1942 A-8B

Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by Edward, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    I added this beauty to my collection! stamped: 10 42 so I'm assuming October 1942.
    I considered a replacement bladder briefly but I'm certain the retaining c clip rings would crumble if I try to pry them off and since 60% of the original bladder is still there I'm leaving it as is. also the cardboard shape retainer is still in the mask so I am also assuming this mask was never issued.
    Its the early leather strap version. I have a comparison shot with my modern replica. (I can see now the replica company threaded the strap incorrectly through the card retaining clips, placed the leather straps on the opposite sides that they should be and placed the black nose cap on upside down! also the cardboard retainers are painted the incorrect color so I'm going to fix all of that on the replica. also their mold isn't fully accurate especially on the interior but it looks good on display.

    The original will be placed in an acid free shadow box away from sunlight for preservation. I guess I am now a goddam AAF museum!:p

    IMG_1179.JPG IMG_1185.jpg IMG_1185b.jpg IMG_1180.JPG IMG_1188.JPG IMG_1189.JPG IMG_1191.JPG IMG_1193.JPG IMG_1196.jpg
     
  2. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

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    Some pretty cool stuff for sure.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Looks like it. Keep me coming!
    Dave
     
  4. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    Technical question for you. all pictures that show a crew member using a walk around oxygen bottle show them with the A-14 oxygen mask and I understand how the A-14 connected to the walk around bottle regulators....
    When using the A-8B oxygen mask I could not find any photos of crew using it with a walk around bottle but I know they did.
    I finally found this pic of Actress Jinx Falkenburg wearing an A-8B oxygen mask as she crosses the Himalayas enroute to entertain U.S. troops in China, 1944
    and it seems to be hooked up to either an A-6 or a D-2 oxygen bottle. (maybe she had to go use the little girls room) but....
    IMG_1328.JPG

    my question is... the oxygen tube connectors for the A-14 and the A-8B are quite different. Was the receiving connector on the A-4, A-6 and the D-2 regulators universal and could accept both oxygen mask hoses or am I missing an adaptor piece that should attach to the A-8B hose?

    -the A-8B connector: this of course jacks into the B-17/B-24 oxygen demand but when switching to a walk around bottle would it need an adaptor?
    IMG_1330.JPG

    The A-14 hose connector:

    IMG1408808492.jpg

    now I may be almost answering my own question here but the closest adapter I could find that resembles what I would think the A-8B would need for the Regulator hose connection is the RAF Oxygen Tube Adaptor, MK.III
    Its a black rubber oxygen tube with a MK.3B* (6D/101) bayonet connector at one end and a MK.4A 'socket' connector (6D/482) at the other.
    These enabled the use of R.A.F. E-series, G-type and H-type masks in older aircraft fitted with early oxygen systems. These adaptors were also used to connect masks to portable (walkaround) oxygen bottles.

    Now, I can see already that the A-8B connector won't connect to this particular adaptor but seems to have a similar twist lock prongs that would seem ideal for the female lock connection grooves of the A-8B so perhaps there is another version made for the A-8B?

    IMGconnector2.jpg
    IMGConnector1.jpg

    Having said all that (is your head spinning yet?) if one needed to disconnect from the airplane's oxygen and quickly attach to the walk around A-4 A-6 or God forbid, the massive D-2 oxygen bottle, wouldn't having to find and attach said adaptor be a loss of precious time during an emergency? So my question is, does anyone here have A-4 (green apple) A-6 Yellow or D-2 walk around bottles and can show me the interior of the regulator? or know if both the A-8B and the A-14 could universally attach to the bottles?

    TYPE-A4-WALK-AROUND-OXYGEN-BOTTLE-8.JPG

    TYPE-A4-WALK-AROUND-OXYGEN-BOTTLE-2.JPG



     
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  5. ausreenactor

    ausreenactor Well-Known Member

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  6. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

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    coolllllllllll , good catch

    nice detailled photos (inside of the bladder)
     
  7. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Edward, you’ve already put more thought into it than I have. I have wondered the same in the past but never really researched it.
    That said here are some pics of what I just noticed:
    D-2 and A-4 (bottle nomenclature) both share the 6022-1 regulators. So the regulator is the key.
    E31FC548-71E4-4A4A-AD6D-85D94ABE8834.jpeg

