SALES March 2020

(click on pictures to enlarge)

AAF HS-38 headset with ANB-H-1 receivers for A-11, AN-H-15 flying helmet.


Also fitted in Type C helmet as worn by US pilots. An original set of WWII ANB-H-1 receivers by Western Electric, with correct Y-cord and PL-154 red plug. Plastic casing on plug has a small crack but does not compromise integrity. Cord and receivers are excellent.  Very hard to find on the loose.


Good pair of wartime production Mk VIII flying goggles.


Very good pair of Mk VIII flying goggles. Each of the side lenses has a small hairline crack but these hardy show and can be replaced if desired. Nice crisp A-crown-M mark on leather at bridge indicating 1943 manufacture. Show use but overall clean, great leather. Strap retains some elasticity.


EXTREMELY RARE  US Navy marked A-8B oxygen mask.


The A-8B oxygen mask is a scarce item to find at any time, especially in good condition and with a functioning, pliable bag / bladder. I have only ever seen 2 or 3  A-8B masks marked with US Navy nomenclature, and this one is in exceptionally nice condition. The mask rubber is soft and pliable, no damage and no signs of perishing or hardening. The very top of the nose is sun-bleached to a pinky wihite colour, but this has not affected its flexibility at all. The rubber is excellent. Well marked as property of US Navy, with its contract and drawing number as follows:

Contract no. N383S-91890 / Drawing 429-47644
WWII masks were made by Ohio Chemical Manufacturing Co and they changed their name to Ohio Chemical and Surgical Co. in 1954 - which is how this mask is marked, dating it to the Korean War era. 

The strap arrangement differs from the AAF issue, with a simpler leather strap and buckle to fasten around the neck, though two extension straps are also included. Leather strap is in good condition. Bladder is in excellent shape, as is the tube. Bakelite nose-former and cardboard strap-holders are also in excellent condition. The  expiration "turrets" are stuffed with extra foam disks, perhaps to use with a demand regulator? Owner has written a serial number inside the mask. A very rare US Navy oxygen mask.


RAF "Battle of Britain" Type B flying helmet with 1939 dated label and full details of owner inked inside.

A lovely Type B helmet, in very good used condition, size 2 but seems larger and fits a display head perfectly. Owner has inked his name, RCAF serial number and squadron information inside. 331 Squadron was a fighter squadron equipped initially with Hurricanes, later Spitfires for the duration and primarily comprised Norwegian pilots, but the owner is identified as K. Gray, a Canadian, making this a perfect helmet for a research project! Overall condition is very good. Leather and chamois are excellent, though interior is grubby from hair oil. Part of the leather covering from the rear Bennet buckle has worn away, but chin strap buckle is fine. Nice 1939 Frank Bryan label. A beautiful helmet with tons of character.


British Prisoner of War YMCA journal "A Wartime Log". Great record of POW camp life with photos, menus, etc.

Issued by the YMCA and named to Lieut. William D. Mills of the 1st Battalion Kings Own Royal Regt. Lt. Mills was captured in North Africa in June 1942 and recorded thatre productions in which he played, examples of "goon" menus (there is even a sample of German tea - which they smoked in their pipes!) and several photos of various groups and individuals with whom he served and was interned. A lot of great information, including names and addresses of other prisoners. There are also a couple of press clippings and a fabulous water colour painting of his dog. Interesting a nd poignant diary with loads of research material.


RARE Canadian made 1932 pattern life vest "Mae West" in near pristine unissued condition.

Labeled for both RAF and RCAF use, with both stores ref. numbers, this very scarce life vest is in incredible condition; clean, with its rubberized fabric chambers still totally pliable and clearly visible markings to front.  Air Ministry marked green variants are virtually impossible to find and fetch sky high prices, so Commonwealth made examples are an excellent  alternative, being genuine wartime manufacture and identical in every way except the colour (and most pilots preferred to pain their green mae wests yellow, anyway!). No stole or kapoks (I doubt any were ever installed, helping to preserve the like-new condition).  A superb example which would be very difficult to upgrade.


RAF Mk VII flying goggles with rare polarizing sun shield in very good used condition.


