© 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

SALES April 2019

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Exceptional RAF Type B Flying Helmet in an extremely rare size 4 (extra-large) and superb condition.

 

This is the largest RAF Type B helmet I think I have ever seen, and in absolutely superb condition. Labeled to Frank Bryan it is marked as a size 4 (largest size made) but it is very generously sized. Few helmets were made in the size 4 to begin with, the majority being produced in size 2 and 3. What makes this even more exceptional is its condition; the leather is soft and supple, the chamois lining is excellent, very slightly grubby from use, mostly on the inner donuts and neck area, but shows hardly any wear. Both zips work smoothly, perfectly. It retains its leather covering to the Bennett's buckles, the leather pullers on the zips, the metal "V" on the chin strap and the internal rubber telephone holders. The label has been blacked out in accordance with Air Ministry orders, but the maker and date of 1941 can still be seen. One of the nicest Type B helmets I have seen in a long time and definitely the largest. 

SOLD

Extremely rare early WWII Luftwaffe model LKpW100 flying helmet in a large size 59.

 

A very hard-to-find helmet in very good condition. The LKpW100 was the primary helmet in use at the beginning of the war. Leather with a sheepskin lining, complete with telephone receivers in their brown lacquered metal housings, with throat microphones, long cord and plug. This example is dated 1937 and labeled size 59 (which is extra large). Condition is very good. No damage, slight wear / oxidation to the wiring visible in the throat microphones. Some very minor wear to the sheepskin lining at the neck and throat microphone strap has some surface stress cracks from drying out but nothing serious. Elastic neck straps retain their stretch. Displays superbly. These helmets are extremely rare - especially in this condition and such a large size.

SOLD

WWII RAF Other Ranks sidecap / forage cap dated 1943.

A nice RAF Other Ranks side can (worn by enlisted personnel up to the rank of Flight sergeant including pilots and aircrew). Appears in unissued condition but came from the family of an airman and name / details can be supplied. Small size which means it displays well on a standard male feature  mannequin. Complete with correct badge showing a lot of polishing and secured with a lady's hair grip (bobbie pin) which is a nice touch (wife, girlfriend or mother). The cap has a few small moth nips but nothing too serious or noticeable. 

SOLD

WWII RAF NCO / Other Ranks peaked cap dated 1939.

Lovely example of a scarce cap. Most Other ranks wore the forage cap (sidecap) and the peaked or visor cap was generally used by RAF Police (with a white top) or MT drivers (including armored cars) though there were other exceptions. New recruits/cadets wore these caps at the beginning of the war and many went on to become pilots and aircrew. Blue serge wool, with mohair band and  leather peak with chin strap and brass cap badge. Leather sweatband is well marked with stores ref. information and 1939 date. Of interest is the fact that one of the chin strap buttons is RAF and the other is army regimental; perhaps a good luck gift or homage to a relative? Hat is in excellent condition with no moth damage or excessive wear. Much more scarce than officer's caps.

SOLD

RAF Large heliograph / signal mirror for use in multi-place dinghy.

 

Much more scarce than the small (2-inch) heliograph tried by individuals in their Mae West is this large (4-inch square) signal mirror that was issued as part of the survival kits

contained in multi-place dinghies. Quite heavy, the "mirror" is actually polished steel with an engraved circular grid , attached to a sighting device and contained in a cotton case. Instructions are ruined to the reverse of the steel mirror. Excellent condition and, as noted, these larger ones don't turn up very often.

SOLD

Excellent set of RAF spotter binoculars 6 x 30 with original leather case.

 

Standard issue to all reconnaissance and bomber aircrews, as well well as airfield defence, for long range spotting and ID of aircraft. The binoculars are in excellent condition with very little wear, very good optics (each eyepiece has independent focus). Case is superb. Binoculars are Air Ministry marked with stores ref. number 6E/293 and maker marked Watson - Baker  Co. Ltd. 1943. Fitted leather case is also Air Mnistry marked with same stores ref. number and Wray London. Case retains original strap, lid, buckle all in excellent condition.  Binoculars have a webbing strap, perhaps suggesting tropical or maritime use. Overall a very good set of binoculars, far better than usually seen.

SOLD

Wartime period set of dominoes.

 

One of the most popular pastimes of the war years, both for soldiers in the field, airmen and aircrew waiting for the next scramble, and those sitting at home or in their air raid shelter, was dominoes - and this lovely wartime period set of 28 pieces, in their original tin, would make the perfect display for any ready room display. The dominoes are black bakelite with inlaid celluloid. They show lots of use - in fact three of the pieces have lost their inlay and been creatively repaired (period) by attaching sticking plaster from a first aid kit and inking the dots in place. "Make do and mend" was the order of the day. Dominoes were also sent to POWs (sometimes with hidden contraband). A perfect touch to any wartime display.

