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Thread: Side cap or SD cap? which and why?

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    Default Side cap or SD cap? which and why?

    Can anyone throw any light on he ‘rules’ for what type of headwear was worn by officers. The Service dress hat – the peaked flat top officers hat – or the side cap. Among my photographs I have officers wearing both, though not at the same time.
    It would seem that for ‘official’ photos the peaked hat was worn, but even on Royal inspections the side cap was often worn.
    My thanks.
    Paul H

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    Paul, Hi,
    I know who knows the answer (apart from the correct AP!). I have emailed. We will have to await any answer! I suspect, however, that nomatter what the AP said there were those who wore SD Caps, Chip Bags, or Berets, as they pleased. SWOs probably had the conniptions!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Paul,

    I have the same experience with Czechoslovak airmen. Our officers wore both types even when in S/Ldr or W/Cdr or G/Cpt rank. I have read that sometimes hing ranking officers were told thad "side cap is not representative for their rank" but I think they do not take it hard. Maybe this rule was followed more or less in later years of war but not in the early years.

    For example I have a nice photo taken on 18.1.1941 when the King and Queen visited 311 Sqn. There are: AVM Baldwin (No. 3 Gp CO), The King, G/Cpt Berounsky (Liaison Officer with No. 3 Gp), W/Cdr Toamn (311 Sq CO) and some other high-ranking officers (7 officers at all). All of them wearing side caps. In spring 1942 during another visit to 311 Sq AVM Baldwin is wearing peaked cap.
    Other photo from spring 1941 showing group of Czechoslovak officers including S/Ldr Pickard whilw two of them (including Pickard) are wearing side caps.

    Anyway I think that the side cap was more popular for easy wearing (both on had and in pocket) by all ranks. And if they had an opportunity to choose they choose always the side cap.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    In my day, you could wear either depending on your mood or duty but there were no laid down regulations as to when you wore either. I never bought an side cap so always wore the peaked cap

    Berets were only supposed to worn with 'combats' not No 1 or No 2 and there was a move to ban berets for officers except the Regiment but it never materialised as far as I'm aware.

    Malcolm

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    Here is the latest AP for those who wish to indulge in spotting Senior Officers dress deviations.

    http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediafi...4494292B03.pdf

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Generally speaking it was left to the wearer but I know on occasions, such as Royal visits to stations, instructions were laid down for a specific cap, usually the side cap. One good example is the Royal visit to Scampton after the dams raid. All airmen were instructed to wear the side cap, Gibson and other senior officers, and also the King, wearing peaked.

    Interestingly, during a visit to Scampton a year before, the King had, like all others present, worn a side cap.

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    Paul, Hi,
    There might just be a WW2 copy of AP 3258 in TNA (or the RAF Museum). If that fails then you need a WW2 Station Warrant Officer. They knew the entire contents of that AP by heart!!!!!!!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 28th September 2013 at 11:37. Reason: Appalling spelling/syntax
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
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    My grateful thanks to you all for responding to my enquiry.
    I was forming the view that the newly commisioned officers were more likely to prefer the peaked hat, but having gained confidence and a few more promotions returned to the side cap to relate to the junior ranks. But that's me being cynical!!
    Paul H.

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    Hi Alex
    Quote Originally Posted by Airman 1 View Post
    Generally speaking it was left to the wearer but I know on occasions, such as Royal visits to stations, instructions were laid down for a specific cap, usually the side cap. One good example is the Royal visit to Scampton after the dams raid. All airmen were instructed to wear the side cap, Gibson and other senior officers, and also the King, wearing peaked.

    Interestingly, during a visit to Scampton a year before, the King had, like all others present, worn a side cap.
    When you say "airmen", do you mean both commissioned and non commissioned aircrew? I don't have all the Royal Visit pictures to hand but it's noticeable that Joe McCarthy, David Shannon, David Maltby and Mick Martin are all wearing sidecaps. In most other pictures from the time, McCarthy and Martin are seen in peaked caps. Maltby however seems to have preferred the sidecap almost exclusively.
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    In 34 years in the RAF, I refrained from wearing a side-cap. The only time I wore one was to try it on for size in the tailor's shop. I looked remarkably like Pinocchio.

    Jim

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