JAN 2011 – RAAF in Vietnam is a rather under researched and unknown area to most enthusiasts worldwide. Even more harder to research is the flightgear used by the Canberra crews who flew from Phang Rang in CAC Canberra Mk. 20 bombers.

I have managed to acquire some photos with close up views enabling people to see how the RAAF flightgear differed to the USAF flightgear.

This crew of pilot and navigator/bombardier wear a USAF issued early type HGU-2A/P flight helmet and a RAF issued P oxygen mask. They wear the unique RAF cotton green flight suit. The LPU they wear is a green version of the typical standard RFD vest of the 1960s. The vest has a horse collar ring around the users neck to keep the head above the water level when deployed.

Here we see the unique RAAF flight suit in more detail and clearer. Note the HGU-2A/P flight helmet on desk.

Here a pilot and his navigator/bombardier are readying the Canberra for a mission with the ground crew. The crew wear the flight suit, RFD vest and special flight gloves.

A June1970 photo with the landmark 60,000th bomb a M-117 type to be dropped by a Canberra. Another close view of the flight suit in use.

Three views of aircrew wearing different flight gear setups. The red/orange colour taped on the ramshorn visor HGU-2A/P was used to enable survival rescue by able to be found in dense jungle easier.

Note the angle of the single slot bayonets in the receiver housings due to ease of hooking up the oxygen mask to helmet. This was able to be done by adjusting the receiver housing top screws and moving the angle of the casting inside.
All wear SRU-21/P survival vests.

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  1. Steven Beeny says:

    Dear sir,
    I am working on a book about the Canberra and B-57 as told in the words of the men that flew and maintained them around the world. Part of the book focuses on the aircraft in combat during the Vietnam war and I am very interested in these photos of RAAF aircrew. With your permission, would I be able to include them in my book? If so, please could you give me the original photo credits and even better, high res versions of them? I would fully credit you for your help and would be much obliged.
    Kind regards,

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Steve
    The photos unfortunately cant be used without seeking the Australian War Memorial permission i believe for books. I found them online and have used them. So i suggest best thing to do is to write to the Australian War Memorial Canberra Australia and seek access to how you could republish RAAF in Vietnam canberra pilot photos.Be a good idea to not to show them my page in case they get angry 🙂
    What may interest you is my mate flew in the Canberra over Vietnam with 2 Sqn… i could get you in touch with him?

  3. Steven Beeny says:

    Hi Phil,
    funny you should mention the AWM and photos…just last night I was on there looking up ordering a load of them – problem is, for book publishing they start at $80 and go on up from there! I don’t have that kind of cash right now. A shame, as they have some really nice shots on there as you know. I will of course keep quiet about them being on your page.
    Your mate being a Canberra pilot in Vietnam certainly does interest me! What is his name? I have talked to a couple but would love to get more on record for the book, so, yes please, I would be grateful if you could get in touch with him.

  4. Admin says:

    Send me your email and ill get him to contact you direct mate

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