Help needed with possible RAF Flight Helmet

Discussion in 'WW2 Militaria' started by Mark112, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Mark112

    Mark112 Member

    FullSizeRender-7.jpeg IMG_7871-1.JPG IMG_7872-1.JPG IMG_7873-1.JPG I am looking to purchase this possible RAF flight helmet, but was hoping someone could help me to properly identify it and possibly put some of my concerns to rest, firstly the leather seems to be in very good condition, i don’t know if that’s a bad or a good sign of it’s legitimacy, secondly I asked if it had a manufacturer and date stamp inside, and I got these pictures in return, the markings inside seem a little to unofficial to me, but then I am not very educated in this field, I know things like this are commonly faked so I was hoping someone could help me identified exactly what it is and if it’s real before I make the purchase.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It's odd that it has provision for earpieces but no press studs for a mask/mic. Have a look at the Type B / B Type helmets here:
    WW2 RAF Flying Helmets
    CL1 likes this.
  3. Mark112

    Mark112 Member

    Thank you for your reply, i looked at the link you sent me, thanks for that by the way, and none of them match exactly to the one in my photo, it seems to have components of multiple types, as well as the colour is off, what do you think this means?
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Information from the item shown.....the service number of the former owner 2209864 is from a batch which joined the RAF at Padgate in October it genuine?..... the owner appears to be a Ladmort .N. P....was there such an airman as "Ladmort"?.

    I'm not sure if flying helmets were a personal issue.

    Flying helmets as RAF C Type late pattern shown were in use by Bomber Command In the early 1950s as photographs of the time should support.

    From memory,the Dambusters film,filmed in 1954 showed this type in use.There should also be many wartime photographs available showing the type of helmet in use.
    CL1 likes this.
  5. Mark112

    Mark112 Member

    Thank you Harry, I really appreciate your reply, I don’t know if you can answer this for me but in all your knowledge, and it is very apparent your knowledge base in this field is large, do you personally believe that this flight helmet is authentic or not?
  6. Mark112

    Mark112 Member

    Sorry I replied to you above, but forgot to hit reply
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Not a problem.
    Some airmen were known to use private purchase helmets, but that does seem less likely in the middle of the war, if the number is kosher.
    Picking up on Harry's comment, helmets seem to have been personal issue as 'fit' was critical to get the earpieces in the right place. One of the hits for 'Type B' I googled suggested that issue helmets were produced without earpieces - these were marked out on the wearer's head and tailored in.
    My gut feeling is that this one might have been used by an airman, but I don't think it's an issue one.
  8. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    No, but there was a Ladmore. That number comes back to a Norman John Ladmore in AIR78. As he does not appear in the London Gazette, presumably he was never commissioned.

    Tricky Dicky and CL1 like this.
  9. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Mmm that's a funny one . It's not a full B, it's not a C, it's not a Naval type C. Could it be "preB"
  10. Mark112

    Mark112 Member

    Thank you very much for your reply Dave, so what exactly does this mean, this did indeed belong to an airman as the numbers check out, thus making this an authentic helmet?
  11. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I see I wrongly transcribed the initials as N P,rather than N J and following Dave's submission,the link to the flying helmet could be made....but why does the name "Ladmort" as I read it, appear on the helmet if it was written by the owner.....was the name entered on the helmet by a third party?

    Further, thinking deeper about it.The service number appears to have been written with a modern permanent marker pen with a broad stroke.In the era in question,it would be expected to see such an identity number applied in what was described as indelible ink which was applied with a pen having a range of nib strokes,common at the time but much thinner than that shown.

    In the early 1950s all my gear was so identified as such with a indelible pen nib...personal items such as shirts and detachable collars,identification so essential for the laundry.There were no such pens on the market....permanent marker pens such as the Papermate,for example, were not available in the war and not even in the 1950s.

    The best advice I can give is for a transaction such as this is"buyer beware".I cannot profess to have any expertise in flying helmets but my opinion is that the broad stroke identification appears not to be associated with the era in question.
    alieneyes, timuk and CL1 like this.
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Mark based on what other forum members have said
    I would be very wary, to me the black ink looks very crisp and new

    alieneyes likes this.
  13. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Hi Mark, it just means there was an airman with that name and service number. But in this age of unscrupulous sellers anyone can pick a name and number from AIR78 and add it to an item. This is not to say this was done here.


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