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Aviation Collectables & Aviation Clothing - Stock Archive - Page 10

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

There are a maximum of 20 items on each page - our most recent sale is listed first - this is now quite a large reference record. If you have a specific interest, use our keyword search to search the entire stock database.

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Reference Stock Item   Description
RAF Officers Brown Leather Dress Gloves - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Officers Brown Leather Dress Gloves - This fine pair of gloves and the RAF stable belt we are also listing today came in with a post war RAF visor cap and we believe all three items belonged to the same Officer. These gloves are made from very soft calf or doe leather and are sealed with a button closure. They are a matched pair and carry a label inside indicating a reference nos of 415-8012, marked size 9 and dated 1974. The label confirms they were made by the quality glove makers of Burfield, operating from a small factory in Martock, Somerset coincidentally just 5 miles from the Oldnautibits HQ!

Burfields & Co. were established back in 1944 and the company had a long, successful association with the British Ministry of Defence and the RAF in the supply of service gloves. Sadly they went into liquidation in March 2017 so all production has now ceased and these can never be repeated. So grab this one off opportunity to invest in a fine pair of quality gloves that must have cost the UK tax payer a fortune to manufacture. Ideal for re-enactment, The Goodwood revival or even for general wear. They appear virtually unworn and at this price must be a fraction of their original cost.

1941 Pattern Mae West Floating Light and Battery Housing - Click for the bigger picture Sold1941 Pattern Mae West Floating Light and Battery Housing - The RAF 1941 Pattern Mae West was first introduced in July 1941 and whilst it evolved as the war continued it remained the standard 'waistcoat, lifesaving, stole inflated' pattern until well into the 1950's. One of the improvements made occurred in July 1943 when two cylindrical pockets were added on the lower right hand side designed to house a floating lamp and attached battery pack. The example we have on offer here is such a lamp, issued against stores reference 5A/2728. This is the correct item for display with a '41 vest as opposed to the more commonly seen 'Easco' lamp which is not.

The cylindrical metal battery container retains most of its original blue paint and carries a clear Kings Crown, A.M. and the stores reference number detailed above. What lifts this one above the norm is it still carries its original paper label which clearly states made by G.E.C and is described as 'Floating Light Life- Jacket'. Below is a photo of an airman wearing a Mae West and carrying the lamp followed by instructions for us. The base of the battery housing carries a metal seal and the instructions indicate 'In emergency ONLY break the seal by pushing base sharply upwards and turning to right'. The seal on this example remains intact. A final detail is the label is marked 'reprinted March 1943' so is an early production example when stocks were clearly being prepared for the introduction into service in July '43.

The floating lamp is made from wood and metal and the lamp cover and bulb remain in place. The base is marked' Made in England, L 611, G.E.C' and a patent number. The one issue with this set, which is apparent on most that we see, is the the wiring insulation is hardened, cracked and perished. It would be possible to replace this with appropriate modern wiring for display purposes but we prefer to leave it in its current original condition. These are now getting increasingly hard to find and other than the wiring issue is a really crisp and wartime dated example.

RAF Dinghy Pack Very Pistol Red Star Distress Cartridge Tin - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Dinghy Pack Very Pistol Red Star Distress Cartridge Tin - Another essential rescue aid which we are listing today. This tin, which is now empty, would have contained three red star distress flares designed to be used in conjunction with the standard RAF issue Very pistol and would have been included in both the single seat and multi place dinghies of WWII. Whilst the original paint shows some wear and surface rust that is hardly surprising after 73 years but the writing on it is still readable. The top would originally have been taped on to avoid moisture entering and is marked 'Do not remove sealing tape & open until cartridges are required'. The front detail confirms the contents as '3 Cartridges Signal 1" Red Mk 12. T.' And 'Lot No' below. The same is written on the reverse side whilst on the side is 'Box No.381. Mk I'. In smaller writing towards the base is written '12MB/45' indicating the tin was made by the British Metal Box Company in 1945. The tin measures 3 1/2" x 2.75" (9 cm x 6 cm) and an identical example is illustrated on page 68 of Mick Prodger's excellent Luftwaffe V RAF Flight Equipment reference book.

British WWII Molins Mk 2 no 5 1' Very Pistol - Click for the bigger picture SoldBritish WWII Molins Mk 2 no 5 1' Very Pistol - These were standard issue to the RAF in WWII and were supplied with both one-man and multi- place dinghies to enable downed RAF aircrew to attract the attention of passing aircraft or ships. They were also carried by fighter pilots tucked into their flying boots so to hand if required in an emergency. This example is numbered 087963 whilst the hammer is stamped M 601. Online research indicates this is a manufacturers mark indicating it was made by I.L. Berridge & Co, who were a commercial knitting machine manufacturer based in Leicester. Berridge apparently made over 200,000 examples of this model during the war and were issued to the RAF, Navy and the Army.

