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Thread: Research Tidy Up [RAF Standard Issue 1944]

  1. #51
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    PeteT,

    Regarding Sect/Ref numbers:
    I am sure this may sound a little minor but considering the depth your research is taking you and the accuracy you wish to maintain, in 'air force speak', the letters in the 'section' prefixing the reference number were always shown in 'capital letters' e.g. '22C/175238'

    Regarding 'Kit-bags
    I have my fathers kit-bag used throughout 1943 for his training in UK & South Africa. It is just as Alex describes, white canvas with two four inch blue bands spaced four inches apart around the centre. It is secured by joining up equaly spaced 8 metal eylets surrounding the top with a 'D' shape metal ring and padlock. I could place a picture on 'photo-bucket' if required? Also, I understood from my father it replaced a buff/khaki coloured army design issue which dated back to WWI.

    Regarding 'Whistles'
    I have a picture of my father wearing his battle-dress in 1944 and showing a 'snail shaped' whistle connected via a metal ring to his left collar lapel (or somewhere near). This was a tradition kept up in Bomber Command for reasons unknown. My father lost his metal snail shaped whistle to the thieving krauts after being captured. In kit he reclaimed on his return to UK after a period as a PoW, was a 'metal tube shaped - policemans whistle' dating back to 1937 with the Air Ministry arrow. This survives to this day. And finnaly, there was a third whistle in use with aircrew - white plastic snail shaped but was usualy stowed in the aircraft dinghy.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 21st February 2012 at 11:31. Reason: adding paragraph

  2. #52
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    Norman

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Regarding the kitbag, having re-read the scale of issue it states 1 bag, kit universal or 1 NP so that confirms that only 1 was issued, the type depending on availability I guess.

    Any photographs of any bits of equipment that we can incorporate into our research would be brilliant (hussif, brodie, respirator, button stick etc.)

  3. #53
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    PeteT

    I can show you a white canvas kit bag, a blue/grey field cap (but no badge and no original aircrew u/t white cap band), a housewife (sewing kit), a knife & fork, leather flying helmet complete with storage bag, a blue/grey woollen pullover, a white woollen pullover, a pair of white woollen boot socks, a pair of boots, a pair of Gymn shoes, a button stick, a few badges, buttons. aircrew whistle, a RAF Longines wrist watch and a small RAF pocket book (full of basic facts etc on the RAF) which fitted in the battle dress tunic pockets. I also have a few RAF issued navigation instruments but assume these wont be suitable for your FE needs. All were believed to have been be issued sometime during late 1942 to late 1943 but of course, I cant be sure that some items may not have been exchanged later. So tell me what you want please. I am tied up at the moment and will be able to copy them out at my highest resolution sometime next week. I have your email address. Incidentaly, have you access to the FEs medals?

    I can't possibly comment on what, where, when and which type of kit-bag was issued but suspect the white one replaced the buff bag which dated back to WWI. Or maybe the white one was for overseas?. Expect you will need to ask a veteran for this fine detail or perhaps study photos from the period, perhaps there may be clues in Flight Global Archives?.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 21st February 2012 at 23:44. Reason: typo

  4. #54
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    Norman

    Thanks for feedback .... have e-mailed you

    Regards

    Pete

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    A few notes...

    Ive just looked at my silver VR badge and my mistake, it has the letters 'RAFVR' across the centre, not just 'VR'.

    The Section reference numbers are stores numbers and relates to various types of items. For example 22H is badges, 22C is flying clothing, etc.

    Whistles - These were survival items intended for use if airmen came down by parachute or in the sea, and was to be blown so that a group could get themselves back together or summon help. They were to be attached to the life jacket, but it became the norm for them to be attached to the hook on the collar of the battledress. The earlier types were the long tube type, but these were found to stick to the lips in cold water and so they were later replaced by plastic versions in both white and black. The snail whistle was more comfortable to wear on the collar (being shorter) and so was the standard for the latter part of the war. Ive personally never heard of a white plastic snail type.

    With regards your list, and photos of items, many are readily available on ebay. Here are some...

    Web belt - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1937-PATTERN-RAF-WEBBING-BELTS-WITHOUT-ANY-BUCKLES-/330660485201?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item4cfce69851

    Cap badge - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ORIGINAL-K-C-ROYAL-AIR-FORCE-RAF-CAP-BADGE-/360434495643?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item53eb91f09b

    Silver lapel badge - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RAF-Royal-Air-Force-Volunteer-Reserve-TA-Territorial-Army-Badges-Service-Numbers-/280825602781?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item416282a2dd

    Gas mask bag - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RAF-Royal-Air-Force-Volunteer-Reserve-TA-Territorial-Army-Badges-Service-Numbers-/280825602781?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item416282a2dd

    White cap insert - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WW2-RAF-Navigator-F-Lt-F-Browne-DFM-Tinted-goggles-Cadburys-Milk-Tray-box-/170787718850?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item27c3bdc6c2

    Dog tags - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-WW2-RAF-Servicemans-Pair-Dog-Tags-/200716003605?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item2ebb9b2915

    Service and Release book - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2ww-WAAF-north-weald-badge-service-release-book-E-M-COLE-/200717060419?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item2ebbab4943

    Side cap (not officers despite title) - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WW2-ERA-RAF-OFFICERS-SIDE-CAP-ECONOMY-EAGLE-BUTTONS-DATED-1946-SIZE-7-1-8-/270917673862?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item3f13f3a386

    RAF Kit bag - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-50s-RAF-Kit-Bag-Named-Numbered-/150763406803?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item231a3305d3

    Kit bag handle - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ww2-kit-bag-clip-brass-good-condition-/280826960534?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash= item4162975a96

    etc. Ive just noticed, on your list there is no mention of the handle or a padlock for the kitbag. perhaps the handle was issued with the bag and the 'NP' is new padlock??

    Alex

  6. #56
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    'NP" was sometimes used in equipment lists to denote "New Pattern" (usually for standard items with a long history in an earlier guise).
    David D

  7. #57
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    A second kitbag was issued to airmen if they were posted overseas. Aboard ship it was normal for one bag to travel in the hold (and therefore generall inaccessible), the other was to contain all items required by the airmen for his personal use during the voyage (underclothing, shaving and washing gear, gym shoes, at least one uniform, spare socks and boots, shirts and collars, braces, hussif and button stick (for polishing brass items, if any), etc. I don't know wether the greatcoat was required to be kept with the airmen or not - but probably was (unless travelling between tropical destinations!)
    David D

  8. #58
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    Thanks again for all the feedback; with the scales of issue we now have and the information provided here, we believe that we have nailed the uniform side now, although we are still trying to finalise when battledress (war service) dress was issued.

    It makes sense for it to be issued at ITW (along with flying kit) for use in training exercises although if it was needed for training exercises at ITW it may have been needed for some of the training exercises at ACRC?

    At the moment the consensus of opinion is ITW but if anyone has evidence to confirm or deny this it will enable us to put that one to bed.

    Just to confirm timings, the FE we are researching was aircrew under training 1943 / 1944

  9. #59
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    I am desperately trying to find a simple illustrative picture / photograph which shows the differences between the NCO Service Dress uniform and the Battledress (War Service Dress) uniform.

    I have googled every uniform combination that I can think of ... but seem to just get reenactment / e-bay pictures etc.

    Does anyone have a 1943 / 1944 photograph (or can point me to one) with the two different uniforms shown side by side?
    Last edited by PeteT; 27th February 2012 at 21:11.

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