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how did post WW2 pilots/ flightcrew carry extra ammo


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#1 happy

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:25 PM

hi , how did post WW2 pilots/ flightcrew carry extra ammo , except for the USN shoulder holster on a posted below , that has ammo loops , how did they carry ammo ??
happpy

Edited by happy, 19 January 2010 - 07:26 PM.


#2 MIke_L.

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 05:45 AM

As to Army and USAF:

The post WW2 pilots still issued the C2 vests carried the spare ammo in a box stowed in a pocket.

Between the C2 and SRU-21 vests, I've seen photos of pilots where belt holsters and ammo pouches similar to what USAF security cops wore with revolvers. I haven't seen anything else though as generally in peacetime, aircrew don't carry firearms. Most photos I've seen of them wearing the belt pouches were early-mid VN era (revolvers), a few Korean War era (M1911).

Some survival kits of the cold war had spare ammo packed in them depending on the kit.

The SRU-21 vest had a pocket on the right side for ammo which I believe was just wrapped in a poly bag with a dummy cord.

In the Army since then, the weapon has been an auto loading pistol with a magazine and designated pockets in the OV-1 & AIRSAVE vests. The SARVIP & Air Warrier series didn't have any internal weapon stowage provision and relied on an external holster.

Don't know how the Navy differed but probably about the same with their propriety gear. IIRC, the Navy SV-2 vests had cartridge panels that were stowed inside a pouch.

#3 hawkdriver

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:13 AM

In the Army since then, the weapon has been an auto loading pistol with a magazine and designated pockets in the OV-1 & AIRSAVE vests. The SARVIP & Air Warrier series didn't have any internal weapon stowage provision and relied on an external holster.


As Mike said, the SRU-21 had a dedicated pocket for carrying .38 tracer was provided on the vest. A leather holster could be sewn on, some did, some didn't. The AIRSAVE never had a dedicated pocket. If you local purchased the AIRSAVE holster, it had an external mag pouch sewn in, but this wasn't regular issue. During the time of the AIRSAVE issue, Bosnia and Kosovo were going on and most aircrew either purchased PX leg holsters and or in country leather shoulder holsters with a mag pouch on the other side. The SARVIP didn't have a provision for ammo or holster either, most guys would take the Bianchi holster that was issued as TA-50 and clip it onto the vest along with the Bianchi mag pouch. The Gen II Air Warrior came with a holster pocket sewn onto it with mag pouches, but by the time the Gen III rolled around, it was removed and a stand alone holster that could be turned into a shoulder, thigh, or strapped onto the vest, along with a mag pouch.

#4 happy

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 08:00 AM

hi guys , many thanks, can you post a picture of the SRU-21 vest , I donot beleive I have ever seen one ??
happy

#5 101CH47

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:51 AM

During my time in El Salvador I put a spare M16 magazine behind the survival radio in the vest. After I found out the issue radio was all but useless I replaced it with two boxes of 9mm for my HP. I figured if push came to shove I would rather have the extra 9mm than a radio to throw at the FMLN.

The vests we had did not have a sewn on holster so I carried my HP in a leather 45 holster on a standard pistol belt.

Before any one thinks I am completely stupid for not carrying a radio we did have secure handheld radios issued by the Milgrp however these would not fit in the vest radio pocket.

SRU21 Vest

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  • sru21.jpg

Edited by 101CH47, 20 January 2010 - 10:57 AM.


#6 MIke_L.

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

Yes, as Hawkdriver pointed out, the AIRSAVE didn't have a holster attached like the SRU-21 did. I should have made that distinction. There is one available as shown in the TM but was an optional issue item and probably never issued. I never actually saw a holster worn with the AIRSAVE vests when I was in either. Seems like the AIRSAVE wasn't around for long. I saw the SARVIP in the late '90s and the Air Warrior was in by '03.

There are several variants to the SRU-21 vests. The photo 101CH47 posted is the vest but you will see variations to the the pocket types and configurations depending on the era (they've been in use since the '60s). You may also see some with heavy webbing sewn across the chest for a lift harness. The SRU-21 has been around for so long that it got modified as needed.

