RAF Issue Mk 111 Flying Goggles
On offer are a very fine set of increasingly scarce and desirable Air Ministry issue Mk 111 goggles stores reference 22C/69. This set I have owned in my own collection since 2010 but as I have another pair I am now letting these go. They are rather special in that they came in their own rubberised canvas case made from the same material used for escape map pouches. We have no idea if this was an issue case or just something the owner used to pop them into when not in use. Either way it is named to G.B.Butterwick who we surmise was the chap these were originally issued to. They did not come with any history and we have been unable to ID him although we did locate a chap with same name and initials who flew with the R.F.C. in WW1. The goggles are way above the average and meet or exceed the collectors maxim ‘buy the best example you can afford’.Interestingly they are fitted with light blue turquoise tinted lenses. I checked with Mick Prodger when I bought them and he has seen this specification before and confirms there is reference to ‘tinted lenses’ in the relevant AP’s so a super rare variant of the pattern. The Perspex lenses are excellent although they do have some scratches which was a design fault with this pattern and the 111A’s. Leather parts are all good. Only issue is the inner padding is dried and hard as normal but seems to be a standard fault with every pair of these we have seen. The folding hinge and hinge stops are all good. Most of the black paint is in place on the brass frames with just minor age rub. All four screws are original and in place. The nose cover is excellent with hardly any scuffs on the face pad leather and they have clearly been looked after. The back strap is exceptional and canvas spring covers are mint and the springs function perfectly. The leather part of the back strap is perfect as well as are the metal fittings with no rust of corrosion. The friction adjust buckle is stamped WILL NOT RUST and despite the passing years this is true! The back strap is fully stamped with A Crown M REF 22C/69 and on line below :Goggles Mk 111 CL * 6925/39/CL.So no doubt these are British Air Ministry issued not the more common and less desirable RCAF version which mainly seem to turn up these days. The Mk111 entered service in 1935 and intended for open cockpit use. The 111A came in in 1936 and designed for closed cockpit but clearly they did not supersede Mk111’s as these carry a 1939 date code. Grab them whilst you can as they won’t be with us for long!