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Aviation Collectables & Aviation Clothing - Stock Archive - Page 1

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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NewStock NEW STOCK In Stock IN STOCK Featured FEATURED Sold SOLD Sold - similar available SOLD - similar available  
Reference Stock Item   Description
WWII RAF Pistol Lanyard - Click for the bigger picture SoldWWII RAF Pistol Lanyard - Another item from the same source as the shoulder and webbing holsters we have listed today. This was issued in WWII to a pathfinder Observer/Navigator who completed two full tours of duty and came direct from his family. These genuine WWII issued lanyard are becoming increasingly scarce now and is finished in RAF blue mohair cord and features a sliding knot to fit around the wearer neck and a fixed knot to attach to the service pistol. RAF aircrew flying over enemy territory could carry a sidearm, that would be for personal protection if the worst should happen and they came down in enemy territory. Paragraph 2566 of Kings Regs states 'Every officer, subject to clause 2, will be entitled to be issued with on demand one Colt automatic pistol or pistol revolver no2, Mk I (.38") for his personal use'. Our illustrative images include one of an RFC veteran serving again in WWII pictured in the summer of 1940, showing the correct usage of the lanyard whilst the final picture shows another, which does not exactly conform to King Regs! The lanyard shows signs of minor service usage but generally a very crisp and original example.
RAF 1937 Pattern Webbing Belt and Holster Set - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF 1937 Pattern Webbing Belt and Holster Set - This set came to us from the same family source as the shoulder holster that we have also recently listed. It comprises standard issue webbing but it would appear the theatre made holster was found more appropriate for aircrew duties by the owner. 1937 pattern webbing equipment was adopted by the RAF sometimes in 1941 and replaced the earlier 1925 pattern. It was made to the same specification as the Army issue sets, with the only difference it was issued in blue grey rather than khaki. The new webbing was compatible with the earlier design and the two sets continued to be worn interchangeably for many years. The holster viewed from the front looked identical in both patterns but on the back the later model, as well as the two double hooks that are provided for attachment to the waistbelt, it had a similar hook is fitted horizontally at the top for connecting to the ammunition pouch, absent on this example.

RAF aircrew flying over enemy territory could carry a sidearm, that would be for personal protection if the worst should happen and they came down in enemy territory. Paragraph 2566 of Kings Regs states 'Every officer, subject to clause 2, will be entitled to be issued with on demand one Colt automatic pistol or pistol revolver no2, Mk I (.38") for his personal use'. These weapons were designed to be carried in the 37-pattern webbing holster, as offered here. The mounting procedure for the holster was set out in Drill Instructions and was worn on the left, and to ensure thew weapons safety was attached to the wearer by a lanyard worn around the neck (see our separate listing) or under the shoulder epaulets by pilots or RAF personal when armed. We attach a range of pictures of the set, as well as a drawing of the correct usage of the webbing in aircrew use, based on an actual photograph of Flt/Sgt Frank Nutkins of 180 Sqd.

The set includes a standard '37 pattern belt and holster whilst also including webbing cross straps and brace attachments. The current condition is just as it was when it came to us. The nomenclature details of the holster are now largely faded but we believe the manufacturing date is 1943. The shoulder straps and braces carry various stamps as well as an RAF service number. We have left the brass work as the set came in, but for a small additional consideration we could have this buffed to parade ground standards if required. Wartime webbing is becoming increasingly hard to find and this Pathfinder issued set, that was all issued to one man, makes it particularly collectable.

WWII RAFVR Lapel Badge - Click for the bigger picture SoldWWII RAFVR Lapel Badge - The RAF Volunteer Reserve was formed in July 1936 to provide individuals to supplement the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. The purpose was to provide a reserve of aircrew to draw upon in the event of war. When the Second World War broke out in September 1939 the RAFVR comprised 6,646 pilots, 1,625 observers/navigators and 1,946 wireless operators. During the war, the Air Ministry used the RAFVR as the principal means of entry for aircrew to serve with the RAF. All those called up for Air Force Service with the RAF, both commissioned officers and other ranks, did so as members of the RAFVR under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939.

This particular badge, which is numbered on the back with the official Air Ministry number 14921, was issued to a volunteer who served as a Navigator and completed two tours of duty with Bomber Command, the second with an elite Pathfinder Squadron and beat the odds and survived the war. These badges were made by the Royal Mint and were issued to those accepted for service in the RAF, but who were awaiting call up. Worn on the lapel of civilian clothes, to show others they were doing their bit and were not avoiding "doing their bit" for the war effort.

