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These are some of the SOLD items that have been listed on our website

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NewStock NEW STOCK In Stock IN STOCK Featured FEATURED Sold SOLD Sold - similar available SOLD - similar available  
Reference Stock Item   Description
OC399 ' Ediswan' RAF Light Bulbs with original packaging - Click for the bigger picture Sold' Ediswan' RAF Light Bulbs with original packaging - on offer are a pair of vintage Air Ministry marked ‘Royal Ediswan’ 24 Volt 80 watt GLS gas filled pearl bulbs with BC connectors. Each comes in its original card and paper packaging clearly stamped ‘By Appointment to H.M.King George V1.’ Interestingly the paper wrapping is stamped in red ‘Important. In view of the paper shortage this wrapper should not be thrown away or destroyed but should be handed to the Local Authority or organization responsible for salvaging paper in your district.’ Each bulb is clearly stamped with AM (Air Ministry) and the stores reference nos. 5L/50. The Edison and Swan Electric Light Company Limited was an English manufacturer of incandescent lamp bulbs and other electrical goods. It was formed in 1883 with the name Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company with the merger of the Swan United Electric Company and the Edison Electric Light Company. We are not sure of the exact RAF application for these bulbs but it seem likely they originate from circa WW11/ 1940’s. We can not guarantee they still function as intended but like all our stock are for sale as a collectable only. Each bulb measures 2”(6 cm)
OC395 WW11 Japanese Army Two Piece Winter Flight Suit - Click for the bigger picture SoldWW11 Japanese Army Two Piece Winter Flight Suit - On offer is a matched flying jacket and separate flight trousers of the standard Japanese design. In looking at the details today we have decided this actually came out of the factory as a one piece winter suit but has been modified at some stage in its life to make it into a two piece suit. We have seen several examples of this happening over the years and understand this was a period modifications that made it simpler to use. The RAF Irvin flight suit was designed as a two piece garment for exactly the same reason.

The jacket is in exceptional condition;it carries a superb rabbit fur collar in light brown whilst the body of the jacket is lined with white fur. The jacket itself is made from brown cloth which is very clean and just the odd mark commensurate with an issued jacket. It carries all original zips fitted to both sleeves and also to the double breast pockets, used for storing maps, pistol and personal items. The jacket is fastened with original eyes and hooks with a waist belt fitted complete with chromed buckle that shows minor rusting. The inside storm flap of the jacket carries the original Japanese factory manufacturing details which we have had translated. These confirm the jacket (suit) was the property of The Imperial Japanese Army and the production date is shown as 1941. It was made in the Osaka factory and carries an Osaka factory production stamp.

The trousers are an excellent match to the jacket but show rather more service wear with a little thinning to the fabric in places and the odd stain. The lining is the same white fur as the jacket. In checking the detail we would say the jacket and trousers are definitely a set and have always been used together. The zips are all original and functioning and on the ankles the fabric is gusseted. It is also zipped on the arms and two further waist zips to enable the pockets of a uniform worn below to be accessed. In addition the trousers feature fur lined pockets to both knees. The waist band is made from dark brown wool fabric. This has a few minor moth nibbles but nothing to worry about. Whilst we can not say for sure when this modification was carried out it looks to be period ;we understand two piece suits were favoured by fighter pilots although we have sadly got no provenance with this item.

On display in a collection or ideally set up on a mannequin it certainly looks the part. If you have interest in this suit please ask for additional photographs to enable you to check out the detail. Whilst not mint it is a very decent display example and now getting increasingly hard to find. It would of course display well with the winder flying helmet we have just listed, which was also manufactured in the Osaka factory.

5079 Japanese Army Air Force Flying Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldJapanese Army Air Force Flying Goggles - very fine set of original WW11 Japanese ‘cats eye’ flying goggles, first issued in the 1930’s. They were fitted with large curved lenses, that gave them their distinctive look. The frames were made from lacquered metal, with a velveteen cushion and a soft silk nose cover. Goggles finished with black or reddish brown painted frames and green velveteen face pads are regarded as exclusively Army Air Force issue. Those with reddish brown or light bronze frames and brown face pads were used by both Army and Navy aircrew. Whilst the war progressed the quality of manufacture diminished due to shortages of materials.

