This unusual and relatively rare variant of the 1941 pattern Mae West was produced for the use of R.A.F. Air Sea Rescue launch crews. They are of similar design to the standard 1941 pattern but of more basic construction without grab handles, dye marker or torch pockets etc. Some variants exist with no provision for inflation at all, being reliant on the kapok pads alone. Others, like this example, were intended for use with a standard inflatable stole (bladder) - although this had to be inserted into the waistcoat/outer through the bottom of the lobes as no zipped access was provided at the back of the neck. It is likely that these 'stripped down' versions were introduced to save valuable raw materials towards the end of the war.
The cloth is generally in excellent condition and retains good even colour with only moderate soiling. With original tying tapes and marked 'Inside Back' No stole or pads, the Mae West is photographed padded out with rags. A very good example. Stock code MW24982.