peaked / visor cap in blue barathea with a "Real Roan Leather" sweatband, ribbed satin / silk liner and a lovely, heavily padded badge. Patent leather chin strap. This appears to be an issue  / stores cap which is fairly unusual for officers who usually had their own tailor to provide uniforms. A very good example showing wear and use but no damage. A little dusty perhaps but retains its bright colour and the badge is superb. No size indicated but seems about medium sized - fits a display head perfectly.



RARE WWII RAF / SOE escape item as devised and issued by MI9. A compass concealed in a collar stud.


A uniquely British device since almost every other fighting nation was wearing shirts with attached collars! The British still used separate, detachable collars held together front and back with these studs, so it seemed the perfect hiding place for a compass. When issued, the clear "crystal" was covered with white paint to look like a typical collar stud of the type that could be bought at Woolworths or any other fine store. Once in enemy territory, the wearer would remove his collar and the stud, then scrape the paint away to reveal the totating bezel inside. The two dots point north. This example still has traces of the original white paint around the edges. The bezel rotates but is a bit sticky and the exterior plating has a few tarnished / worn spots. This was definitely used! 

A remarkable piece of history and extremely hard to find these days.





WWII RAF fly button compass.


Set of two dished metal buttons; one has a small spike on top and the other has an indent that sits on the spike, with 2 dots pointing north. When one is placed on top of the other, it rotates like a compass bezel. Still magnetized and still points north. Known as fly button compass, the simple dished buttons were used on uniform trousers, battledress tops, live vests and other equipment and were deisgned to be undetectable if captured.



Named and identified WWII RAF Air Commodore's uniform tunic.


RAF Air Commodore’s service dress tunic, identified. Uniforms to officers of Air Rank (equivalent of generals) rarely come up for sale - ESPECIALLY with wartime dates - so this is definitely a scarcity. Standard, tailored 4 pocket tunic with very nice KC pilot wing, medal ribbons for the 39-45 Defence Medal, 39-45 War Medal and what I believe to be a CBE or other royal award with a 5 pointed star clasp attached (needs more research). Named to Group Capt. Randle, RAF (later promoted to AC in 1948 and the tunic was duly altered with the change of rank). Trained at RAF Cranwell in 1921 as a pilot. Served at RAE in special duties (test flying) and became Deputy Director of all Telecommunications for the RAF  in WWII, and went on to become Senior Technical Staff officer at Fighter Command at the end of the war. He retired in 1957. This tunic is dated January 1945. Tunic shows plenty of honest wear but no mothing or insect damage. Wear around the edge of the cuffs, skirt etc. from use. A very scarce wartime dated tunic to an Air Commodore



Outstanding set of official Air Ministry glass photographic slides with historic aircraft, carriers and naval aviation events from pre-WWI until the end of WWII.


Stored in their original wooden cases with each slide identified and listed inside the lid. Each box holds 50 slides, each slide is 3.25" x 3.25" (83mm x 83mm). Slides are made of celluloid acetate film sandwiched between two layers of glass, some are reinforced with a second outer layer of glass. These are film positives, NOT negatives and a few samples are shown. The quality is mosty excellent and subjects are mostly naval aviation, ranging from photos of Eugene Ely's first carrier take off to Dunning's first carrier landing, hoisting aircarft aboard, early RN aircraft carriers. Second box is all naval aircraft incuding many scarce and obscure types. There are some very scarce photos here! One or two have cracks but, as I said, have been reinforced. They are heavy, so please check on shipping costs, but the boxes are well made and will protect the slides from damage in transit. I always pack well! Click on the images to enlarge them and see the list of subjects. If the slides do not sel as a set i will consider selling them individually at a later date. Price is for both boxes.



Various WWII period RAF NCO's rank insignia.


Matching pair (2 sets) RAF Sergeant's stripes (blue and white on black background)  £30 / $38 / €34


Single (1 set) RAF sergeant's stripes (blue and white on black background) 


Matching pair (2) flight sergeant's crowns (RCAF). Light blue embroidered on black.


Matching pair (2 sets) Sergeant's stripes. Chevrons longer and more curved. Black and white on blue background with tan canvas backing. Stamped "Hollywood United Costumers Corporation"in light blue ink to reverse. (It was common for movie studios to buy genuine uniforms and badges and then property stamp them).  Interesting! 



Scarce WWII RAF high-altitude oxygen mask hose / breathing tube with bail-out attachment.


Standard oxygen mask hose as fitted to the Type G and Type H oxygen masks, with the addition of an extension to the tube incorporating the bail-out attachment. Used by high-altitude photo-recon and fighter pilots late war, the small bail-out inlet tube attached to a special emergency oxygen supply contained in the seat pack. Scarce accessory.



Scarce WWII RAF Type 26 microphone assembly comprising external wiring loom, microphone and bell plug.


External wirig loom for the first pattern Type C, Type D and Type E flying helmet, with microphone and bell-shaped jack plug wired in place. Jack plug is the scarce US made variant (PL179). All in very good condition. These external wiring looms are getting harder and harder to source.



