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Thread: Escape packet

  1. #1
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    Default Escape packet

    Hello
    When British airmen were on a mission over Europe they were issued a small sealed escape packet containing among other things, money. The currency depended on which countrys they would fly over. What currency was in the packet was apparently indicated on the outside of the packet by letters.
    There was olso a number on the outside of the packet.
    Can anyone tell me what that number was for ?
    Were the crew required to sighn off for the packet as it contained money ? And was the number used to identify the packet ?
    If so, does these records excist today ?The reason for asking is that we are trying to identify a flyer who was washed ashore on the Danish westcoast during the war. A police report from those days mentiones the numbers.
    Regards
    Soren Flensted
    WWW.Flensted.EU.Com

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    Default

    Not sure if this helps but I still have my grandfathers escape kit, and it has No.181
    on each end of the outer box. This does not relate to his service number at all, and I
    had just assumed that they would have a list at the station that you would sign to
    say you had recieved your kit, but I was unsure if you would sign it before every op
    or if it was issued to you for your time on the squadron.

    Johnnie

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    Default

    An interesting forensic problem. Was there any mention of how long he might have been in the water? What time of year? what date of recovery. That might narrow the search to a number of squadrons - although unlikely to help now as I expect these documents have gone. Were his dental records kept post mortem? or was the body too badly decayed to help in this respect? One assumes that part of his uniform were intact - any label information recorded?

    Howard
    Last edited by Howdie; 4th December 2007 at 11:26. Reason: syllogism

  4. #4
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    Default Escape kit

    I will be back with more info in a couple of days when I have received the actual police report. So far I have only been informed about this newly found police report on the telephone.
    What I know is that a few of these kit`s are mentioned in various reports mentioning the numbers.
    I think that the sealed escape kit must have been issuedjust before the operation as it would depend on where you were going what kind of money and what map you would need.
    It would not be of any use if you came down in Denmark with a bundle of Belgium Franc and a map covering Belgium and France.
    In these kits were money, map, compass, a small saw.
    Regards
    Soren

  5. #5
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    Default

    My grandfathers contains:
    30 Malted milk tables
    12 Tablets boiled sweets
    24 Tablets chewing gum
    12 Tablets tea
    2 Tubes condensed milk
    24 Halazone tablets
    1 box matches
    12 Salt tablets
    1 Compass in waterproff cover
    1 Composite knife with razor blade and burning glass
    1 water bottle
    1 Fishing hook and line
    2 Roll os surgical tape
    4 Benzedrine tablets
    1 Razor blade
    it also comes with a list of what to do should you have to try and escape, and a list
    of phrases in Russian (all in a plastic box 5 1/2" by 4 1/2").

    He had completed his first tour with 214 Squadron in 42/43, and then in 45 went back on
    ops with 296 (he was the gunnery leader). I think the kit I have comes from his 296
    Squandron period as it has Russian phrases inside. I have a feeling that he may have
    had a few after the war as my father told me how he used to have them sent to him
    at boarding school (although certain items had been removed).

  6. #6
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    Default Escape kit / survival kit

    Johnnie
    I think that your grandfathers kit was a survival kit rather than a escape kit as I have seen one of the kits from a flyer who crashlanded in Denmark on 27/4-45. And that was I described in mu last reply.
    See http://www.flensted.eu.com/1945047.shtml
    Best regards
    Soren Flensted
    WWW.Flensted.EU.Com

  7. #7
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    Default Escape kit

    I have now received the police reports. They say that on 25/8-42 a body was found with a packet containing:
    7 x 100 French Franc notes
    5 x 50 French Franc notes
    5 x 10 French Franc notes
    3 x 100 Fr / Belges Belgium notes
    1 x 50 Fr / Belges Belgium notes
    1 x 25 Guilder, Dutch note
    3 maps from paper / silk
    1 small compass
    The packet/envelope was marked F B D : Frence Belgium Dutch ?
    The packet also had a yellow marking with the number 58 on it.

    On 9/9-42 Another packet found on another body contained the semilar items and was also marked F B D. On the yellow marking was the number 51. On the shirt of this body was written the name Matthews with ink.
    Best regards
    Soren Flensted
    WWW.Flensted.EU.Com

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    Default

    A possible identity for the second man.
    Flight Sergeant RICHARD GRANVILLE DOUGLAS MATHEWS 1324301
    Lost his life on the 6 Sep 1942. He is listed on The RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL.
    CWGC list him with 51Sqn.
    I cannot find hin in BCL by Chorley.
    Regards
    Andy

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    Default Escape Kit

    Hi Soren,

    The mentioned Mathews was on board Whitley V Z9387 from 51 Sqdn (Chivenor). Lost on a BP 29 patrol.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

  10. #10
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    Default Matthews

    Hello
    No, it cannot be that Matthews as this body was in a bad state of decomposition.
    It is stated that the body had been in the water for a long time. Head, arms and legs missing.
    On the uniform jacket, over the left breast pocket, was found a flyers badge with the letters RAF. No ID was found. There was no badges to show rank on the jacket which was missing one sleeve. In the pockets were found 11 british coins, 1 sketch book and a small pocket knife. All according to the police report.
    Best regards
    Soren Flensted
    WWW.Flensted.EU.Com

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