This example shows some pitting to the barrel and frame and the original blued finish is largely worn away but it remains a good solid display example of a model that is getting increasingly hard to find now.. It is broad arrow marked and the lug on the left side of the barrel enabled RAF aircrew to lock the pistol into a locator fitted to the aircraft fuselage so a flare could be discharged from within. The pistol cocks and 'fires' with a very positive action and the grips remain in good condition, as is the retracting lanyard loop. This flare gun comes complete with a deactivation certificate indicating it was deactivated back in 2003 and is therefore legal to own in the UK by anyone over the age of 18 without a firearms certificate. This class is fortunately outside of the over the top revised deactivation regulations introduced by out EU 'masters' this year. It is hoped after 'Brexit' our Government will see sense and abolish these draconian regulations that are a nightmare for both collectors and dealers alike. Interestingly the Deac certificate indicates it was made by Enfield so we stand to be corrected on this if our Berridge information is inaccurate. An identical example is illustrated in Mick Prodger excellent reference book 'Luftwaffe V RAF Flying Equipment of the Air War 1939-45' on pages 68 & 69 and it measures 8" (20 cm). Please note this item is only available to customers based in the UK, due to difficulties in shipping weapons overseas and as stated is restricted to collectors aged 18 or over.

Please also check out the (empty) WWII flare cartridge tin we have also listed today that would be a perfect display accompaniment to this flare pistol.

Air Ministry Half Gill Spirit Measure - Click for the bigger picture SoldAir Ministry Half Gill Spirit Measure - The Gill was introduced in the 14th century to measure individual servings of spirits or wine. In Great Britain, the standard single measure of spirits in a pub was 1⁄6 gill (23.7 ml) but was discontinued after metrication. Half of a gill is a jack, so an eighth of a pint. Our measure is made from English pewter by Gaskell Chambers Ltd of Birmingham, established in 1892. Gaskell and Chambers did not just deal in pewter but supplied an assortment of fixtures and fittings for the bar trade in general. Their premises were bombed by the Luftwaffe in1941 but they survived the war (minus their records! but sold out James Smellies in the early 1970s, but finally shut up shop in 1983.

Gaskell and Chambers catalogues showed a wide range of products available but the bulk of their production was beer mugs and measures. Their products, as our measure, were marked under the base 'Gaskell and Chambers Birmingham' and with a further stamp inside with a crowned 'X' with a triangle below. Whilst these measures turn up regularly this is the first we have seen that was specifically destined for the RAF. It is marked to the base with an indistinct crown and below A.M. (for the Air Ministry) and is numbered 661821/37 so manufactured in 1937 specifically for the RAF. Below is stores reference number 21C/777. RAF Stores reference '21' covered an assortment of 'Barrack Equipment', and sub category 'C' encompassed 'Metal Ware'.

Other less scrupulous dealers (who I won't name) would indicate this came direct from behind the bar at the Petwood Hotel. I prefer to think it was used by the late Geoffrey 'Boy' Wellum, after a successful fighter sweep with 92 Squadron chums at Biggin Hill. For those who have not read 'First Light' I suggest you secure a copy now and I am currently enjoying it even more for a second time around! So whilst this measures history has been lost down the years for sure with its pre-war manufacturing date it clearly served throughout WWII and as we so often say 'if it could only talk '. Whilst small (measures just 2 1/2" high/6 cm) it is beautifully formed! An ideal stocking filler for the RAF collector in your life and why not add a copy of my ' book of the month' 'First Light' which is available via Amazon. com!

This is a Used Book
The Log Book of Wing Commander Guy Gibson V.C. - Click for the bigger picture SoldThe Log Book of Wing Commander Guy Gibson V.C.

This ring bound example is not in the same league as the fantastic 'After the Battle' replica log book, which if you are lucky enough to find one on the second hand collectors market, is as close as any of us will ever get to owning the real thing. Having just sold our only current example this is the only alternative that we can offer at this time. Published by Aries Archives and Memorabilia back in 1993 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Dams Raid which occurred on 16th May 1943. Now a further quarter century has gone by even these copies are themselves getting hard to find. Inside is a brief biography of Wing Commander Gibson who died in mysterious circumstances on September 19th 1944 and by then was one of the most experienced pilots in the RAF, despite being aged just 26.

This bound folder contains copies of all the entries from Gibson's No2 log book covering the period November 15th 1940 to September 16th 1944 just 3 days before his untimely death. It includes both training and operational flights, the lead up to the Dam's raid on May 16th 1943 and written below the entry 'Awarded V.C.23:05:43'. It also covers a flight to Cardiff when he piloted a Blenheim to attend his own wedding on 21 November 1940. They were married in Penarth's Anglican Church on 23rd November and the log book entry simply reads 'To Cardiff (to be married!

This facsimile copy contains 50 printed pages and despite not being as sexy to handle as the 'After the Battle ' example it contains the self-same entries and is available now as a significantly cheaper price!