This is a fine wartime example that came directly from the original owners family and remains in superb original condition and retaining original buttonhole fitting. Measures c. 1" (2.5 cm) tall.

RAF Navigators Brevet - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Navigators Brevet - This example came direct from the family and was worn during WWII, when the owner completed 2 full tours with Bomber Command, the second with an elite pathfinder Squadron. The brevet carries the standard 'N' designation with oatmeal coloured thread. It shows signs where it has been unpicked from a uniform but remains in excellent issued condition. Wartime navigators were responsible for keeping the aircraft on course at all times, reaching the target and then getting the crew safely back to the home base. He had to maintain a high level of concentration for virtually the whole of the flight, which could be up to seven hours, and most with very rudimentary navigational aids. To do this over two complete tours indicates skills of exceptional order - and more than a fair amount of good luck!
RAF Theatre Made Shoulder Holster - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Theatre Made Shoulder Holster - Shoulder holsters are comparatively unusual in British military service with most handguns being carried on the hip. RAF aircrew flying over enemy territory could carry a sidearm (but many, if not most, chose not to do so) that would be for personal protection if the worst should happen and they came down in enemy territory. Paragraph 2566 of Kings Regs states 'Every officer, subject to clause 2, will be entitled to be issued with on demand one Colt automatic pistol or pistol revolver no2, Mk I (.38") for his personal use'. These weapons were designed to be carried in the 37 pattern webbing holster, but this was not practical for aircrew and needed to be out of the way when flying, so as not to interfere with the operation of the aircraft. Whilst post war the RAF have sourced custom made aircrew shoulder holsters we are not aware of such kit being issued in WWII, but with this prelude this leads us nicely into describing the item we are now listing.

Made from blue canvas this shoulder holster is clearly theatre made, probably by the Squadron tailor and came directly from a family source, together with an issue 37 pattern holster set, Navigators brevet and other miscellaneous items. The wartime owner completed two full tours of duty, the second with a Pathfinder Squadron, and it is assumed he had this made up to carry a sidearm during operations. As such it features no nomenclature whatsoever, so we can only speculate on its origins. The inside of the canvas shows wear caused by rubbing, so would appear to have seen operational use. The beige webbing strap is designed to loop over the wearers right shoulder and the holster is then secured in place by cloth ties arround the back. We imagine this would have been worn tucked away beneath Battledress blouse, as the holster has no securing strap to hold the sidearm in place. In a life time of collecting this is the first such example we have seen so represents an extremely scarce piece of aircrew flight equipment and we doubt we will ever find another. My late Fathers BD blouse is clearly not included in the sale and is for illustrative purposes only.

Westland Whirlwind XJ 393 Access Panels - Click for the bigger picture SoldWestland Whirlwind XJ 393 Access Panels - On offer are two aluminium panels that were originally fitted to Westland Whirlwind HAR 3, registration A2538 construction number 10A/57 and registration code XJ 393. This aircraft was the original prototype Mk III Whirlwind and first flew on 27th June 1955. She spent most of her active life at Research Establishments (A&AEE, Defford, Pershore), before becoming an RN Instructional Airframe. She was then displayed at the now defunct Torbay Aircraft Museum and was finally scrapped in 1993.

The panels have faded green paint on outside and silver inside and with the aircraft code XJ 393 stencilled to each. Metal parts show some rust and age related staining. The panels fasten to the airframe with metal turn screws and one panel has a canvas pouch to the inside stencilled 'Window Curtain Stowage (empty). We imagine these panels fitted over the crew compartment windows but stand to be corrected on this. If you are a Whirlwind fan or happen to have an old airframe in your back garden these could be just for you! Panel one measures 22 1/2" x 22 1/2" (57 cm x 57 cm) and panel two is 24 1/2" x 23" (62 cm x 23 cm.)
Luftwaffe Nitsche & Gunther Pattern 'Splinter' Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe Nitsche & Gunther Pattern 'Splinter' Goggles - This model, designated 'Flieger-Splitterschutzbrille', was developed by Dr. Knothe, of the optical firm Nitsche & Gunther and were favoured by Luftwaffe fighter pilots in WWII. Allocated stores refrence nos Fl. Nr30550 these represent the later 3rd pattern, offered in varients 'A' & 'D' and entered service in 1944. The pattern features a moulded black plastic frame, with a hinge arrangement over the nose. They are fitted with slightly tinted convex lenses, that were designed to provide protection from flying splinters and shrapnel, without too much curvature to distort vision.