SOLD

Extremely nice and scarce variation of the RAF first pattern (externally wired) Type C Flying Helmet.

 

Very nice early type C flying helmet in a size 2 (Medium) in very good, used condition. Leather is is lovely shape, chamois lining is quite clean, rubber ear cups are soft and pliable, Bennett buckle retains leather covering and chin strap still has its metal "V"-shaped tip. Helmet has brass hardware and snap / stud fasteners which show oxidation (though they function perfectly) and includes its scarce detachable oxygen mask clip to the left hand side which is correctly secured with 2 nuts and bolts. This helmet is a slightly unusual factory version which rarely turns up, with the visible zig-zag stitch securing the chamois donut pads in place. This was to improve noise attenuation and was the last development before the introduction of ear cups with the oval rubber surrounds (as found on internally wired helmets). As such I have only ever encountered a handful of C helmets with this feature. However, saving the best for last, it has the largest and most exquisite deeply embossed Air Ministry property mark on the flap which tucks under the chin strap, clearly showing the A-crown-M and the stores ref. number of 22C/450. An absolute beauty!

SOLD

RARE Excellent early war Luftwaffe model 10-67 3-strap oxygen mask.

 

A nice early wartime example of the model 10-67 oxygen mask, manufactured by Auer, as worn in the Battle of Britain, moulded in dark green rubber with integral hose, 3 strap harness with adjustable, elasticated side straps, leather joint in centre, fixed top strap (helmet clip strap adjusts to fit) and full length hose with connector. Lacks the clothing clip, as so many do, but retains its original leather anti-frostbite shield. Altogether is excellent condition; the rubber is in great condition, still pliable with no hardening or stickiness and no misshaping. One of the two integral rubber "buttons" for securing the strap has been removed, probably a period modification; once the strap was fitted, the extra button became redundant. Hose is perfect, flexible with no kinks or bends. Leather is also very good, with a little surface scuffing but no damage. Spring elastic still stretches and retracts perfectly. Mask appears to be in unissued condition, just lacks the clip (they occasionally turn up on old masks or very good reproductions can be found - I do not have one available). These early masks in green rubber are extremely difficult to find nowadays.

NOTE: Mask only for sale. LKpS100 helmet is shown for display purposes and is NOT FOR SALE.

SOLD

RAF Type E* oxygen mask with microphone. Sefton reproduction.

 

An absolutely superb reproduction of the Type E* oxygen mask, from a new, limited moulding by Sefton of London. Moulded in modern rubber, which will not deteriorate the way the originals do, this new moulding has the look and weight of an original mask, but a slightly different feel to the rubber so that it is not designed to fool anyone, but it will fill a hole in any collection and be perfect for re-enactors who should not be risking original equipment of this nature. The strap, bridge, chamois lining, wire, valves and microphone are 100% original. Only the rubber moulding is new. If you want a mint-condition example of something that doesn't exist in mint condition, that will not deteriorate - and at about half the cost of an original - this is it.

SOLD

Luftwaffe model 10-6701 double strap oxygen mask in green rubber.

 

Every once in a while a rare "Holy Grail" item comes along. This Luftwaffe model 10-6701 mask is such an item, because this is one of the earlier types, moulded in green rubber, and in excellent condition. 100% original, including the elastic straps, metal clips and the clothing clip, which is marked AB (Auer). The rubber is pliable with no signs of aging or perishing. Green suede lining is clean. The hose is moulded from darker rubber and the two straps which secure the double strap are black rubber, perhaps suggesting factory conversion from a 3-strap model to this rare double-strap, or so-called "fighter-bomber" mask. A beauty!

SOLD

Excellent pair of RAF Battle of Britain period Mk III goggles.

 

Though Canadian made examples of these goggles are fairly common, British made Mk IIIs (with the A-crown-M of the Air Ministry property mark) have always been difficult to find. This example is a lovely pair of these goggles, with all stoppers and vents present, the pads are still mostly quite soft, the springs in the strap are perfect and it has a lovely crisp Air Ministry mark on the strap. 90% of painted finish remains on frames, lenses are clear with minimal scratching and very slight yellowing. Leather very good.

SOLD

Postwar RAF officer's service dress peaked cap with QC badge.

Identical design and quality to the wartime SD cap, with the crescent shaped peak and piped seam more commonly seen postwar, and a lovely bullion badge featuring the St. Edward's Crown (more commonly referred to as Queen's Crown). Excellent condition and quality, tailored by Moss Bros. who were a prevalent and popular supplier during the war. Good size (approx 7-1/4). Perfect for dress up or for displaying with jet age RAF equipment.

SOLD

Superb signed 9" x 12" photograph of Sir Arthur Harris, Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, RAF, from 1942 - 1945.

