Acme Depot Showcase #6

(Filed: 18 January 2002)

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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.

Additional images:

Type H-1


  • Sweeting, C.G., Combat Flying Equipment, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1989. ISBN: 1-56098-502-X.

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Copyright © 2000 Marc D. Weinshenker. All rights reserved.