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Thread: RAF uniforms / Mediterranean 1942

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    Default RAF uniforms / Mediterranean 1942

    Hello everyone... I'm curious about two photographs (group pictures of the 601 and 603 sqdns RAAF) reportedly taken aboard the carrier Wasp en route to Malta in 1942 (from the book "Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942"). In both photographs, all pilots except *one* wear the usual "dark" (dark blue gray) RAF uniforms, but one pilot in each photograph "stands out" by having a light-coloured uniform (which I presume to be RAF's "khaki" uniform). Was then the choice of uniform (khaki or blue-gray) a "personal choice"...? Also, regarding the headdress, I used to think that the side-caps were used by the "lower ranks", while the "beaked caps" were used by higher ranks. Yet in these pictures I see that "Pilot Officers" would wear either the "side caps" or the "peaked caps". Would then RAF headdress type (side caps or peaked caps) be also a matter of "personal taste"? Or would each cap type imply some sort of rank / commission / responsibility...? Just wondering (and please pardon my ignorance!)

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    Hi Wyngs

    The question of forage caps and SD caps was discussed in a recent thread, but basically there were no laid down rules as to which was worn.

    Usually tropical kit (KD) would have been issued before departure but this may not have been possible hence the standard home dress being worn. The two wearing KD may have been the 'guides' that had been sent from Malta to guide the newcomers on the journey.

    Malcolm

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    The forage cap ('side-cap') was worn by all ranks, including well known senior officers such as Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder and Air Vice Marshal Sir Harry Broadhurst.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forage_cap

    www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWbroadhurstH.htm

    Hope this helps.

    Bruce

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    Hi
    I am not sure of regulations, but I understand those field uniforms were considered service dress rather than uniform, so it was not strict. In general, army BDs were worn in the areas close to the frontline, plenty of them appearing in the 2 TAF after the D-Day, to avoid confusion with German uniforms. Also, shortages played a factor, and in case of overseas postings, it was not uncommon, airmen got no wool BD prior to the departure, or had them to be replaced, and obtained them from locals stocks, army ones being most common. There were few variations of army BDs, so it is possible to make some conclusions, given photos are of good quality.

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    Thank you Malcom & Bruce, I appreciate the feedback :-)

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    Very interesting Franek... Even Army uniforms! Didn't know about this... Thank you!

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    Dennis Barnham is one of the two shown in light-coloured uniform, so not one of the guides. The other, F.E Almos, also wasn't a guide. Just chance, I suppose, that they managed to get tropical gear in time.

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