Lovely pair of Mk VII flying goggles with ultramarine blue painted brass frames and early leather strap, fitted with original polarizing sun screen.  The goggles are in very good used condition; frames have only minor dings, no distortion and show light paint loss. Leather and chamois pads are clean and soft. Leather strap is excellent. Lenses are clear with no signs of delamination. Screen is very slightly warped with age and has one very minor hairline split, barely visible at one edge (see photos) which in no way affects the integrity of the screen or its ability to rotate up and down. There is no separation. Overall a very good set of goggles which are now extremely difficult to find in this condition and with the sun screen intact.


RARE set of 1938 RAF Course Study Text Books and Notebooks for Flight Engineer, RAF Henlow.


Superb set of text books and personal notebooks from an aircrew student who was learning aircraft engines and airframes who later went on to become a flight engineer. Comprises 2 full books of his course notes including diagrams, graphs, fold outs and pasted in drawings. 3 text books on aircraft engines (which were supposed to have been turned back in). Fascinating stuff and this kind of materials rarely turns up. Excellent display items to enhance any collection. Includes a copy photograph of the original owner in his RAF uniform wearing flight engineer wing.



Boxed set of RAF Mk VIII flying goggles

Fairly decent entry level or re-enactor set of Mk VIII goggles complete with extra lenses and demisting cloth in box of issue. Frames are very good, but strap is a recent replacement using black elastic instead of the correct blue grey. Lenses are also a later replacement. Box has seen better days and shows wear and some separation, but is complete and contains tinted lenses, though these are mismatched slightly and one lens is chipped/broken. . Tin containing the demisting/cleaning cloth completes the set.


Scarce USN / USMC "rigger" made flying helmet converted from a deck helmet.

Popular among many USN and USMC fighter pilots, who would commandeer cotton helmets from deck crews on aircraft carriers and have their parachute riggers convert them into flying helmets by adding earcups and goggle retaining tabs. This is a great example using a black cotton deck helmet with an early pair of leather earcups for the TH-37 receivers (no receivers fitted).  White was the most commonly used colour for these helmets, though other colours were used and black might possibly have been for nighttime use. Helmet shows light use and has initials M.F. stencilled inside the chin strap. A great example showing the coarse, heavy thread used by parachute riggers.


AAF Type A-8B oxygen mask complete with rebreather bag, tube and leather strap with rear fastening accessories.

A very good example of this rare oxygen mask used by almost all AAF bomber pilots and crews in the early days of the war. Green rubber mask remains pliable and retains its fittings for mounting the strap. Turrets are nicely marked A-8B, with Air Corps drawing number and clear manufacture date of 7-43. Long green rubber breathing tube with connector. Rebreather bag/bladder is in very good if slightly fragile condition, with no obvious damage or tears, just wrinkles from storage. Leather straps are good, though one side has a small tear which can be repaired or overlooked. Included are the extremely rare attachment buckles/hooks, including the short extension, enabling the mask to fasten at the back of the neck. These are getting very hard to find these days.


Scarce late WWII US Navy / USMC tropical flying helmet made from green nylon.

The last generation of AN6540 series helmets manufactured by Slote and Klein for the USN / USMC, this ultra-lightweight, tropical version was produced in green nylon, unlined and fitted with the hard ribber noise attenuating receiver cups. This helmet has snaps fitted for attaching an A-14 oxygen mask and is fitted with correct ANB--H1A USN receivers. Leather goggle straps  and  chin strap with green velvet sleeve. Though marked a "small", it comfortably fits a male feature display head, because, like all USN helmets, sizes run much larger than indicated. In excellent condition, it shows only very light use if any.


Good First pattern (unwired) RAF Type C flying helmet, size 3. Named to Hall.

Very decent looking early unwired (for an external wiring loom) Type C helmet; leather is excellent and chamois lining, though lightly soiled, is very good except for one area of the padding on the left ear which is damaged (see photos). There is also a very small, neat, square hole in the leather immediately behind the earcup, which is barely noticeable, but for which I can offer no explanation! The rubber earcups are excellent. Retains all four goggle straps plus strap and buckle to rear, Bennett's buckle and leather chin strap with metal tip. Named inside to Hall (in two places), with some other information I haven't been able to decipher. Nice, crisp A-crown-M emboss to left and side. Good size 3 (large). Nice example except for the flaws as noted.


