50 MISSION CRUSHER

USAAF service dress cap, "field modfied"

 

The so-called 50 mission crusher represents one of the „icons“ of WWII military aviation clothing along other classics like the A-2 flying jacket or the Mae West, just to name a few.

 

The crushed service dress cap was a result of transport and bomber pilots wearing headsets instead of flying helmets, and by consequence „legitimately“ removed frame and stiffeners for wearing comfort. The resulting worn appearance insinuated many missions flown by the respective aviator.

The popularity and fame of the crushed cap went so far that certain manufacturers like Bancroft produced „factory-crushed“ vanity caps for fighter pilots (wearing flying helmets during missions) for unofficial use...

Type A-8B constant flow oxygen mask

 

Mask, type A-8B 

Manufacturer: Ohio Chemical Inc.

Production date:1942

Order No.: AC31474

Drawing No.:42G4764

 

The Type A-8 oronasal rebreather type oxygen mask, standardized on May 1, 1940, used the same constant flow principle as its predecessor, the Type A-7, but provided now a tight fit over nose and mouth.

Oxygen from the Type A-8 regulator was provided at a manually defined rate to the mask via an intake tube and a rubber rebreather bag. A sponge rubber disk acting as air-mixing valve in front of the mask was mounted in a turret-like protrusion. Rubber neck straps permitted the mask to be worn without a flying helmet.

Drawbacks of the A-8 were the clumsy mask turret interfering with the downward field of vision (especially for navigators and bombardiers) and freezing problems with the sponge rubber disk. It was eventually declared obsolete on August 11, 1943.

 

An improved version, the A-8A, was standardized on February 13, 1941. A modified connector for the oxygen inlet made the new mask sturdier and reduced tear and wear of the rebreather bag. The A-8A was eventually declared obsolete on October 29, 1944.

 

The Type A-8B presented here was standardized on November 3, 1941, and was produced in vast numbers to be used aboard transport and cargo aircraft for many years after WWII. The single center sponge disk was replaced by two sponge rubber disk inhalation/exhalation valves on each side of the front of the mask. It features a new suspension system using an elasticized harness with leather strap, and a modified face piece which allows the installation of a microphone.

Sunglasses, flying, Type I

 

The AN6531 Type I „Comfort Cable“ flying sunglasses were introduced in late 1941 and became the classic aviator sunglasses of WWII. Lightweight metal frames with teardrop-shaped green glass lenses were combined with a long brow bar and covered ear loops. The nose bridge has a caracteristic, slightly rectangular shape. Officially superseded by the improved Type II  in 1944 they remained very popular beyond WWII.

 

 

Type HS-33 headset