"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              



Hello, and welcome to your new site. We will try to do something a little different here. It’s something you may find unfamiliar at first, but hopefully, will come to enjoy rather quickly. Our focus is very limited. The subject mater will be World War Two Naval Aviation flight equipment and clothing, which is our passion. To date, a handful of books have been published that only scratch the surface of this subject and although a few have been excellent, unfortunately, some have provided information that is flawed or misleading. After twenty odd years of detective work, we have built up a body of hands-on knowledge and reference materials to further our own collecting interest. Rather than try to share this information with you in book form, where once it’s been published it forever remains unchanged, we would like to provide it to you, our fellow collectors and historians, in an “on demand” basis. This will always be a work in progress. In other words, if you have a question, we would like to try and answer it. If there is a subject you would like to see covered, we would like to share whatever resources we have available on that topic. If, on the other hand, you have information you would like to share with us, we would like to help you develop an article for presentation here and then we’ll all learn from you. If, perhaps, you see something we have covered that you feel is inaccurate, incomplete, or that you think can be improved upon, we would like to hear your thoughts and then update our past work as necessary. We welcome your suggestions for future articles, your photos, your insights, your first hand knowledge, your constructive criticism or any comments you might have, be they good or bad. We will give you full credit for anything you wish to contribute. We will keep our minds open and be receptive to new ideas and new information. We will also do our best to destroy any COLLECTOR MYTHS we run across that may have mislead you in the past.


Some of the proposed topics we have been working on, and hope to present to you in the near future, (but please, do give us your requests as well) are as follows:


Navy Oxygen Masks (C, D and A-14)

Pilot’s Personal Equipment

The QAS Parachute

Back Pad Survival Kits (experimental, original and standard)

Escape and Evasion Kits

“Mystery” Items (verified to exist, but as yet unidentified)

Rigger Modified and Rigger Made Items

Navy B-3 Life Vests

Pararafts and kits (M-524, AN-R-2 series, Model A and PK-1)

The Taylor Gydeway Compass

Anti-G Suits

LSO Paddles and Suits

The “VF-12” Flying Helmet

Navy Flak Armor

Alaskan Flying Clothing

Dye Markers and Shark Chaser

Polaroid 1067 Goggles

Army-Navy Standard Items

The Aviators' Jersey

Navy use of the CBI Patch

Navy M-1944 Flight Goggle

Navy Flight Helmet Ear Cup Variations


Some of these topics should be straight forward, and can be handled in one short article. Some are more complex and may require a series of articles to do the job adequately; especially if you can pitch in and contribute some additional information to help us. Our initial subject will be an overview of late war flight clothing and equipment developments, as this seems to be something that has been largely overlooked previously. We are following that with some basic information to help you identify the subtle variations of the classic M-450 summer flying helmet. The remainder, you can explore on your own. So, are you ready to get started? Okay then, “Pilots, man your planes!”