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RAF 1941 pattern 'flap type' Mae West c/w dye pack

RAF 1941 pattern 'flap type' Mae West c/w dye pack

Code: MW21342


'Life-saving Waistcoat, Stole Inflated'.  Stores reference 22c/448.  Size large.  The cloth is a bit faded but quite clean and in very good undamaged condition bar a darned repair on the inflaton lever flap.  The Mae West has both grab handles, all tying tapes/leg straps and original buttons, inflation lever pocket, flotation lamp pocket, skull cap/heliograph pocket and lifeline and toggle.  It also has the fluorescene flap and strap and very unusually, still has the dye pack fitted within.  Interestingly this appears to be the same as those used by the USAAF on their lifevests and is manufactued in a type of rubberized fabric.  It does appear original to the Mae West and is properly attached.  We have had several other 1941 patterns fitted with these.  Perhaps these examples were issued/worn by AAF crews flying with the 8th/9th AAF from the UK.  Excellent original  'Lightning' zip.  Air Ministry King's crown 'Flap Type'  label  but this Mae West was never manufactured as one and would have been produced soon after flap types were phased out and labels were simply being used up.   A very good used example.  Stock code MW21342.

 Originally produced as one of the incredibly rare 'Flap-Types' but sadly modified with the removal of the flap.  Remnants of it can be seen where it was attached to the back of the mae-west and it also has the tell-tale press studs on either side of the waist to which the flap was fastened.  The cloth is in reasonably good overall condition.  The majority is perfectly sound but there is  minor damage to the front right (as worn) and some small holes to the rear - see photographs.  The Mae West retains good colour but has general soiling and some rust or dye-marker stains in places.  This is an early production model that was never fitted leg straps, grab handles, heliograph/skull cap pocket, flotation lamp pocket  or lifeline and toggle so familiar on most 1941 Mae Wests.  It has early solid brass buttons rather than the later plastic type and was fitted with a fluorescene flap/dye pack (now absent).  It also has the webbing tying tapes and inflation lever flap.  The zip fastener is corroded/broken.  With superb original label clearly dated 1941.  This example belonged to Spitfire pilot Flight Lieutenant R T Littlewood DFM and was recently sold by his son.  A couple of photocopied photos of the pilot will be included  in the sale.  A bit tatty/worn but a rare early variant with history.   Stock code MW21978.