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B-3 Life Preserver
B-3 Life Preserver

: $149.99

Product Description

Reproduction of the Type B-3 Life Preserver issued throughout WWII to American personnel server on or flying over water. These are often associated with allied pilots and US Paratroopers during the Normandy Invasion. These acquired the nickname "Mae Wests" due to the resemblance to a well endowed lady one had when wearing an inflated vest.

These vests were invented several years before the War by Peter Markus (1885-1973) as an accessory for fishermen and boaters. It was intended to be less cumbersome than the cork filled contraptions of that time. When the vest needed to be inflated, the wearer simply pulled the release cords on two CO2 filled cartridges which rapidly filled the air bladders. The military immediately saw the utility of the invention and they were general issue by the start of the War.

The quality is excellent- the pattern, materials and hardware are very close to the originals. However, the CO2 inflators are "faux"- they do not work. Pulling the release cords will not inflate the vest. Moreover, there are no actual air bladders so there is no way to inflate the vest. B3

These vests are NOT Coast Guard approved! They are not an actual life vest! They are for display/ costume use only!