The 1932 pattern life preserver is synonymous with the Battle of Britain and is the original garment which earned the nickname "Mae West" by which life preservers have been known ever since. It required oral inflation for buoyancy and aircrews were encouraged to wear the vest partially inflated and stuffed with kapok pads in the event of a water landing.
This 1932 Pattern life preserver was made in Canada by the Dominion Rubber Company for use by both the RAF and RCAF and labeled with nomenclature for both air forces. The pattern was identical to the British made types and many were made of drab, green rubberized fabric like the British made version, this example was constructed from bright yellow material.
The life preserver can be seen here worn over a Service dress uniform jacket, often the preferred choice for Battle of Britain fighter pilots rather than bulky flying suits.
A summer RCAF uniform dress jacket with Canada/USA shoulder flashes. Flying Officer braids on wrists with pilot wings on left breast.
Custom tailored lining by G.L. Myles, Ottawa, Ontario.
Inside right breast inner pocket is an identification patch with the name J. Abbott, service number: 28028 814
A blue RCAF uniform dress jacket with pilot wings and pilot officer braids on sleeves and brass buttons. Shoulder flashes show both Canada and USA. Shoulder flashes appear non military issued. Jacket lining custom tailored with burgundy silk or nylon.
First initial and surname McPherson handwritten inside right hand sleeve.
A black and white photograph of Russell McPherson Jr. receiving his wings from SFTS school at Uplands. RCAF official photograph label located in bottom right corner.
Stamped Royal Canadian Air Force Photograph Crown Copyright on reverse.
Newspaper clipping details of the event depicted in photograph.
A hardcover book of SHACK a publication of the Class of 43-1 Army Air Force Bombardier School, San Angelo, Texas.
Cover art shows Bugs Bunny riding a bomb down through the clouds in the sky.
The book features portrait photographs of instructors and students at USAAF Bombardier School, San Angelo, Texas.
Signature of Raymond J. Rezek below his image.
Foreword by Colonel George M. Palmer
TO THE CLASS OF 43-1:
More than a few months ago Japanese plans power-dive in from the Hawaiian pacific to perpetrate perhaps the reatest internation back-stabbing of all time.
More than two years ago a highly-trained, thoroughly equipped German air force began to weave a cross pattern of death and destruction over Holland, London and, it hoped, all over the world.
Both of these air-borne invaders had but one thought in mind- obliteration of those nations which historically stood for right and democratic dealing. On each count they have failed, though their scores were far from zero.
Each of you has lived a generation in this America of ours. For twelve weeks past you have lived and worked as a bombardier cadet, learning the most exact art of warfare that minds and mechanisms can devise.
You are to be America's avengers. As you remember the home and school relations of your young lives , you will be using the knowledge that in a brief, intensive course you have acquired here.
From flight lines on British islands, Pacific atolls and the coasts of North Africa you'll now have your turn. Your job too is obliteration - of all those forces of evil which have threatened your inherited society.
Read your instruments carefully. Draw the cross hairs of your bombsight close on the target. Your bulls-eyes will be the punctuation in the history book of civilization.
Signed G M Palmer
Colonel, Air Corps
RAF 1936 issued black leather flight boots lined with shearing belonging to Albert Boomsma while he was stationed with the RAF. soles appear to be originals buckles near top of boot no manuafacturing labels
RAF AIR MINISTRY 1940 PATTERN FLYING BOOTS 22C/435-442 Pattern 1940 brown suede flying boots lined with thick sheep fleece. The boots are made in four sections, a piece covering the front of the foot, another around the ankles and heel and two pieces around the calf or throat of the boot. There is a strip of leather reinforcement sewn down the back seam of the boot. A metal eight inch Air Ministry stamped zipper is fitted to the front of the boot, running vertically from the instep to the top of the boot. An internal brown leather strip with the name "Mason", and "249" hand printed on it ,runs the length of the zipper to prevent it from catching, The "AM" stamp along with other unidentified marks are also present, but due to age and usage, have lost most of their detail. The soles of the boots are made of rubber which also covers the toe and heel area, and displays the manufacturer's details and the molded brand name 'ITSHIDE'. The toe and heel is covered with a rubber waterproofing material.
