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Thread: RAF berets

  1. #1
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    Default RAF berets

    Gents, when berets were introduced in the RAF as general service headwear? Did other Commonwealth countries follow the pattern or not?
    TIA
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    AFAIK Franek

    1943 for RAF Regiment
    1948 as standard Headgear for RAF

    rgds baz

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    To the best of my knowledge the RNZAF never wore berets. Regards, Terry

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    And there is a skill, and art, to making this shapeless, sloppy, woollen 'thing' into a wearable piece of headgear!
    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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    Thanks guys!
    Peter, you must have had some rejected stuff!
    https://www.facebook.com/Franciszek-Grabowski-241360809684411/

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    Hi all
    I have seen photos of personnel in 1943 and 1944 showing Sergeants and Warrant Officers wearing berets.
    Steve

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    There are always variations with 'Uniforms'.
    RAF 'Volunteer' Glider Pilots when on 'Ops' into enemy held territory had to wear 'Airborne' Red Berets for obvious reasons,RAF blue being easy to mistake for Field Grey at a distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Resmoroh View Post
    And there is a skill, and art, to making this shapeless, sloppy, woollen 'thing' into a wearable piece of headgear!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Dunno what you mean Peter :)
    Below is a pic taken circa 1966,the gormless looking cadet on the far right is a young 'me' complete with 'Frank Spencer' Beret (even before frank spencer existed).It did get to be a better fit once it was a little more 'worn' (115 Sqn Peterborough).

    The Officer was F/O 'Buster Brown' DFM (I think - but might have been DFC) he was our Adj - an ex Pathfinder Air Gunner,I have never managed to find out anything about his service career as I went into the RAF as an Apprentice before I got interested in history.


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    You had to soak the issue beret in very hot water. Then you doused it very cold water. Then you put it on your head (wet!!) and molded it to the proper shape. The badge precisely over the left eye, and a neat little ‘gutter’ on the left side just above the leather rim-band. Then you took it off your head VERY carefully so as not to spoil the shape! Then you dried it quickly in front of an iron stove full of red-hot coke. This procedure ‘shrank’ the sometimes over voluminous berets to manageable proportions. And when dried this way it retained its shape so that when rolled (with the badge at the front) and stuffed into a shirt, or BD, epaulette and pulled out to wear resumed its original molded shape. The airman’s badge must be clean/shiny on both sides (SWOs have been known to inspect the reverse of the badge!!). The rim-band, when worn, must be precisely horizontal.
    And you thought that us Met Men only knew about the weather? LOL!!!
    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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    Re Berets - I think this is probably a reasoned post from an ex RAF Blanket Stacker (storeman) - from a modelling forum.
    I know what he means about missing his 'posh' Battledress - I was one of many RAF guys that had my old Best Blue cut down into a Battledress Jacket - very smart and comfy too :)

    That is a fair point and I am sure your father did wear a beret in WW2, but RAF Dress regulations on the Forage or Field Service Cap are clear in the link to the IWM.

    Berets were only to be worn by members of the RAF Regiment during WW2 - but not saying some local flouting of dress regs did not happen and some unit commanders authorised for what ever reason the use of the beret and not the FS cap.

    It is more than likely when the RAF re-designed the basic RAF working uniform in 1948 that's when the Beret became standard issue for all enlisted Personnel, but not generally Officers (aircrew officers did wear berets).


    The reason I know all this Sh*t is I spent 26 years in the RAF Supply and some of if in RAF Clothing Stores.

    As one poster states RAF Dress Regulations are one thing and what RAF personnel wear on a day to day basis is another esp in the 1960's and 70's. I joined in the mid 70's and often went to work in boots with white sea boot socks, working blue trousers, dark blue working shirt, camouflage Jacket and a chip hat, and looked a right scruffy git. So all you modellers doing RAF Aircraft from the 1970's and 80's with personnel, they should all look a bit miss matched in uniform. The RAF working environment at the time esp in stores or other places where it was heavier work, as long as you were in some uniform with a hat to go to dinner, no one battered a eyelid.

    In the mid 1980 the RAF got really serious (the time I was in Clothing stores) and wanted standards of dress, so all unauthorised forms of dress finally went out of the window, that was mixed blues and camouflage, and my beloved posh Battledress ( You could keep your old number 1 uniform and have it tailored into a nice looking but easier to wear battledress). Still there was flouting, but SWO (Station Warrant Officers) would keep a eye out for walking bags of sh*t.

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