Lovely full size WWII RAF other ranks china tea mug (holds a full English pint - 20 oz)

Perhaps at one time the most important piece of "equipment" in all the British military forces, the ubiquitous tea mug was as welcome a sight to aircrews returning from a night bombing mission as it was to the men on the ground who kept their "kites" flying. No RAF display is complete without at least one. This is an original, in excellent condition, with no damage, though evidently made and glazed in a hurry since the glazed interior contains flaws that probably wouldn't have passed inspection at Wedgwood (gritty deposit in baked into the glaze at the base). The lithographed RAF cipher is clear but the lithographed manufacturer information on the bottom is less so, though perfectly visible. My guess is late war when production was more important than fine quality. A wonderful memento - and it holds a full English pint of tea (20 oz).


RCAF Mk III flying goggles dated 1940.


Identical to the RAF / Air Ministry issue production Mk III goggles, these Canadian made version were used extensively in WWII.  Well marked and dated 1940, these are in excellent condition, well above average, with soft leather, good frames and lenses that show only minor surface wear  and scratches. Good springs and strap. One stopper missing as is so often the case with Mk II and IIIa goggles, but could be replaced or displayed as is.


Scare pair of WWI French flying goggles: "Googlette No. 3". 

Beautiful pair of WWI French flying goggles featuring nickel plates frames, cylindrical glass lenses (rare and expensive to produce at that time); adjustable bridge, rubber cushions and elastic strap. Overall condition is remarkable, especially for their age; the rubber cushions have stiffened but this in no way detracts from their appearance. Frames, lenses and strap are very clean. Strap retains elasticity and may be a later replacement, but if so is indistinguishable from an original. A lovely pair of goggles that could easily have been worn by aviators of any of the warring nations.


Scarce first pattern unwired RAF Type C flying helmet. 


Designed in 1940 to supersede the Type B, but not available until early 1941, the first pattern Type C flying helmet was somewhat short-lived and is therefore not commonly found. It featured just 2 snap/press-stud fasteners on each cheek for attached the Type E mask - itself a very short-lived variant. It also features 4 goggle strap tabs, the front pair fastening downwards while the rear pair fastened upwards - a feature that caused problems by catching on cockpit hoods, aircraft interiors, etc. These were quickly changed to all fastening downwards and 3 snaps each side for the modified Type E* mask. the helmet has a Bennett buckle and leather chin chin strap with metal "V' to the tip. Leather is in excellent condition, soft and pliable, and the interior chamois is clean and soft if slightly mottled from wear. Brown velvet lined brow and chin flap is lined with reddish brown velvet. Nice crisp A-crown-M embossed to left hand side. Good pliable rubber ear cups of the simple early type, externally sewn with no noise attenuation. Would benefit from leather dressing but overall condition is extremely good. Either a generous size 2 (medium) or possibly a size 3 (large). A lovely example of a type that is becoming more and more difficult to source.


RARE RCAF "Land-Sea Emergencies" Survival Kit Booklet issued with survival vest, dinghies etc.


Issued as one of the contents of the seldom seen RCAF survival vest, this comprehensive booklet measures 5" x 4.25" (13cm x 11cm) and .25" thick with over 90 pages of information on dealing with just about every type of emergency situation on land or sea, use of  issued survival equipment, building shelter, first aid, preparing food, use of rations, repairing clothing and equipment etc. Also includes comprehensive lists of ALL survival equipment carried in each of the various survival and emergency kits issued (RCAF and RAF) with dinghies, etc. Shows use and some wear to card covers, 3 staples still tightly in place though they have stained the paper with rust marks. This is the first edition reprinted January 1944 - a rare original survival manual.


AAF T-30-Q 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-Q was made by Western Electric. Very good condition. Includes instruction sheet and the elusive "M" clip for providing a better contact with the larynx. Strap retains full elasticity. Button covering missing from one snap fastener but still works perfectly.



