The pilots backpack

Discussion in 'Aircrew equipment' started by Arneken, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Imagine you're been shot down but managed to crash land and get out of you're plane.

    Did pilots in ww2 had emergency packs? in case off landing/crashing on enemy territory?
    And what did got in it?

    I'm quessing:
    A (flare) gun
    Food and drink
    A flashlight
    and more usefull stuff.


    But you guys can tell me all about it, I'm sure about that. :twisted: :)


    Greetings Arne
     
  2. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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    The tropical equipment for the 109 included a 98k Rifle mounted in the rear fuselage. I've seen a picture probably from a manual once. And I read about a russian pilot who always carried a PPSh when he took of. I expect many others did that that too. Some of these things were issued (maps of europe printed on silk scarfs for allied pilots for example), some were personal.

    A flare gun is always a good idea, but a revolver may not be so good. In a story about a Whirlwind pilot I read that many of them refused to take a gun with them. In case they were shot down they did not want to provoke a trigger happy (and probably nervous) enemy to kill them.

    Krabat
     
  3. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Krabat42 thank you for reactin so soon. Well I was doubting about the rifles and personal guns.

    greetings.
     
  4. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The British crews had foreign money, maps and water purification tablets if nothing else.
     
  5. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    So nothing more then that ? I know they were supposed to contact la resistance or the undergound movement but that they carried that little?
     
  6. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I don't know, I'm sure they would have carried more than that. Possibly a knife, a language handbook and fishing line (they would be reasonable suggestions for a survival pack)
     
  7. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Hm indeed those are all logical things. If I've offended you with my previous post my apologies for that.
     
  8. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    Of course you didn't offend me. It was a valid question, and you're right to think they did carry more than that because they probably did.
     
  9. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Yeah well I'm kind of hoping to make a list off things. for different countries and then compare. I do hope it works.

    but sometimes I go in overdrive to get the answer :oops:
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Chocolate , amphetomines, :) gold
     
  11. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    Some of the German aircraft in North Africa also carried "drillings" a break-open three barrelled gun, usually two 16 gauge barrels and a rifle barrel underneath. I've seen pictures of Luftwaffe markings on them. Supposedly in case they went down in country loaded with wildlife........ Guns and Ammo Magazine did a write-up on them, back in the 1970s. They were, by no means, common issue, though.
     
  12. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    hmm for shooting wild? or Tommies and yanks?

    Thanks for the extra info.
     
  13. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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    Another thought: If this stuff was issued, there must be regulations (in the military, regulations is everything). So why not ask the archives, for example of the RAF, Armee de'l Air etc.?
     
  14. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Can you do that from Belgium? I mean by mail off course.
     
  15. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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    There's museums which you could ask. The RAF museum in Hendon for example.
     
  16. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    i'm still waiting on feedback
     
  17. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I'm just guessing here - but I would think a lot of it is still the same as today. We don't carry a whole lot on our vests while we fly. Knife, flares, a little water (that looks 45 years old), water purification tablets, and some other stuff. A .45 as well. I would think that they are taught how to live off the land as we are also, eating certain plantlife, roots, bugs and such. If you need water take it from a cold, clear creek. That sort of stuff.
     
  18. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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  19. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Indeed. thank you. I will read it more thoroughly when I find some time.
     
  20. Arneken

    Arneken Member

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    Finally recieved word back. So all thanks to the RAFmuseum for answering:

    Dear Mr. Vangheluwe,

    Thank you for your enquiry. Items carried by RAF aircrew flying over
    enemy territory included their two identity disks, survival equipment
    (e.g. parachute, life jacket and whistle) and escape aids (e.g. maps,
    compass, emergency rations, foreign currency and passport photographs
    for use in forged documents). For further details and photographs of
    some of these items I would recommend the book Luftwaffe vs RAF: Flying
    equipment of the air war, 1939-1945 by Mick J. Prodger (ISBN
    0764302493). The dinghies carried in larger aircraft contained further
    survival items, e.g. flares, radios, food and water). Sometimes they
    also carried blood chits (messages in local languages urging civilians
    not to mistreat downed aircrew and return them to the British
    authorities). These are described in Last hope: The blood chit story by
    R.E. Baldwin T.Wm. McGarry (ISBN 0764302221).

    Aircrew were encouraged not to take any documents with them as they
    might have revealed information to the enemy if captured:

    "Don't carry or allow anyone else to carry any papers, official or
    private, on a flight. An envelope may give away information. Everything
    gives something away, even an old Tram Ticket or a bill. Don't forget
    to turn your pockets out before going up as a matter of routine even if
    you don't intend to go over enemy lines." (Sub-Air Publication 1548;
    Instructions and guide to all officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force
    regarding precautions to be taken in the event of falling into the hands
    of an enemy; 1940)


    greetings Arneken.
     
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