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Made a trip to NAS Pensacola recently to see the amazing naval aviation musuem there. There was tons of cool stuff but this mk1 really caught my eye, I've never seen a blue dyed mk1 vest before. It belonged to VT-8 devastator pilot George Gay of Midway fame.attachicon.gifimage.jpg


A similar photo of the display of George Gay's life vest taken by a museum visitor is posted on Flickr, is here: https://flic.kr/p/nNk7h6

(for those wanting a closer look, a 2112x2816 pixel version is here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9681508@N03/14307779189/sizes/o/ )


As your first respondent commented, you can see the first-generation Buaer round metal signal mirror in chamois case below and to the right of the vest.

At the moment, the George Gay exhibit is the only location I know of with one on display.


There's a lot of background on the first generation mirror (and successors) in the thread on this forum on WWII emergency signal mirrors:



At the Battle of Midway, in 1942, that would be the standard US naval aviator mirror - In February 1943, the pilots were told to drill a hole in the center,

but the chamois case covers the mirror to an extent that we can't see if that was done here. There was an excellent photo of one with the central hole

online at http://collections.naval.aviation.museum, but it is gone, now.


The US navy BUAER replaced that mirror by the "cross-in-glass" ESM/1 starting in Sept. 1943, and that replaced by the M580A Learned reflex-type mirror in mid-1944.


George Gay tells his story in this interview: http://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/oral-histories/wwii/battle-of-midway/recollections-of-lieutenant-george-gay.html




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  • 8 months later...
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Hi Guys.


Inspired a Dustin new Navy mannequins (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/178425-ere-room/page-7&do=findComment&comment=2229033)

I decided to made more space in my old room for my last USMC aviation guy.


Late war spring 1945 USMC F6F pilot (USMC becouse nylon flight suit is named to USMC pilot).

Amazing detail as always Jerry! Love the rare rigger made items!

Cheers, Graham

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  • 7 months later...

Hi All.


Not many new post here:(


I had a back injury during my climbing trip at beginning of the march. For good luck Im not sit at wheel chair. Two month sitting in bed and working from home. I can walk only a few minutes around my kitchen. Better than nothing. But this situation directed me to focus more on my late war USN/USMC pilot. Decided to change some thing, make a trade on my last extra stuff, buy some new small thing and re-organized a display.


Here is results:



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I decided to try make some aircraft carrier score board. Get some photo documentation of similiar score board from some Air Groups.


Here is supposed score board of VMF 512 from USS Gilbert Islands around his tour from around april 1945. They got only one score made by Tom Liggett but I made more :)



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