RAF Flying Helmet receiver cup end caps (matched pair).


Having not seen these for about 20 years, suddenly 2 sets turn up in less than a month. A scarce accessory for RAF flying helmets. These bakelite receiver cup end caps were used to block external noise on the receiver cups when worn without telephone receivers or when Gosport tubes were fitted without receivers, such as on Type B helmets and  Navy Type C and D helmets with built in Gosport inlets. There is some photographic evidence to suggest they may have been added to the outside of Type C helmet receiver cups to improve noise reduction, especially when US receivers were fitted (not to be confused with the oxygen mask end caps). Distinct domed appearance and clearly marked with a 10A prefix indicating radio equipment. 


RAF Type E* oxygen mask, complete with correct pattern narrow tube (hose) and wired with type 28 microphone and full external wiring - all in virtually mint unissued condition.


An absolutely superb example of the Type E* oxygen mask, in just about perfect condition, with no evidence of wear or use other than a few small paint chips on the rare Type 28 microphone housing. Mask is completely pliable and fitted with its correct narrow​ tube with bayonet connector and clip. It is also fitted with an early external wiring cord (Type Q) with bell plug and correct receivers. The Type 28 carbon microphone is quite rare these days and Type E* masks are becoming more and more difficult to find - especially in this kind of condition. Note: this is a 100% original mask - not one of the reproductions now available. The condition must be seen to be believed and it would be difficult if not impossible to upgrade this set.



Willson US Navy Aviation Goggles, all-rubber mask, in unissued condition with original case.


A very scarce pair of late WWII aviation goggles in excelent, unissued and unused condiotn. The black rubber mask is completely pliable, the acetate lens is clear with only minor surface scratches, elastic strap like new and chamois backing bright and clean. Still in theor original, well marked leatherette covered case. A rare find!



Early version of RAF Mk VII flying goggles.

Brass frames painted ultramarine blue with leather pads and early leather strap. Frames are above average with minor dings and bends to brass but actually hold their shape well. Leather is a little dry and shows slight scuffing in places; lenses have minimal delamination. Overall a lovely and very displayable set of goggles.


Luftwaffe Model 306 flying goggles with field modified strap .


Luftwaffe Model 306 Flying Goggles, with large, curved glass lenses, grey painted frames with double screw adjustment at bridge and dark grey rubber cushions. Frames are maker marked AB for Auer and dated 1941. Cushions are slightly stiff but not misshapen and display perfectly. The standard strap as issued has been replaced with the strap from the emergency/survival goggles carried in the Channel suit, so perhaps the original strap broke and was replaced i the field? I have seen this arrangement on one or two other pairs of LW goggles, so it may have been standard practice. Except for the stiffening of the cushions, goggles are in excellent condition.


Italian Aircraft data plate from a Savoia Marchetti.


Superb, heavy bronze or brass data plate from an Italian Savoia Marchetti aircraft. I am not sure which model, or which part this is from, but in typical over-the-top Italian styling of the period it is beautifully made.  Most probably 1920s or 1930s. (Special thanks to my friend Boris Comazzi for the translation)

MARTINETTO IDRAULICO DIS.(egno)                   Hydraulic actuator drawing …

CORSA                                                                        Stroke…

SEZ.(ione) CAM.(era) APER. (ta)                           Barrel internal volume when open                                                                                          (supposedly, normally “sezione”

                                                                                      means “cross section”) 

SEZ.(ione) CAM.(era) CHIUS.(a)                             Barrel internal volume when

                                                                                      closed… (same as above)

PRESS.(ione) MAX.(ima) D’UTILIZZ(o)                 Max operating pressure…

TENERE L’ASTA PULITA ED INGRASS.(ata)         Keep rod clean and greased.


WWII AAF embroidered shoulder patch.

Standard AAF uniform shoulder patch. 100% original, in excellent condition.