    At first the 6022-1 fill nozzle appears to be useable for the earlier hose but it isn’t nor would it be regulated if somehow accessed.
    B10AD352-8AF1-4ED7-9ACE-B9CF0A90386C.jpeg


    Below is the A-9A regulator. This is a panel mount regulator but is also likely what you see Falkenburg using. I am holding it where it attaches to a bottle although a much larger fitting(I think this is the same fitting in the pic but I don't have the 90 degree adapter shown). B0BE6598-974F-45E1-A515-8680119B91ED.jpeg
    329B84B6-A792-4869-AA50-BAF40BE34228.jpeg

    This shows the A-9A’s bayonet fitting for the early masks. E1EE6254-AB1E-4A99-ADF1-4286C20ED5A8.jpeg

    I can’t find an H-1 right now but I think it has the mouth pipe and might even have a bayonet fitting.
    Bonus pic is the C-100 meter for checking panel mount A-8 and A-9 regulators(one is still unopened) in front of the bomber “hard mount” O2 bottle.
    F6FF0B60-A995-4C6C-A89C-68FC915808E7.jpeg
    Obviously the tester has the bayonet fitting but I suppose the larger hose had not come out yet(both dated ‘43). Incidentally it appears all tanks and regulators share the same sized pipe threads to adapt regulators(with left hand threads at the regulator) so you could technically even hook a regulator directly to the bomber O2 tank.
    I’d not even looked closely at the fittings until your question. For that I thank you.
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018 at 11:30 AM
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  8. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the H-1 pics I guess it was the most adaptable of all. With just a mouth piece there was no issue of compatability. It's also unlikely your mask and goggles would stay with you in the slipstream of a bailout.
    Dave
     
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  9. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    Thanks that’s awesome those pictures! I know that little side valve is actually for recharging the air in the tank via a fitting on the airplane. Also the H-1 only has the mouthpiece. No mask attaches to it. You just stick the wooden end between your teeth jump and hope you get below 10,000 feet before you ran out of oxygen and then passed out! LOL!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018 at 1:13 PM
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  10. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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  11. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Cool. I have some of those larger extension hoses in step 1 above that come from the aircraft's regulator. They have the spring cover on the user end and just a hose clamp on the regulator side. Guess I need to find one of the regulators.
    Dave
     
    Edward likes this.
  12. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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  13. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    A tad more info on the A-8B:

    The A-8B mask was secured to the flying helmet, rather than to the head itself, using straps that hooked to the helmet. The A-9 fabric flying helmet was the first flight helmet to be produced specifically with these hooks to attach the A-8B type mask. Early examples of the A-8B mask mask also featured leather straps, while the later specimens used elasticated fabric; the much later versions used nylon straps. Surprisingly, the A-8B mask could also be converted into a demand type oxygen mask through use of components in a special adaptation kit that included one-way valves and a quick-attach corrugated, large-bore rubber tubing used in in place of the rebreather bag.
     
  14. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    SGT Clifford Coates from Fairfield, TX filling oxygen system in a 466th BG B-24

    media-16144.jpeg
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Well-Known Member

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    Dave, thanks so much! I think this solves my question. apparently the A-9A (and previous A-8) were the regulators with the appropriate fittings for the A-8B mask as you have shown. I am assuming these regulators were attached to the A-4, A-6 and D2 walk around oxygen bottles and when the newer A-13 regulators came out they just switched them to upgrade for the A-14 oxygen masks.

    and as you pointed out most likely Ms. Jinx Falkenburg is hooked up to an A-9A regulator as it certainly appears to look like yours. I actually know where I can purchase an A-9A for pretty cheap. now I just need a walk around bottle!

    Edward

     
  16. dmar836

    dmar836 Well-Known Member

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    Perfect! A learning thread for us both. Not sure what the 466th guy is doing. I have never really looked but I assumed the larger bomber bottles were hard plumbed. He has one with the 6022 regulator. Surely those weren’t mounted in the bomb bay area with that regulator as it would make for a lot of heavy corrugated tubing everywhere. I can’t really see if there is an adapter to allow filling smaller bottles or what.
    The bottles aren’t really rare so grab one while they are out there!
    Dave
     

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