Original examples of this pattern are now very hard to find and expensive, with good examples retailing at well over the £1,000+ level. Many of the replicas that do appear on the market from time to time originated in the Czech Republic although we are told by our contacts in that country the firm that made them is no longer in business and production has ceased. This may explain why even reproductions are now very scarce. We have no idea of the origins of this set but they have been decently executed but not to the exacting build quality of the original. The hinged frames are in excellent condition and on reverse they are indistinctly marked "NiGuRa", the branding used by the original manufacturers Nitsche and Gunther, Rathenow. This model was issued with clear and tinted lenses (designated 'A' & 'D') and it is our view the tinted variant, as this set, displays well, particularly in conjunction with the 'Netzkopfhaube' flying helmet, shown here with an approriate Luftwaffe winter flying jacket, are for display purposes and this sale is for the goggles alone. The pattern features large ventilation slots around the frame to avoid the lenses steaming up in use and the set is completed with a beige elastic back strap with a metal adjuster.

These goggles, despite being replicas, have none the less become a collector's item in themselves and are getting increasingly hard to find. These represent and an ideal stop gap for a serious collector, for a reenactor or film company which needs authenticity without risking using an original and for a fraction of the price of the real thing. We were advised the last of the Czech production was being offered back in 2012 was priced then at EU 500 so grab a bargain whilst you can!

Luftwaffe Parachute Quick Release Buckle - Click for the bigger picture SoldLuftwaffe Parachute Quick Release Buckle - A good semi relic example of the war time Lufwaffe Parachute Harness Quick Release Box (SA-Schloss) as used on WWII aircrew seat and chest parachutes and was also used by German Airborne Fallschirmjager troops. It is clearly engraved to the front plate with "Gurtzeug Ablegen", a directional arrow and below "Drehen, Dann Drücken". Roughly translated these are operating instruction "To Release harness : Turn and push". Further text is engraved on the side of the box reading "Gesichert" meaning "Safe" or "Secured" and "Ensichert" indicating the buckle is "Unlocked". The back is fully stamped and was manufactured by Autoflug Berlin against Fl number 30232 and werk number 2043984. This pattern was used on most Luftwaffe parachute harnesses, including both the seat and chest-type. In service the parachute would have carried four harness attachment buckles, that would have slotted into, and were locked by, the buckle ; these are now absent although we have attached a refrence phtograph to illustrate the set up. We have also included a period operational photograph showing an HE 111 crew, with the Obsever wearing a similar buckle.

This QRB was ground dug here in the UK but sadly the details of the recovery have been lost. It has minor corrosion to the front and back plates and the assembly screws but overall it remains in very good display condition. Interestingly the mechanism is now seized in the "Ensichert" position so it is hoped the wearer survived the incident in which he was clearly involved. It may be possible to free the locking mechanism, but as with all our stock we prefer to leave in 'as found' condition and were it to be able to talk it most certainly would have a story to tell!

Measures 3" x 2.5" (7.5 cm x 6.3 cm)

RAF Team Rife Championships Presentation Hip Flask - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Team Rife Championships Presentation Hip Flask - The Royal Air Force Rifle Association was founded in 1921 with the object, as expressed at the time, of 'promoting interest in small arms shooting for Service purposes by means of individual and collective Competitions. It was renamed in 1946 as the Royal Air Force Small Arms Association. Sadly this one came without any provenance but we are assuming the engraving refers to the RAF Middle East Command where we had a significant presence in the 1930's including Iraq, Palestine and India. The flask has no makers marks but it was clearly presented to the Runners up in an RAF rifle competition back in 1934. The plated metal base cover slides off revealing a glass flask beneath and the top is covered in leather with a viewing slit to check remaining contents. The flask carries a screw top metal stopper and overall it is generally in very sound used condition. Measures 5.6" high (14.5 cm)
RAFA Isle of Man Presentation Item - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAFA Isle of Man Presentation Item - Featuring a wood base surmounted by a brass globe on which is perched a brass eagle with outstretched wings. To one side is an RAF ensign while to the other is the Isle of Man flag. The base carries the Royal Air Force Association scroll and below silvered engraved plaque reading "Presented to the Royal Air Force Association Isle of Man Branch with grateful thanks from all members on the occasion of the Annual Conference Douglas 21/22nd June, 1952. "This item was purchased at auction after the Isle of Man RAFA Club recently closed due to the sadly declining membership. While signs of years of polishing to the plaque and base, it is still readable and the item has a beautiful aged patina. Measures 12" (31 cm) from base to top of flag.
RAF Safi Malta Trench- Art Ashtray - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Safi Malta Trench- Art Ashtray - Royal Air Force Safi was located on the island of Malta, established in 1941 as a diversion airstrip for the main operating base at RAF Luqa ; a similar diversion airstrip to Safi was located at RAF Krendi.