These appear to be an early WW11 set and are made to a very high specification. The black paint on the frames is near perfect and the glass lenses are virtually good enough to use as intended. The green velvet face cushions are in near mint condition. The light brown back strap has lost most of its elasticity but is otherwise perfect. It is attached to the goggle rings by leather fasteners. Late war production used plastic for this purpose so again confirming these are early goggles. The only ID mark we can find on these is beside the left attachment ring and appears to show a Chinese character looking something like an ‘SS’ in an elongated circle. If any visitors to the site can identify the manufacturer please get in touch and we will add to our description.

All in all a near perfect example of ‘Cat’s Eye’ goggles that would be hard to upgrade. Those of you owning a copy of Mick Prodger’s excellent ‘Vintage Flying Helmets’ will see a near identical set illustrated on page 312 top left. These would display well on the Japanese winter flying helmet we have also listed today.

6487 French Airaile Type 11 Armée de L'Air Flying Helmet - Click for the bigger picture SoldFrench Airaile Type 11 Armée de L'Air Flying Helmet - In 1935 France commanded the largest military forces in the world although her flying helmets and goggles were somewhat out dated and based on WW1 designs. Despite this the ‘Airaile 11’ remained the standard issue pattern for the French Air Force during the 1930 and into WW11. A modified version of the same helmet was also issued to French Army paratroopers.

This helmet was manufactured by E. Gueneau & Cie of Paris and interestingly the manufacturers paper label in the crown carries a late wartime date of 1/45, with the size marked at ‘58’. We speculate this is a pre war manufactured helmet re issued for use in the final stages of WW11. Certainly the basic design was also used post war in a modified form designated 'type Airele 15’. Our helmet is clearly pre war/wartime specification, confirmed by two metal clips mounted on the outer shell, above the receiver/Gosport tube cups, designed to take the French oxygen mask ‘Ulmer 12’.

The helmet itself is made from am internal cork shell covered in chromed leather and has soft padded leather flaps to house Gosport tubes or radio receivers. Lacing within the crown of the helmet and to the rear facilitates size adjustment and press stud goggle straps are fitted at the rear of the helmet. The outer shell has a minor crease marks on top but otherwise the leather is in superb condition inside and out with no issues to report. The ear cup flaps when opened show roughly cut ear hole enlargements ;our French consultant advises this was a common period modification made by pilots or flight mechanics to upgrade the radio clarity coming from the receivers and proves the helmet has been issued and has seen service, which is also confirmed by the internal paper label which carries a handwritten ‘H 18’ as well as the initials to the crown R.H. who we assume to be an original owner.

A less pristine example has recently sold at auction for EU 688 (c. £588) Ours is rather more competitively priced and as close to a text book example of an increasingly rare flying helmet we do not anticipate will be with us for long!

6493 RAF Khaki Felt Bush Hat - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Khaki Felt Bush Hat - Otherwise referred to as a ‘Slouch Hat’ they had their origins in the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, when the British Army learned from the Boers that their chosen civilian headgear had more practical advantages on campaign in both hot and wet climates over the 'Foreign Service' helmet. By the conclusion of the war virtually all British and Empire troops were issued with the slouch hat as a standard headdress. Comfortable to wear, the hat's wide brim shielded the eyes in bright sunlight and gave adequate protection in even the worst downpours and could be stowed easily, not suffering the consequences of being crushed. A cloth puggaree adorned the base of the hat, and when moistened with water this would cool the brow of the wearer in the hottest conditions. Those troops who fought in the initial campaigns against the Japanese in the Far East wore conventional European headdress but from 1942 the Slouch Hat regained favour and was issued on a large scale to all personnel, including Royal Air Force, as this example.

Ours is made from khaki coloured felt and the pattern is as issued to personnel serving in the Far East as well as the Western Desert in WW11. In exceptional display condition other than minor spot staining to the rim and very minor nibbles to the underside. It is fitted with the original cloth Puggaree with RAF 'flash' attached with 4 ventilation holes fitted to each side. The inner leather lining band is in good condition and is size stamped ‘71/8’, ‘V5553’, dated 1944 and ‘Patent Serial No.115305'. The inside of the leather hat band lining is nicely marked in ink with the original owners name ‘Nash’ ; sadly we don’t have any history on him or where he served. No chin strap is present and we can’t see any evidence of one ever having been fitted. Generally a good issued example and now becoming increasingly hard to find in any condition.