Pages: 50
Cover: Soft
Author: Wing Commander Guy Gibson

RAF Dinghy Leak Stopper Set - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Dinghy Leak Stopper Set - On offer are 6 individual stoppers that would have formed part of the aircrew dinghy pack. The smaller sets comprised three bungs and would normally be included in the K type pack issued to single seat fighter pilots. This set includes the additional larger sizes so is more likely to have been issued to Bomber Command aircrew, to be used in conjunction with the larger H or Q type multi crew dinghies. If the dinghy was holed the threaded section of the bungs would be screwed into the fabric of the boat to form a repair by simply 'stopping' the hole. To save space the stoppers are designed to be inserted one into another for storage purposes. The smallest plug no1 is wooden but the reminder are rubber and are numbered 2-6 with '6' being the largest diameter. A small but critical piece of kit for survival at sea and no doubt many aircrew who were forced to ditch at sea would owe their lives to this ingenious device. This set is in mint and unissued condition and still carries the French chalk applied when manufactured.
Easco Life Jacket Light - Click for the bigger picture SoldEasco Life Jacket Light - This example when purchased was fitted to a 1941 pattern Mae West. The battery container is stamped with makers details on the base 'EASCO PATENT No 540862 LIFE JACKET LIGHT.' We understand this patent number dates to 1940 and these lamps were used to aid location and recovery of those who had the misfortune to end up in the sea. It is in good issued condition for a some minor scratches to metal parts. The battery unit comprises a black metal body with screw on lid, with a length of plastic coated black flex extends 56 cm to a black painted metal bracket with a bulldog clip attached with a bulb and round red plastic cover attached. The wiring is in excellent original condition.
This is a Used Book
Vulnerability & Armament of German Aircraft 1944 - Click for the bigger picture SoldVulnerability & Armament of German Aircraft 1944

A superb original booklet published by the Air Ministry A.I.2. branch in 1944. The cover is stamped 'Secret Registry' and has been signed above by an Adjutant Officer. The card covers enclose a total of 13 separate loose leaf pages held in position by string binding. Inside the front cover is key to the diagrams with images indicating crew positions, fuel tanks, armour plate and armament with a notation 'N.B. Guns are not to scale.' This page is stamped like the cover A.I.2 (G) followed by No W/111 and is dated 1/44.

Each page contains a drawing of the key Luftwaffe aircraft of the time showing detailed images of the aircraft from front, top, side and rear. The cut away images then indicate the crew positions, fuel tanks, positioning of the armour and gun position and type. Each page is stamped A.M. A.I.2 (g) and dated 1944. All the drawings are signed 'Drawn K.L. Approved J.J. 'A little online research has identified 'KL' as Kerry Lee, born in Hackney in 1903 and who became an artist with works ranging from text-book illustrations to wartime cut-away drawings of German aircraft. In February 1941 Lee was recruited by the Air Intelligence branch of the Secret intelligence Service MI6 (referred to as A.I.2.) and made up a trio of talented artists by joining Peter Castle and Hubert Redmill. They had full access to crashed and captured German aircraft, including The Enemy Aircraft Evaluation Unit (nicknamed appropriately 'The Rafwaffe'!) which resulted in detailed drawings as shown in our booklet and also a range of cutaway posters all designed to help allied aircrew and AA crews to maximise the effectiveness of their attacks.

These artists work is now largely forgotten but at the time played a critical part in the war effort. Very few of their wartime posters remain although copies are held by the Imperial War Museum. We have certainly never seen another example of this booklet offered for sale and is again incredibly rare, and despite its 74 years is in remarkably clean condition, with just minor foxing on some pages. The range of aircraft illustrated are the FW 190 the 109G, ME110, JU88, DO217J, ME410, JU88A, JU188, Do217, JU97, HS129, and interestingly the Messerschmitt ME323. The detailed cut away drawings show angle of fire for the guns and detail as bullet proof glass. This would have been an invaluable document for allied aircrew.

Lee left MI6 in 1946 and worked as a commercial artist and illustrator, forming Pictorial Maps Ltd just off Baker Street. The contributions made by Peter Endsleigh, Hubert Redmill and Kerry Lee working as Air Ministry draftsman to the War effort cannot be underestimated and many aircrew almost certainly owed their lives to this dedicated team. Kerry Lee died in 1988 aged 85. In view of the loose left binding of this booklet the 13 illustrations could easily be removed and framed and so make a fine matched collection for wall display without causing any damage. The booklet size is rather larger than A4 measuring 13 1/2" x 8 1/2" (34 cm x 22 cm). A one off item that we are unlikely to be able to replace; as with all our stock we are happy to supply additional photographs on request.

