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Aviation Collectables & Aviation Clothing - Stock Archive - Page 15

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
WWII Japanese Army Two Piece Winter Flight Suit - Click for the bigger picture SoldWWII 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.

Limited Edition Print signed by Flying Officer John Cruickshank VC - Click for the bigger picture SoldLimited Edition Print signed by Flying Officer John Cruickshank VC - We have been fortunate to purchase four limited edition prints which we are listing today, all published by 'Legends' (UK) in 1989. Each is signed in pencil by the artist J.G.Keek and the subject, in this case John Cruickshank VC who was born 20 May 1920 and today is the oldest living recipient of the Victoria Cross for air action from the Second World War, as well as the last living Scottish holder of the VC.He was posted to 210 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Coastal Command in March 1943and he piloted a PBY Catalina flying boat, based at Sullom Voe. On 17 July 1944 on a patrol north into the Norwegian Sea to protect the British Home Fleet as it returned from the unsuccessful 'Operation Mascot' raid on the German battleship Tirpitz he found a German Type VIIC U-boat U-361 on the surface. Cruickshank had to fly the Catalina into the hail of flak put up by the U-boat. On the first pass his depth charges did not release so he brought the aircraft back round for a second time and this time straddled the U-boat with his charges sinking it with all hands. The German flak however had been deadly accurate, killing the Catalina's navigator and injuring four crewmen, including the second pilot Flight Sergeant Jack Garnett and Cruickshank himself. Cruickshank had been hit in seventy-two places, with two serious wounds to his lungs and ten penetrating wounds to his lower limbs. Despite this he refused medical attention until he was sure that the appropriate radio signals had been sent and the aircraft was on course for its home base. Even then he refused morphine, aware that it would cloud his judgement. Flying through the night it took the damaged Catalina five and a half hours to return to Sullom Voe with the injured Garnett at the controls and Cruickshank lapsing in and out of consciousness in the back. Once there Cruickshank returned to the cockpit and took command of the aircraft again and the Catalina was safely on the water. For this action in sinking the U-Boat and saving his crew he received the Victoria Cross while Flight Sergeant Jack Garnett received the Distinguished Flying Medal. John Cruickshank's injuries were such that he never flew in command of an aircraft again and after the war he returned to his pre-war job of banking. This print (and the others we have purchased) came sealed in acetate and we have left them sealed for protection so the actual image quality is better than that shown in our listing. In addition to the fine image of Cruickshank the 210 Squadron crest is also shown with the motto below "Yn y nwyfre yn hedfan"- translated literally as 'Hovering in the Heavens' This print is a large size at 24" x 16" (60 cm x 40 cm) and would benefit from being framed sand glazed. The print is not faded in any way and the original John Cruickshank pencil signature is strong. This and the other prints listed today depict chaps who are all real time 'Boy's Own' heroes and we hope you enjoy reading the account of their exceptional valour in WWII even if you do not wish to invest in the prints!
Limited Edition Print signed by Warrant Officer Norman Jackson VC - Click for the bigger picture SoldLimited Edition Print signed by Warrant Officer Norman Jackson VC - We have been fortunate to purchase four limited edition prints which we are listing today, all published by 'Legends' (UK) in 1989. Each is signed in pencil by the artist J.G.Keek and the subject in this case Warrant Officer Norman Jackson V.C. Norman Cyril Jackson was born on 8 April 1919 and died on 26 March 1994. In July 1943 he joined No. 106 Squadron as a Flight Engineer serving on Avro Lancaster bombers. Jackson completed his tour of 30 Ops on 24 April 1944, but, as he had flown one sortie with a different crew, he chose to fly once more so that he and his original aircrew could finish their tour together. Jackson's 31st Op was a raid on the German ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt on the night of 26–27 April. Having bombed the target, Jackson's Lancaster serial ME669 was attacked by a German night fighter and a fuel tank in the starboard wing caught fire. Jackson, already wounded from shell splinters, strapped on a parachute and equipped himself with a fire extinguisher before climbing out of the aircraft and onto the wing, whilst the aeroplane was flying at 140 miles per hour (230 km/h), in order to put out the fire. He gripped the air intake on the leading edge of the wing with one hand, and fought the fire with the other. The flames seared his hands, face and clothes. The fighter returned and hit the bomber with a burst of gunfire that sent two bullets into his legs and in the action he was swept off the wing. Meanwhile the fire burned out of control and the Pilot gave the order to abandon aircraft. Four of the remaining members of the crew landed safely but the captain and rear gunner have not been accounted for. Meanwhile Jackson fell 20, 