RAF Safi was constructed at a time when Malta was under intense aerial bombardment (it became the most bombed place on earth in 1942) and Malta's Air Command needed to have alternative diversion airstrips to use as emergency landing grounds. Construction at Safi started in 1941 and the strip became operational in 1942 and was inaugurated by AOC Malta Sir Keith Park and it remained operational throughout the War. Post WWII Safi was reduced in function to become a Maintenance Unit. Today Safi's runway has long gone and the hangars and dispersal area have been extensively redeveloped.

We assume this nicely worked ashtray dates from the WWII period of occupation by the RAF and it features an RAF eagle and below a scale map of Malta and Gozo with the location of RAF Safi clearly marked. We were fortunate to purchase two of these ashtrays, clearly both worked by the same hand. The first sold even before we could list on the website and is now in the collection of one of our regulars back on Malta where it belongs;we don't anticipate its partner will be with us long. Items related to the Air War on Malta are few and far between and this is the first related pair of items we have ever handled relating to RAF Safi, so grab it whilst you can as we are unlikely to find another. Made from a good weight of copper plate the top surface is nicely polished whilst the bottom is 'au naturel'. The ashtray measures 4.75" diameter (12 cm). The final pictures attached show AOC Keith Park, taken at the offoicial opening of RAF Safi, with the ceremony perfomed by Field Marshall Lord Gort VC, Malta's then Govenor.

RAF Bomb Release Trigger Button - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Bomb Release Trigger Button - WWII Air Ministry marked Bomb Aimer's Release switch, with stores reference code 5D/534, complete with original lead that is connected to a type 5J plug stores ref 5D/596. These Trigger Buttons were used as a bomb release mechanism in a number of WWII bombers, including the Avro Lancaster, where it was located on the starboard side of the fuselage in the bomb aimers position in the nose. The firing switch could be modified with the addition of a metal loop that enabled it to be mounted in an interlock firing switch holder and could then not be removed until the bomb load had been fused and so prevented the accidental release of unfused bombs. This switch assembly appears to be in unissued condition with just minor storage marks to the lead. An identical example was sold at auction at the RAF Museum London on 5th March 2022 for £ 552. Ours represents rather better value!

Halycon 'Battle of Britain' Mk 8 Flying Goggles - Click for the bigger picture SoldHalycon 'Battle of Britain' Mk 8 Flying Goggles - Halycon manufacture probably the most authentic replica of the wartime RAF Mk VIII goggles, although they are somewhat misnamed at this model did not enter service with the RAF until October 1943 - three years after the Battle of Britain! That technicality aside these can be realistically described as 'mint and boxed' and appear to have never been used ;they even come with the original Halcyon users guide and tissue wrapping paper. These are the top specification model and closely match those worn by RAF pilots in WWII and early post war-see our final image attached to compare. Manufactured here in the UK they feature padded brown exterior leather and soft beige leather face pads that are hand stitched onto the solid brass RAF blue painted frames. The goggles carry the traditional angled clear polycarbonate lenses and are completed with a brown elastic backstrap. The chances are your will not be flying a Spitfire or Lancaster these days but they remain the perfect choice if you happen to own a Tiger Moth or for that matter a Norton Commando or a Triumph TR2! For those planning ahead, these would make the ideal stocking filler this Christmas for the aviator or classic bike or car enthusiast in your life!
RAF Inner Silk Flying Gloves - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Inner Silk Flying Gloves - Designed to be worn under 1933 pattern gauntlets but were often worn alone, particularly by fighter pilots. Early production used silk, while later these would have been made from synthetic silk or rayon.

These remain in above the average issued condition, with just one wear hole on the right thumb, as shown in our listing. The left glove has a bit of loose stitching and is a little cleaner than the right and both have the normal stains and marks from service use. Looking at the stitch detail these may possibly have been mismatched at some stage but when purchased came in with another near identical 1940 dated pair of silk inners and a set of RAF D gloves all from the same source (both already sold) and believe this is how they were used in service.