Pages: 13
Cover: Soft
Author: Issued by Air Ministry Branch A.I.2.(g)

Luftwaffe Parachute canopy - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe Parachute canopy - This one is a bit of a mystery! The canopy is of small size measuring just 60" diameter (152 cm). It is Luftwaffe issue as it is clearly embossed with a Betriebs Aufsicht (BA) inspection stamp of the German Wehrmacht and numbered below 14019. It also carries German manufacturers factory code 'ecg' who we have traced to C & M Brüggemann KG, Mechanische Werkstätte / Flugzeug-Gerade who manufactured parachute equipment since 1936. This company are still in business today and we contacted the them to see if they could help us with intended us of this parachute but they were unable to do so. Sadly no Fl number is detailed to help us and the only other clues we have are an embroidered number inside that reads 1365 and a further embossed number W246909. We have discussed intended use with various dealer and collector friends. The high visibility yellow with red strips would indicate it was designed to be seen in the air (target dropping) or perhaps to aid pick up if used to drop rescue or survival equipment to downed aircrew, perhaps in snow or over the sea. The other theory is it was used to carry a parachute flare to illuminate a target. The canopy does not have the normal central hole so the drop speed would have been relatively slow. Seeing intended use is currently unknown we list as a 'mystery Luftwaffe canopy.' It is in used condition and the lines have been cut. The canopy is however complete although it does have the odd small hole and other minor damage to the fabric, which feels as though it could be silk. It is a very good display size for a collection. If any visitors to the site can help with a possible use please feel free to join our chat room and we can add details to our description!
This is a Used Book
Wing Commander Guy Gibson D.F.C. RAF Pilot's Flying Log Book No2 - Click for the bigger picture SoldWing Commander Guy Gibson D.F.C. RAF Pilot's Flying Log Book No2

It seems only appropriate we should list this item today, exactly 75 years to the day after Wing Commander Guy Gibson led 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an audacious bombing raid to destroy three dams in the Ruhr valley, on an operation codenamed 'Chastise' that took place on the night of 16-17 May 1943.

Clearly this example is a replica, with the original Flying Log Book held as a national archive item at the Public Records Office. Despite this these copies are now also incredibly rare and have become a sought after collector's item in its own right. This was published in a single run by 'After the Battle ' magazine in 1975 and sold out very quickly and is now only very occasionally available on the second hand market. I will certainly never be selling my own copy but we have now been fortunate enough to find a further example that is offered for sale here.

Guy Gibson's Log Book No. 2 was faithfully replicated from the original copy held in the Public Record Office, London. The first and last pages have been stuck together as in the original book. The photograph that had been inserted on the page following the entry for the Dams raid on May 16, 1943, is missing in the original and is missing here. The log book cover, which is now showing some age related foxing (which actually adds to the authenticity in our view) is marked 'Log Book No2' ;it is not known what happened to Guy Gibson's original log book covering the period up to November 15, 1940. The written entries end of September 15, 1944. Just Three days later, on September 19, Gibson piloted a Mosquito to Rheydt in Germany, acting as Master Bomber for a raid on communications. At 21.53 hours he turned for home but three-quarters of an hour later crashed in flames at Steenbergen, Holland. Mystery continues to surround his loss but the current theory is he was mistaken for a Luftwaffe aircraft and was sadly shot down and killed by 'friendly fire'.

Don't just take our word for it just how good this facsimile is and I quote from Amazon. com reviewer J. R. Perkins: "As an historic document, this item ranks up there with the best. Especially if you have an interest in aviation from the Second World War, as Guy Gibson is one of the best known pilots of the Royal Air Force and to have a reproduction of his Log Book is something really special. Some of his less known sorties are listed here, being his time as a night fighter pilot with 29 Squadron flying Blenheims and then Beaufighters defending the skies of England against German night bombers. Truly a very special book to own and treasure. Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson VC DSO DFC (12 August 1918 – 19 September 1944), was the first CO of the Royal Air Force's 617 Squadron, which he led in the "Dam Busters" raid (Operation Chastise) in 1943, resulting in the destruction of two large dams in the Ruhr area. He was awarded the Victoria Cross and died later in the war. He had completed over 170 operations at the age of 24."

As mentioned these copies, that were made in a one off limited edition, hardly ever come on the market these days although we have noticed one is currently listed on Amazon. com at £352.00 We are happy to list ours at a rather keener price so make your choice! This example does have age related wear to the cover as already mentioned but the binding remains strong. Inside the entries are all clear and remain bright and the pages are generally clean with again just minor foxing in places, that adds rather than detracts to the authentic look of this amazing replica. Grab it whilst you can on this 75th anniversary of the raid as it is almost certain prices for these will continue to rise. Please also check out the 617 Squadron 'Honours Board' we have also listed on the site today.

Pages: 104
Cover: Hard
Author: Wing Commander G.P.Gibson D.F.C.

