R.A.F. 1941 Pattern \'Flap Type\' Mae West
Stores Ref. 22c/448. Size Large. ‘Waistcoat, Life-saving, inflatable, stole pattern - flap type‘. One of the incredibly rare \'Flap-Types\' with the extra back panel attached at the neck, this having a kapok stuffed pocket around the edges. This was intended to float behind the wearer’s head and increase visibility for rescue crews but in practice could be dangerous as it had a tendency to float over the head rather than behind. The cloth is in very good overall condition although it is a bit soiled/grubby and has a small area of damage near the neck. The flap also very good. The zip is a brass Air Ministry marked replacement and the press studs and metal parts have some verdigris deposits. Being an early Mae West this example was never fitted with leg tapes or the later grab handles, skull cap pocket, torch pocket etc. Far more basically equipped having just the fluorescene dye flap, front tying tapes and metal fastening buttons. Beautiful large 1941 dated Air Ministry label. Interesting to note that this example was made by Aristoc Limited at Long Eaton, Notts. This firm is still going today produsing Lingerie/Hosiery. A rare chance to obtain a good example of this seldom seen Mae West. Stock code MW15805.