WWII RAF / AAF aircraft communications adaptor.


Converts the RAF bell-shaped plug into the AAF single pin PL-55 plug so that anyone with a RAF type helmet can remain in communication. 

The female receiver is a JK-56. Not often seen aircrew accessory in excellent condition.



Superb WWII British "Home Front" ARP (Air Raid Precautions) bicycle lamp.


It's not often I would describe any item as being in "mint" condition – especially something over 75 years old – but this lamp is in absolutely fabulous condition, as perfect as the day it was made and stored in ideal conditions. Black enamel finish with cream on the inside of the hood designed to shield the light so that enemy bombers would not spot it from the air.  Includes a spare bulb in the compartment inside. Box is slightly yellowed and has slight creasing and minor surface lifting inside - but it has done its job!



Extremely rare original RAF Type D oxygen mask fitted with Type E microphone assembly and full length external wiring loom.


Still one of the rarest and most sought after items of flying equipment is the early RAF Type D oxygen mask, worn by fighter pilots throughout the Battle of France and Battle of Britain. This is the earliest configuration, fitted with the chamois covered, bell-shaped Type C microphone (which, with its wiring became the Type E microphone assembly) used during the Battle of France and into the beginning of the Battle of Britain. Mask is 100% original and shows honest use. The chamois lining has worn away on the side that would have been next to the wearer's face when "hanging" from the helmet which exposes the linen inter-lining. There is wear on the "horseshoe" pad from use and also at the bridge. The green wool outer cloth has some damage from age and storage but this is mostly confined to areas that would not show when displayed. Perhaps 85-90% of original wool is intact. Though some people might consider restoration (and this could be done quite easily), I prefer to keep it as used. The microphone is grubby but intact and includes the long cord and bell-shaped plug. There is a chip in the edge of the bakelite of the plug. This is one of the most difficult items to source and getting more and more scarce every day.



RAF Type G oxygen mask in great condition with Type 48 microphone.


A very nice example of the now hard-to-find Type G mask in grey rubber fitted with Type 25 microphone (in this short cord configuration known as a Type 48 microphone assembly). Rubber is in excellent condition, soft and pliable, but shows signs of being repaired at some stage, with glue residue visible at the lugs securing the nosewire and harness wire. Not badly done, just needs cleaning up. Grey suede lining is very clean indicating mask may have never been used. Size small. No hose, but retains plastic end connector for hose. Exept for the glue residue and exccellent mask.



Outstanding Luftwaffe fighter pilot's mesh helmet and oxygen mask.


Excellent example of an early wartime model LKpN101 mesh helmet or "Netzkopfhaube" with built in throat microphones, receivers, long cord and plug. Helmet is a size 56 which displays perfectly on a male feature mannequin head. Helmet is in superb conditon, with no holes to the mesh, clean with hardly any signs of wear and retaining the plastic earcup inserts. Very early example with chestnut leather earcups and provision only for the double strap oxygen mask, as fitted. Mask is a model 10-6701 "double-strap" also known as the "fighter-bomber" mask, made by Dräger (indicated by the code letters "byd" moulded into the rubber near the bridge). Black rubber is excellent, fully pliable including the hose. Facepiece is lined with leather showing only light use. Elastic is most likely a later replacement but made to the exact same pattern and hardware is original. Clip is also possibly a recent addition but again an exact copy of the original. A number of German masks have been reclaimed and refurbished from parts in poor condition, but the condition of this mask is truly outstanding and would be difficult to upgrade.



Decent and scarce pair of Australian made, RAF / RAAF issue 1936 pattern flying boots by Bedgood.


Very good, all original pair of 1936 pattern flying boots made in Australia by Bedgood of Melbourne. These were issued to RAAF aircrews and RAF crews and were also very popular with AAF pilots whever they could get their hands on them, both in Europe and the Pacific! Identical in every way to the British made 36 pattern boots except for the label. These boots show some scuffing on the surface but a good clean would improve them greatly. Size 8, fitting 6 (that equates to 9 wide US). The fleece linings are good with one very small area of wear at the top of the back of each boot. One top strap has been trimmed to size. Original soles and heels show wear but still have plenty of life in them.



Beautiful WWI / inter-war flying helmet, most probably of European origin.


This is an absolutely lovely flight helmet, made of very high quality Napa Leather (and so marked on the snap buttons) in the style of WWI British helmets but incorporating features of German design as well. It has a fold-up peak, a tab for goggles to the rear (which distinguishes it from a motoring helmet) and cylindrical pads in front of each ear flap for noise deflection. It also has a tab on the crown for attaching a scarf or streamer, long chin covers or "lappis" and strap. Blanket wool lined. Unfortunately, the stitching has separated on a couple of the seams (as shown in pictures). No doubt this could be repaired and the result would be a stunning display item.