Vietnam War USAF double-sided Evasion Chart of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Huge map/chart of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand printed on plastic sheeting showing EVC-250-5 on one side and EVC-250-6 on the reverse. Dated February 1966, this chart was issued to USAF aircrews as an aid for evading capture if shot down in hostile territory. Excellent condition with no fading, tears or damage, though slightly grubby in places, but fully washable! Measures  approx. 56" x 36"


RARE WWII USSR Flying Goggles.

Very difficult to find! Genuine WWII period Soviet Air Force flying goggles - distinguishable from the more common general purpose goggles of the same basic design that were used into the 1980s, by having steel hardware and tall, raised air vents on each side of the alloy frame. Show use, with a few dings to the frames, oxidation to the steel fittings and soiling to the leather on the back of the pad. Brown rubber cushion is in good condition, still pliable though grubby. Lenses are aircraft plexiglas /perspex with some overall hazing but no discolouration. Wide strap is stained and has lost most of  its elasticity, but remains strong. Overall a decent displayable set.


EXTREMELY RARE item of RAF flying clothing: Sweater, Aircrew, Navy Blue.


Extremely rare item of flying clothing. "Sweater, Aircrew, Navy Blue (22C/996)" replaced "Frock, White" in March 1944. Basically of similar pattern to the frock, white, it is a plain knitted wool jumper in dark blue with a simple crew neck, designed to fit under the battledress and/or a flying suit. Like the frock white, few have survived because it is a practical and comfortable item of clothing that would have been kept and worn long after the war. This example actually came from a Royal Navy aircrew member and has initials stamped in white ink inside the neck (typical RN style of block lettering). No tag or label remains, if there ever was one, but its pattern along with its source confirms its identity. The frock white is very rarely encountered, but this is the first example of the Aircrew Sweater I have ever handled. Small size in very good condition with one or two small snags and holes and wear around the neck, but no serious issues.



Incredible Red Cross POW cardboard box with known RAF history and provenance from Stalag Luft III (Sagan) and the Long March.


Red Cross Prisoner of War box (now empty) given to prisoner number 302: Flt. Sgt. R.A. Cleaver during his stay at Stalg Luft III (Sagan - famed for the Great Escape). The box was packed in the USA, shipped to Europe and distributed by the Red Cross, this one issued to Reg Cleaver. Cleaver's had survived a forced landing near Openheusen after his Halifax was shot down by a FW 190 (details can be found on the 419 Sq. website and other sites, including an interview from the Coventry Telegraph in  2010). He appeared in a documentary with David Jason when they returned with two other former prisoners to the site of Stalag Luft III.  A photograph from the film, signed by Reg Cleaver, is included. Cleaver held on to this box to store his personal effects and rations during the "Long March" from Sagan at the end of the war. In the 1980s, Reg Cleaver sold the box to a well-known (and most trusted) dealer in England, Michael Young. It has been in one collection since that time. It is sold with the original note describing the artifact. Cleaver has written his name, rank and POW number in pencil on each side of the box. A truly fantastic piece of POW history.


Extremely rare RAF survival and rescue suit, waterproof outer, together with the even more rare down-filled, quilted inner suit.

First announced on January 1st, 1942, the Inner Waterproof Suit, 22C/443, and the Outer Waterproof Suit, 22C/444 - despite being referenced as flying clothing with 22C numbers, were not intended for use in the air, but were for use by aircrew in dinghies awaiting rescue, specifically designed for stowage in the Lindholme air-dropped lifeboats. Both parts of the suit have sleeves to allow use of the arms, but a single compartment for both legs, like a sleeping bag, for preserving body heat, and built-in flotation.