Inside the stores reference marks are washed out but just visible to the naked eye on the right glove is a feint King Crown and AM property mark. What however makes this set rather special is the original owner has written his RAF service number inside the right glove '631889'. Whilst these can be quite hard to track down, and more so without the owner's name to assist, against the odds we appear to have done so here. These seem to have been issued to and used by a Sgt Thomas Goldie, of 49 Squadron who was sadly KIA 7.12.40 flying as a Wireless operator /air gunner on a Hampden 1 X3028 (EA-S) that crashed at Welton, Lincs. The crew were returning from an operation to attack airfields in NW France, but crashed whilst trying to land back at RAF Scampton. Sgt Goldie is buried at Lesmahagow Cemetery, Lanarkshire.

Whilst the size detail is washed out these gloves are good fit on my hands so are probably a size 9, that would have carried stores reference number 22C/261. Whilst not mint, a very emotive set that have clearly seen operational service in the early part of WWII.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip 1921-2021 - Click for the bigger picture SoldHis Royal Highness Prince Philip 1921-2021 - We mark the occasion of the sad death of His Royal Highness just short of his 100th birthday with a small montage of photograph of the other loves of his long and illustrious life. I understand before the war he had a desire to become a fighter pilot, but he decided on following the family tradition and joined the Royal Navy, where he graduated from Dartmouth Naval College as the top cadet of his intake. The Duke was on active service in the Royal Navy throughout the Second World War, with his first naval appointment, aged 18, as a midshipman to HMS RAMILLIES, which escorted the first contingents of the Allied Expeditionary Force from Australia to Egypt. His Royal Highness subsequently joined HMS VALIANT in the Mediterranean Fleet and was involved in action including, on 21st March 1941, the Battle of Matapan, off the coast of Greece, against the Italian fleet and for his work in control of the searchlights Prince Philip was mentioned in despatches. He was later awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour. Towards the end of the Second World War Prince Philip served in the destroyer HMS WHELP in the Pacific and was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender on 2nd September 1945. His first and only Command was post war aboard HMS Magpie.

The Duke learned to fly, starting his flying training on 12th November 1952 at White Waltham, his instructor being Flt Lt Caryl Ramsay Gordon -followers of 'The Crown' please note! After initial training on the De Havilland Chipmunk he continued on the North American Harvard. Prince Philip was awarded his "wings" by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir William Dickson at Buckingham Palace on the 4th of May 1953. He further qualified to win his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot's licence in 1959. He recorded 5,986 hours in his logbooks flying in 59 types of aircraft. The Duke's final flight was on 11th August 1997 from Carlisle to Islay, following which he has stopped flying, although he never lost his interest in all thing's aviation related.

I had the pleasure to meet his Royal Highness and Her Majesty at a reception at Buckingham Palace back in 2002. After the official presentation to their Majesties, I had the pleasure to chat both with The Queen and Prince Philip. Suffice to say they were an absolute delight to meet and as is often reported with Prince Philip you got exactly what was written on the tin! I could not resist asking if the story concerning The Queen being particularly fond of the Engine Room on the Royal Yacht was true and that she would take guests down to see it after dinner. I had specifically read that after the Gulf War in 1992 General Norman Schwarzkopf was invited aboard Britannia and duly inspected the spotless Engine Room. After his tour it is reported he confronted Her majesty and asked: 'Okay. I've seen the museum piece. Now, where's the real engine room?' The Queen and Prince Philip laughed and confirmed the account was entirely true, with the Queen demonstrating with her arms bent how the pistons of the engines pumped back and forth! Britannia at this time had been decommissioned (in 1997) but the event was still very much in the fore in 2002. Before the Royal party departed, I suggested their Majesties better take care or the then Government may take the Royal train next. I will not repeat here what her Majesty replied!

The islanders of Tanna, one of the islands in Vanuatu in the South West Pacific, worshiped the Duke of Edinburgh as a god. Looking at what he achieved during his amazing 99 year life one tends to agree they were on the right track! His Royal Highness will be much missed by Her Majesty, The Royal Family and the citizens of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world. It is only fitting that his final journey will be on that icon of British engineering, a Land Rover hearse, designed for the purpose by the Duke himself. Fair wind and following seas your Royal Highness. R. I. P.