Battle of Britain Roll of Honour published by The Illustrated London News - Click for the bigger picture SoldBattle of Britain Roll of Honour published by The Illustrated London News - The brainchild of Sir Brice Ingram MC (1887-1963) who planned, organised and funded the Battle of Britain Roll of Honour to commemorate the allied losses in the Battle of Britain. Ingram had a distinguished service record in WWI initially joining the East Kent Yeomanry then transferring to the Royal Garrison Artillery. He rose to the rank of Captain and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in 1917 and was three times Mentioned in Dispatches. He was the editor of The Illustrated London News from 1900 until his death in 1963. The concept of a memorial was considered as early as 1942 and Ingram suggested that the Battle of Britain was of such importance to the history of the country that it stood comparison with such epic victories as the defeat of the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Trafalgar. The original is now held in the RAF Memorial Chapel in Westminster Abbey and was illuminated by Daisy Alcock. It contains the names of l, 497 pilots and aircrew killed or mortally wounded during the Battle, of which 449 were in Fighter Command, 732 in Bomber Command, 268 in Coastal Command, 14 in other RAF commands and 34 in the Fleet Air Arm. The names include those of 47 Canadians, 47 New Zealanders, 35 Poles, 24 Australians, 20 Czechoslovaks, 17 South Africans, 6 Belgians and one American, as well as those from the United Kingdom and Colonies. Our framed and glazed example shows the title page published in the Illustrated London news on January 18th 1947. The colours are still strong although the paper shows evidence of minor damage as well as creases caused by folding prior to it being professionally farmed by the late Chris John from whom it was purchased. Below the image is a little background to the reasons why the scroll was produced in Bruce Ingram's own words. We have no idea as to how many of these still survive but it is the first one we have been able to procure and it would be a worthwhile and emotive addition to a Battle of Britain related display. Frame measures 21" x 15" (53 cm x 38 cm)
Royal Observer Corps Portable Telephone for Observer Posts RAF Ref Nos 10G/125 - Click for the bigger picture SoldRoyal Observer Corps Portable Telephone for Observer Posts RAF Ref Nos 10G/125 - The Royal Observer Corps was a Civil Defence organization, formed in 1925 and which operated until disbanded in 1995. Its main objective was to detect, identify, track and report sightings of allied and axis aircraft flying over the UK. To meet this aim Observer Posts were set up in areas liable to attack and each post was connected by a direct telephone line to a Central Control and provided warning of raids, giving numbers, heights and types of enemy aircraft. Used in conjunction with information provided by the early-warning radar sites, this was a vital input to help develop an overall picture of incoming attacks and all this information had to be put together to ensure Fighter Command were in the right place at the right time. Each Post had two observers on duty with one responsible for the working of the Post, watching and listening for aircraft and estimating height, direction and numbers. His no 2 Observer operated the Post Field telephone and reported in up to date information and also listened to reports from other posts.

Our Field Post Telephone is of the early pre-war pattern AD 163 B; this was later superseded during WWII by an economy version of simplified construction model nos AD1542. It is therefore an extremely rare survivor that almost certainly served in the early years of the war and during the Battle of Britain. This model carried a hand cranked "magneto" and was linked directly through to the Observer Centre via the telephone line network. The phone operated by turning an handle which generated an electrical charge in order to ring the bells of other telephones on the same line and to alert the operator. These telephones were used with a head and breast set that was worn by the observer; when not in use the mouth trumpet was turned away. Interestingly our headset only carries one receiver which appears to be a trait of these early sets. Another detail often missing is the 'Alphabetical Speaking Codes' chart cemented on the front fold down flap. This would now be known as 'the Phonetic Alphabet' but this one in early from is quite different to that in current use and appears to have been superseded in 1942.

The oak case is in sounds condition with just a few chips indicative of a unit that has served. The leather carry handle to the top is still solid as are all the brass fittings, hinges and catches. The inner section, which carries the magneto handle, slides out to reveal the interior and the location for two dry cell batteries is accessed. These are now missing and whilst all the electronic parts seem to be in place we have no idea if it could be restored to working condition so is on offer, like all out stock, as an historic collectable. Inside is chalked '10' and on the back wall of the case another original touch is a printed wiring diagram. The back of the case carries a brass plaque reading 'Telephone Observer' and 'DIAG AD 163B'. Above is a brass plate that when rotated allows the headset jack plug to be connected. The case measures 12.75" x 8.75"x 9 1/2" (31.5 cm x 22 cm x 24.5 cm). This is a museum quality piece and of significant historical interest to both Royal Observer Corps and RAF collectors alike that could well have played an important part in the most significant air battle of WWII. This is the first example of one of these early units we have seen in many years and believe it will be a long wait before we find another.

