1941 PATTERN

1941 pattern life preserver

Waistcoat, life-saving, stole-inflated pattern, Stores ref. 22C/445-447

Referred to by its year of introduction, the completely new designed life preserver appeared in 1941 and was equipped with a self-inflating device consisting of a carbon dioxide cylinder coupled with a release mechanism. Practically the only common feature to its predecessor are the three front buttons and the webbing tapes. Made of yellow cotton twill it came in two types, with and without a neck flap. This flap was omitted from production with the arrival of the single-man Type-K dinghy, the latter rendering the flap obsolete. Shortly after the vest's introduction, leg straps were added. Manufactured in three sizes it was continuously improved and modified during the war.

This specimen is of the (later) non-flap type, although it is labeled as a flap-type vest.  This reportedly is a frequent mismatch, as the changes were introduced during full fledge production. It is equipped with the following features: snap-fastener pocket on the left front lobe (initially accommodating a skull cap, which was omitted by 1943), heavy webbing loops at the front (introduced in January 1942) helping rescuers to lift the wearer, a pocket for the ditching whistle (February 1942) , and two cylindrical pockets on the right side (July 1943) for the floating lamp and battery pack.