2327 RAF Pilot's Mess Jacket Brevet - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Pilot's Mess Jacket Brevet - A padded bullion wire King's crown pilot mess dress wing with cotton backing in fantastic original condition. This would have been sewn to the Mess jacket lapel and worn when dining at special occasions in the Officers Mess. This brevet is much smaller than the standard set of pilots wings at 2.5” or 6.5cm. Sadly no history with them but they are likely to date from WW11.
1618 British Army Air Corps Pilot's Brevet and Associated Badges - Click for the bigger picture SoldBritish Army Air Corps Pilot's Brevet and Associated Badges - The AAC has its own distinctive pilot wings as with the creation of the Royal Air Force in 1918, the army lost its aviation capabilities. During the Second World War, the need for infantry trained parachutists precipitated the formation of the Army's Glider Pilot Regiment and the Army Air Corps (AAC) was created in 1942 to administer this new airborne division. Army pilots adopted their own pattern of qualification wings with a lion and crown to distinguish them from the RAF service. The pattern offered here was authorised for use from 1957 and features a Queens Crown surmounted by a sylasied lion and light blue embroidered wings set against a black felt background. They are of super quality and incorporate bullion wire on the crown and lion and we assume this to be a no 1 uniform dress brevet. Included with this lot are a pair of AAC lapel badges, a medal ribbon indicating the owner was entitled to a General Service Medal for operational service from 1962 and a Royal Observers Corps Medal, awarded from 1953. The group is completed by a pair Major’s rank crowns. All these badges came in as a grouping and have at some stage been removed from a uniform and are guaranteed original service items. Wings measure 3.75” (9.5 cm)
1713 RAF Sweetheart Badge - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Sweetheart Badge - A post WW11 example of the type, normally purchased by a serving member of the RAF and presented to his wife or girlfriend. This one is of the classic design and features a set of RAF wings, surmounted by a Queens Crown, with red enamel inserts. The RAF logo is below, set against a blue enamel background. It is of the pin back design and is finished in chrome. It does not carry any makers or other marks. Measures 1.75” (4.5 cm)

1712 RAF Sweetheart Badge - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Sweetheart Badge - A classic example of the type, normally purchased by a serving member of the RAF and presented to his wife or girlfriend. My mother still treasures hers given to her by my late father after WW11.

This example is of the classic design and features a set of RAF wings, surmounted by a Kings Crown with the RAF logo below. It is of the pin back design and is clearly marked to the reverse ‘Sterling Silver’. Measures 1.75” (4.5 cm)
6162 RAF Observers Brevet - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Observers Brevet - A nice early example of a flat 'O' brevet in oatmeal coloured silky thread, woven on a black felt backer. Initially, the observer was just that - a lookout. The pilot was responsible for all aspects of flight including navigation but as aircraft became more complex, the air gunner was added to the crew with the observer assisting the pilot with his navigation. Sometimes, a second pilot (usually a new pilot) acted as the observer to gain experience. This was how my late father experienced his first ‘Ops’ on Hampden’s back in 1941, with 144 squadron.

With the advent of ‘heavies’ and night bombing, a dedicated crew member was required to plot the aircraft position, given his own plotting table and the role was replaced by the navigator ; thus the Observer function was superseeded in 1942. As an aside the the 'O' brevet was often referred to by other aircrew positions as "the flying a---hole"! This example is likely to date from early WW11 period and it is in good issued condition and with the only fault being slight nibbles to the felt backer, but the silk wing itself is perfect. These are becoming less easy to find now. Measures 3.5” (9 cm)