USAAF A-11A Intermediate Flight Trousers - Click for the bigger picture SoldUSAAF A-11A Intermediate Flight Trousers - A very crisp set manufactured by Ben Greenholtz & Co with a 1945 contract date. The waist size is marked at 34". The fabric is all in really good condition and the trousers feature a very crisp Army Air Force decal to the top of the left leg. The pocket section below this, as well as a panel in the rear, is finished in a deeper olive shade than the rest of the garment and this looks like a period a field repair. The set also features a very small patch repair to the back rear panel but clearly these have all been professionally done and actually add to the interest of the garment. All the various zips and snaps are in good shape and functioning and the original leather and fabric braces are still fitted. The A-11 A represented and updated version of the A-11 and first entered service on November 4th 1944 and remained in service until June 4th 1945 when the A-11B variant was introduced which in turn remained an issue items with the AAF and USAF for many years to come. This set certainly tick all the boxes and despite clearly having been issued are in exceptional condition.
USAAF A-11A Trousers - Click for the bigger picture SoldUSAAF A-11A Trousers - Intermediate, Flying. Near mint pair, manufactured 1945 by Stagg Garment Company. Size 32" (82 cm) waist. Warm lined. Very clean AAF stamping - all zips and poppers perfect. It is impossible to find fault with this pair of flight trousers.
Handley Page Hampden Trench-Art Model - Click for the bigger picture SoldHandley Page Hampden Trench-Art Model - A twin engine medium bomber, the Hampden was often referred to by late Father as the "Flying Suitcase", which he flew for the final time with 144 Squadron on the night of 25/26 August 1941 from North Luffenham, on an 'Op' to Mannheim piloting AE265 Pl. Mission accomplished he ran out of fuel on the way home and forced landed at Ypenburg Airfield in Holland, then under Luftwaffe management and he and his crew went 'in the bag' for the duration. He always spoke fondly of the Hampden as a responsive aircraft to fly but he did not regard it highly as a weapon of war in 1941!

The Hampden was powered by Bristol Pegasus radial engines first flew in 1936 and entered RAF service in 1938. Like the Blenheim, the Hampden took heavy losses in the daylight role but performed adequately at night, bearing the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe and taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and the first 1,000-bomber raid on Cologne. It was retired from RAF Bomber Command service in late 1942 but served on with Coastal Command. Guy Gibson of course started on Hampdens' before progressing to great things!

Our fine model has been in my personal collection since 2002 but as part of a current thinning out process it is time to rehome it. A particularly detailed example, it is mounted on an oak and brass stand and never having had props fitted it gives a good impression of the aircraft in flight. The engine nacelles are particularly well detailed and the pencil thin rear fuselage is shown to good advantage. The wingspan is 8.75" (22 cm) and the model stands 6.5" high (16 cm), measured to the top of the fail fin. Like most trench-art that comes our way we sadly have no history with it but clearly period and probably made by a flight mechanic working on a Hampden Squadron at the time. Please also check out the fine Blenheim trench-art model we have also listed today, which would date to the same period.

RAF Ditching Whistle - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Ditching Whistle - A good original example of the early chromed Air Ministry whistle; this was replaced later in WWII by a white plastic example that was carried in the pocket of a 41 pattern Mae West life jacket. Ours carries a crisp Kings Crown and A.M. below. It is then embossed 293/AA/22 Con14C. I would say this one is pretty much a dead ringer for the one shown in Mick Prodger's Luftwaffe V RAF flight Equipment book top centre of page 39 where he describes as 'an early example.' The chrome finish is in good issued condition and comes complete with hanging ring and these were often attached to the Mae West of the collar of the battle dress blouse. It still functions with a very loud blast exactly as intended 75 years ago. A small but essential piece of RAF escape equipment to which many downed RAF aircrew owed their lives.
Fleet Air Arm 807 Squadron Battle Honours Board . - Click for the bigger picture SoldFleet Air Arm 807 Squadron Battle Honours Board . - Like the 810 Squadron board we have just listed, this one is again from my own personal collection and is only being offered for sale as we do not have room to display it as it deserves. These items are most certainly of both national importance and historic interest and it is very much hoped an appropriate museum will step forward and take on custody as a testament to all those Naval Air Service personnel who served with distinction in WWII and beyond. This Honours Board features the Squadron badge, the motto 'Quoquo Versus Ferituri' which translates to mean 'Ready To Strike In All Directions'. Below this is listed in relief lettering, picked pout in gold, her Battle Honours for Atlantic 1940, Malta Convoys 1941 - 42, North Africa 1942- 43, Sicily 1943, Salerno 1943, South France 1944, Aegean 1944, Burma 1945, Malaya 1945 and Korea 1950 -53. What a list!

807 Squadron was formed in September 1940 and initially equipped with Fairy Fulmar aircraft. First embarked on HMS Pegasus, where they served until February 1941, after which they transferred to HMS Furious on convoy duties. In April 1941, 807 Squadron joined HMS Ark Royal flying Fulmars and saw action defending the critical Malta convoys between 1941-42 when 'the Fortress Island' was effectively besieged by Axis forces. Unlike 810 Squadron, 807 were still on the 'Ark' when she was sunk and many of the squadron's aircraft were lost in November 1941 although fortunately none of her personnel. Four surviving machines were flown off to Gibraltar and were saved together with their crews.