RAF Navigators Brevet - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Navigators Brevet - fine padded example of a Navigators half wing aircrew badge. This replaced the earlier Observer's brevet in 1942 and was worn with pride on the left breast of the Navigators No 1 tunic and on his Battledress tunic above any medal ribbon bar. This is of the sew on type (as opposed to the pin back tropical issue badge we have also just listed). This example is in excellent issued condition with minor service wear but no moth or other damage. These are always difficult to date but almost certainly of WWII vintage. Sadly the history associated with it has been lost. Measures 3.25" (8 cm)
Private Purchase Flying Helmet by John Barker & Co Ltd of Kensington - Click for the bigger picture SoldPrivate Purchase Flying Helmet by John Barker & Co Ltd of Kensington - An original period flying or motoring helmet that could date from WWI or possibly from the 1920's. Constructed in soft tan leather it remains in remarkably good condition with minor staining that adds to its vintage patina. The helmet has cut outs for the ears with wind deflection pads in front reminiscent of the design used during WWI by RFC aviators. The brow of the helmet comes to a slight point in the middle, characteristic of other Barker helmets that we have seen.

Inside is blanket lined again in generally good condition but a little wear as you would expect in a helmet of this age. To the crown is a woven label confirming this was made for and retailed by John Barker and Co Ltd of Kensington, London W. John Barkers & Co Ltd was a department store located on Kensington High Street and established in partnership between John Barker and James Whitehead, who later became later Lord Mayor of London, in 1870. The business It was subsequently sold to the House of Fraser in 1957. The chin strap and buckle remain sound. Whilst no size is marked it is a good size and we would guess equates to an RAF size 3 or 4 helmet and would fit a head of about 60 cm or 7.5". This would be the perfect for your classic car or aircraft or the accessory of choice for all those vintage events you will be attending this summer!

RAF ID Bracelet Named to M. F. Pitman - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF ID Bracelet Named to M. F. Pitman - On offer is another RAF ID bracelet. This example is named to 'Pitman M. F. ' and the service number is recorded as 1187201. A nice additional touch is an RAF Other Ranks cap badge image, complete with Kings Crown, has been added. Unlike the other example we have just listed this one is complete with chain and clasp. The chain is of a very modest diameter and we speculate this may have belonged to a WAAF serving with the RAF in WWII. On the reverse of the tab are either makers marks or marks indicating the metal used. We have been unable to identify these and as pure speculation it is possible this bracelet was made up for the owner whilst serving overseas. Another item that warrants further research which we will leave to the next custodian. The bracelet face plate measures 1.4" (3.5 cm)
Beaufort RAF Issue Mk 7 Lifejacket - Click for the bigger picture SoldBeaufort RAF Issue Mk 7 Lifejacket - Manufactured by Beaufort (Air-Sea) Equipment Ltd, this 'Mae West' aircrew lifejacket carries Stores Reference 22C/2275 and appears to date from May 1969. Many of this pattern seem to have been subcontracted to makers Frankenstein, so nice to have an original Beaufort made example. Manufactured from orange fabric, and like the WWII jackets it has 3 button closures to the front. When in service these jackets carried a plethora of escape aids and as well as kapok pads and a bladder it would have also held an inflation bottle, a Sabre rescue location beacon, a water activated torch and other kit to facilitate rescue. This jacket is stencilled on the back 'HON 37' which we assume to have been added when on the Squadron. We speculate this could indicate service at RAF Honington, were the Blackburn Buccaneer was opperated in 1969. If any visitor to the site can clarify meaning please get in touch and we will add to our listing. This jacket has clearly seen quite heavy service use with minor tears and holes and light staining. The neck zip works but is a little tender and one of the webbing straps, for dinghy pack attachment, has been cut, normal practice when these jackets came out of service. Interestingly, this same design was sourced for the 1969 Guy Hamilton blockbuster move 'Battle of Britain', when clearly prop availability took precedence over historical accuracy!

Today, 50 years after these jackets saw service with the RAF they are becoming increasingly hard to find in any condition and also expensive when they do turn up ; the price of this example reflects its overall condition today. This is not the best example we have seen but it certainly has that 'lived in look' and works well on a mannequin or for a reenactor or Goodwood Revival guest, to add that touch of authenticity. To that end our Boss, Mr Oldnautibits himself, borrowed this stock item when asked to dress in period on a recent classic car rally, as shown in the final image attached. Despite the passing years, we think the CO put on a pretty good show!

RAF Red Star Mk 12T Distress Flare Tin - Click for the bigger picture SoldRAF Red Star Mk 12T Distress Flare Tin - This example, 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 dinghy packs 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. This is example is not in quite such good condition as the one we have just sold and this is reflected in the price.

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