2032 RAF Identification Bracelet Tab named to Sergeant E.E.Bond - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Identification Bracelet Tab named to Sergeant E.E.Bond - An emotive RAF ID bracelet engraved ‘Sgt E.E.Bond’ and below ‘C of E’ (Church of England) and ‘Royal Air Force’. It also details the owners service number 9647 which looks to be an early number and could even be possible he originally served with the Royal Flying Corps pre 1918. We will leave any further detective work to the new custodian. This was a metal detectorist’s find and was recovered from near Hunstanton in Norfolk which was very much on the edge of ‘Bomber Country’ in WW11. The finder was however not prepared to reveal to me the actual location where this 'treasure' came from! The tab is nicely engraved whilst the back is stamped E.P.N.S. The original attachment chain is missing so we will never know how it came to be buried (until recently) in the Norfolk earth!
1619 RAF Shirt Cufflinks - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Shirt Cufflinks - Small but beautifully formed! Each link features a very precise set of RAF wings surmounted by a kings Crown. The cufflinks are joined by a small chain and are finished in chrome. Traces of original red paint remain behind the RAF logo. We have no idea of age but despite being for sale as a collectable they remain entirely suited to their original function. Each link measures 9/10” (2.4 cm)
2160 RNZAF Trench Art Sweetheart Brooches - Click for the bigger picture SoldRNZAF Trench Art Sweetheart Brooches - Very nice matched pair both made from Cowrie shells which despite their undoubted age still pick up the silver and turquoise hues. One is in the form of a Pilots Brevet and engraved RNZ AF and the other is a of the New Zealand silver fern. The pin back plate on the Pilot’s wings is stamped ‘silver’. On the fern leaf the back plate is marked ‘STG’. Almost certainly dating to WW11 and probably given by a RNZAF pilot to his wife or girlfriend. Please check out the other RNZAF grouping we have also just listed.
2954 RNZAF Associated Badge Grouping - Click for the bigger picture SoldRNZAF Associated Badge Grouping - On offer is a set of four WW11 badges that were formerly the property of a gentleman who served with the RNZAF.His name was Langdon but sadly we don’t have any further information on him. The group comprises an RAF tie pin in silver gilt with Kings crown and eagle below. This has a pin back but no makers marks. Secondly a fern leaf badge, the emblem of New Zealand, with NZ embossed to the front again in silver gilt. This is also pin back and carries a makers mark to the back J.R.Gaunt London. The same design badge was worn by the NZ Staff Officers as a collar badge. Thirdly we have a brass and enamel winged badge featuring AAC logo to centre and Pupil below. It has a makers mark to the back reading Young & Co. Finally we have a lapel winged badge in brass and enamel with ATC superimposed in the central section over a blue enamel embossed background. We assume the final two badges were obtained during training in the US. So really a mixed bag but no doubt each has a relevance and a story to tell. We assume all dating to WW11. Seeing they have always been together we prefer to keep them that way so for sale as a single grouping.

6435 RAF Navigators Brevet - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Navigators Brevet - A fine padded example of a Navigators half wing aircrew badge. This replaced the earlier Observer's brevet in 1942. This is the scarcer pin back example with a brass backing plate sewn onto the reverse of the badge. It is likely to have been used in conjunction with a Khaki Drill (KD) uniform and the pin back enabled it to be removed before the frequent washing necessary in the Mediterranean and Far East Theatres. A really nice example that would be impossible to upgrade. Measures 3” (8 cm)

5183 RAF Pilot's Brevet and Medal Bar with Mentioned in Despatches Clasps - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Pilot's Brevet and Medal Bar with Mentioned in Despatches Clasps - on offer is a particularly impressive pilots padded wings grouping which is sewn to a Khaki Drill (KD) snap back cloth base and was clearly used in conjunction with Khaki Drill tunic. Sadly we don’t have either the original owners name or the provenance that belongs with this piece but he clearly served with distinction in WW1 and WW11 as shown by his impressive medal bar. This confirms he was entitled to the 1914/15 Star, War Medal 1914/20,Victory medal with mentioned in despatches (MID), 1939-45 Star, Africa Star with 1st Army clasp,(indicating he served with the 1st Army in North Africa between 8th November ‘42 & 23rd May ‘43), Italy Star (rather faded), Defence Medal and 1939-45 with a further mentioned in despatches to complete the grouping! It would be nice to speculate this anonymous Pilot served with the Royal Flying Corps in WW1 and his wings were subsequently changed to the post 1918 RAF brevet at a later date but we will never know for sure.

Pilot’s wings used on Khaki Drill uniforms tended to be either pin back or with snaps (as here) so these important badges could be removed before the frequent washing that was required as the dyes were known to run. These wings are in fine original condition with signs of usage but no damage, moth or other faults. The medal ribbons show small signs of wear and some fading commensurate with their age – but they certainly have a story to tell. The stitching revealed on the reverse confirms this is an 100% original item and not a made up copy. Wings measure 4 1/2” wingtip to wingtip (11 cm.)

6530 RAF Escape Compass - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Escape Compass - small but essential aid to shot down aircrew in WW11. The Air Ministry, in conjunction with MI9,went to great lengths to ensure all aircrew serving operationally carried a hidden compass to assist with finding their way out of enemy territory when used in conjunction with silk escape maps also carried hidden within their flight clothing or uniform. In the same way escape compasses were smuggled into POW camps to aid escape attempts and were hidden in Monopoly boards, bars of soap, packets of cigarettes and even pipes!

