French Airforce Gueneau & Cie Hard Shell Flying Helmet
These are becoming very scarce and this is an excellent original example of the type. The design is reminiscent of the WW1 Roold helmet but despite its looks it remained an issue item into WW11. Features a dark brown leather covered hard shell with soft leather lined ear flaps designed to hold radio receivers. Inside the original E.Gueneau, Paris label and confirms the pattern as as ‘Casque Airele’ (Airele 11 type) and dated October 1939 so could well have swerved before the fall of France in 1940. It also has an ink acceptance stamp which we understand to be similar to the RAF AID embossing. When France was overrun escaping flyers formed Free French units with he RAF and the days of the Gueneau were over with the FF pilots being issued with RAF kit although a few of them were treasured by crew members & fitted with RAF G masks, especially in bombing squadrons (Lorraine, Tunisie, Guyenne).Our helmet is probably one of the last produced before the Vichy and postwar types 14, 15 and 18 and scarce to find in this condition. Size is marked at 58 (medium).