000 feet (6, 100 m), but his smouldering and holed parachute worked to save his life and also to give him membership of the elusive 'Caterpillar Club'! He suffered further injuries upon landing, including a broken ankle, but managed to crawl to a nearby German village where he was captured. He spent 10 months recovering in hospital before being transferred to the Stalag IX-C prisoner of war camp from where he made two escape attempts, the second of which was successful as he made contact with a unit of the US Third Army. Jackson's exploit became known when the surviving crewmen of his bomber were released from German captivity at the end of the war. He was promoted to warrant officer and his Victoria Cross award was gazetted on 26 October 1945. When he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his VC from King George VI, he was accompanied by Leonard Cheshire who was also due to receive his on that day. Group Captain Cheshire insisted that, despite the difference in rank, they should approach the King together. Jackson remembers that Cheshire said to the King, "This chap stuck his neck out more than I did - he should get his VC first"! Of course the King had to keep to protocol but Jackson stated he would never forget what Cheshire said. Post war Norman Jackson worked in sales for Haig Whisky. In 2004 his VC was sold at auction by his family and was bought by Lord Ashcroft for £235, 250 against a pre-auction estimate of £130, 000 and is now on display at the Imperial War Museum, London. Our print is signed by the artist and Norman Jackson and is numbered 67 of a limited edition of 1000. This print (and the others we have purchased) came sealed in acetate and we have left them as such to protect them. So the actual image quality is better than that shown in our listing. In addition to the pencil image of Jackson the print also carries the 106 Squadron crest top right with the motto below 'Pro Libertine' meaning 'For Freedom'. This print is a large size at 24" x 16" (60 cm x 40 cm) and would benefit from being framed and glazed. The print is not faded and the original Norman Jackson pencil signature is strong. This is the last of the four fine prints we have listed today, items that can never be repeated, so grab the opportunity to own one whilst you can!
RFC Trench Art Propeller Photo Frame - Click for the bigger picture SoldRFC Trench Art Propeller Photo Frame - A stunning example we believe made from the first World war. The laminated timber has a beautiful patina and the dowel construction seems to indicate it was made from an early propeller. The frame contains an original photograph of a young airman who is clearly wearing an Observers half brevet on his No1 uniform. The Observers brevet was first introduced in 1918 but fell from use during the 1920's & 30's but the badge was reinstated by AMO A347 in 1937. We removed the photograph in case the back was named but sadly it is blank so we have no idea who the Officer is but picture would appear to date to the latter days of WWI. The frame carries a wall hanging wire to the rear but we believe at one stage it would have had a desk mount fitted so that it could have been displayed freestanding. The frame came to us exactly as shown and the photograph is not protected behind glass but glass could be added by the new owner if so desired. Measures 13" high (33 cm) and is 9.5" at the base (25 cm)
U.S. Army Air Force Tyndall Field Cushion Cover - Click for the bigger picture SoldU.S. Army Air Force Tyndall Field Cushion Cover - In WWII USAAF gunners were trained as part of the flexible gunnery training program devised in 1941 and Tyndall Field in Florida received its first recruits in December 1941 as about the same time as the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbour. Our cover was clearly purchased as a souvenir by a gunner who trained at Tyndall and probable sent it home as a gift to a loved one. It is embossed with naive pictures of fighter aircraft and at the bottom gunners in action operating.50 cal Brownings, the work horse of choice in many USAAF heavies. In fine original condition and a rare survivor. Measures 20" x 20" (50 cm x 50 cm)
USAAF AN-H-15 Summer Flying Helmet - Click for the bigger picture SoldUSAAF AN-H-15 Summer Flying Helmet - A good issued example of the Army Air Force classic summer flying helmet of WWII and the helmet of choice for fighter pilots serving in the Pacific campaign. This pattern was designed as a replacement for the A-9 helmet and was standardised in April 1943. This example is unwired but the receiver housings are still very supple and it would be a simple job to upgrade with an appropriate wiring loom and a set of ANB-H-1 earphone receivers. The khaki 'Byrd' cloth shell is in good condition but some service marks commensurate with an issued helmet. The front brow is marked with the initials D.H. and repeated on the back leather strap is 'D.B.H.' so we assume the original owners initials. The helmet carries an AAF ink stamp to the shell, with a similar stamp inside. Four oxygen mask snaps are fitted so is a late war variant. This is confirmed on the woven label inside that indicates a 1944 contract date and the helmet was manufactured by Bradley Goodrich Inc; it is also marked 'Large'. The chin strap is fitted with a velvet anti- rub cover and is stamped H 4263.
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 WWII.

