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WW2 Mk8 flying goggles

Adrian Dwyer

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Evening all,

I recently added to a post concerning WW2 driving goggles.  The question raised was: were the ancient (relic) 'almost' mk8s I'd acquired WW2 vintage or not?  The suggestion was that they had been used by RASC motorcyclists and drivers in Italy/N. Africa  The jury is out; although some people think they might be a commonwealth variant, I am not certain.

Given the profusion of goggles being offered on ebay in particular, many of which are very modern replicas of Mk8s being passed of as "my grandads goggles from the Battle of Britain" or something equally ludicrous (have a look, it's a hoot), I thought I'd share a few more images.

Blow are a pair of genuine WW2 provenance Mk8 goggles (I have the pilot's logbook and photo album.  Sadly, these are not Blag's goggles - see 'Spitfires in Italy' thread in aviation).  The things I look for in a genuine Mk8 (introduced in 1943) are:

  • AM and crown, and RAF part number pressed into the leather over the bridge (i.e., underneath the adjuster).
  • Scallop-edged frame
  • Webbing linking the two leather eyepieces (always leather: never leatherette)
  • Exceptionally fine stitching on the leather
  • Twin-tab adjuster on the strap
  • D rings where the strap fits to the frame (with a leather fitment on each end of the strap), The inner end of the bent wire D ring has a series of bends to keep it secure within the stitched end of the strap.
  • Pressed ventilation 'scoops' above and below each window
  • Goggles that have seen serious use have a very dark inner face - not a dark sand-yellow, not cream and certainly not a primary colour (mine are almost the same chestnut brown front and rear)

This list is not inclusive and it is worth noting that some genuine WW2 Mk8s do not have scalloped edges or AM, etc., pressed into the leather.  However, all seem to have the webbing between the leather eye pieces and exceptionally fine stitching. I have never seen genuine Mk8s with a screw adjuster across the bridge of the nose.  No WW2 google has a BS kitemark. (I must acknowledge here the generous guidance of David, from the Historic Flying Clothing Company.)

So below are images of: the  original WW2 Mk8s; the 'tea strainer' goggles (featured in the WW2 Driving goggles thread); and, by way of contrast, a pair of 1980s Stadium goggles.

If anyone takes a view on the tea strainer relic, I'm keen to hear it!  Similarly, if I have missed something vital, or veered off-track, do let me know.

All the very best.


WW2 mk8 - scallop.jpg

WW2 scoop and adjust.jpg

WW scoop top.jpg

WW2 AcM pressing.jpg

tea strainer relics.jpg

unknown tea strainer goggles.jpg

Stadium adjust air bent.jpg

Stadium not D ring.jpg

Stadium inner face.jpg

Edited by Adrian Dwyer
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Please see below images of the anti-dimming cloth and tin in which it was supplied.  It was an integral part of the goggle box (goggles, tinted windows, cleaning cloth).  Post-war cloths were packed in a clear plastic container.  Tins I have seen on ebay are often exceptionally clean, suggesting to me they may not have been issued (or were issued but never used).  I have not conducted an extensive survey but most of the anti-dimming cloths I have seen have a wartime date - often '43 or '44.

No342 tin 1942.jpg

Bottom of tin.jpg

Open tin.jpg

anti-dimming cloth 1942.jpg

Edited by Adrian Dwyer
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  • 3 weeks later...

Morning all.  Just came across these photos of the original owner of the original Mk8 goggles.  He was an instructor on the B-24 and B-25 and a contemporary of Blag. He finished his war in the far-east: having flown his B-24 there from the west coast of Canada to China (I have his logbook recording the epic).  What a man!




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  • 3 weeks later...

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