AAF T-30-V throat microphone.

One of three variants of the T-30 throat microphone used by AAF pilots and aircrews offered. Each contracted manufacturer was given a suffix letter, hence T-30-V was made by Shure Bros. of Chicago. Very good condition with one small surface crack to rubber in inside. Strap retains a little elasticity.



Imperial German (Prussian) pilot's badge in silver by C.E. Juncker.


Excellent example of the privately purchased version of the Imperial German pilot's badge by C.E. Juncker of Berlin, with a two-piece construction, rayed back, made from 800 silver and marked with the crescent moon and crown hallmarks. Pilots were issued a non-silver badge upon completion of training, but most, depending on their social status and wealth, would commission a jeweler to make them a nicer badge. One of the most popular suppliers was C.E. Juncker of Berlin who made a selection of different quality badges – this is one of the top-end types, highly-detailed with its two-piece hollow-construction, wide, flat pin, rayed back and small vent hole (beneath the clasp). Depicts a Taube monoplane flying over the German landscape with the Imperial Prussian crown above, surrounded by a wreath tied at the bottom with a ribbon. A lovely badge.


RARE AAF Type E-17 Survival Kit complete with contents.

OD green canvas pouch with belt clip and straps to rear, containing the ESM-1 signal mirroe plus 2 acetate bottles full of emergency survival supplies. One bottle is for medical supplies and the other is for survival. I have opened the bottles but have not disturbed the contents, but both appear full and while I cannot guarantee absolutely that they are complete as listed, I can clearly see a lot of the items corresponding to the list on the outside of the cases.  To find these survival kits full is rare. These were issued to AAF aircrews in all theatres for survival on land and at sea. 


WWII RAF Parachute Storage Bag.


A very difficult to find accessory because these bags are so useful, most were used up and worn out long after they completed their service life! Heavy khaki canvas bag with long zip fastener running from halfway down each side across the top to open wide for inserting a parachute and harness. Extensive internal flaps cover and protect the parachute pack inside. Faint but legible broad arrow mark to one side, and named on the top to F/O Sommers with his serial number. A little grubby from use but the fabric is in excellent condition with no wear or damage and the heavy duty "Flash" brand metal zip works perfectly. A veru good example.


RARE escape compass and sunglasses. Both attributed to well known Battle of Britain pilot.


Rare type of escape compass, concealed in the buckle of the "suits, aircrew, blouse" (later war service dress but universally known as "battledress'). The buckle could be removed quickly and assembled into a useful compass. A very rare item in its own right - this particular one belonged to a famous Battle of Britain pilot, F/O Harold Bird-Wilson. It comes together with a pair of US made Bausch & Lomb aviator sunglasses and case which Bird-Wilson evidently acquired from a US pilot. His name is written on the inside of the leather case. The two items come with a copy of the invoice from the auction house at which they were purchased in 2013 which lists these two items (along with other items that have sadly already been separated from the grouping). The invoice indicates the fact that the items were provided by relatives of Bird-Wilson. 


Extremely RARE WWII South African Air Force observer half-wing / brevet.


South African Air Force pilots and aircrews fought alongside RAF and other Commonwealth Aircrews throughout the war and there were none braver, but without the tag  of "Royal" such as the RCAF, RAAF, RNZAF etc. carried, they wore entirely different uniforms and badges. As far as is known (and I refer to my much missed friend Warren Carroll's wonderful book "Eagles Recalled") they used only two aircrew postion badges: Pilot and Observer - and both are very much more scarce than those of the other commonwealth countries.  I have never before run cross one of these SAAF observer brevets. This is 100% genuine, issued from 1937 until 1945. Used and previously sewn on with signs of some wear but no damage. A rare opportunity!


RAF and Observer Corps gunnery training range finder.


A simple but effective trainng device to enable fighter pilots and air gunners to identify aircraft and judge their range during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. By looking through the V-shaped opening, the user could determine how far away the aircraft was from its wingspan. Once the user became accustomed to recognizing the various wingspans, they could dispense with the device. Used as training devices and also by the Observer Corps whose job it was to report such information to Fighter Command. Device is made from metal so quite heavy and robust. Excellent condition, retains cord for wearing around neck. A scarce item.


US Army Vietnam era general purpose goggles. 

Labeled "Sun, Wind & Dust" and dated 1970, these goggles are the exact same type as the M-1944 which were still the general purpose goggles of choice for US Troops. Rubber is perfectly flexible, strap still has some elasticity. Lenses are a bit scratched but they still work for display or re-enactment at a fraction of the cost of WWII issue.

A good, used pair of goggles.


Royal Flying Corps Cowl / hooded flying helmet in great used condition.


One of the best looking yet obviously well used RFC cowl type helmets I have come across in many years. This helmet is grubby inside and out from engine oil and hair oil, yet the leather is in wonderful condiiton, and the fur and chamois lining is virtualy complete and intact, bar some minor wear. This is a typical issue style though I can see no WD markings, I dare say they are there under the grime! Retains ear flaps and rolled cylinders or "wind deflectors". Also retains chin strap (or back strap - whichever way it was worn) and both brow tightening straps and buckles.  The partial fur lining is almost completely intact, including the edge roll around the facial opening. A few loose stitches here and there but nothing serious and displays perfectly. For collectors who like the "I was there" look, you won't find better - this helmet has so much character and is really in very, very good condition.


