Original Battle of Britain Era MK IVB Flying Goggles + Flip Shield

Original Battle of Britain Era MK IVB Flying Goggles + Flip Shield

Code: 51434

SOLD

An original pair of RAF MK IVB Flying goggles complete with their original flip shield sun visor.

These goggles are indicative of the Battle of Britain and saw widespread issue with aircrews throughout 1940 and 1941. Coming into issue alongside the MK VI and the MKVIA in June 1940, these goggles feature the rare posed spring to the bottom of the anti glare shield. Two large sprung loops which are designed to fit over the head phone receiver donuts of the B-Type Helmet are held together at the rear with a leather and enclosed spring strap. The loops still retain their moveable pop studs which were worn in conjunction with the corresponding guide plates retrofitted to flying helmets using these goggles.

The rear leather strap still bear the air ministry markings including the correct stores code 22C/167. The manufactures name of 'W. S & S. Ltd is present as is the Air Ministry marking and the MARK IVB designation.

One of the best attributes of the goggles is the original flip shield sun visor, or 'Screen, Anti-Glare (22c/113)' as it is correctly termed. Not only is it in good shape with only minor scuffing and warping but it features the rare exposed spring mechanism.

The goggles are in good condition with the frames retaining the vast majority of the painted finish. The ear loops are very good as is the rear strap. The stitching at the end of the leather has been undone, possibly so that the goggles can be released from the helmet quickly. This may be a period adjustment and does not affect they way they display. As is often the case with this pattern of goggles the rear rubber face cushions have deteriorated and the lenses show some signs of delamination. Overall however they display extremely well and would look excellent atop a B-type helmet!

This particular pair belonged to a pilot named Birch according to the elderly lady who was the previous custodian. Incredibly there was a Flying Officer Colin Norman Birch who served with No. 1 Squadron flying Hurricanes during the same period as this pattern of goggles were in issue. Sadly I have no hard evidence of provenance but I still felt it was worth including in the description.

These goggles are not to be confused with other examples on the market which feature various reproduction parts. These are an authentic untouched example which would make a fine addition to any aviation collection.