#7 TJM

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:56 AM

My Father was a B-17G Bombardier. He was issued and carried a normal .45 magazine pouch on a pistol belt. He wore the .45 in a sholder holster.

#8 hawk3370

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:13 AM

hi , how did post WW2 pilots/ flightcrew carry extra ammo , except for the USN shoulder holster on a posted below , that has ammo loops , how did they carry ammo ??
happpy


Happy,
During the VN period a lot of Army pilots wore the "Cheap Charlie" holster and belt for their issue .38. There wasn't any room in the Cobra Gunship for an M-16 so I managed to scrounge a French Mat-49 9mm that fit neatly behind the seat. Attached is a pic of my "Cheap Charlie", notice the pouch on the front for a sharpening stone. In it we carried a couple rounds of extra ammo and a couple hand held emergency flares.

Terry

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  • Cheap_Charlie_Holster_001.jpg


#9 hawk3370

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:15 AM

Happy,
During the VN period a lot of Army pilots wore the "Cheap Charlie" holster and belt for their issue .38. There wasn't any room in the Cobra Gunship for an M-16 so I managed to scrounge a French Mat-49 9mm that fit neatly behind the seat. Attached is a pic of my "Cheap Charlie", notice the pouch on the front for a sharpening stone. In it we carried a couple rounds of extra ammo and a couple hand held emergency flares.

Terry

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  • Cheap_Charlie_Holster_002.jpg


#10 hawk3370

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:16 AM

Last pic

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  • Cheap_Charlie_Holster_003.jpg


#11 happy

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:10 AM

wow , guys , many thanks , alot to read, many thanks, happy

#12 happy

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:14 PM

hi guys , just curious , how much do SRU-21 go for ??
happy

wow , guys , many thanks , alot to read, many thanks, happy


Edited by happy, 02 February 2010 - 08:15 PM.


#13 hawkdriver

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:13 PM

Used to be able to buy them for $10 pretty routinely, they are starting to go back up in price again, now, $30 to $50 is average for a standard used vest.

#14 Mashsig

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:38 PM

happy - here are a couple of photos of US NAVY ammo carrying methods after WWII.  The first is the bullet bandoleer for the SV-2 vest and the second is the AIRSAVE Holster which has a spare magazine pouch built in.  The AIRSAVE holster is available in OD and SG (sage green).  The AIRSAVE holster easily accommodates the 1911 and two spare mags.

 

navysurvival-01.jpg

 

The bandoleers shown above are the SG type for the Navy SV-2 vest.  The USMC SV-2 vest was in OD and the bandoleer for it was also OD.  This is the same OD bandoleer issued with the OV-1 vest.

Note: the white "dummy" cord wrapped around each bandoleer.  These cords usually had another color woven in - orange or red as a line or broken line.  The OD bandoleers typically had OD "dummy" cord.

 

due to upload limits the AIRSAVE holster is in my next post.



#15 Mashsig

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:48 PM

Here is the AIRSAVE (aka CMU-33/P) holster:

cmu33holster.jpg

The AIRSAVE holster in SG was made for the Air Force. (though the AF may not have adopted the AIRSAVE - I still digging in my files on this for another post)
And you can find the SG AIRSAVE holster on eBay every now again.

The mag pouch has an elastic band under the snap flap to prevent loss of the spare magazine. (In case you are inverted and you yank open the mag flap. The AIRSAVE pouch snap buttons are not designed to be opened easily. Of course mine could be seconds or rejects. But some of my younger friends who have used this vest in the service have told me - yep definitely not meant to be opened.)

Interesting side note - that SG strap is from the Air Force AIRSAVE. Same color as the AIRSAVE holster in my collection.

#16 Mashsig

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:54 PM

Oh I almost forgot there is Velcro under the main AIRSAVE holster flap between the snaps.

It is a lot easier to get your pistol of choice out after you are on the ground with the Velcro.

I had one set of my AIRSAVE pockets retro-fitted with OD green Velcro. I had noticed that the OD green MOLLE Rifleman pouches all had Velcro closures. So it made since for ease of use.


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