British Type C flying helmet : Sergeant R Cowley, RAAF

Accession Number REL29698.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Helmet
Physical description Bakelite, Chamois, Elastic, Leather, Metal, Rubber
Location Anzac Hall: Main Hall: Bomber Com
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1944
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

British issue brown leather Type 'C' internally wired flying helmet complete with earphones, cord and plug, as issued from 1944. The helmet has a blue webbing chin strap with a press stud fastener, and black rubber cups protecting the external radio receivers. The receivers are marked in raised letters '10A/13466' below the letters 'A M' (Air Ministry) and the King's crown. Below the radio receivers on the left hand side of the helmet are three chromed metal snap fasteners. On the right is a wide hook to receive the Type 'G' oxygen mask (see REL29698.002). At the rear of the helmet is a single buckle strap and two brown leather snap fastening tabs to secure the flying goggle straps. Below the right hand rubber cup is a Broad Arrow marking. On the left hand side below the radio receiver is a socket to receive the microphone lead from the oxygen mask (not present). Internally, the helmet is chamois lined and has chamois ear pads to reduce external noise. A round black ink stamp appears just above the chinstrap attachment. There is a brown velveteen sweat absorbing panel at the brow and at the ends of the chinstraps. Loom wires emerge from the rear of the helmet and combine to form a 1.9 m insulated cable which ends in a large black bakelite plug.

History / Summary

This leather flying helmet was worn by Sergeant Robert 'Alf' Cowley of Queensland during his service with 218 Squadron, RAF. Having served with the 2/2 Anti Tank Regiment, 7th Australian Division in Syria during 1941 in action against the Vichy French, Cowley decided to join the RAF in September 1942 and flew Lancasters with this squadron until the end of the war.