"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
 Navy Spits
      VCS-7 In Normandy

 
Above and Below:  The R.A.F. type C helmet and type G oxygen mask (used as a microphone carrier without hose). Both early and later C helmets appear in the vintage photos. An early one is shown here.

The R.A.F. 1943 escape boots. As seen in previous photos, they were also a handy place to stow your map.

Right:  A mix of gear as seen in use by VCS-7 pilots. Typically we see U.S. Navy goggles, scarf, flight jacket and side arm along with R.A.F. flight helmet, oxygen mask, avionics and 1941 Mae West. Some photos show the R.A.F. dinghy knife sewn to the Mae West, others a U.S. Navy survival knife or both being carried.

Bottom:  LT Harris Hammersmith, Jr. is at left with an unidentified squadron mate who prefered the B-4 vest and U.S. Navy QAS parachute.
An Air Ministry training film showing the "self-righting" characteristics of the 1941 Mae West versus the A.A.F. (or U.S. Navy) B-3/B-4 vest. As seen in the film, and proven in service use, the neck strap that was added to the AN-6519-1 vest, and retro-fitted to earlier B-3 and B-4 vests, was a necessary improvement. The brave volunteer was anesthetized to simulate an unconscious airman. Part two, not shown here, covered kapok vests for the merchant service and German navy.