Mk 1 flying goggles : Lieutenant W C Thompson, 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Palestine
Accession Number REL28975.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Leather; Celluloid; Glass; Brass; Chamois; Elastic; Fur felt
Maker Triplex Goggle Mask & Lens Co Ltd
Date made c 1914-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Pair of Mk 1 leather flying goggles fitted with triplex glass and celluloid lens that are coloured yellow with age. The inside of the goggles are lined with cream chamois leather though little remains due to wear and insect damage. There is also synthetic lining around the wearer's eyes. There is an adjustable black elastic strap designed to attach to the wearer's flying helmet. The brass frame around the lens has a broken hinge in the middle above the wearer's nose. To the right of the lens is gold lettering which reads 'GOGGLE MASK MARK 1 THE TRIPLEX GOGGLE MASK & LENS CO A' with a broad arrow beneath this.

History / Summary

Worn by Lieutenant William Charles Thompson of 'C' Flight, 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Thompson was born in Melbourne in October 1894. He was an apprentice turner and fitter with Grinrod & Carter Engineers and Machinists in Victoria from 1913 to October 1915. He enlisted in the AFC on 2 February 1916 as an air mechanic No 325 and was posted to 'C' Flight, No 1 Squadron. He sailed from Melbourne on 16 March 1916 on the troopship RMS Orsova arriving in Egypt on 14 April 1916. On 25 September 1916 he was promoted to 1st Air Mechanic. On 29 November 1917, Thompson began training as a pilot flying DH6, AVRO, BE2E, BE2C, RE8, Martinsyde and Bristol Fighter aircraft. He graduated as a pilot on 25 January 1918 and was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Further training with the School of Aerial Gunnery and the Aerial Observation School followed and he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 25 April 1918 and finally finishing his training on 5 June 1918. Thompson returned to 1 Squadron AFC on 15 June 1918 where he continued to fly Bristol Fighters. He was engaged in patrol, reconnaissance, escort, bombing and despatches in places such as Kutrani, Biara, Waddy Fara and Haifa. Thompson ceased flying on 15 January 1919 and he returned to Australia shortly afterwards. Thompson is mentioned in Vol. VIII AFC, The Official History of Australia for his efforts on an escort and reconnaissance mission on 14 August 1918.