Jump to content

Mae West question

Recommended Posts

I've been digging through some of my books but have been left without an answer, so I'm turning to you guys. What are the service histories of the B-3 and B-4 "Mae West" Life preservers? Example: When were they first issued, when were they outdated? Something along those lines.






To truely understand freedom, one must know the place, clutch the earth, and honor the sacrifice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Parachustist summed it up in a nut shell. To break it down further would in part depend if you are talking Navy or AAF?

The B-4 was standardized in May 1943 but procurement did not commence until June of 1942 with deliveries by Sept-Oct 1942. Through 1943 the service use gradually increased until it prominently replaced the B-3 with the B-3 in stock and issued upon enteriy of the USA in WWII. No new contracts of the B-3 were released upon standardization of the B-4 but existing contracts/manufacturing continued till the end of 1942. The Navy began procurement of the B-4 in 1943. By the end of 1943 the B-4 was redesignated under a joint Army/Navy specification AN-V-18. All contracts awarded in 1944 and 1945 were for this new AN model and as stenciled on vest AN-6519-1. The B-4/AN-6519-1 was finally removed from service in May 1950. The B-3 was under a "issue till exhausted" status. By late 1944 both services had new deisgned vests with the AAF standardizing their model first, the Type B-5 with deliveries in early spring 1945. The Navy would standardize their model in the spring of 1945, the Mark-II life vest with deliveries just after VJ day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.