This is an example is of the second pattern with a star shaped compass card with two luminous dabs and a red tip to indicate magnetic north and a further dab of paint to show south. The case is made from brass and this example features nearly all its original paint and despite its 70 odd years of age appears to do its job today just as intended back in WW11. Please note image size is larger than the actual compass which measures a modest 6/10 ” (1.5 cm) diameter.

6529 RAF Pilots Wings - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Pilots Wings - good issued set of WW11 specification Pilot’s Brevet awarded to Pilots on completion of their training and worn with pride. The original Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Pilot's brevet or Pilot's Wings was designed by General Sir Frederick Sykes and General Sir David Henderson. It consisted of the wings of a swift in white silk embroidery with the monogram of RFC encircled by a laurel wreath of brown silk. The monogram was surmounted by a crown. The Wings were given Royal approval by King George V in February 1913 under Army Order 40/13. When the Royal Air Force was formed in 1918 the design was changed slightly. The wing shape took the form of an eagle and the monogram became RAF but has otherwise remained largely unchanged over the years.

This example is of the flat type and being surmounted by a crisp Kings Crown and is likely to be of WW11 vintage, although the details of the original owner have been lost. It is in good issued condition with no moth or other damage and the only fault is a slight stain as shown on the leading edge of one wing. This looks to have age to it and we prefer to leave it exactly as it came to us. Measures 4 1/2” wingtip to wingtip (11.5 cm)

6124 RAF Trench Art Dinner Gong and Period Photograph - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Trench Art Dinner Gong and Period Photograph - On offer is a finely worked brass decorative plaque fitted with a rope hanging line. Whilst it has no striker we have assumed it may have been intended as a dinner gong when made although it makes an equally interesting wall plaque. Whilst its specific history has been lost down the years it came in a lot with a framed RAF squadron photograph showing all the chaps posed beside and on a Vickers Wellington Bomber. They are all dressed in khaki drill so seeing the engraving on the gong it is safe to assume this item originated in Egypt and was made using scrap recovered from the battlefield and sold as a souvenir to RAF personnel serving in Egypt in WW11.

Sadly no squadron codes are visible on the ‘Wimpy’ (so named after the portly character in the Popeye cartoons) so we have no idea when and where the photograph was taken but it safe to assume the original owner of this piece is featured in it. The photograph and frame show some age wear whist the gong is as good as the day it was made. It features standard Egyptian tourist images of the pyramids, sphinx, camels and palm trees whilst to the centre is a very fine RAF crest surmounted by a Kings Crown with the RAF motto ‘Per Adua Ad Astra’. We have no doubt local craftsman in the souk would turn out similar objects featuring Luftwaffe badges equally proficiently depending on the current occupying forces and the state of the war in North Africa at the time! The gong/ plaque measures 9.5” diameter (24 cm) and the squadron photograph is 15.5” long (38 cm.)
6535
This is a Used Book
'So Many' A Folio Dedicated to All Who Served With Bomber Command 1939-45 - Click for the bigger picture Sold'So Many' A Folio Dedicated to All Who Served With Bomber Command 1939-45

In 1990 a unique fine art folio was published entitled “So Few” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This is the companion volume, published by W.H. Smith in 1995. This is an impressive hardback book containing 276 pages with many colour and black and white illustrations, letters and short biographies of 25 Bomber Command aircrew who are featured. It carries colour plates of the aircrews’ cherished memorabilia like Mae Wests, Irvin jackets, flying helmets and other related wartime ephemera. The book was compiled in association with the Royal Air force Benevolent Fund as a tribute to the pilots, navigators, bomb-aimers, signallers, flight engineers and air gunners in Bomber Command in World War Two 1939 - 1945. This book profiles the selected aircrew with silhouettes of each of them in 1995, a photograph, where possible, taken during the war, a facsimile of a written reminiscence and a colour photograph of their memorabilia. We have a copy in our own library here, as well as the companion volume and we would commend to anyone with an interest in or association with Bomber Command. Whilst the fighter boys have tended to attract the most attention post war it must be remembered Bomber Command suffered a higher casualty rate than any other part of the British military in World War Two and my own late Father served as a pilot with the Command and beat the odds, largely as a result of being captured in 1941. This is a large coffee table style book measures 13 1/4” x 9 1/2” (34 cms x 24 cms) and weighs in at 1.8 Kilos. Condition is excellent although the dust cover is slightly sunned and has a minor tear but inside the condition is hard to fault.

Pages: 276
Cover: Hard
Author: Michael Pierce, John Golley & Bill G

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