Fleet Air Arm allowance for pilots to grow beard

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, May 28, 2014.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I found this picture on the internet:
    dff.jpg

    It appears to be a FAA pilot during WWII. I can't confirm if it's really a wartime photo, but anyway, it raises me a doubt if FAA pilots were allowed to grow a beard in WWII. Anyone knows something about this?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    It's hard to get a good fit in an O2 mask with a beard and breathing O2 tends to give you a rash when you have facial hair.
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW

    It does, and for that reason many pilots in the RAN were not permitted to grow a beard. In the RAN you had to apply to grow a beard, and for the aircrew, it depended on your job spec as to whether you could get permission.
     
  4. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    130
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I can't cite specific regulations but there are many wartime photographs of FAA aircrew with beards.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I think during the war the grooming standards were relaxed in combat zones, I know there are pictures of Joe Foss with a go-tee. In the 70s and the USN allowed longer hair and beards but they went by the wayside
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    It appears we have another one here:

    ddddd.jpg

    Picture found on this link:

    https:[email protected]/2833230822/lightbox/

    Unfornately I also cannot confirm it's authenticity.

    BTW, I already heard that the U-boat crew members could not shave off their beards during their combat tours. Anyone knows if this is truth, and if yes why they could not do this?
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,877
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Maybe just to save water?
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,143
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    It's true and that's exactly the reason. Fresh water was very limited on the boats.
     
  9. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,046
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Of course that a British carrier can't be compared with a U-boat and this might well be a silly question, but we can trutly reject this for the FAA carriers? :p
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Beards are a tradition in all Navies. The modern services are getting away from those traditions though.

    Just think of standing a watch on a very cold night with a bare face.

    I've never had a beard, but when I'm deer hunting from a tree stand, I can certainly think of a good reason for one. Those bare cheeks and chin can get pretty miserable in cold weather.
     
  11. yulzari

    yulzari Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Occupation:
    Gentleman
    Location:
    Limousin
    The Royal Naval ruling generally is that one needs permission to both stop shaving and to take up shaving afterwards. If the beard is not up to standard then the sailor may be instructed to recommence shaving.

    In the Falklands conflict, IIRC, all naval personnel were instructed to shave off beards once they were deemed to be in the battle zone. This was to ensure any breathing masks used in damage control would seal properly. I cannot comment on aircrew in particular but the order was universal. As an ex NBC instructor I can assure you that a beard does not let a respirator seal and exposure to CS smoke will convince even the most sceptical who will agree with tears in their eyes; if only they could open them......
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,522
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Obviously you are someone who would know, but thanks for getting that correct. :)

    Cheers

    Steve
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    I totally agree with this. When we tested our gas masks by the simple and effective process of going into an air raid bunker before they chucked a load of CS gas in, the Instructors had a lot of fun at the expense of those who hadn't shaved their beards off.
     
  14. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    What people say. The former JNA (Yugoslav Peoples Army, and that includes navy and air force) was strict that mustache is allowed to grow only above the down upper lip joint, for servicemen. The beard was allowed, for the reserve officers, to be of such small size that allows for a non-obstructed gas mask use.
     
  15. Token

    Token Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    Facial hair in the USN was more or less a standard thing up until about 1984 or so for enlisted personnel and officers in none pilot billets. Even flight crew, as long as not PIC or AC, could often have facial hair, for example I knew many an ECMO in the Prowler who had a facial hair. There were a couple of short periods prior to that when they revoked permissions for facial hair, but in general it was allowed. In either 1983 or 1984 the USN started clamping down. Officers lost beards first, then enlisted below E4. Eventually enlisted of any rank lost beards, and had limited mustaches. The stated reason for these changes were mask and breathing apparatus fitment and seal.

    As for the other question of water on board carriers, yes, water was ALWAYS in short supply up until the advent of the CVNs. Even 1000 foot long Forrestal’s and Kitty Hawks had trouble keeping up with water needs, let alone the little Essex class ships, or worse yet the “jeep” carriers (CVE’s). The CVE’s would have been the closest to the FAA carriers of WW II I would think.

    T!
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Thanks for that. When I was in the reserves I remember some of the older guys referring to that time as the "Zimwalt Navy." For a spell they were making having a moustashe difficult, measuring if it exceeded the egde of your lips.
     
  17. Sydhuey

    Sydhuey Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Helicopters)
    Location:
    Brisbane QLD Australia
    Commander "Sharkey" Ward , 3 kill Sea Harrier pilot
    v0_master.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Ah good old CS. I think I left part of my lungs in the chamber.

    The road right outside was known as chilimac road. :lol:
     
  19. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    IIRC, Sharkey got the only aerial gun kill in the Falklands, against the Pucarra?
     
  20. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    mental health nurse
    Location:
    Canada
    I remember a pic of Imish Mason where he's bearded, this was i n the desert early in the war so I'm betting rules were pretty lax

    mason.jpg
     
Loading...

Share This Page