Australian Ace Colin Parkinson headset

Discussion in 'Aircrew equipment' started by mhan, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. mhan

    mhan New Member

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    Hi all, hoping the following is of interest to you. I am a retired History teacher with an interest in WW2 and militaria. I have just purchased a lot at a Sydney auction house, described as "quantity of Spitfire/airforce ephemera", it consists of a 2 ear piece wireless head set with detached wires, I imagine this to be the WW2 spitfire bit??, an incomplete set of Rude Star identifier round charts from 1942 USA Navy publication, and a number of items dating from the decade 1960-1970 that would relate to a pilot ( commercial) ie Flight radio operator's manual 1969, the observers basic book of aircraft civil 1970, Sight reduction tables for air navigation vol 3 1967, neatly written on the Flight radio operators manual is C H Parkinson. I asked the auctioneer why he described this as a spitfire lot, he said it had been purchased some time back by a friend of his for her son and the son did not want it, so he was reselling it, cost me $120. I think what I have is Aust'n WW2 pilot F/O Colin Henry DFC, his spitfire headset and star navigation charts. If this is so he must have flown as a commercial pilot after the war, I am trying to track this down without success so far. Can anyone identify the type of headset in the image as that which may have belonged to a spitfire pilot??
    many thanks,
    Mark in Newcastle



    2.jpg IMG_0381.JPG
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #2 Airframes, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    It might have done, but it looks more like a crew headset, possibly civilian.( i once had a very similar set, when i was a kid in the 1950s.)
    The headsets for Spitfire pilots (and other fighter types) were incorporated within the flying helmet which, in RAF and Commonwealth service, were issued in various Mark types throughout the war, in leather and other fabrics, depending upon theatre of use. None of these headsets had the supporting head band and, in the main, the wiring was integral.
    Also, I believe Warren were an American company (think I see a US stamp there as well), which probably meant that the set operated on a different impedance, compared to that for use with the British T/R equipment normally fitted to the Spitfire.
     
  3. mhan

    mhan New Member

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    I agree with the enclosed flight helmet, I thought he may have been wearing this style due to hot weather in Malta, plus possibly supplied with American equipment due to supply shortages, it is an American set, still there is the link with all the material coming from a C H Parkinson written on the 1969 Flight Radio operators manual, very similar writing to that appearing on the national archive documents for Colin Parkinson Fighter ace. So if it is American equipment, does that confirm it is a no no to any spit pilot.
    regards
    Mark 5.jpg
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    If these did indeed belong to Parkinson, wow! As you probably know he was a Malta ace with 9-10 kills. These headphones are probably more associated with his time as an instructor in Australia or with his service with the chemical triasl unit later on in the war.
     
  5. mhan

    mhan New Member

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    #5 mhan, Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    If I can only find a reference to Colin Henry Parkinson being a commercial pilot post war, and being born in 1916 he would have been in his 40-50's in the period 1960-70 when these flight related publications were published belonging to C H Parkinson. He died in March 2006 so have been trying to turn up an obituary that would tell the story of his life postwar. But with the Rude star navigator dating to 1942 and the old head set belonging to a C H Parkinson, and there being only one such person in the RAAF in WW2, surly it must all relate to the man.

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  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It very likely did belong to him, but it is definitely not equipment used in a Spitfire, or any other fighter type. A lightweight canvas helmet, with neck flap, was normally used on Malta, although some pilots still preferred the leather helmet. The helmet was essential for protection against fire, and also for mounting the oxygen mask, which would be used at altitudes above 10,000 feet.
    The star computer points at navigational equipment, and headsets of the type shown would be used by navigators and radio ops, and most likely pilots, of such aircraft as the DC3/Dakota post war.
    The headset is a valuable piece in it's own right, to a collector, and with the provenance of the man (if it was his), even more so - but it is not related to a Spitfire I'm afraid.
     
  7. mhan

    mhan New Member

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    Many thanks for your information, help, Airframes, just have to find whether he had a flying career post war, not so easy so far, Mark
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're welcome. Incidentally, I used to get the new copy of 'The Observer's Book of Aircraft', both civil and military volumes, as Christmas presents every year - still got a couple, but lost all those from the 1950s.
     
  9. jillef

    jillef New Member

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    Are you sure he died in 2006. There is an Australian based, British pilot. Colin Henry, changed his name from Colin Henry Parkinson. Flew Recon and commercially for British Airways after the war.
     
  10. Aparkinson

    Aparkinson New Member

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    Colin Henry Parkinson is my late grandfather - After the War he was a RAFF test pilot and flew private planes.
    My Dad mentioned something about the US contacting him to sign different things. The writing on the book looks very familiar and I am certain it is his handwriting.
    Ill have to talk to my Dad for more info.

    Amy
     
  11. Aparkinson

    Aparkinson New Member

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    And he did pass away in March 2006 - he is buried at Wamberal on the Central Coast.
     
  12. mhan

    mhan New Member

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    Great to have made contact with you Amy,
    regards
    Mark
     
  13. Crunch

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