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Fire Extinguisher, US Army Air Forces, Type A-2


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I picked up this small fire extinguisher at a flea market today - marked "US ARMY AIR FORCES TYPE A-2 FIRE EXTINGUISHER". Iyt is about 14 inches long, made by FYR-FYTER, with a stamped serial number of N-824552.

 

Would this have gone in an aircraft, or is it a more generic type for anything/everything from jeeps to offices?

 

The label says original contents not less than 25% carbon tetrachloride, and says also good for electrical fires. Instructions are very specific about not putting water in it. I assume due to concern about freezing at high altitudes?

 

Any info you can provide is greatly appreciated!

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Semper Fi!

Sgt. BARney

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First, very cool find. It is a difficult variant to find. Is USAAC stamped on the side of the cylinder/body?

There were/are two types of fire extinguisher used in aircraft; Carbon Dioxide or Carbon Tetrachloride. CO2 is most effective in extinguishing gasoline and oil fires were as Tetrachloride is better suited for fabric and wood. As you mentioned being printed on the label, the chemical is a nonconductor of electricity making it effective in cabins aboard the airplane. This was a requirement for systems, if filled with water it would conduct electricity and create issues, as you could imagine.

These would not had just been used in aircraft but mounted on walls, possibility in vehicles, in aircraft related facilities. These hand pumped extinguishers were a pre WWII item but don't know when they were adopted but I would suspect at least in the 1930's. This being marked USAAF, dates this to 1942-1943. They were eventually phased from service during the war , replaced by other pressurized hand held types.

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Dustin, thank you for the info! To answer your question, there are no stampings of any kind on the cylinder body. The only info is on the label, which is actually pretty fancy. The wording is all embossed in the brass label, and then filled/high-lighted with paint.

 

The wall rack, or holder, appears to have never been never installed in anything. The mounting holes are not messed up as you might expect to see if screws/nails were used to attach it to something. The only marking on the rack/holder is manufacturer name "FYR-FYTER".

 

Also, the extinguisher is empty.

 

Thanks again for the info!

Semper Fi!

Sgt. BARney

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OK, I was just curious since not to many surface for observation. The one pictured in a 1941 field manual has USAAC stamped into the brass wall. Yours has the property designation applied to the label but being USAAF indicating a wartime manufactured unit. I would assume quite early as well since these required brass, so I would assume production ceased fairly earlier. Yours was probably a remnant from being in storage until surplused.

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