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.)
'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 VI.' 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 WWII/ 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)
RAF Escape Compass - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Escape Compass - small but essential aid to shot down aircrew in WWII. 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 WWII. Please note image size is larger than the actual compass which measures a modest 6/10" (1.5 cm) diameter.

WAAF Officers Tunic and Skirt - Click for the bigger picture SoldWAAF Officers Tunic and Skirt - Original WAAF uniforms are now getting very scarce although this is not exactly what it seems but with the re-enactment season already upon us this could be a means to an end! It came in from an owner who used it once to attend a 1940's themed dance so is now looking for a new home! The tunic jacket is an original item and carries rank lace to the sleeves and is labelled 'Suits No1 (Home) Dress Officers RAF and is broad arrow marked and is dated 1952. We believe this tunic to be a 're-clocked' and it probably started life as a Gent's example. The tunic is in generally very good condition with a couple of minor moth nips but these do not detract. The lapels carry brass VRT badges that look to be original and stand fro Volunteer Reserve Training that was established in 1947 for use in RAF sections of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF).The jacket carries brass Kings Crown buttons and a brass belt buckle to WWII specification. The medal ribbons are for the Defence Medal, the 1939-45 War Medal and interestingly the Burma Star. The tunic measures 30.5" from collar to bottom hem (77 cm) and the arms are 24.5" shoulder to cuff (62 cm.) The Officers skirt does not carry a label but is fully lined and looks as though it is tailor made and probably of a later date but a good match for the tunic. We estimate the waist to be around 30" (76 cm) and is 26" from waist to hem (66 cm) We would estimate the set should be a good fit for a ladies size 12.
This is a Used Book
Flight Equipment of the RAF 1920-1945 - Click for the bigger picture SoldFlight Equipment of the RAF 1920-1945

This booklet is described as 'A Quick Reference Guide for Collectors' and was put together by Kevin King & Dave Humphrey and Edited by A.J.Marriott-Smith. It is fully illustrated with 66 black and white photographs and it also has an invaluable section covering RAF Stores Clothing issue numbers from 22C/1 (Belts, Life Saving, Self Inflating, Type A) through to 22C/1070 (Backpack for Overall, Flying, Lightweight) which of course is more commonly known as the Beadon Suit. Whilst in no way is this meant to be a comprehensive listing it is a most useful booklet for any serious collector of RAF flight clothing to have on his shelf. I was chatting to Kevin King a while back about his book and he told me it was now so scarce even he did not have a copy himself! Sadly these now change hands for significantly more than the 1990 published price as the issue has become a collectors item in its own right. Grab yourself a copy whilst you have the chance! This is a second hand example but is in excellent used condition.

Pages: 19
Cover: Soft
Author: Kevin King & Dave Humphrey

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 6.5 cm. Sadly no history with them but they are likely to date from WWII.
Luftwaffe Summer Fliegerkombi Flying Suit - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe Summer Fliegerkombi Flying Suit - The German one piece flying suit, officially known as a 'Fliegerschutzanzug für Sommer K/S0 34' first entered service in 1934 for aircrew use in temperate climates. These suits were cut large enough to fit over the standard uniform that was worn beneath. A regulation issued on July 4th 1940 and April 24th 1941 introduced a replacement two piece protective flight suits for fighter pilots designed to increase the wearers mobility and not be as restrictive in the close confines of a cockpit but the one piece suits continued to be worn right up until the end of the war although they tend to be more associated with bomber crews.

The summer flight suit underwent minor modifications in June 1940 with the earlier horizontal fly opening being replaced with a vertical zip together with various improvements added as a result of combat experience. Our suit is of the second pattern and carries both the vertical fly zip as well as an extra quick release emergency aperture facility to enable the suit to be removed quickly in an emergency. The label clearly dates the suit to 1940 so must have been produced in the second half of that year so is contemporary with the Battle of Britain. Whilst we tend to be cynical of supposed provenance, unless this can be proven, but we were told when purchased the suit belonged to an HE111 of KG 4 crew member who survived when his aircraft crashed near Immingham on March 22nd 1941. In checking the suit in detail we found faintly inked into the inside lining 'Heisig' who we have traced through research as a crew members of the crash of a 5/KG4 Heinkel He 111P-4 (2938), operating from a base at Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Feldwebel (Flight Sergeant) H. Heisig survived the crash, was captured and he survived the war as a POW, returning to Germany in 1946.

