OPERATIONAL DRESS AND EQUIPMENT
Operational dress was very much a matter of individual preference, with no two crew members looking completely alike. The rule was that all crews should fly in khaki battle dress, which was supplied on request. This was because the normal RAF (or RCAF, RNZAF or RAAF) blue was too akin to the Luftwaffe blue and the penchant of Jugoslav partisans for shooting first and asking questions afterwards - a tendency certainly shared by the Red Army, whose front line was dangerously close to some of our target areas.
Even so, many crew members continued to fly in their blue.
RAF aircrews were also the first RAF personel to be issued with the blue beret (which years later was adopted as standard headgear throughout the Service), again to help distinguish them from the Luftwaffe.
To give a general idea of both dress and equipment, the list below specifies my own personal preferences:
Khaki battledress (blouse and slacks)
Flying boots - fur lined
Socks - two pairs
Khaki shirt - no tie
RAF sweater - V neck
White silk scarf and handkerchief
Underwear o singlet and briefs
.38 Smith and Weston Revolver
Webbing belt, holster and spare .38 ammunition.
9mm Beretta Automatic Pistol
Holster and spare 9mm ammunition
Double edged knife (dagger) ir. sheath (5 in, blade)
Chest type parachute
Navigators Bag - containing Dalton Protractor, Parallel Rulers, Straight edge ruler, supply of pencils, F441 Navigation Log Sheets. Dalton Navigational Computer, Rubber erasers, Air Navigation Tables, Navigational Log Folder, Escape Kit.
Note: Some navs, also carried a Mk IV Sentant for sun shots, etc.
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