photo bannerfans_11430117_zps8b63cb2d.gif

Author Topic: WW2 RAF microphone masks  (Read 1068 times)

Offline Air Ministry

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 158
  • Total likes: 128
  • Referrals: 1
WW2 RAF microphone masks
« on: July 10, 2016, 12:04:44 AM »
During WW2, Coastal Command aircraft flew at relatively low altitudes and so the need for oxygen equipment was negated, consequently the microphone mask was developed. The first pattern mask (10A/7832) was made of a heavy twill material and featured an external strap and was fitted with a type D microphone (10A/7867). People often mistake this microphone for an uncovered type E, but it is not. Unlike the fitting on the D type mask, the type D fitted to the microphone mask by means of three sprung loaded ball bearings. The mask could accept also, either a type 26 or type 28 microphone if fitted with the type 54 rubber adaptor (10A/13425). The mask shown in the photo below is being worn with a B type helmet and MK Va goggles. Specialist goggles and spectacles were also issued to Coastal Command and i shall cover this in a subsequent post.
Both this mask and the later second pattern mask are extremely rare, there are only about five or six known examples of the first pattern mask and the second pattern mask i have is the only example i have ever seen. The two examples of the second pattern mask in Mick Prodger`s book are both copies.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

The second pattern microphone mask for which there is no nomenclature number, is made from a lighter twill material and fixes to the mask by the same press stud arrangement as the D type mask. The inside is lined with silk and features the same horseshoe fitting as the D mask. The microphone which could be either a type 26 or type 28, simply pushed into the mask. The example below has seen heavy use. It is shown with a first pattern E type helmet and a pair of MK VI goggles.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Considering how rare the first pattern mask is, this makes the photos below extremely rare and truly a one off. When i met up with my friends a while ago, we arranged to all bring our microphone masks and to take a picture of three of them together. Considering that there are only five or six known to exist, this makes a picture of three of them together extremely rare. I hope you like the pictures.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 12:07:23 AM by Air Ministry »
I don`t care to belong to the sort of club that accepts people like me as members.

Offline Tug1970

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 337
  • Total likes: 213
  • Referrals: 0
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 02:48:18 AM »
Another fantastic display of both knowledge and these incredibly rare items.  Great idea bringing them all together like that AM, all very fine examples and beautifully presented.  Strangely enough I bought a Denison off Mick Prodger and good friend of Simon Lannoy.

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline Air Ministry

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 158
  • Total likes: 128
  • Referrals: 1
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 04:39:38 AM »
Thanks Tug.
Whenever we have more than one of a really rare item we try to take pictures of them together because it`s probably not something that will ever be done again and i think that it`s pretty special when you can see really rare items pictured together, hence the other pictures i posted of the MK VA* goggles together.
I know Mick Prodger, i`ve had a few deals with him and exchanged information with him a few times, nice bloke.
I don`t care to belong to the sort of club that accepts people like me as members.

Offline Tug1970

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 337
  • Total likes: 213
  • Referrals: 0
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 05:08:14 AM »
Yes its a great idea and also a good source of reference especially given the rarity of the items, items so rare and seldom seen in a group its hard to compare them against another of the same.  Great  ;D

Tug  ;)
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline Tug1970

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 337
  • Total likes: 213
  • Referrals: 0
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2016, 01:13:04 PM »
AM, I notice there are slightly different fastening tabs for the goggles displayed on the flying helmets.  I seem to remember a thread you did covering goggles that appeared to come with an array of fastening options including leather tabs in each of the cases, were these additions the user could have tailored onto the helmet themselves? 
Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.

Spike Milligan

Offline David

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 209
  • Total likes: 55
  • Referrals: 0
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 11:11:53 PM »
Just love 'em! Outstanding AM ;D ;D

My copy of "Vintage Flying Helmets" by Mick Prodger, arrived a few days ago AM. Fantastic book!
Is there much more shown in the book that are actually copies also?
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your ****, playing cricket is not" Keith Ross Miller R.A.A.F., AM MBE

Offline Air Ministry

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 158
  • Total likes: 128
  • Referrals: 1
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2016, 03:03:09 AM »
AM, I notice there are slightly different fastening tabs for the goggles displayed on the flying helmets.  I seem to remember a thread you did covering goggles that appeared to come with an array of fastening options including leather tabs in each of the cases, were these additions the user could have tailored onto the helmet themselves?

These particular goggles came with press stud fasteners  and a hook which could be sewn to the helmet to hold the goggles in place ( there was also another type of press stud fastening which didn't require the nose hook) and also they came with a strap, and so which was used was the choice of the wearer. The helmet on the right has the press stud fasteners in place and the other two are using the strap.
The types of goggles used by Coastal Command were; MK Va, MK Va*, MK Vb, MK VI, MK VIa and the spectacles were MK VIII's and MK X's.
At a later date I will do a thread about these different types of goggles.

Just love 'em! Outstanding AM ;D ;D

My copy of "Vintage Flying Helmets" by Mick Prodger, arrived a few days ago AM. Fantastic book!
Is there much more shown in the book that are actually copies also?

There aren't any more copies if memory serves but there are a few mistakes and omissions. Off the top of my head, the 22c code for MK Va's is wrong and it states that there were three microphone masks when in fact there were only two.
The other two books have some mistakes also, the Harnessuit which is shown as a chest type is in fact a dual purpose, I think from memory, the 40 pattern gloves are two lefts and I think there might be one or two other mistakes, there are certainly a number of omissions.
I am not criticising the books at all and I would recommend getting the other two if you can.
I don`t care to belong to the sort of club that accepts people like me as members.

Offline David

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • ***
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 209
  • Total likes: 55
  • Referrals: 0
Re: WW2 RAF microphone masks
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2016, 06:12:50 PM »
No worries AM ;)
 
I guess no one book is completely accurate, unfortunately :( The other two books you mention are the 'Luftwaffe vs RAF' books I take it?
If so, I have those also. All of these are some of my all time favourite publications, along with 'Eagles Recalled' ;D
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your ****, playing cricket is not" Keith Ross Miller R.A.A.F., AM MBE

 

BannerFans.com