WW2 Canadian Flight Helmet and Goggles

Discussion in 'Related Gear' started by Mike D, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Mike D

    Mike D New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hey guys,

    I have a WW2 Canadian flight helmet and two goggles. I have had them for several years and was wondering if someone could help me figure out what they might be worth in today's market. The inside of the oxygen mask is kinda ratty but otherwise everything seems to be in good shape and is war dated with C-Broad arrow. Any info you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.[​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    Thanks.

    Mike.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
  3. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Welcome to VLJ Mike. That is a nice early War set. The MkIII and MK IIIa goggles look to be in decent condition. It is really very difficult to value flying kit from photos, although I have a good idea of the value of each item. However, we do not give valuations here for a variety of reasons. My advice to you would be to looks at on-line auction sites and dealer sites to see what similar B-Types, D-masks and goggles sell for.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    Steve27752 likes this.
  4. Mike D

    Mike D New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for the replies. My dad and I collect ww2 Candian Militaria and have a small museum out of my Dad's house. I totally understand your policy for not giving out prices but could you please tell me anything about what exactly I have? You mention Mk3 and Mk3a goggles and that they were early war, do you know what they were used for? For example were they limited to a specific application or group of people? training only? specific air frame etc? Its tough researching older stuff like this because there is usually no part numbers or anything to cross refer against :(

    Mike.
     
  5. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    Mk3 / 3a goggles were widely used both in training and operationally. The lens is plastic and scratched easily, it is also flammable causing severe burns to the face and eyes (the flames were often fed by the free flowing oxygen from the badly fitting mask).
    Pilots preferred other types of goggles, either issued or private purchase.
     
  6. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The MKIII and MK IIIa goggles were issued from 1935 and 1936 respectively until 1941. From the summer of 1940 MK IV goggles, with laminated lenses, were issued by the AM. Your goggles have curved celluloid lenses which were prone to scratches and melted in an engine fire.

    Your B-Type helmet is a size 1, which was the smallest size issued. Wareing and Co of Northampton was a large volume maker of helmets, Irvin jackets and other leather equipment. Original Wareings helmets are still fairly common today.

    The D-Type oxygen mask was made of green barathea wool and lined with chamois leather. It was the iconic mask worn in the Battle of Britain and was fitted with an E Type Carbon mic or a Type 19 Microphone. Yours just has a blanking plate fitted. This type of mask did not seal to the face well and did not regulate the flow of oxygen. It was replaced by the rubber E mask in 1941.

    Here is my head set of original equipment as worn in the Battle of Britain. The goggles are very rare privately purchased Luxor 12s and the mic is a mid 1930s E-Type carbon one.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    A useful new book on the kit worn in the Battle of Britain is Mark Hillier's "The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot's Kitbag", which is worth getting hold of.
     
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  8. Steve27752

    Steve27752 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,746
    Location:
    Berkshire, U.K.
    Here you go, as Andrew said it is a handy book to have.
    28660505_10156408014153825_8634429461737242565_n.jpg
     
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  9. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,579
    One further interesting wrinkle to this grouping, is the RCAF stamp in the helmet. Mike, if you carefully look at the google straps you might find a marking...AM with numbers or possibly RCAF...or maybe even both. Your helmet is British made, but there is a Canadian version of the B Type helmet that is similar, and issued longer.

    Andrew posted an excellent description and breakdown of what you have from the perspective of what combat pilots were wearing in roughly 1940/41. However, as newer versions became available, the old was not thrown away, but if still serviceable, sent down the line, often ending up in training units....especially primary pilot training where they were flying two seat open cockpit trainers. The MKIII goggles also continued to be worn, and you see many pictures of student pilots wearing them throughout the war.

    That all circles back to your question regarding exactly what you have. We are not talking about authenticity here, just how this combination triangulates to a particular year and time for frontline combat pilots. That is what Andrew was zeroing in on. Throwing the RCAF element in adds another variable, and being found in Canada yet another. Plus we don't know if this was all from one guy, or when he got it, or if it was grouped together after the war. I suspect if it is from one guy, it is what he wore in training....either these were his, or he somehow acquired these bits when the opportunity presented itself.

    One thing to also consider, is while the functionality of the earlier kit was sometimes lacking compared to the new, it was "cooler"....and every new pilot wanted to look like an old experienced one.
     

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