RARE RAF 12 Volt Electrically Heated waistcoat, complete with full internal wiring harness, all connectors and main plug.


Rather scarce electrically heated waistcoat of the RAE pattern, Stores Ref. no. 22c/887. These were issued to all crew positions in early bombers including the Wellington and Stirling and were intended to provide warmth to the body and carry current to the gloves and boots of the RAE pattern (with matching plugs). Fastens with 4 buttons plus a hook-and-eye at the front. 12 Volt system. While many of the electrically-wired flying suits were not actually heated, but carried current to the gloves and boots, this heated waistcoat was designed with an internal heating element. The element is contained in a liner which is secured in position with Newey snaps / press studs but is sewn at the neck and back seams to prevent it being removed. Though it has some minor staining (mostly to the lining) and a few small holes on the back of he left shoulder, this rare item of flying clothing is complete and in overall excellent condition. Excellent Air Ministry label and AID inspector stamps inside the lining.


Exceptionally nice RAF Type G Oxygen Mask

The showing light use, this Type G oxygen mask is in very good condition, with none of the usual symptoms of cracking or crazing around the wire supports or valve. The rubber is in excellent condition, soft and pliable, with some age discolouration but no damage. the Type 48 microphone and short cord is excellent, with no paint loss and crisp Air Ministry markings. Two of the original yellow rubber bands remain around the elastic webbing strap, which retains its elasticity, and the square loop for attaching the mask to the hook on the side of the helmet is of the early, flat type. All i all, a lovely example. Type G mask s are becoming increasingly difficult to find these days, especially in good condition.


RCAF radio telephone receivers  Type C-3 for flying helmets Types B, C, D or E.

Canadian made version of the RAF Type 16 receivers which are completely interchangeable with RAF types.  Matching pair in perfect condition. A very hard to find accessory.


Luftwaffe correct fitted case for the pilot's badge, "Flugzeugführer Abzeichen".


A hard to find accessory invariably missing from most Luftwaffe pilot badges - the fitted case in which it was given. This case is in very good condition, with some minor wear and a small area of surface scraping on the bottom. Case is overed with dark blue linen textured paper and gold leaf "Luftwaffen=Flugzeugführer=Abzeichen"

Inside is lined with blue satin with an opening for the pin fastening and a clear impression of where the badge was pressing against the inside lid. 


WWII (pre-1952) RAF other ranks brass cap / beret badge.

Nice example of the WWII period (kings crown) brass other ranks cap badge. Slight discoloration from oxidation in one spot would probably clean up if desired. Nice crisp strike. Lug back and with cotter pin.


Scarce late WWII Italian "Type C" Flying Helmet.

At first glance, this helmet appears to be a fairly standard RAF Type C, but is actually Italian made and of an extremely high quality production. The pattern was adopted by the Co-Belligerent Italian Air Force late in WWII after Southern Italy joined forces with the Allies against the fascists on Germany and Northern Italy, and Italian pilots flew aircraft supplied by the Allies. The helmet was usually fitted with RAF type receivers and wiring, and worn with the type G or H oxygen mask. A similar helmet made from mesh cotton fabric resembling the RAF Type E was also produced, and both types continued in use after the war when the Italians used British Meteor and Vampire jets. This example is in excellent, unissued condition, made from high grade soft brown leather lined with chamois. It features 4 goggle retaining tabs as well as a short strap and buckle at the back  and an elastic chin strap. The rubber ear cups are soft and pliable. An outstanding example of a scarce helmet.


RAF Type A Cork Flying Helmet

Based on the cotton covered cork "pith" helmets issued to troops serving in the tropics, this Type A flying helmet was issued to pilots and aircrews based East of Malta from c.1920 to 1943 when it was finally superseded by the Type D helmet. The original owner decided at some point to remove the side flaps/chin strap which would have secured the helmet in place. Remnants remain indicating that they were fitted and of course the helmet shell is the correct pattern. It display nicely as is but could be restored if a set of original side flaps could be found or recreated. The shell itself is in very good used condition.



