Looking for some help.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Sarah, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Hello all,
    Apologies if this is posted in the wrong place, if it is I would be grateful if a mod could move it.
    Also apologies in advance if this isnt something you can help me with as a community but thanks for taking the time to look in on this.

    My father has come to aquire a D.E.M.S Aircraft recognition handbook from an old friend, now he isnt an aviation lover so was looking to sell it to be honest (dont worry im not here to advertise)

    My problem is, after scouring the internet I cannot find this book anywhere.
    I have found several manufactured books with similar content but this is an official air publications. I have attached some pictures so you can see what I mean.

    My questions are, Does anyone know anything about this kind of book? It seems like we probably shouldn't even have it! And is this the kind of item a collector would be interested in?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Kind regards all :)
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sarah, that's actually a cool find and a nice piece of history to have.

    I'm not too familiar with wartime British publications, but I do know that the D.E.M.S. in the title of the book stands for "Defence Equipped Merchant Ships" and refers to armed merchants ships of Britain during WWII
     
  3. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Hi, thanks for the response :D
    I find it odd that you mention ships though as the book is full of aircraft, I dont recall seeing one ship in it!

    Would it have been something handed out to the mariners so they could recognise planes? Im confused!
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Judging by the title on the cover and the way how profiles of aircraft were printed I would say it might have been for AAA guners.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep. As both Navies (RN and Merchant marine) in WW2 would shoot first and ask questions later, and shoot at anything above them, near them or even within sight, it was thought a good idea to provide Aircraft Recognition manuals to ships, so that they at least knew which 'friendly' aircraft they had taken a pot at!
    In the entire history of WW2, it would seem that the (then) War Office had wasted the time, effort, paper and printing, as, even when 'friendly' aircraft flashed the colours of the day, or sent the correct radio signals etc, they were still shot at - and sometimes with casualties and fatalities on the receiving end - even including the ship's convoy's own fighter cover !!
     
  6. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Ahh yes, that makes perfect sense as to why this would exist! I guess even with the book though, in the heat of the moment if something flew at/around you survival instinct would kick in and you would just fire regardless of whos aircraft it was. Thanks for the explanation and replies, very appriciated.
    Will pass this info onto my dad.

    Is this something a collector would be interested in you think? I would rather it be with someone that appreciated it for what it is.
     
  7. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I'm pretty darn sure there are about a hundred (or so) guys (or gals) on this site who are drooling on their keyboards right now. Its a nice piece of memorabilia you've got there! If nobody bites on it, have you considered finding a nearby museum? Most museums, whether they're aviation-related or not, would be more than happy to take any sort of historical items that people would want to donate, or at the very least could direct you towards an individual/museum who would be interested. Whatever you decide to do with the book, please don't just let it sit in a box somewhere!
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    RA, you might ber surprised, I've contacted several "war-type" museums about donating all my vietnam "stuff" and received no positive replies. "send us a list and we'll consider a few of your items" Even a Yard crossbow and bamboo arrows provoked no interest. Told the kid to sell the S**t on Ebay and make some money.
     
  9. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Yeah when my grandad passed away we had a load of wartime memorabilia that we tried to donate to the local museum and they just wouldn't take it!

    Well, if anyone is reading this and cares to make me an offer please feel free to send me a PM, i hope saying that isnt breaking any forum rules, if so please feel free to delete it :)

    Thank you again all for your responses, its nice to get a bit of background to it.

    And ill make sure it doesnt stay in a box unloved, im a collector of stuff myself (video game merch in my case) so understand that things are much more appriciated in the hands of the right people :)
     
  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    That's odd, I've talked to several folks who've either donated stuff to museums, or had the museum point them at another location where their stuff was donated. Guess it depends on the museum and the person you talked with. Ah, well, my advice is usually crap anyway. :lol:
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Thought it was good advice, RA...I would have said the same thing, actually.

    I have donated to a couple museums in the past, and if it's something noteworthy, then contact some larger or more specialty museums. Matter of fact, that Air Recognition handbook would either be of interest in an Air Museum (like Duxford) or even a Maritime Museum (like the National Maritime Museum in London).

    They can't be interested in it if they don't know about it :)
     
  12. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    Nice find Sarah and being an old duffer the book comes to mind from my Air Training Corps in the early, mid 50s. They dolled these books out for us young sprats to drool over and surprisingly a good number of the aircraft were still in service.
     
  13. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    #13 A4K, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
    I've had similar experiences with trying to donate stuff to aircraft museums myself (as Long Term Loan in my case). 'All too happy to get anything aircraft related', and despite a list with drawings of each item, they didn't recognise (or care about) the military stuff and have since lost it - "probably in a box somewhere" was the message I last received. This is including a section of Skyhawk canopy, Mosquito wing fabric, and Fiat BR.20 engine valve from a bomber downed in the BoB...

    Sarah, that book is a great find, and I know a good home for it. Check your PM's.

    Evan
     
  14. Sarah

    Sarah New Member

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    Sorry for the delay in responding, will check my PM's now :)
    Thanks for the interest guys.
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Cripes Evan, they were idiots!
     
  16. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Having worked in an air museum for a number of years, I can tell you, they have way more stuff than they can display. It's sad but true. The other thing to keep in mind that is once you donate something to a museum, they can legally trade with other museums for things. Unfortunately, there are some items that they may have too many of and don't take any more of a particular item. The museum where I was had more sextants than you could imagine, and people were looking to donate even more of them. We also had plenty of bent prop blades and dummy bombs.
     
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