Type H-1 Bailout Oxygen Cylinder
The Type H-1 bailout bottle was a standardized for use by the
USAAF in October, 1941, and declared obsolete four years later
as it was replaced by the Type H-2.
This emergency item contained enough oxygen for about ten
minutes consumption. It was intended to be used during
bailout at high altitudes where the air was thin and the
flyer wished to remain conscious during descent.
As seen in this example, the steel cylinder of the H-1 is
contained in a canvas bag. The cylinder is secured in the
bag by a braided lace, and the bag itself has two heavy O.D.
straps for tying to a leg or thigh, or to the parachute
harness. The bag also has a side
compartment for holding the folded rubber tubing. At the
end of the tubing is a shaped nozzle which was meant to be
held in the mouth. While Sweeting indicates that this nozzle
was made of plastic, this one is clearly of wood. Note that
this cylinder maintains it's full standard charge of 1800psi.
It is interesting to note that the bag is marked "U.S.
AIRFORCE." Of course, this exact nomenclature was not used
for the flying service until 1947 when the Air Force became
an independent service from the Army. Nonetheless, this is
a WWII vintage item and period photos from WWII show flyers
with this exact bag and marking.
In addition to the large printed markings on the bag and
bottle, as seen in the images, there are also some engraved
markings on the valve assembly and bottle. On the neck of
the valve assembly below the valve is engraved, "Ohio
Chemical & Mfg. Co. Cleveland" as is also noted on the gauge.
Around the circumference of the neck of the bottle are stamped
two lines. The top line appears to read "1 CC-3E 1800." The
initial 1 is not clear and could be 11, or 4 or H. The 1800
would appear to refer to the standard charge. Below, on the
second line, it reads, "H1 AC 12 43 79136 0" The H1 and
the AC would seem to indicate the Type H-1 and Air Corps. It
is possible that the 12 43 indicates December 1943. The
remaining numbers could be an order or contract designation.
- Sweeting, C.G., Combat Flying Equipment, Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1989. ISBN: 1-56098-502-X.