B-4 Life preserver in box

€ 575.00

In stock


Quick Overview

Iconic 'Mae West' Life Preserver in its box, as used by aviators and paratroopers. It is complete with its original straps and rubber air hoses and was made by the New York Rubber Corp. The contract W535 AC 29301 was let in June 1942 and entailed 50.000 units. The life preserver has no date stamp as this was likely done when it left the factory or when it was actually issued. It was however produced in May 1943 as indicated by the text on the box 'if in storage after May 1944 the life preserver vest will be tested and inspected before issue'. This covered a period of one year after the life preserver was made. The vest also has none of the modifications which would have been installed in the factory after their introduction date (dye marker packet T.O. 13-1-5 of August 1943, inspection stamps T.O. 13-1-3 of December 1943 or additional collar strap T.O. 13-1-17 of May 1944). The rubber is very supple and the yellow color is strong and vibrant. The box has some splits and also small tape repairs on the lid but it kept the life preserver in such great shape. It comes with two CO2 cartridges. You'll be hardpressed to find a nice B-4 life preserver vest.

Excellent condition.

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