Aeronautical Headgear Other
Price = n/a
Japanese Army Air Force Flying Goggles
very fine set of original WWII 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 WWII 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.