Our suit is constructed in classic 'pepper and salt' fabric and whilst it would still display well in a collection or better still dressed on a mannequin it has clearly seen significant wear and subsequent repairs, which would seem to endorse the provenance detailed above. The fabric has a number of nicely executed repair patches that might be period but could also have been done post war to restore the suit to display condition. The main diagonal chest zip is an original Rheinnadel whilst the shoulder zip is an Elite model. Both the leg and waist pocket zips are Zipp brand and stamped "D.R.G.M."to the reverse indicating, Deutsche Reichs Gebrauchsmuster, indication 'German National Registered Design'. The sleeve zips are however replacements and the crutch and leg zips have been sewn closed for display purposes. The snaps are all original marked Prym. The suit carries the leather oxygen mask attachment point and the leather collar strap is in place.

The interior features a crisp a machine stitched white fabric tailors label with black woven manufacturers name Bekleidungsfabrik Habelt, Crailsheim, Wrttbg and Baujahr 1940 and Grosse: 11b, indicating the suit size. The ring pull for the emergency release mechanism is missing but the flap is laced shut. The internal cloth cuffs again show sign of wear and service use. If you have possible interest in adding this piece to your collection please ask for a range of detailed pictured we have available which will show more specifically the condition and issues mentioned. A most interesting Battle of Britain period suit that clearly has a story to tell; if however you like your kit mint and boxed this one is not for you!

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 WWII and probably given by a RNZAF pilot to his wife or girlfriend. Please check out the other RNZAF grouping we have also just listed.
RNZAF Associated Badge Grouping - Click for the bigger picture SoldRNZAF Associated Badge Grouping - On offer is a set of four WWII 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 WWII. Seeing they have always been together we prefer to keep them that way so for sale as a single grouping.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Beetham Presentation Trophy - Click for the bigger picture SoldAir Chief Marshal Sir Michael Beetham Presentation Trophy - Few in the RAF have had a more illustrious career! Born in 1923 he enlisted in the RAFVR in 1942 as a Senior Aircraftsman and rose through the ranks to end up as Marshal of the Royal Air Force. In War II he was a Lancaster pilot carrying out a full tour with 50 squadron. As Chief of the Air Staff during the Falklands War he was involved in the decision to send the Task Force to the South Atlantic and and Operation Black Buck, which was to become the longest bombing raids in history, was his idea. This trophy was presented to Beetham when he was on a goodwill visit to India in 1960. He is recorded as meeting with the AOC I.A.F Air Marshall B.W.Chauhan on 26 January 1960 in Bangalore when clearly this gift was presented to him. The crest is marked Training Command Indian Air Force and the presentation plaque is fully engraved and named to Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael James Beetham, GCB, CBE, DFC, AFC, ADC when he was Chief of the Air Staff. The plaque and crest are mounted on a polished hardwood base and forms a unique item once owned by the top man in the RAF! Measures 6.5" long at base and stands the same high. (16 cm at base and the same height.)
Luftwaffe Flying Boots - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe Flying Boots - A very original set of the classic single zip pattern dating from around the middle of WWII. This model replaced the earlier Pst 4004 pattern that featured a double zip on each leg and so made better use of both materials and manpower. This pair is clearly earlier production than the late war 'economy' version boots we have also just listed.

These feature original 'Zipp' brand zips with a single lightning bolt which is characteristic of earlier production. The riveted leather pulls are still in place and the zips are both in good working order. The grain leather uppers are really very good shape;the nubuck sections at the top of legs show some wear and the left boot interestingly has a repair strip across it. We have no idea when this was done and could well be period. On the same boot the inner top nubuck section shows minor cracking to the surface finish. On display or displayed on mannequin we would not see any problems.

The Original soles with anti slip bump pattern are fitted and clearly branded with a hand motif and 'WO'. Unlike many examples we see these soles are not cracked and only show light service wear. Inside is in great shape and none of the mothing often found with very clean fur and apparently little wear. The labels are both very nice, clean and not washed out. These confirm these boots have not been mismatched as they both carry identical information. The size appears to be 28 1/2 and we believe the manufacturing date to be July 1944. The leg and instep straps are again all original with matched buckles.

