Dutch WAAFS?

Dutch WAAFS?

Joined: September 1st, 2004, 5:30 pm

March 28th, 2005, 4:31 pm #1

I know there were Dutch men in the RAF, they had 'The Netherlands' patches on their uniform.
I also know there was a Belgian WAAF, she had a Belgium patch on her uniform.
Now When I get my WAAF uniform and start working on my biography I wonder if I could portray a Dutch WAAF.
I dont need to as my English is good enough to fool king george, just wondering as it would be a interesting story to tell the mops.
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Joined: December 17th, 2003, 10:09 pm

March 28th, 2005, 8:54 pm #2

hello Joeri,

Interesting question. I am not going to claim that there were no Dutch WAAF's in the RAF, but i have never come across any refferences. I will look in to it for you straight away though.
As far as i know, not even all pilots of 322 (the only RAF squadron) were Dutch. There were however also a number of Dutch fitters and riggers in the squadron.
Most of the "common" squadron tasks, such as administration etc. were handled by British RAF staff.
I mentioned 322 as being the only RAF squadron. 320 and 321 were RNAS squadrons, and all personell were wearing Dutch Navy uniforms. Now the fact that there were over 5000 (!) Dutchmen/-women in the Dutch Navy operating from the UK during ww2, suggests the possibility that at least some MARVA's (that's the Dutch verion of WREN for you limey readers)were active in either 320 or 321 sqdn's.
As soon as i find the list of 322 squadron personell, i will get back to you on this subject.
Ta,

Prune.
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EWJ
Joined: July 21st, 2004, 9:01 pm

March 28th, 2005, 9:50 pm #3

I know there were Dutch men in the RAF, they had 'The Netherlands' patches on their uniform.
I also know there was a Belgian WAAF, she had a Belgium patch on her uniform.
Now When I get my WAAF uniform and start working on my biography I wonder if I could portray a Dutch WAAF.
I dont need to as my English is good enough to fool king george, just wondering as it would be a interesting story to tell the mops.
Well "WWII British Women's Uniform in Colour" does not specifically mention them and the quick look I've had through my source material doesn't show any foriegn title on uniforms. That said with 182,000 WAAF's in the ranks and making up 22% of home service personnel it's hardly surprising.

As I pointed out in an earlier post I need the Air Ministry Dress Regulations for the WAAF to settle a couple of issues.

In view of the fact the RAF was good generally recognising national origin my gut reaction is they would be warn - I did check and we've no Dutch ttiles avaliable over here from Air Diggers.

One thing final point 'N' Section SOE did not recruit any WAAF's, I know that 'F' Section although their WAAF's seem to have been British nationals.




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Joined: September 1st, 2004, 5:30 pm

March 28th, 2005, 9:57 pm #4

I know there was a Dutch flight stewardess in the SOE, Beatrix Terwindt, cant find much about her.
It would be interesting to wear a WAAF uniform as part of my SOE cover, especially when I start out and will probably know to little about the real WAAF.
Wearing the Netherlands insignia would be interesting.
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Joined: September 1st, 2004, 5:30 pm

March 28th, 2005, 10:01 pm #5

Well being a fictional character anyway, I might impersonate the one other (non excisting) Dutch woman in the SOE with a WAAF uniform as a cover...or would that be pushing it?
I wouldnt mind reenacting a British WAAF though, just like the idea of wearing a 'The Netherlands' Patch and to combine the uniform with my interest for the Dutch resistance and the SOE.
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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

March 28th, 2005, 10:21 pm #6

Well,
according to Beryl escotts book on the WAAF there are a few pics in there of girls wearing nationality titles. I used to wear unofficial (but frequently worn) Ireland titles and I have a photo of an early war Canadian Girl, wearing titles.
I have no official line on it but I tend to go from period photos...
As for Beatrix Terwindt, she was one of the few SOE (although actually trained with MI9) to survive Mathausen.
Kate
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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

March 28th, 2005, 10:22 pm #7

other way round...SOE trained but dropped by MI9.
Doh!
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Joined: September 1st, 2004, 5:30 pm

March 28th, 2005, 10:31 pm #8

Yes Beatrix, one of the few to escape the Englandspiel, but dont get me started on that subject...

Anyway, although I usually prefer people to reenact the more common sights and ranks of ww2, I also find the SOE story a unknown and rather important and interesting one.
So I would love to reenact that as well.

Either way, my civilian impression will remain nr 1!
Hey hey, Dutch all the way
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EWJ
Joined: July 21st, 2004, 9:01 pm

March 29th, 2005, 6:35 pm #9

Well,
according to Beryl escotts book on the WAAF there are a few pics in there of girls wearing nationality titles. I used to wear unofficial (but frequently worn) Ireland titles and I have a photo of an early war Canadian Girl, wearing titles.
I have no official line on it but I tend to go from period photos...
As for Beatrix Terwindt, she was one of the few SOE (although actually trained with MI9) to survive Mathausen.
Kate
Sorry Kate, Berly Escot was the first place I looked for shoulder titles for foriegn service WAAF's. Only WAAF uniforms I could find are opposite page 104 - they show standard other rank shoulder eagles.

Yes I'd overlooked Trix Terwindt (Chicory) - there is only a limited amount of information on her in 'SOE in the Low Countries' by M.R.D. Foot. It might be worth a trip the the Public Records Office in Kew, West London to try find more about her since a lot of the SOE files are now in the public domain now.

SOE is a really good impression - as we get older and it becomes harder to convince people we're combat troops of whatever branch of service. Falling back on the Resistance and SOE who did take people well into the forties, the oldest woman sent into the field was 48.

SOE is also really good for women because the service was so egalitarian, you can do everything from participate tacticals, through 'show and tell' displays to living history events.

Is the uniform necessary to do SOE? No but it's nice to have to finish off the impression, and that's why we got it - it's only reallt to be used when your position has been formally liberated; giving you about 48 hours to wear it in France before General de Gaulle or his officials order you to leave the country - so much for gratitude

Sorry to go on, but my main ephasis for WWII reenacting of late has been on the SOE and trying to represent the organization properly.
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Joined: April 22nd, 2004, 8:51 pm

March 29th, 2005, 9:04 pm #10

Which Beryl Escott book? Not 'we all wore blue.'
Either way, I have pics of WAAFs wearing titles, if I could only find out how you post smaller pics on here I would.
I have always been interested in the SOE. I am with a group at the moment depicting SOE and have been working on all sorts of interesting devices etc...
My next door neighbour was SOE when I was a kid and I used to avoid going round to see her, mainly because she was very old, slightly loopy and smelled bad and Damn! How I wish I had spent more time talking to her now....
I've actually stopped doing WAAF now, but it was how I started out many moons ago( mum was WRAF in the 50s, Dad was RAF) and now I just like to tut at all the modern kit and high heels and hair hanging on collars that I see at some events!!!
Nice to see that groups like RAF at War have gals doing it properly!!
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