British Type C flying helmet : Flying Officer P C Firkins, 460 Squadron, RAAF

Place Europe
Accession Number REL33109.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Helmet
Physical description Chrome-plated metal; Chamois; Leather; Plastic; Rubber; Velveteen
Maker Air Ministry
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

British issue brown leather Type 'C' wired flying helmet complete with Mk VIII flying goggles (REL33109.002), earphones, communications cord and oxygen mask (REL33109.003). The helmet has a grey elastic webbing chin strap and black rubber cups protecting the external radio receivers. Both receivers are marked with '10A/13466' below a board arrow. Below the radio receivers on each side of the helmet are chromed metal snap fasteners - three on the left side and one on the right side below which is a flat, hooked metal receiver for the oxygen mask clasp. Attached to the lower two fasteners on the left side is a Type G oxygen mask. On the left side of the helmet below the radio receiver is a connector into which is inserted the plug for the mask-mounted microphone. At the rear of the helmet is a single buckle strap and two brown leather snap fastening retaining straps to secure the flying goggle strap. A communications cord emerging from the rear of the helmet ends in a large black bakelite plug. This cord is connected to the rear of the helmet by a snap fastener. Internally, the helmet is chamois lined with chamois ear pads to reduce external noise and a velveteen sweat absorbing panel at the brow. There are circular checkers stamps on each ear pad and "P C FIRKINS' and 'H5" has been writen in ink on the left ear pad.

History / Summary

Worn by Flying Officer Peter Charles Firkins during his service with 460 Squadron, RAAF. Born in 1925, Firkins was educated at Guildford Grammar School, Western Australia. In 1943, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force and served as an NCO rear gunner with 460 Squadron, RAAF. He had completed his tour of twenty-nine operations and received his commission before he turned nineteen. He became the historian of 460 Squadron and wrote the squadron's history, 'Strike and Return' as well as several other widely read military history books, including 'The Australians in Nine Wars'. An active and prominent member of the Perth business community, Peter Firkins died at his home in Perth in late 2002.