Mk 2 Assault Troop Life Jacket

Tonight we have what has to be one of the cooler bits of militaria I have picked up over the years, a Mk 2 Assault Troops Lifejacket:imageMy thanks go to Paul Hannon for helping fill in some of the history of these objects. The first assault lifejackets date back to the late 1940s and we made of a cotton type fabric such as ventile. These were awkward to dry after use and prone to rotting so in around 1980 a Mk 2 version made form nylon was introduced. Although there were still many Mk 1 versions in service at the time of the Falklands, these were gradually superseded in the first half of the 1980s by the Mk 2 such as this one. The lifejacket is worn in the stowed position around the neck:skmbt_c36416102410110_0001Two heavy duty straps pass backwards under the arms, with a long piece passing up through the legs. This ends in a metal spigot over which two metal reinforced tabs fit, all held in place by a quick release pin:imageIn a hurry a man can pull the tap and the lifejacket will then fall away easily. To deploy the lifejacket the wearer pulls sharply on a red toggle:imageThis is connected to a small CO2 bottle and valve:imageThis particular bottle was first charged in 1980, some years before the rest of the lifejacket was produced:imageOn pulling the valve releases the CO2 into the lifejacket that automatically inflates, breaking open the poppers along the sides:imageThe inflated lifejacket is a vivid shade of red to allow the wearer to be easily seen in the water:imageVarious features are fitted including black grab handles to help pull the wearer out of the water into a boat if needed:imageA small plastic whistle fits into a pocket on one side:imageWhilst a small top up valve is fitted to the opposite side to allow hte wearer to top up the air in the jacket with his mouth:imageThis lifejacket dates to November 1982, as indicated on the stock label:imageIt was manufactured by ‘Lifeguard’a company based in Merseyside:image

1 thought on “Mk 2 Assault Troop Life Jacket

  1. Pingback: Parachutist’s Life Jacket | Tales from the Supply Depot

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