Fabulous unissued set of RAF Battle of Britain era Mk IVB flying goggles, complete with polarizing flip screen.

Mk IVB goggles were introduced in June 1940, at the same time as the Mk IV and unsuccessful IVA, and played a part in the Battle of Britain. Though produced in greater numbers, because the IVB was the most successful of the Mk IV series, most were used and surviving examples rarely turn up in such fine condition as these. By far the best pair I have come across in years. They are clearly unissued and unworn, complete with the polarizing sun screen, no dings or dents, 100% paintwork and the leather/chamois is like new. Best of all - and this is very unusual - the rubber face pads are in perfect condition, soft and pliable (slight misshaping on one side from storage, but perfectly maleable). One tiny brass screw is missing from the flip shield mechanism - this is often the case and I wonder if it was removed to facilitate easier rotation of the screen? It could easily be replaced with a similar small brass screw, but in any event, it does not affect the operation of the screen, which is on a spring-loaded ratchet. Difficult or impossible to upgrade this pair.



RARE AAF Kit, First Aid, Parachute, Frying Pan insert  Type B-4. 

One of the most difficult WWII medical/survival items to find, because so many were dumped out in order to make use of the "frying pan" with which it was issued. This kit is complete with all contents and sealed. Contents include fishing kit, sewing kit and tea tablets as well as numerous medical supplies, all contained in a circular acetate holder designed to fit in the small metal frying pan which was issued as part of the B-4 parachute jungle survival kit. This is the first example I have seen on the loose in many years.



RAF yellow skull cap issued with the early 1941 pattern Mae Wests.

Once plentiful, these simple yellow cotton skull caps are now quite difficult to find. Comprising a multi-panel circular cap made from bright yellow cotton wit two tales for tying under the chin, the purpose was two fold: firstly, to offer some protection from the sun to an airman who was lost at sea, and secondly as an aid to rescue by means of its high visibility colour. However, it proved somewhat ineffective and its issue was discontinued by late 1943.  Up to that time they were carried in the small pocket on the left lobe of the Mae West. Very good condition with some storage soiling.


Great War Royal Flying Corps air gunner's gauntlet mittens with separate trigger fingers.


Very good and well made pair of WWI air gunner's gauntlet mittens with separate index finger for operating a machine gun trigger. Beautifully made from heavy two-tone leather, lined with sheepskin and with a wrist strap and an arm strap to secure the gauntlets in place. The right hand trigger finger has a repair/reinforcement characteristic of its intended use. Snap/press stud buttons marked "English Make". Show light use - overall very good condition.



WWII issue trouser braces/suspenders for RAF service dress and battle dress uniforms.


One of those often hard-to-find accessory items to display with any uniform. Though any issue marks and ink stamps have long since faded or worn off, these are standard issue pattern braces for all branches of the British military and in good used condition. Tan elasticated webbing straps retain most elasticity, leather is good and metal clips show some surface oxidation.


AAF / USAF M-1947 leather gloves and wool liners


Outstanding pair of these interesting utilitarian gloves which were issued in many capacities during the war and continued in use long after WWII. These were eividently redesignated M-1947 in the year the Army Air Forces became the USAF and the colour of the leather changed from brown to black, otherwise identical to the the type issued to aircrews, ground crews and in the C-1 sustenance vest for jungle use during the war. This pair is in unissued condition with no wear or damage and would be impossible to upgrade.



A good example of  an early RAF Type C flying helmet, designed for the external wiring loom.

I would describe this as an excellent entry level Type C flying helmet and it is priced as such. The leather is pliable and clean with afew surface scuffs (no peeling or evidence of rot), and the lining is grubby from hair oil, but intact. The rubber ear cups are excellent. Bennett buckle retains its leather covering though the chin strap has long lost its "V"-shaped metal tip. The helmet has a neat repair to the brow portion where it has evidently torn, but it is a clean , straight cut and the sewn repair, while not invisible, is barely noticeable and would not show if displayed with  a pair of goggles. There is a small separation to one seam on the top which is also repairable. The helmet is a size 2 (22C/450) and has a great A-crown-M / stores ref. emboss to the left cheek. It is also named inside to "Underdown" which is an unusual name and may be researchable. Displays well and priced right.


© 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