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USAAF questions


usaaf93
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Hello

 

I am putting together a new display about the USAAF but I want to make sure all I am doing is correct.

I want to represent a gunner from january/ june 1943.

 

I wanted to put him a B6 with earcups/ R14 mic (already have those) and A10 oxygen mask, F1 blue bunny suit alone, F1 gloves and QAC parachute and a very early B4 mae west . I wanted to put him P40 RAF boots

 

My questions are : were the P36 boots used by gunners ? I have seen many P40 but I can't recall seeing P36 on gunners

When exactly were the R14 replaced by ANB-H-1 on B6 helmets ?

I know that B4 mae west were created in 1942. When were they deployed to units in England ?

When was the A10 modified by the A10 converted oxygen mask and when did they stop using them ?

 

Thanks

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BlueBookGuy

Can reply with a reasonably degree of certainty only to the various A-10s questions.

 

* A-10 mask: the original one, officially standardized April 20, 1942. Produced by Acushnet Process Co., and supplied about late September 1942 with priority to fighter pilots.

* A-10 Converted: small quantities of A-10s slightly modified.

* A-10 Revised: standardized about October or November 1942, widely used by summer 1943.

* A-10A: adopted in mid-October 1943, even if the new A-14 mask was well established.

 

* A-14: officially standardized 1 July 1943. Actually produced even before, since early May 1943; some 8th Air Force fighter pilots were using them in early June.

The later A-10A were still used in autumn 1943 in decreasing numbers, through early 1944.

 

Franco.

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Best to have a B-3 or RAF Pattern 1941 life preserver. If you do not want the 1941 pattern then for January 1943 you pretty much have to use the B-3 however by the spring of 1943 is the beginning of the transition to the predominate use of the B-4 due to the quantities now/then available, June is pushing the envelope. So which is it? you have to ask yourself January or June 1943, seems like a minor detail but is huge in the actual logistics. In a photographic observation there is a large distinction between January-June 1943 and July-December 1943.

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Thanks Dustin for the information. I want to set something really early this time so I guess I will have to find a B3 mae west. I had one that I sold a year ago :wacko: I have always thought that the B4 was already used in early 43. Thanks for your answer

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BlueBookGuy

thanks Franco.

 

So in early 1943, they would have already thrown away all of their A10 ?

 

You might want to say, rather, early 1944. Absolutely not early 1943!

If speaking of bombers' crew, in early 1943 they would have been using still the old A-8B or the A-10, this latter even better if in A-10 Converted form. If springtime 1943, still a A-10 Converted or a A-10 Revised could be OK.

 

If speaking of fighter pilots, in the same period a great preference for RAF masks - or, for the A-10 Revised. After wich, beginning in June 1943, small numbers of A-14 started to arrive to 8th A.F. fighter units.

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Thanks Dustin for the information. I want to set something really early this time so I guess I will have to find a B3 mae west. I had one that I sold a year ago :wacko: I have always thought that the B4 was already used in early 43. Thanks for your answer

 

 

I'm not saying it would incorrect but rather more accurately speaking you need a B-3. One has to consider that manufacture of the B-4 did not start in quantity till late 42 Oct.-Dec. There were a series of manufacturing delays due to materials used in construction. Manufacture prior was very limited and these would have been the ones that would possibly have made it to the combat theatre in early 43 but again in such small quantities making it far few and in between the use of the B-3. The use of the B-4 in the combat theater in the first half of 1943 would have arrived with new units and personnel from debarkation state side.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi everyone

 

One more question please. On a lot of pictures of bomber crew, you can see a lot of airmen wearing caps or garrison hat when others are wearing flight helmet on the same picture.

 

Here is my question : how would they breathe in the airplane ? They could not attach any oxygen mask besides an A8B ? Is this the only answer possible or could they not wear any oxygen mask ?

 

Thanks again

 

Julien

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littlebuddy

Just an update , i do believe a buddy of mine has or is getting an A14 with a rigger made head harness , so there is another possibility !!

 

LB

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littlebuddy

No pics yet Julien , but im sure he will post some as soon as he gets it !

 

LB

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Julien , I wouldn't worry too much about the ANB-H-1 earphones R-14's were largely being replaced by around mid 43 however there's photos of Aircrew wearing R-14 receivers and PL-54 cord (HS18 headset ) quite late . I have personally seen and handled scores of mid-late A-11 and AN-H-15 Helmets with them fitted that I have no doubt are original .

As LB said Juliets (head harness) are quite common too if being worn with a Crusher cap or similar headwear, especially those found with the issue kit for the A-9 & A-10 standard O2 masks .

I had an A-14 with head harness (not a US Navy one as is most commonly found ) and have another on its way. With the A-14 these harnesses would have been rigger made a unit level . A common method for the AAF was to fold the lower left side buckle of the A-14 mask under the rubber strap and stitch it through to secure it ,Then remove the Hook strap on the right side to be replaced with the strap removed from the lower buckle point . if that makes sense ? or to add a long length of webbing strap right through both buckles and stitch a smaller length above it to "cradle" the back of the head .

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone

 

Could someone post some pictures of aircrew members or pilots wearing B1 caps with oxygen masks in the ETO in 1944/1945

 

I know it's quite precise ! I can't find any pictures on the internet.

 

Thanks again

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littlebuddy

Personally i would have thought that the Type B1 cap would have been worn by crews who didnt have need of oxygen masks , because if you need oxygen via a mask its going to be very cold at that altitude, the B1 is not a cold weather cap , it gives no insulative properties at all

 

Just my thought

 

LB

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I am not so sure about this. On a lot of pictures you clearly see aircrew members wearing B1 caps. I wonder if they would switch inside the plane for a sheepskin flight helmet or keep their caps.

 

Moreover, I have already seen (more than once) B1 caps modified the be able to wear oxygen masks

 

Here is an example from ebay that I am sure a lot of us noticed

 

_5712.jpg

_57211.jpg

 

 

And a pictures of a member (the one in the middle wearing a B1 cap)

birmin10.jpg

 

 

The problem is that it's a lot more difficult to get pictures taken inside the plane

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littlebuddy

Strange looking cap !! :blink: i have never seen one like it before !! strange how the oxygen mask modification has been added ???

 

the way it is stiched on , with the hook mount in that position ??? i cant see how the oxy mask would fit against the wearers face , think about it , on helmets it is set on the vertical axis to the wearers face at a slight angle , the way that B1 has it added would mean the that the mask clip would have to be altered in some way for it to sit correctly

 

Are you following me ?? :D

 

LB

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