A rare original first pattern C Type Flying Helmet dating from 1941 which belonged to Leading Aircraftman Charles Desmond Mayho. He joined the Royal Air Force sometime between September 1939 and June 1940 and was given the service number of 924813.
Whilst later in the war all men who flew on aircrew duties had to hold the rank of sergeant or above, this was not the case in the early part of the war. Before Air Ministry order A.538/1943 was released on the 15th of August leading aircraftmen flew operationally as part of bomber crews as wireless operator air gunners. The original owner of this helmet was one such LAC and became a prisoner of war which suggests that he was shot down operationally. He became a prisoner of war and was interned at Stalag 344 Lamsdorf VIII-B and given the prisoner number 25031. It would appear that he remained a POW until 1945.
The helmet itself is a rare and highly desirable early manufacture first pattern C Type Flying helmet. It features the two extra forward goggle straps and only two press studs to each cheek - rather than the three which became standard later. The goggle straps are the 'up-down' configuration which was only seen on the very early examples and are now very hard to find today. The rubber ear cups are still soft and pliable and have been fitted with high quality reproduction receivers which have helped to keep them in shape. The helmet features the correct early pattern 'Bennetts' buckle and leather chin strap.
Inside the helmet the original label is still present and bears the size of 2 which is intended to fit between a size 6 7/8 and size 7 head. The Air Ministry450. AM and crown marking is also present as is the RAF stores code of 22C/450. The original owner has also marked his name to the interior of the helmet which reads Mayho 924813.
The helmet is in reasonably good condition on the whole but does have areas where the chrome leather finish is missing. This is most evident to the top where there is also a very small tear (illustrated in picture 8) and to the right hand side near the receiver cup. Please take time to study the pictures before purchasing as the helmet does have some flaws.
Overall a nice example of this very hard to find early pattern of C Type flying helmet with some interesting history.