The squadron was gradually re-equipped with replacement Fulmars, which were joined by Sea Hurricanes and were assigned to HMS Argus. In June 1942 the squadron flew off the carriers HMS Argus and HMS Eagle to cover 'Operation Harpoon'. They then re-joined HMS Furious flying Supermarine Seafires and they took part in Operation Torch, the North African landings. In May 1943 the squadron had been assigned to HMS Indomitable and provided cover for the Allied invasion of Sicily. Indomitable was damaged by a torpedo in July, causing 807 Squadron to transfer to HMS Battler, from which they supported the Allied invasion of Italy. Next they were then posted to HMS Hunter to support 'Operation Dragoon', the landings in the South of France in August 1944. In March 1945 817 joined the Eastern Fleet aboard HMS Hunter and provided cover during the re-occupation of Rangoon, and attacks on enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea.

Post WWII the Squadron was disbanded but was reformed in 1958 at RNAS Lossiemouth. The squadron embarked on the next generation HMS Ark Royal in March 1960 where it remained for the next year, taking part in major exercises and carrying out cold weather trials in the Arctic Circle. In March 1961, 807 transferred from HMS Ark Royal to HMS Centaur. And after seven months in the Middle and Far East 807 NAS disbanded aboard Centaur in Portsmouth on 17 May 1962. Interestingly this Honours Board has written on the back 'Centaur 1291 13.06.62.' So it appears as 'Centaur' was 807 Squadrons last posting the board remained with the ship until she was broken up in 1972 but was fortunately saved at that time, together with the 810 Honours board which we have also just listed for sale. This piece of history is an impressive size measuring 48" x 35" (122 cm x 88 cm) and it is extremely heavy.

Please also check out the associated 807 Squadron Commanders Board we are also listing today. We would very much like the two boards to stay together and to encourage this we will offer a 10% discount to a single customer who buys both. This is a one off opportunity to purchase a unique piece of WWII Naval aviation history that will never be repeated.

Fleet Air Arm 807 Squadron Commanders Board - Click for the bigger picture SoldFleet Air Arm 807 Squadron Commanders Board - Listed today is the final board from my personal collection, which is being offered for re-homing purely because we don't have room to display it appropriately at the Oldnautibits HQ. We purchased this board at the same time as the 807 and 810 Squadron Honours Board which we have also listed on the site today. It is very much hoped the two items, that are irretrievably intertwined, will remain together and to encourage such a sale we are offering a 10% discount on our list price to a single customer who purchases both 807 related items. Ideally that customer will be a Museum or public institution and the boards will be exhibited to be enjoyed by the general public rather than be locked away in a private collection as now.

This Board features the Squadron badge, in transfer form, and an image of out turned swords in a 360 degree ark, which makes every sense when you consider the Squadron motto 'Quoquo Versus Ferituri' which translates to mean 'Ready to strike in all directions'. Below that, picked out in gold lettering, is a list of 807 Squadron Commanders commencing with Lt Commander J.Shalto Douglas D.S.O, R.N. who was CO from 1940-1942 with the final incumbent listed as Lt Commander G.A. Rowan Thomson, R.N. who was serving from 1961-1962. 807 Naval Air Squadron was finally disbanded aboard Centaur in Portsmouth on 17 May 1962 so Rowan Thomson was the last of a long line of illustrious Commanders of this illustrious Naval Squadron.

First on the list is Lieutenant-Commander James Sholto Douglas was commanding 807 Squadron consisting 12 Fulmars when HMS Ark Royal joined the battle to find and sink 'The Bismark'; he was subsequently awarded the DSO. He was a descendant of the famous 'Douglas' military family of Morton Castle. The next CO was equally illustrious Lt (and later Commodore) Fraser Fraser-Harris, a Naval aviator extraordinaire. He was involved in the hunt for German cruiser Konigsberg. With skilled navigation in poor conditions Fraser-Harris's aircrewman, Leading Torpedo Air Gunner George Scott Russell, was spot on as they dived at an angle of 60 degrees from 8,000 ft through a thin layer of cloud with the sun behind them. Their 500 lb bomb hit the cruiser's bows, making a large flaming hole while others also struck the ship, which they saw sinking as the Skuas departed through the smoke. They had achieved complete surprise, with one bullet hole in a wing being the only damage sustained during what was the first sinking of a major warship by aerial bombing. Fraser-Harris was mentioned in dispatches and subsequently awarded the DSC for his daring and resource in the conduct of hazardous and successful operations. He survived the War and subsequently served with the Royal Canadian Navy.