RAF cocktail fork as used in the officers' mess. Dated 1935 by Gladwin. 


Lovely silver plated cocktail fork,  maker marked Gladwin Embassy Plate and dated 1935, with the RAF crest on the handle. Heavy quality. Excellent condition, high quality silver plate.


RAF cocktail fork as used in the officers' mess, made by Hallam Plate. 


Identical to the above but marked to a different manufacturer, with the RAF crest on the handle. Heavy quality. Excellent condition, high quality silver plate.


Nice matched pair of  WWII US Army oak leaves for the rank of major.

Really beautiful set of pin-back oak leaf rank badges for a major. Shold-R-Form by NS Meyer and 1/20 10K gold.


Nice matched pair of  WWII US Army captain's  bars .

Really beautiful set of pin-back captain's bars. Marked Gemsco and Acid Test.


Important and rare log book grouping to Cecil Arthur Rea, AFC, RNAS.Pioneer test pilot and Schneider Trophy pilot. 


Interesting and important set of 3 Great War flying log books to Flight Lieutenant C.A. Rea, Royal Naval Air Service, Air Force Cross, G.V.R.; 1914-15 Star (P.O.M., R.N.A.S.); British War and Victory Medals, M.I.D. Oakleaf (Flt. Lt., R.N.A.S.).  Later Chief test pilot for Boulton and Paul, Schneider Trophy race pilot for Gloster and RAF Reserve pilot. The log books, which are are all full, include a lot of detail in the comments and run concurrently from 4th August, 1915 to 10th October, 1923.

Cecil Arthur Rea, A.F.C., was born in Belfast, 21st May 1885, and was employed on the Canadian Pacific Railway prior to joining the R.N.A.S. in late 1914. Rising rapidly to Chief Petty Officer in the Armoured Car Detachment, he was commissioned Flight Sub-Lieutenant in July 1915 and underwent his Pilot’s Course at Eastchurch that October, his Service Record noting that among other achievements he completed some night flying. Further training at Hendon ensued, and during a return flight from Cranwell, Rea’s machine, G.W. Box Kite No.3609, became inverted and crashed. No blame, however, was attributed to the Pilot who escaped unscathed. Advanced to Flight Lieutenant in October of the same year, he commenced his brief as an Experimental Pilot in July 1917 and had completed in excess of 150 hours on ‘all types’ by the middle of 1918 - pioneering work that resulted in a recommendation for his advancement to Flight Commander and, no doubt, largely contributed to the award of his A.F.C., announced in the London Gazette on 2.11.1918 ‘In recognition of valuable flying services performed in their various capacities as Flying Instructors, Test, Ferry and Experimental Pilots’. Rea was “Mentioned in Despatches” in the London Gazette 3.6.1918.

Remaining in the regular R.A.F. until 1926, he continued as a Test Pilot of Seaplanes, Amphibians and Aeroplanes. In 1924 he was granted special leave as one of two pilots selected to fly the Gloucester Aircraft Company’s Schneider Trophy entry, a Gloster Napier Seaplane, in the contest that year in the United States.  On transfer to the Reserve in 1926, Rea joined Boulton & Paul Limited as Chief Test Pilot and the Company’s Liaison Officer with the R.A.F. and Air Ministry. The following year he raised Boulton & Paul’s profile by piloting one of their machines to win in the Tradesmen’s Cup. In 1936 he was granted a five year extension of service in the Reserve, and the same year founded John Short Limited and established their aircraft works at Norwich. He resigned from the R.A.F. Reserve in 1938, and later in the year was appointed Operations Officer (Balloons) at the Air Ministry. In 1939 he moved to the Ministry of Aircraft Production, as Production Officer with responsibility for barrage balloon equipment. From 1940 to 1943 he was Senior Production Officer concerned with various aspects of balloons and aircraft, and between 1944-45 was Technical Officer at the ‘German Document Centre’. At the conclusion of Rea’s career as a Test Pilot he had flown a staggering total of 136 different types of aircraft.



Set of 6 matching RAF cocktail 

forks. Pre-WWII silver plated as used in the officers' mess. 


Lovely set of six silver plated cocktail forks,  maker marked Elkingon Plate, with the RAF crest on the handle. Heavy quality. Elkington is much sought after amomg collectors of silver plate and being pre-war RAF marked makes this set a true collector's item. Excellent condition though they could use a polish.


RAF pre-war officers' mess silver plated butter serving knife / spreader.


Beautiful 1920s-1930s butter spreader, silver plated and marked GG & S (George Gordon & Son, of Sheffield). RAF crest to handle. Curioulsy the crest is off-centre - perhas an error which explains the great condition of tis item. From an officer's mess of the pre-war years when officer's dressed in dinner attire and dined in style.


