British Type G oxygen mask : Flying Officer P C Firkins, 460 Squadron, RAAF

Place Europe
Accession Number REL33109.003
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Maker Air Ministry
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1943
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

British type 'G' oxygen mask with built-in Type 26 magnetic microphone assembly which includes wiring loom and aircraft plug. The mask is lined with brown chamois leather, and has a blue/grey elastic webbing harness for attachment to a flying helmet. The left hand cheek of the mask has a mesh covered valve to allow the passage of ambient air. Raised markings on the mask below the hose read 'A M MEDIUM' (size) and 'DETACH TUBE HERE' with an arrow indicating the location point. The microphone has a black painted aluminium circular front with a rotating On/Off switch, and is impressed '10A/12570'. Below the microphone, on the base of the mask, is an exhaust valve and an inlet valve to which is attached the rubber freeze-resistant breathing tube (identified by a white band, the remains of which are still visible). An insulated lead emerging from the side of the microphone ends in a plug for attachment to aircraft radio equipment. An insulated cord from the microphone connects directly to the radio receivers on the flying helmet (REL33109.001), the two can only be separated by disconnecting the wires from one or the other.

History / Summary

Used 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.