Share your Best Deal Stories!

Share your Best Deal Stories!

Joined: September 8th, 2004, 10:02 pm

April 24th, 2012, 7:08 pm #1

As a recent posting told of "Best Deal", I'm encouraging others to tell their stories!
Mine is for a pair of 1943 Patt Escape Boots hanging on a hook at a dealer's stand at one West Malling air show in the mid 80s. 43 patt boots were fairly common in those days so I almost past them by, but the sign caught my eye: "ESCAPE BOOTS WITH KNIFE £125". That got my attention!
The boots had come directly from a DFM recipient 460Sq WO/AG. He flew 60 ops in the boots. He never bothered to un-wrap the escape knife! Still in pocket, in wrapper!



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Joined: January 29th, 2004, 1:59 am

April 24th, 2012, 9:36 pm #2

Whilst stationed at RAF Honington about 5 years ago, I was doing some late night Ebaying and was surprised to see an Observer harness on 'Buy it now' £150.00, I think I had the fastest finger in the west that night, winner.
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Joined: September 12th, 2011, 5:26 pm

April 24th, 2012, 9:41 pm #3

WOOO RAF Honington!! im stationed there now!! was my comment titled "what a steal" on sat, mae west skull cap for 6 quid.

Daf
RAF Honington

everything is history, lets preserve it and educate others.
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Joined: July 21st, 2008, 7:16 pm

April 24th, 2012, 10:12 pm #4

Whilst stationed at RAF Honington about 5 years ago, I was doing some late night Ebaying and was surprised to see an Observer harness on 'Buy it now' £150.00, I think I had the fastest finger in the west that night, winner.
Mine is probably a b-type helmet and mark IIIa goggles, both named to a DFC winning bomber pilot (1941 until the war's end) for around £270, about 2-3 years ago now, at Farnham militaria fair here in Blighty.

I think both of your examples trump mine though!
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Joined: May 4th, 2007, 8:13 am

April 24th, 2012, 10:50 pm #5

In addition to my "free" mark IIIa goggles mentioned in another post. I think my best deals have to be an early two panel back Irvin in what can only be described as mint condition in a size 44"+ on an Ebay "buy it now" for less than £200. An other being the fuel gauge currently in my Spit panel, whilst it is not a 37 gallon Spit gauge (it is a 45 gallon Airspeed Oxford gauge) at £10 mint still in the storage box it was an absolute bargain given any fuel gauge seems to go for silly money now, and another find from a general antique shop in my area.

Oh and years ago a found a Kreigsmarine KM marked wristatch for £1. German items not being my area of interest I bought it and subsequently swapped it for an ATP (RAF ref would be 6E/385 though mine is just ATP marked but for a quid I'm not complaining!) I wear it every day, great watch. In the same (local general antiques) shop, but at a different time, I found a parachute bag for £2 which I sold on and wish I hadn't as I have never seen one since!

Stuff is still out there if you happen to be in the right place at the right time.
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Joined: October 19th, 2003, 6:40 pm

April 25th, 2012, 5:50 am #6

The best deal is surely to be given something. My top 4 items that I've been extremely grateful to have had for free are:

4. 1941 pattern life preserver with bladder and inflation lever.
3. Observer harness
2. An original RAF lecturing cane that came from High Wycombe.
1. A 1919 pattern (high collar) tunic.

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Joined: August 23rd, 2003, 10:11 pm

April 25th, 2012, 7:27 am #7

As a recent posting told of "Best Deal", I'm encouraging others to tell their stories!
Mine is for a pair of 1943 Patt Escape Boots hanging on a hook at a dealer's stand at one West Malling air show in the mid 80s. 43 patt boots were fairly common in those days so I almost past them by, but the sign caught my eye: "ESCAPE BOOTS WITH KNIFE £125". That got my attention!
The boots had come directly from a DFM recipient 460Sq WO/AG. He flew 60 ops in the boots. He never bothered to un-wrap the escape knife! Still in pocket, in wrapper!



The best deal I was lucky enough to get was a free seat type parachute harness.
The seat pack to accompany the harness set me back USD 45.

Cheers, Toine
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Joined: January 29th, 2004, 1:59 am

April 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm #8

WOOO RAF Honington!! im stationed there now!! was my comment titled "what a steal" on sat, mae west skull cap for 6 quid.

Daf
RAF Honington

everything is history, lets preserve it and educate others.
Hi Daf, at Wycombe at the mo, Just starting to recreate Harris' office, one more bit of kit I was given was a full near mint Irvin suit when I was at Uxbridge.
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

April 25th, 2012, 10:25 pm #9

The best deal I was lucky enough to get was a free seat type parachute harness.
The seat pack to accompany the harness set me back USD 45.

Cheers, Toine
I have a few, although unlike most, its not flying gear, but generally uniform and insignia...

1) At school, a mate offered me some RAF buttons that had belonged to his Uncle for 50p. One turned out to be a 1st pattern compass button (now worth about £300), and I found out many years after his uncle was a pilot with 56 Squadron during the Battle of Britain, killed in June 1941.

2) My Type 19 microphone, which I got for an offer of £25.00 including postage. Missing the chamois, it is otherwise complete including off/on switch. After adding a loom, bell plug, correct B Type receivers and the chamois, total cost was about £100.00 for an item now worth about £1500.00 plus.

3) A lot of badges which I offered £25.00 for. The bloke almost bit my hand off. It contained six cloth RAF F/Sgt crowns, some buttons, a post war eagle badge, and a mint, unissued gold silk woven ATA Engineers wing, worth about £300.00.

4) An exceptionally rare ATA Air Gunners half wing, from ebay for £28.00. The ATA recruited 20 air gunners during the Battle of Britain, but there was such an outcry over civilians flying in armed aircraft they were withdrawn after three months.

5) A Flight Lieutenant tunic and trousers, with unofficial WAG wing, DFC and other ribbons, for £28.00, plus £12.00 postage. It was described as having moth, which was so little it wasnt enough to worry about. I took a punt thinking the wing was worth that even if the uniform was beyond saving. After I got it I found the top button was another compass button, 2nd pattern and with reverse thread.

6) A strange looking RAF Flight Lieutenants uniform, with three buttons on the cuff. I knew what it was and got it off ebay for about £27.00 with the trousers. It was dated Jan 1941, and was as I had guessed, a rare Air Defence cadet Corps officers tunic, which had been converted professionally to an ATC (RAF) tunic when the ADCC became the ATC in February 1941. I decided to restore it back, and after spending about £20.00 on the correct buttons and silver bullion rank braid, have a genuine ADCC uniform for under £50.00. A similar but poorer condition example, with wings but minus trousers, sold at Bosleys for about £350.00 a year or so ago.
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

April 25th, 2012, 10:29 pm #10

As one extra, and thinking of Rics note about being given things. I was in contact with the widow of Air Commodore 'Peter' Paynter, who was Chief Intelligence Officer at Bomber Command during the war. She offered me his 1944 dated tunic, with 1918 wings, his peaked cap, and greatcoat. I offered to pay for them, or donate to the RAF, and she insisted I pay no more than £5.00 to the latter!

Paynter resigned his commission at the end of the war in protest at Bomber Harris being denied a place at the Victory celebrations and was made the first post war director of Mi6.
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