USAAF flight goggles

In the early war days, the US Air Corps still used the older style flight goggles from the 30's (B-6 & B-7 goggle). These goggles were made of a metal frame with glass lenses and a separate eye cushion. Later on the separate eye cushion became a single cushion as it provided a better fit with the oxygen mask. The first plastic goggle type was the B-8 goggle which had a rubber frame and interchangeable plastic lenses of different colors and shades. The wearer could addapt his sight by changing the lenses to the actual meteorological conditions. 

Of course a lot of civilian issue flight goggles were used by the flyboys, just as RAF flying goggles did. Regular US Army goggles did also find their way into the flight gear of airmen. Most frequently encountered US Army goggles are the M-1944 goggles and the ski goggle. The heavy metal armored vehicule crew goggle was sometimes used as a flak goggle.

Although not a flight goggle, sunglasses are part of the airman's flight kit and they were used in flight. The best example is a bomber pilot with crusher cap, headset, A-8 serie oxygen mask and a pair of sunglasses.

 

 

Early flight goggles

 

Left: Second pattern AN-6530 flight goggle which is very similar to the USAC B-7 goggle. The AN-6530 goggle was for both Army and Navy issue. The first pattern had short ventilation tubes while this model has the more streamlined tubes.

Right: Back of AN-6530 goggle covered with chamois for a better comfort.

 

Left: First pattern AN-6530 flight goggle with one-piece face cushion and amber lenses.

Right: Anti-flak goggle used by armored crew and USAAF air gunners (These goggles didn't see a lot of service as they restricted the wearer's sight greatly).

 

Left: Private purchase civilian flight goggles made after the US Navy Mk IV goggle

Middle: AN-6531, type II sunglasses.

Right: American Optical Company Sky Lookouot goggles shown with original issue aluminium case.

 

 

Later flight helmets

 


Left: Back sight of the chamois covered B-8 goggle with red lens. 

Right : Front sight of the B-8 goggle with interchangeable eye lenses  in original pocket.

 

Left: Back view of the M-1944 goggle.

Middle: The B-8 (top) and M-1944 (bottom) are not interchangeable, note the difference in goggle size. 

Right: Detail of markings on B-8 (top) and M-1944 goggle (bottom).

 

Right: Type E-1 goggle, these gogges were worn prior to night missions to accomodate the eyes to the night sight.

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