Black leather service dress style shoes with "BILTRITE'' logo stamped on the bottom of each heal. Ten black painted metal eyelets with black nylon laces on the shoes uppers. The shoes are line with tanned leather and have black rubber heals and a thin rubber soul, size 7.
Leather Flying Helmet Type C, second pattern, with goggles, receivers, microphone and oxygen mask. Internally, the helmet is unwired, lined with chamois with a brown velveteen sweat absorbing panel at the brow, and chamois ear cushions are present to reduce external noise. The name, "FE WILLIAMS" hand printed in blue ink near the inner top, The outer brown leather helmet has black rubber ear phone cups which have been fitted with Air Ministry 10A/7063 receivers. The outer receiver has been stamped in white paint with a circle and the initials within it read, "X.A.M 50". Both receivers are connected externally to the microphone by three individual braided cloth insulated communication cords which join to form one cord which is attached to a brown bakelite bayonet 10A/10991 plug, which is connected to brown bakelite 10H /2206 extension receptacle. Emerging from the back of this receptacle are four brown cloth covered braided 6 inch cords with four plastic colour coded metal "C" connectors. A brown leather chin strap is attached to the base of the helmet. Five leather strap like harnesses hold the MK III goggle grey elastic head strap in place. The painted grey metal goggle with brown leather wool filled face padding, have the AM mark on the bridge just above the brown leather nose protector. The split lenses are made of laminated safety glass. A strong elasticized grey head strap is easily adjustable by a brown leather pull strap. The Type D oxygen mask is made from green cloth with a chamois covered Type 26 electromagnetic microphone attached.
Flying Goggle, Air Ministry MARK IIIA Circa. 1939 Leather back strap is stamped with, 22c/62, B 6929/39 Perspex lenses, with air vents, and black painted brass frames stitched onto brown velveteen backing. Centre hinge, leather nose cover, elastic and leather sprung back strap. Nearly identical to the Mk III goggles, except that the Mk IIIa was intended for use in a more temperate climate and in aircraft with enclosed cockpits. The leather surround to the goggles was removed and the air vents are larger and trumpet shaped. The appearance of the MkIII and MkIIIa owe much to Art Deco fashion rather than to practical use in aircraft. The curved celluloid lenses instead of flat safety glass not only distorted the pilot's vision but also made them highly vulnerable to scratching. Some Battle of Britain pilots were said to not wear their goggles resulting in serious injuries and casualties.
A blue wool RCAF forage/wedge cap with brass eagle and crown on side manufactured by J.S. Wilson Ltd. London; expressly for Clappens, Military Tailors Devizes
RCAF Type B brown leather Helmet AM22c/65, with Gosport Tubes attached. A very well presented example as issued to RCAF air crew in the early part of WWII. The one zippered earpiece has the AM 22c/66 stamp and both have the orginal leather pulls on the zippers, and are fitted with a set of sponge rubber ear cushions and Gosport tubes. The interior chamois lining has a brown velveteen sweat absorbing panel at the brow and on the buckle side of the chin strap. Fully labelled reads, "SIZE 2 6 7/8 TO 7. AM22C/65 MADE BY FRANK BRYAN LIMITED LONDON & WORCESTER 1938". Another label is sewn on directly below this one and is handprinted with, "744938 J. DUFFIN". The name "DUFFIN", also appears under the right inner ear cushion. The brown leather chin strap is equipped with a Bennett fastener.
RAF 1936 pattern flying boots 22C/80 with all leather sole and rubber heel. Worn by Battle of Britain fighter pilots and were the footwear of choice for many flyers throughout World War II. Made from sturdy chromed black leather lined with thick pile fleece, these boots include pullers sewn inside allowing for pull-on style. A tightening strap and buckle across a shallow V-shaped opening at the very top front.
Royal Canadian Air Force uniform tunic with Canada and USA shoulder flashes with Air Gunner badge above left breast pocket and Warrant Officer Second Class crown and I on left hand sleeve.