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WWII U.S. A-3 Survival Raft on ebay!


Michael Nicolaou
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phantomfixer

I can't say I have ever seen a A-3 offered...would like to hear what the survival folks think of the raft and scarcity....

 

iconic piece of gear, images of Channel ditching come to mind

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That's really neat. I just don't have room for such items so they have always been down on the list for me. I do have one of the blue/yellow sails and the reversible Daisy Mae cap but...

 

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I guess the reality is I'm surprised any of this stuff has survived seventy plus years. These large rafts were very popular recreational items in the post war years. In one of my updates on the webpage I was going to do an expose' of vintage images of military surplus life rafts used by civilians from the 50's and 60's for fun. I have an AAF E-2 raft that i got from a family that they used for white water rafting for many many years. Butchered and sun bleached, it cannot be displayed as a WWII raft but it will serve a purpose down the road, I'm hoping. The carrying bag was salvageable with nice markings.

Bulky and abused, I'm sure not many survived but they are out there. Additionally, I do not think they are in high demand to flush out more. Like stated above, they need a lot of room to display. 

Of the rafts posted by Bob in the completed auctions. One is the one-man C-2 raft, the other is a Navy type and the other two are USAAF but of the Amendment-A series. The top one is an E-2A, which is a monster in dimensions (12' L and 8' W), and the other is the A-3A, the successor to the raft of the original post. On pages 78-79 in Vol1, I illustrate a couple in my collection with a first generation A-3 and the last generation A-3A as a compare and contrast. The raft at the top of the page is the in between model. 

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Dustin,

I'd like to see those images of civilians using surplus. Like goggles and jackets often noted in post-war hot rodding images, it's good use of quality items. Often wish I had such easy access to WWII surplus today but then it wouldn't be desirable, right?   

Dave

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phantomfixer

Dustin, the local orphanage/boys school closed years ago and boarded up...when it was sold, I had to go through it for official duties...on the wall was a picture of the boys, in the pond out back in a 5 man raft...most likely surplus from Dover AFB/AAF  ...time period was around the late 40s-50s

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I'm working on a few new updates right now, I'll probably add that in when I do the others. It's funny cuz if you look closely at candid family images at the lake, river or beach you will often see surplus rafts. If you know what to look for. It was quite common. You almost cant go through and outdoor magazine from the late 1940's through the 1950's without seeing ads for their surplus.

 

The very fist pararaft kit I got was a case with most all the accessories but no raft. I got it locally many many years ago from the family that had bought it surplus. The case with accessories sat around the property for decades but the raft, the family said, was long gone as they used till it was no good. 

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phantomfixer

heck, I am glad they saved the case with the accessories....I do believe the picture is still hanging on the wall, as part of the renovated school...if the office is open, I will grab a pic of the pic

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those that may be interested, I did a new article on the webpage about USAAF life rafts.  

Click on link below!

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Well done! I stumbled on a video of a USAAF gunner walking through some of his training - a personalized, narrated training film so common back then. It told who was assigned to release the raft upon ditching and showed them training off a dock. 

Great stuff!

Dave

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  • 3 months later...
On 7/30/2020 at 1:33 PM, dustin said:

For those that may be interested, I did a new article on the webpage about USAAF life rafts.  

Click on link below!

Wow!!! Well done Dustin!!!

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