British Mk VIII flying goggles : Flying Officer P C Firkins, 460 Squadron, RAAF

Place Europe
Accession Number REL33109.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Maker Air Ministry
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Pair of Mk VIII flying goggles attached to a Type C wired flying helmet (REL33109.001). The goggle's elastic strap passes through a buckle strap and two brown leather snap fastening retaining straps on the rear of the helmet. The goggles have split-angled laminated glass lenses fitted in a grey painted brass frame. This frame is hinged in the centre and backed with thickly padded leather cushions. An Air Ministry stamp 'A M' is embossed into the leather just above the frame hinge. The inner side of the cushions are chamois lined. Sections of the glass are showing signs of de-laminating.

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.