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First World War (1914-1918)
Canadians in the Royal Naval Air Service

Among the Canadians serving with the Royal Navy were those in its aviation branch, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). They included aces and future leaders of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The dangers they faced included the enemy, the elements, and their own unreliable aircraft.

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Flying Helmet, Royal Naval Air Service
Flying Helmet, Royal Naval Air Service

In the winter, this fur-lined leather helmet would have been worn with goggles to keep a flyer's face, ears, neck, and eyes from freezing.

First World War aircrew in open cockpits battled both the elements and the enemy. High altitude winter flying was a brutal affair and even brief exposure to the frigid air could cause severe frostbite. At the same time, pilots were wary about clothing that could interfere with vision and head movement during an engagement with enemy aircraft.

Flying Helmet, Royal Naval Air Service
CWM 19710207-002

Service Dress Cap, Royal Naval Air Service
Service Dress Jacket, Royal Naval Air Service
Flying Helmet, Royal Naval Air Service
Medal Set, Air Vice Marshal Raymond Collishaw
Wristwatch, Flight Lieutenant Henry Botterell
Medal Set, Captain Arthur Brown
Propeller Fragments, Flight Lieutenant Harry Wambolt
Memorial Plaque, Flight Lieutenant Harry Wambolt
Model, Felixstowe F2A
Flight Commander Wilfred Austin Curtis
Telegram Confirming Flight Lieutenant Harry Wambolt's Death
Letter to Flight Lieutenant Harry Wambolt's Parents