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From Ohio History Central

American pilot Lieutenant Stephen W. Thompson of Dayton, Ohio used this early gasmask on February 5, 1918, when he became the first man to down an enemy aircraft while serving the United States military in uniform. Like other gasmasks of its time, this mask contains goggles and an air re-breather that prevented deadly poison gas from affecting the wearer's eyes and lungs. The fear of death by gas attack was a very real concern for World War I aviators. Gasmasks became standard gear for frontline pilots due to the low altitudes at which combat occurred and the possibility of being shot down on a battlefield. The gasmask measures approximately 8" x 6" x 32" (20.32 x 15.24 x 81.28 cm). Courtesy of National Museum of the United States Air Force.


National Museum of the United States Air Force


5/20/2009 9:00

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