Early "Reversed Strap" Modified Bennett Buckle C T
A uncommon example of the very first pattern C Type Bennett buckle helmet, featuring the reversed goggle retaining straps and complete with a pair of MkV111 goggles and M2 Oxygen mask.
Crew were very superstition about their flying helmets and were loath to surrender them for new equipment, fearing the onset of bad luck. This is graphically illustrated in this helmet which has obviously continued in use into the 50s from its early war issue.
Originally intended for an external wiring loom and E Mask, the helmet has been adapted to take an internal loom and, whilst perhaps having been used with a G or H mask at some time, perhaps continued in use with this post war M2 mask. Special plates have apparently been officially fabricated and fitted to both the helmet and mask to allow for this with the plate on the mask having no less than three AM stamps.
The helmet is a very good size with the 22c/450 reference stamp clearly visible. Sadly, overall condition is fair to poor with significant loss of stitching, perhaps caused by the application of what I consider the greatest curse to wartime leather, “Pecards”, which leaves leather feeling damp and rots stitching.
The loom, connector plug and A.M. marked receivers are very good whilst the MkV111 goggles have a poor strap and some re-stitching to the leather surrounds. The M2 mask has some damage.
An interesting combination.