Not much more we can say other than whilst not mint these boots are well above the average for an genuine issued set and would sit happily in a collection or dressed on an appropriate mannequin. I have owned these myself since 2006 but it is now time to rehome them. Good original wartime Luftwaffe issue boots are getting increasingly hard to track down now so grab these whilst you can!

Luftwaffe AK 39 Armbandkompass - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe AK 39 Armbandkompass - An essential aid for downed Luftwaffe flight crew. The first model of the AK 39 was believed to have been introduced in 1939. This second pattern carries number Fl 23235-1 on the reverse side as well as the designation AK 39. Unusually it also has what looks like a production code number stamped reading 30232305. The compass bezel swings freely and aligns correctly to north although we can not guarantee its accuracy after 70 years! The transparent rotating bezel has black sighting marks (as opposed to the later red examples introduced in 1943). The underside has white /translucent sliding windows with red course makers which would have enabled the owner to set a marching route having first taken a bearing. The leather wrist strap is original to the instrument and the buckle is sound. When worn over a flying suit it would have had a strap extension fitted although many were simply looped on to the owners Schwimmveste; this example just carries the standard strap. Generally in excellent display condition although like most we have seen the air bubble in the damping alcohol is rather larger than when in service.
RAF Type H Oxygen Mask - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Type H Oxygen Mask - First issued in early 1944 the H mask replaced the earlier G pattern and it remained in RAF service, with minor modifications, for the remainder of the 20th century. This example Stores Reference 6D/2244098 is broad arrow marked and was manufactured in March 1985 and has never been issued. When purchased it came complete in its original packaging with attached documentation that confirmed it was declared 'Serviceable' by 16 Maintenance Unit Stafford when last checked in December 1997! This example is marked 'Small' and is fitted with an Amplivox 13100 microphone and mint communication cord and female plug. A full elastic harness is fitted, again in unissued condition, with snaps and clips to use with RAF C, D & E pattern flying helmets as well as the later G. The harness also features the reversible 'quick connect' loops for use with the later metal oxygen mask hooks. If the mask is required without the elastic webbing harness please contact us for a separate price. Despite now being over 31 years old this example is effectively as good as they come and other than minor storage marks to the inner chamois lining, is close to mint condition. Like all items offered on the site this is for sale as a collectable only, although subject to the correct checks we feel it is highly likely it is still in working condition but we can't guarantee this. These masks are no longer in production so grab the opportunity now to purchase one of the last examples whilst our very limited stocks remain.
RAF Mk IIIA Flying Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Mk IIIA Flying Goggles - First issued in 1936, the pattern reflected the same design characteristics of the Mk III but with smaller face pads, as the earlier goggles were designed for open cockpit use. The Mk IIIA also featured curved Perspex lenses, like its predecessor, which caused distortion and also scratched easily so in the Battle of Britain many pilots chose not to wear them which resulted in many casualties during the conflict through burns and serious eye injuries. The design was also developed independently of the RAF B helmet and the strap arrangement did not work well with the large domed receiver cups. The result of all this was this model was quickly superseded and good examples are now very scarce.

This pair is way above the average and features none of the normal issues seen on this pattern. The brass frames are in great shape and retain almost all their black paint with both the hinge stops and ventilation trumpets in place. All four screws are present and the original leather nose cover is perfect. The Perspex lenses again excellent and just minor scratching. On the reverse side they are equally good with the velvet face pads showing signs of light service use but the inner padding is hardened, as normal. The back strap is near perfect; most Mk IIIA's we see have stretched or damaged springs/canvas covers whilst these are virtually as good as when they came out of the factory. The leather back strap perfect and the curled end is still in place ; these are often cut off for some reason. The friction adjustment buckle is in great condition and carries no rust. The stamping on the back strap is very feint and almost impossible to read. However under a magnifying glass we have been able to decipher the date of manufacture which is the magic 1940 and is followed by a broad arrow and an I below. Above it is the makers name and again whilst very feint we believe this could indicate these were made by Stephens & Co Ltd. Our research on line confirms William Stephens & Co made goggles for the RFC so looks like they continued as contractors to the Air Ministry although this set do not carry any AM stores reference information.

So to conclude this fine set meets or exceeds the time honoured collectors maxim: 'Always buy the best you can afford'.
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