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Thread: 1944/45 living conditions ?

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    Default 1944/45 living conditions ?

    I have been wondering what life was like for air crew in 1944/45. What was the living accommodation like, what was the food like? As food was rationed at that time did aircrew have ration cards? What about when they went on leave, did they have a short term ration book?
    Can anyone point me to a reference book or website or give an opinion?

    Paul H.

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    Hello Paul,

    I can only comment on rations for aircrew. They received flight rations - sandwiches, thermos flasks of hot coffee, horlicks energy tablets, boiled sweets. And aircrew on ops had a pre-flight meal - normaly eggs and bacon.

    When away from base. In my fathers case, pre June 1942 and post June 1944 to July 1946, the signed and stamped leave pass -(Form 295 I think it was called) was the means of adding to the family rations when home on leave - which in those days was only for a week.

    On ops they had leave of absence every 6 weeks for one day, which presumably could be built up. He was finaly discharged July 1946 after recovering in hospital from injuries sustained on 3rd June 1944, then presumably from then on he had his own ration book.

    Alas, I can't comment on the other points you seek answers to

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 14th October 2011 at 20:13. Reason: adding more info.

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    Paul
    Aircrew in some of the Foggia bases in Italy lived in tents and in one case in a dilapidated building with pigeons in the loft, handy for pies ! I only know for sure about conditions for 31 & 34 Sqdn SAAF crewmen at Celone,Foggia having spoken to ex crewmen and seen photos .[The men were SAAF, RAF and RAAF] They often had to find their own bedding and made "make shift" stoves for keeping warm and cooking any food they had bartered from the locals ,such as eggs or from the excellent rations of the USAAF who were based nearby .It's a wonder the tents didn't go up in flames. The weather was hot in summer and cold, wet ,often snowy, in winter."A pub called the Pig & Whistle was built at the base with a thatched roof and wood and plaster walls -originally built by the anti aircraft unit but taken over by the Liberator sqdn" The mess was a long walk from the tents.

    Not the comfort of a warm ?? hut experienced by the Bomber Command men in England who also received eggs and bacon and, I believe, could go home on leave ?

    The Foggia crews had a R & R hotel in Sorrento and sometimes men managed to get a lift to see opera in Rome !
    On the Warsaw flights from Italy the crew were given tea and sandwiches .

    This website has some info .about conditions for airmen at Foggia David Gunby's book Sweeping the Skies " has photos of conditions at Foggia eg P 282/3

    http://natureonline.com/37/4-37sqn-italy-airfieldcond.html.

    David Gunby's book "Sweeping the Skies " has photos of living conditions at Foggia eg Pages 282/3

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 14th October 2011 at 22:46.

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    Norman,Anne,
    My thanks for your responses. I'm trying to get a 'feel' of the living conditions of Air crew on operational bases-their daily routine,meals, etc.
    Paul H

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