 

A superb black and white photographic print of Sit Arthur "Bomber" Harris seated at his desk. Printed on mat photographic paper, it is a later print from an old negative which is hand signed by Sir Arthur in blue ink.There are three straight line, horizontal creases in the photograph which do not detract and the image is suitable for framing. From an old collection and guaranteed 100% authentic.

SOLD

Stunning signed 11" x 14" wartime portrait photograph of Alexander "Sacha" Hess, Czech Battle of Britain pilot.

 

A fabulous signed photograph of Alexander "Sacha"Hess, Czech Battle of Britain pilot and leader of 310 squadron with 4 kills during the Battle.  Photo is a professional portrait by Chase of Washington DC, mounted on heavy board, and on the back is pasted a newspaper article on him following his retirement from Pan Am in the 1960s with details of his wartime career. The photo is inscribed to a friend and collector who was always much respected by many WWII veterans, and signed boldly in  blue. Battle of Britain pilot's s signatures are much more difficult to obtain these days, especially from the Eastern European allies who fought with such distinction. This is an outstanding photograph of a well known Czech war hero and personality.

SOLD

2 x signed photographs of USAF Korean War jet ace "Boots" Blesse.

 

2 digitally printed photographs of USAF Major General Frederick Corbin "Boots" Blesse. He flew F-80, F-86 and F-51 Mustangs during two tours of duty in Korea and was credited with 10 kills (including 9 Mig 15s) plus 1 probable and 3 damaged, making him the USAF highest scoring jet ace. Both prints are 8.5" x 11" and clearly signed in black ink. Great items.

SOLD

"Eagles Roar". First edition of an early book about the Eagle Squadrons signed by many ES veterans or their widows attending a later reunion.

First Edition, published in 1942, by Byron Kennerly, tells the story of the Eagle Squadrons and the men who made them up, virtually as it happened. 272 pages, HB with a middle section of b/w photos. This is an ex-library book and lacks a dust jacket but is in very good condition for being over 75 years old. The book is signed by 9 Eagle Squadron pilots and two surviving widows - please see photos for details.  

SOLD

Very good AAF Type B-6 flying helmet, fully wired with ANB-H-1 receivers, cord and plug.

 

Early WWII Type B-6 Flying helmet, in very good condition, complete with ANB-H-1 receivers, cord and red PL-354 plug. The B-6 replaced the B-5, though it was essentially the same pattern, except it had hooks fitted for the A=9 and A-10 standard oxygen masks, and a chin strap instead of chi cup to better accommodate those masks. It remained the front line flying helmet of the AAF until later 1943 and many were modified (as this one) to accept the new generation of oxygen masks: the A-10R, A-10A and A-14. The fact that this helmet is fitted with ANB-H-1 receivers suggests use in 1943 and the position of the mask snaps are set up for an A-14. It's a lovely helmet, with no damage, just a few surface nicks to the polyacrylate coating. Large AAF decal front and centre. Good solid example. No size tag but my guess is a size Large (though these run on the small side).

SOLD

Excellent pair of late WWII AAF AN6530 Flying Goggles.

 

Beautiful pair of classic AAF AN6530 Flying Goggles as used by the AAF and USN in WWII. Frames show only minor surface oxidation near the hinge and are fitted with the later, more streamlined vents. Patent marked to Chas Fischer Spring of Brooklyn, New York. Clear glass lenses, good soft and pliable cushion and white elastic strap retains a small amount of elasticity. Overall clean and very displayable. Hard to find with original cushions in such great shape.

SOLD

RAF Type 32 telephone receivers (10A/13466) REPRODUCTIONS for display with flying helmets.

With original RAF telephone receivers being increasingly more difficult to source, these reproductions are the next best thing for a very convincing display, and a fraction of the price. Moulded and cast in resin, they can be attached to a wiring loom by removing the lower screw, looping the ends of the wires together and inserting them into the hole, then replacing the screw. Or they can be used without wiring to help preserve the shape of the rubber ear cups. These will work with any wiring loom and are correct for any Type C, D or E helmet.

SOLD

RAF / SOE escape - evasion compass concealed in a collar stud

 

One of MI9's more ingenious methods of concealing a compass early in the war, when the need for evasion and escape first presented itself. This early rotary style compass is concealed inside a very ordinary cheap looking collar stud (the type that went at the front of the shirt with multiple layers of "collar" to button though). The white finish would have covered the glass "window" entirely but could be scraped away when the compass was needed. Not often found with so much of the white finish remaining, which is a nice plus. Compass rotates well and still points north.

SOLD

Extremely rare RAF Other Ranks cap badge with concealed escape compass.