Scarce WWII RAF Type D oxygen mask hinged blank / non-communications cap


When the Type D oxygen mask was first issued, there were still many occasions where radio communications were not needed in aircraft, especially single seat aircraft such as fighters. When oxygen was used, the mask was fitted with this chamois-covered, hinged alloy cap with built in exhalation valves for the continuous flow of oxygen. Though it resembles the chamois covered microphones, it contains no electronics. Examples of this blank end cap are now quite hard to find. Excellent condition with light soiling to the chamois.



A very good AAF B-8 back-type parachute as worn by many bomber crews and also by fighter pilots such as in the P-38 and P-39.


The B-8 is the later development of the Pioneer B-3-B developed and service tested earlier in the war. This was issued from about 1943 and worn by bomber pilots and some fighter pilots too. This example is dated May 1945 and made under license from Poineer by Reliance Manufacturing Co. It shows only very light wear, with one small hole from surface rubbing (inside back, cannot be seen) and some minor reddish brown stains which appear to be either dliuted rusty water or fuel, but the fabric is not damaged so it is not caustic or corrosive. Overall it is in excellent, very clean condition. The record book is included - it was evidently sold as surplus and used by a flying club from 1947-50. The canopy itself is maker marked to the “American Lady Corset Company.” Interesting! 



Superb replica WWII RAF "Airvelope" pattern  green mae west, sometimes called 1932 pattern, aged and painted with chrome yellow aircraft paint to represent those worn during the Battle of Britain.


A suberb, one-of-a-kind custom made replica of the 1932 pattern life vest. This particular reproduction is based on the early model by Robisnson and Cleaver, which they called “Airvelope” (it is referred to in AMOs as “Airvelope pattern.”) The label is very authentic lookng! This early style also featured eyelets for the straps and buckles - a signature of the early R&C Airvelope vest.  Note also the green rubberized interior to the lobes and the correct, wartime pattern

Lightning zip. There are enough differences in the minor details that it couldn’t be passed off as an original, but it really looks the part. The fabric is even overall faded (from lounging around in deck chairs in the sun, waiting for the scramble order!). Included is an impressive set of reproduction kapok pads which make the vest really look the part. Perfact to fill a gap in a display or for re-enacting - and one-tenth of the price of an original!



Excellent WWII USAAF Type A-14 oxygen mask, 8th Air Force modified with microphone plus box / aircraft stowage case and instruction sheet.


Nice early A-14 mask, dated 4-44, still in its issue box and complete with cellophane wrapping and box insert. Mask has been modified per 8th Air Force issue memo, with the addition of a green rubber baffle to the inside of the mask (for use in high altitude bombers and their fighter escorts) and has had the correct microphone installed. Shows no signs of use or wear and is in excellent condition. There are some small spider cracks to outside of rubber around the microphone housing (look much worse on the photo because of the lighting) but the narrow rubber harness cross straps - normally a problem area - are in great shape. Also includes the scarce instruction sheet. Box is in also very good condition and shows date of 12-44. 



Superb, unissued WWII US Navy NAF 1092 intermediate flyig helmet with TH-37 receivers, short rubber coated loom and built-in two prong connector.


An outstanding example of the standard issue NAF 1092 goatskin leather helmet lined with chamois and fitted with dark brown leather earcups, TH-37 receivers and wiring and a pressed leather chin cup. Shows only very light soiling, most likely from storage, and appears unissued. Clear USN stamp to back and good label indicating Slote and Klein as manufacturer and size 7.





RARE Early type RAF signal / escape mirror in Bakelite.


Photographic evidence shows this mirror being worn by pilots and aircrews by attaching it to their life vests early in the war. Two types of this mirror are known to exist, one with a brass frame and  one with a bakelite frame, both with the same RAF stores ref. number of 6E/271. A few months ago I sold an example of the brass type - now I am able to offer the bakelite version. The mirror almost identical to the type fitted to fighters (Spitfire, Hurricane, Defiant etc) as rear view mirrors in a semi-circular housing.  This signal device comprises a flat glass mirror in a black bakelite or plastic frame, 4 inches in diameter,  with a leather strap attached to the back that could be worn around the wrist or secured to the life vest. Moulded on the back is the Air Ministry A-crown-M and Ref No. 6E/271. Glass is sound, no chips, perfect conditon. Frame is excellent with no chips or cracks. A very scarce, early war survival item.





Beautifully decorated armour gauntlet / bridle gauntlet C1600. 


Extremely rare and beautifully made right-hand gauntlet. Possibly used as a bridle gauntlet, although right-handed bridle gauntlets, while not unheard of, were not common. Since this has no hinge attachment at the elbow, but rather a curved, shaped fit, it was evidently intended for wear over a coat rather than to attach to upper-arm armour. Intricately detailed acid-engraved decoration shows hunting scenes as well as a crown and sword, from the wrist lame to the contoured elbow. There are no less than 10 overlapping lames on the hand / wrist section, each superbly crafted to shape. Clearly this was made for a wealthy and titled gentleman. Finger and thumb shields are missing though remnants of the original leather, now hardened, remains. One of the hand rivets is loose and one of the decorative rivets around the elbow opening is missing, but this in no way detracts from what is a very nice displayable piece of armour.



© 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