Original WWII Royal Canadian Air Force RCAF Leather Flying Helmet with 1942 dated MkIII Goggles
Original Item: This is a very rare Canadian manufactured Royal Canadian Air Force Type B leather flying helmet, complete with original R.C.A.F. marked goggles! Canadian pilots were sent to flying in the UK during the summer of 1940 and this is the archetypal WWII RAF flying helmet, as used during the Battle of Britain! Just like the British-made counterpart, it is is constructed of leather with chamois lining and zipper earphone covers.
Helmet leather is in very good supple condition showing light honest service use only. All straps and buckles present and in good matching order. Ear cup zips are angled and in good working order, zippers are marked DOT on front and CAN on the reverse. The interior shows some faded markings, including a SIZE 3 over CANADA.
Also included is a genuine good condition set of MK III Goggles, which are marked on the back R.C.A.F. 22.897 / C.C.B. 1942. They do have some wear, but have very nice optical clarity, and the leather is still supple, with the expected wear from age.
RCAF material from WW2 is extremely difficult to find especially flight helmets in good condition with original Canadian markings.
The Canadian Air Force (CAF) was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force that was formed during the First World War in Europe. John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over later the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members also worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry, surveying and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible for all flying operations in Canada, including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title, becoming the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Most of its work was civil in nature; however, in the late 1920s the RCAF evolved into more of a military organization. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild.
During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, Europe, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, and with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force was headquartered in 20-23 Lincolns Inn Fields, London. A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building.
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