RCAF Suits Aircrew

RCAF Suits Aircrew

Joined: December 13th, 2006, 8:48 pm

April 20th, 2010, 9:23 pm #1

Hi Folks.
I have just picked up a 1942 R.C.A.F Suits Aircrew Blouse,
Was it normal for this pattern of uniform to have no Shoulder Straps? The one I have does not have any and I cant see that they have been removed, the blouse is in very good condition apart from this so cant see why they would have been removed, any thoughts would be most welcome,

Many Thanks
Gary
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Joined: May 10th, 2006, 8:09 pm

April 20th, 2010, 9:57 pm #2

That's correct
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Joined: January 29th, 2004, 1:59 am

April 20th, 2010, 11:10 pm #3

RCAF BD were made minus epaulettes
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 21st, 2010, 12:57 am #4

You'll also often see production batches that still have the shoulder straps on them. Both types were produced.
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Joined: November 23rd, 2003, 6:13 pm

April 21st, 2010, 3:50 am #5

I have yet to see a Canadian manufactured BD tunic with factory applied shoulder straps. Of course in wartime photos it is impossible to tell if they were added at the factory or modified for displaying officer rank or whatever other reason. I would be very interested to see photos of a Canadian made tunic with the straps factory applied if anyone has some to share.
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Joined: December 13th, 2006, 8:48 pm

April 21st, 2010, 7:04 am #6

Many thanks for your replys,
Thats made me happy, glad that its how it should be,

Cheers
Gary
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

April 23rd, 2010, 11:55 am #7

I have yet to see a Canadian manufactured BD tunic with factory applied shoulder straps. Of course in wartime photos it is impossible to tell if they were added at the factory or modified for displaying officer rank or whatever other reason. I would be very interested to see photos of a Canadian made tunic with the straps factory applied if anyone has some to share.
I will see about digging out some blouses when I get home. I have several unissued RCAF BD jackets -- a few with shoulder straps, a few without, along with a Type D w/o and a Type D w/factory applied shoulder straps.

The original RCAF BD were blue versions of the Canadian Army BD -- i.e. w/shoulder straps.

From what I've read (and there is no direct document stating such), it was intended that the BD w/o shoulder straps were to be issued to Other Ranks while officers were to get versions with them. It was never clear whether the shoulder straps were to be added at unit level. Certainly this idea developed huge issues when RCAF embarked on a program to commission its aircrew -- leaving huge numbers of strap-less BD requiring upgrade and/or replacement. I have quite a few Type D jackets that had shoulder straps added sometime after production.

If you troll through the period photos, you'll see RCAF pattern BD being worn in high percentages on the RCAF squadrons. Few are without shoulder straps. A key point is that these are RCAF BD -- i.e. 6 button, single-pointed flaps, etc -- not RAF issues being worn.

I've started looking into whether the BD w/o boards were possibly something worn by personnel based in Canada. Possibly something along the same lines as the RCAF's greenish-hued KD that was largely confined to at-home use?
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Joined: November 23rd, 2003, 6:13 pm

April 24th, 2010, 7:29 am #8

It is about time and far overdue that RCAF specific uniforms get some attention and all of the variations are explained for all to see and understand. I don't understand why this topic isn't already well researched and understood.
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