Room does not allow a full summary of the service careers of all from this list of Naval Aviators but the above taster gives an idea of the sort of men who commanded this illustrious Fleet Air Arm Squadron. Formed at Worthy Down in September 1940 and which went on to win Battle Honours for the Atlantic 1940, Malta Convoys 1941 - 42, North Africa 1942 - 43, Sicily 1943, Salerno 1943, South France 1944, Aegean 1944, Burma 1945, Malaya 1945 and finally Korea 1950 -53. Interestingly chalked on the back of this board are the names and dates of K.A.Leppard R.N. and Lt Commander W.A.Tofts, A.F.C R.N. ; these clearly remain from the time when instructions were issued to an unknown hand, to update the latest Commanders back in the 1950's and 60's. In addition painted on the back is 'Centaur' 1290 13.06.62'. 807 Naval Air Squadron was disbanded aboard HMS Centaur in Portsmouth on 17th May 1962, so it would appear, as with our relating Honours Board, the Squadron Commanders Board remained with the carrier after their departure and was recovered when 'Centaur' was broken up at Cairnryan, Scotland, in September 1972.

This board measures 38" x 26" (96 cm x 55 cm) and has substantial brass locating points on the back for wall hanging. I have tried, but so far failed, to find pictures these boards in situ on HMS Centaur. If any visitors to the site should have photographs in their collection showing them on display we would love to hear from you! Like our Honours Boards this is a one of chance to secure a unique set of items relating to some of the most important aspects of Fleet Air Arm and Royal Navy history.

Item OC419 Fleet Air Arm 810 Squadron Battle Honours Board - Click for the bigger picture SoldItem OC419 Fleet Air Arm 810 Squadron Battle Honours Board - On offer is a unique and historic item from my own personal collection and is only being offered for sale as we simply do not have room to display it and the other honours boards we are currently offering for sale. This collection is most certainly of both national and historic interest and it is very much hoped an appropriate museum will step forward and take on custody as a testament to all those who served with one of the most iconic FAA Squadrons of WWII. The board displays the Squadron badge and bellow the motto in relief the motto 'Ut Fulmina De Caelo' which translated means 'Like a thunderbolt from heaven'. Then follows Battle Honours awarded for actions in Norway 1940, Mediterranean 1940-1, Spartivento 1940, Atlantic 1941, 'Bismarck' 1941 (interestingly carved from wood not metal as the other awards),Diego Suarez 1942, Salerno 1943 and Korea 1951-3.

810 Naval Air Squadron was a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm carrier based unit formed on 3 April 1933 and was first assigned to the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous in May '33 and formed part of the Home Fleet. The Abyssinian crisis resulted in the squadron to be transferred to the Med from August 1935 to February 1936. It was then upgraded to use Blackburn Sharks in 1937 and the famous Fairy Swordfish in 1938. 810 was next deployed on the HMS Ark Royal and won her first Battle Honour for actions over Norway, after the German invasion in April 1940, soon followed in the same year by the actions in the Mediterranean and in November 1940 took part in the Battle of Cape Spartivento. 'The Ark' was then ordered into the Atlantic, thus adding a further Honour and in May 1941 began to search for the German battleship 'Bismarck', and the squadron was involved in the attack which crippled her. This directly led to her subsequent sinking and thus achieving her most prestigious award for 'Bismark', flying in atrocious weather conditions in the ever faithful 'Stringbag' aircraft. The Squadron then returned to the Med and operated against enemy positions on Sardinia.

They left 'The Ark' in September 1941, shortly before she was sunk in November and was reassigned to HMS Illustrious for operations in the Indian Ocean. They were then involved in the Battle of Madagascar in May, bombing shipping and land targets at Diego Suarez, followed by a period in the Mediterranean to operate against enemy positions on Sardinia. The squadron was reassigned in March 1942 to HMS Illustrious for operations in the Indian Ocean and were then involved in the Battle of Madagascar in May, bombing shipping and land targets at Diego Suarez.

Re-equipped with Fairy Barracuda 810 embarked aboard HMS Illustrious and operated in support of the Salerno landings in 1943. 810 Squadron was then re-grouped as part of the 21st Naval Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance Wing in October 1943, and sailed in November to join the Eastern Fleet. They carried out attacks on docks and oil tanks at Sabang in Operation Cockpit in April 1944, and followed this in June with raids on the Andaman Islands. The squadron then disbanded in August 1945 but reformed and took part in the Korean War 1950-53, as well as the Suez Crisis. Disbanded again and reformed 810 embarked finally on her last carrier based deployment on 'HMS Centaur' serving in the Persian Gulf, The Far East and Australia. 810 Squadron, after an illustrious career was finally decommissioned for the final time in July 2001.

Interestingly written in the back of the Honours Board 'Centaur 810 Sqd 31656 and dated 27.03.61'. We believe this Honours Board was last displayed on 'HMS Centaur' during 810's deployment and was left in situ when the Squadron departed and was fortunately recovered when she was finally broken up in 1972. An interesting associated fact is HMS Centaur was used in April 1959, during the making of the classic film' Sink the Bismarck! and stood in for both the Royal Navy carriers 'Victorious' and 'Ark Royal'. Our board is large at 145" x 37" (57 cm x 37 cm) and is very heavy. Certainly a one off and a never to be repeated piece of Royal Naval aviation history.

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