The Outer Waterproof Suit comprises a one-piece coverall with integral mitts and a hood. It is constructed from rubberized yellow poplin, backed with a black rubber waterproofed coating, the seams sealed with strips of the same material. ​ It has a 3/4-length straight zip fastener down the front, behind which is a wide rubberized gusset, to stop seepage of water through the zip closure. There are zips at the wrists so that the hands can be freed, one flap pocket and one zipped pocket to the front. It also has an integral zipped compartment, in a horseshoe shape, around the shoulders and behind the head, for installing an inflatable "Mae West" stole or bladder and kapok pads for flotation (no stole or pads are included). This example is in excellent condition, though the yellow is slightly faded. No wear, tears or damage and all zips function except one of the sleeve/hand access zips which is stuck but I suspect could be freed with a little work.

The Inner Waterproof Suit, 22C/443, is also a one-piece garment constructed of cotton poplin heavily filled with down or kapok and quilted (similar to the kapok pads ina Mae West). The inner suit also includes an integral, down-filled hood. It fastens with a 3/4-length zip, slightly offset from vertical (like the Sidcot suit). The inner suit has a crisp Air Ministry mark and stores ref. information. The outer suit has an acceptance stamp near the neck opening. 

Very few of these extremely rare survival/rescue suits are known to have survived, and this is the first example of an inner suit I have ever heard of. A remarkable find and a wonderful addition to any collection or display of RAF survival and rescue equipment.


Rare and out of print unit history: "Booster McKeester and Other Expendables: 98th Heavy Bombardment Group 9th US Army Air Forces Middle East Theatre 1942-43."

By Willie Chapman, pilot 415th Sq.  202 pages with many b/w photographs and cartoons. This is the unofficial story of the 98th BG which flew B-24 Liberators in the bombing of Ploesti, among others. A limited printing,  it was published and printed in 1994. Now a very rare book. Blue leatherette casebound with gold foil titles. Excellent condition. The author flew later missions in B-29s from Tinian before returning home to a career in engineering.



Book: "Fortunes of War: Mustang Ace - the Story of Don Gentile."

First published in 1986, this is the latest edition of this great book by Mark Spagnuolo on the life of one of the greatest American ace fighter pilots with 30 kills. 256 pages, soft cover, this edition was published in 2001, in England. A great story about one of the least recognized American heroes of WWII. Excellent condition.


Easco brand life jacket light as issued and worn by Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm pilots and crews.


For years these Easco life jacket lights have been sold as RAF accessories. They were NEVER issued to RAF crews. They were however worn by RN FAA crews and for one reason: they featured a red light cover which sailors knew would stand out among the phosphorescent white caps at night far better than the white lights of the RAF issued floating lamps. The RAF lights were also built for a longer duration; sailors knew that survival depend on being found quickly and that a long lasting float lamp had little benefit. Easco lights were actually issued to all personnel on Royal Navy ships. Aircrew received the Air Mnistry issue float lamps but preferred the Easco type.

This light is in good condition, with some age and wear but totally intact.


SALES December 2019

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Early 1939-40 "Battle of Britain" period Irvin flying jackets. 


The iconic Irvin flying jacket - synonymous with RAF Battle of Britain fighter pilots (though worn extensively by bomber crews as well). This is an early model, made from multiple sheep pelts to give it as few panels as possible, 2-panel back with just one vertical seam. This jacket has most definitely seen some combat! Fleece is well worn at the collar, cuffs and waist. Main zip fastener has been professionally replaced with a correct brass Lightning zip, almost invisibly, and works perfectly. Sleeve zips are original, but one lacks its slide completely (has been sewn shut) and the other has its slide but no puller. Belt has been cut short (not uncommon because no one wanted loose belts flapping in their cockpit). There is a patch repair to one shoulder, though this blends well and has been done professionally, and one or two other other small "running repairs" most probably carried out during the life of the jacket. On the plus side, it's an early model, quite rare these days; it still has its chain hanger at the neck, and the leather / fleece is otherwise very good, supple and quite strong. It's also a big size (measures 24" armpit to armpit externally). A fair to good entry-level Irvin, rare early model, priced according to its condition.


© 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