 

It was primarily considered the duty of officers to evade capture and escape. For the most part, enlisted men, including NCOs, were not expected to participate, though many did. This piece of escape / evasion kit was specifically for the use of enlisted aircrew (other ranks and NCOs). It comprises a compass built into a backing plate for the RAF cap badge. The housing was concealed behind the badge which was heavily domed, and the lugs fit through the wool outer, then the backing plate, then the lining of the cap, where it was secured with a cotter pin. For display purposes, this device includes a piece of the wool of the cap and the cotton lining. This is the only example of one of these I have ever seen. Whether it was an MI9 issue item or improvised by an enterprising ground crew I have no idea, but it is quite brilliant.

SOLD

3 x collectible postcards from the 1969 movie  "Battle of Britain".

3 from a series of 32 postcards produced in association with the movie Battle of Britain. Though the kit was not totally accurate and the German aircraft were Spanish-built post-war copies of the Me 109 and He 111, this is still a classic movie, and souvenirs like this are highly collectible. The 3 postcards are: Sector OPs Room under attack; Scramble; and Spitfires taking off during a raid. Each is 6" x 4" (152mm x 105mm) and all are unused. Slight foxing to the backs and minor bumps at the edges but excellent condition.

SOLD

Incredible example of a WWII AAF "short snorter".

 

The most amazing "short snorter" I have ever seen.  

A "short snorter" was a collection of banknotes collected by aviators as they traveled to different bases and countries and acquired different currency by swapping with other service personnel. These were the precursor of the "challenge coin".  Banknotes were often signed then taped together and were always carried for good luck. Failure to produce it on demand required the miscreant to buy drinks for everyone else (a snorter) . Each "short snorter" is unique and tells its own story - but this one is the most amazing I have seen, comprising no less than 17 banknotes, from the UK and France to Japan and the Philippines - including a Confederate $10 bill and a US $1 silver certificate; many with signatures. Well worn - but still securely holding together, this is a true collector's item and would be fun to research.

SOLD

RAF pilot wing 3.

Another variation of the RAF pilot's brevet, cream silk on dark blue wool with a brown paper backing material. Nice example, has been sewn on but very little wear.

SOLD

 

Author signed First Edition of "Story of the Century" by John Nillson - the history of the Bloody 100th Bomb Group.

 

1946 First Edition copy of "The Story of the Century" by John R. Nillson - the history of famous 100th Bomb Group which suffered incredible casualties i the war. Based at Thorpe Abbotts in East Anglia, the Bloody 100th flew the B-17 through Hell and back. Book appears to have been published privately - no publisher is credited. It is in excellent condition; slight foxing but solid binding and signed in pencil on first page: "To Bill from ye old author, John R. Nillson"

Excellent book lists all members and casualties and includes 24 pages of b/w photographs at the end.

SOLD

Large number of WWII USN combat aircrew photographs and negatives from one crewman. 

 

Found in a footlocker belonging to a US Navy crewman who flew on the PB5Y Privateer (his cap and other personal artifacts are listed for sale on this site). This lot comprises over 100 photographs, mostly large format (4" x 5") and depict his aircraft, the crew in flight gear, downed Japanese aircraft, cockpit shots, plus dozens of air to ground shots of target areas in the Pacific: Marianas, Guam, etc. the "birth " of a "new" volcanic island, and some poignant images of Hiroshima after the bomb. Also included are many negatives (some of the photos but many more not yet printed but equally interesting and all military subjects). A fantastic collection. He was an official USN aircrew photographer so these are great images, never before published. Please study the images and feel free to ask for more.

SOLD

RAF flying log books and photo albums to a Wireless Op. Air Gunner, early wartime North Africa.

 

Sgt. Alan Hazlitt served as a Wireless Operator from 1936 and Air Gunner from July1940 with 7 squadron and later 216 squadron. 216 was primarily a transport squadron which flew all types from Vickers Valentia and Bristol Bombay to Blenheims, Empire flying boats and even Junkers Ju 52. An interesting log with many types listed. 216 famously flew just one bombing mission and Hazlitt was involved, his aircraft crashing. The two log books are actually duplicates; it was common for aircrew to keep two copies in case one was lost or abandoned - but both were completed by Hazlitt. Log books entries begin 8/39 and end 11/41. One of the photo albums is entirely aircraft and contains 33 photographs including many rare types. All good quality photographs.  The second album is largely site-seeing in the middle east, Jerusalem, Egypt, Greece etc. and contains 145 images including some RAF personnel and some exotic animals. Most are captioned and all are very good quality. A very nice set with lots of history and research potential.

SOLD

Excellent pair of RAFMk VII goggles with webbing strap.

 

An exceptionally nice, lightly used pair of RA Mk VII flying goggles with the second style elasticated webbing strap, correct with 2 friction buckles. Frans are excellent with very few signs of dings or dents and 95%+ original ultramarine painted finish. Pads are soft with minimal soiling (mostly bleed through of leather dye). Webbing strap retains some elasticity. Lenses show very little sign of delamination. A totally 100% original set (not the refurbished types) in well above average condition.

SOLD