Aircrew creature comforts

This Section is opened to all the subjects (even if they aren’t about World War II) and all other things like sales or auctions.
Post Reply
User avatar
Denonline
BC Veteran
BC Veteran
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:33 am

Aircrew creature comforts

Post by Denonline »

Aircrew were issued with the luxury of shoes and bedding sheets.Our mattresses consisted of 3 biscuits so named because of their shape and size. When laid end to end on the bed they made a mattress of about 6ft x 2ft 6ins. 4 inches thick. All non coms. were responsible for their own bed making. During training we were required to fold our bedding into a special shape at the foot of our beds. the exception being once we became operational. It then became the custom for us to make our beds before we left our billets.

We had our own personal valeting service, for example keeping the creases in our trousers. This was done by folding them on our beds under the sheets and sleeping on them. I know that I have previously mentioned having our own "Housewife" not all as it first seems The "Housewife" was a white linen bag containing scissors, pins, needles ,cottons etc.

On enlistment we were issued with our personal "Irons" ( knife, fork & spoon). Outside the Mess there was normally a water tank to enable us to clean them. I believe that most of us carried them in one of our battledress pockets whilst on Base.

Laundering of our sheets, shirts and underwear was on a fortnightly basis. We had name tabs on our clothes.
We would hand in dirty washing and pick up cleaned washing at the same time.

No wonder that we became aircrew, such luxuries :) :)

Dennis

User avatar
K4KittyCrew
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:55 am
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia

Re: Aircrew creature comforts

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Fascinating stuff, Dennis ............... thanks for sharing this with us.
Was there any particular reason that you / crews, carried your eating utensils with you?
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

User avatar
Denonline
BC Veteran
BC Veteran
Posts: 197
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:33 am

Re: Aircrew creature comforts

Post by Denonline »

Hi John, cutlery was not supplied at the Mess and billets could be quite remote and a long cycle ride on our bikes, especially in bad weather. When we were scheduled flying, some kept their cutlery in their crew lockers, others carried their irons with them. One risk being that in the event of having to bale out etc. warped captors could treat the knife as a weapon with dire results.

At OTU especially there was so much chopping & changing with our flying times etc. that meals were suddenly arranged. We did not have bikes at No. 14 OTU, it was all transport between Mess, a/c and billets

Taking your point on members making inputs, If any forum members are interested in squadron snippets, then I will do my best to oblige.

Dennis.

User avatar
K4KittyCrew
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:55 am
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia

Re: Aircrew creature comforts

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Cheers Dennis.

The book I'm currently reading ( as listed on the forum viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1883 ) ........ made mention that once when taking off, the aircraft tyre blew out from returning crews when rear gunners cleared their guns as the aircraft taxied down the runway. ( as listed on the second page below )

Dennis, did you know of this practice?
John

Image
Image
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

User avatar
PeteT
Pilot Officer
Pilot Officer
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:01 pm

Re: Aircrew creature comforts

Post by PeteT »

Dennis

....and a white insert in your cap ... what more could you ask for!

I agree with John, I love to read your snippets of information.

As you know I am particularly interested in the early training at ACRC / ITW / Trade School ..... so please keep recounting those memories of yours; they are very much appreciated.

Regards

Pete
Researching:
CA Butler, flight engineer Lancaster ME334 (KIA over Bonn with 35 PFF on 4th Febuary 1945) http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/
Ground Crew and Aircrew Training WWII
"The History of No 35 Squadron" http://35squadron.wordpress.com/

Post Reply