RARE Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm white leather Type C flying helmet from the late war immersion suit, size 4 (Ex-Large)


Lovely used example of this now rare flying helmet which was originally part of the early immersion suit used by FAA pilots and crews at the end of the war. Helmet is actually in very good condition but has been well used.  White leather shows sweat staining to forehead area and top. This might clean if desired, but I prefer to leave as is. Hardware has oxidation and verdigris. Zips are stuck, and I will not force them, but I have had success in the past rubbing candle wax on the teeth to loosen them up.. Helmet is internally wired with an early external wiring loom, complete with Type 25 microphone and plug, as well as telephone receivers inside the earcups, and sponge rubber pads which still feel soft, if a little crumbly. Interior is grubby but overall there is no damage and it displays superbly. Residue of glue around rear neck flap from where it was once joined to the neck of the suit. Helmet has a nice crown / anchor Admiralty mark on the left hand side, faint but visible. A rare helmet and in the largest size made. Very difficult to find examples of this helmet. Note: last image shows a Fairey Barracuda crewmember wearing the suit and helmet as he boards the aircraft.


WWII USAAF / US Navy canvas hand paddles for the 1-man life raft.


Green canvas stretched dover a wire frame with webbing straps to go around the wrists and hands.  Show use with some wear but no damage. A good pair.


RAF silk glove liners for the 1933 and 1941 pattern gauntlets.


Very good pair of  silk glove liners for the 1933 pattern gauntlets. Intended to provide extra warmth, they were often worn alone by pilots and navigators yo give a better feel on their controls or instruments. This pair is in very good used condition, with a little light staining but no wear or damage. Any markings they may have had have faded and are no longer visible, but being silk, were almost certainly early for the 1933 pattern gauntlets, although the same type were issued, both in silk and man-made fabric, with the 1941 pattern. Getting harder to find.


Scarce WWII RAF Observer Type parachute harness.


Parachute equipment has never been easy to find, and is getting harder all the time. This is especially true of British made equipment, of which this is an excellent example. A superb  4-point RAF Observer Harness (for a chest pack) which has resided in an old collection for many years. It is a true wartime harness, made by G&TL and labeled as such, complete with the harness serial number. Includes correct khaki back cushion and is fitted with the square "rings" for attaching the K-type dinghy pack (rings appear to have been added or moved by a rigger at some point). Without doubt  wartime manufacture, featuring the full-circular Quick Release Box (in good working order) which is well marked, as are the plated metal clips. No wear or damage, just light soiling from storage but overall an excellent example in beautiful condition.


RAF Mk IV life vest by Frankenstein.


The Mk IV Life Vest is perhaps best known for its appearance - albeit incorrectly - in the classic film "Battle of Britain" where it was used by all RAF fighter pilots because no original period vests were available. in fact the Mk IV was not available until after the war, and saw service with pilots flying the early jets: Meteor, Vampire, Javelin, Venom, Hunter, etc. This is a lovely example, though it has none of its extras or components - it is just the vest. No bladder / stole and no survival items. It has all its buttons, tapes, toggles and snaps in place, and there are no tears or damage (many were demilitarized by being slashed with a knife). It's clean and displays very well. Early post-war jet flying kit is now becoming popular and difficult o obtain. This is a very good example.


US Navy seat pack container for the AN6520-1 one-man life raft.


Grey waterproofed canvas seat cushion pack for the one-man AN6520-1 life raft. In excellent condition with  lights marks to the outside that would probably clean off fairly easily, otherwise appears unissued.  Clear nomenclature stamp but date never filled in.


WWII AAF Type A-11 helmet, early model with 3 snap fasteners each side, fully wired.


Very good, used example of the Type A-11 helmet. This is the first issue type, with 3 snap fasteners on each side for attaching the mask. Fully wired with correct loom, ANB-H-1 receivers and PL54 plug. Shows use with a few minor nicks to the surface (see pictures) but no real damage. Inside is grubby from hair creme. Appears it once had a name tag sewn across the top/front, which was not an uncommon practice. Sadly this is long gone. One of the less common manufacturer's labels inside: J.G. Menihan in red on white silk. Size medium but it fits a styrofoam display head generously. If you like the "I was there" look, this is the one!


AAF Type A-11 flying helmet with ANB-H-1 receivers, cord and plug. Early contract.


Excellent example of the AAF Type A-11 flying helmet introduced in late 1943. This is an early contract example (with a 44 order number) made from reddish brown cape leather lined with chamois,  with 3 snaps each side for attaching an oxygen mask. The leather on this helmet is exquisite and much nicer than usually found on these helmets.  In 1944 production was changed to a darker brown sheep's leather. These early reddish brown cape leather helmets are not common. Never had the AAF stamp/decal either inside or outside, though it has a superb nomenclature label. It is stamped 73THY on the chin strap and the Roman number III on the inside of the left chin area. Complete with correct ANB-H-1 receivers, long braided cord and red PL-354 plug. Gently worn but in excellent condition and hard to find a better example.


SALES August 2019

(click on pictures to enlarge)

© 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