Jump to content

USAAF Groundcrew, unsung heroes on the ground


27thdivcollector
 Share

Recommended Posts

27thdivcollector

Holey Moley Matt, I wasn't expecting them! what absolute beauties, and for the dodge to still have original markings, how jealous am I? please post more pics, I'd love to see more.Especially your Clarktors, I have a thing for them. I think I would like to own one of those more than anything else. They are just fantastic vehicles. I also have a thing for M6 bomb trucks, do you have any of those lurking in your back garden?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AAF_Collection

Thanks Andy,I'm glad you don't mind me posting my collection of rust to your thread!. I don't have an M6,but a friend is in the process of restoring one,along with the M5 trailer. Here's a pic of my Clarktor-6,this is actually a BH model supplied to the RAF,but identical to those used by the AAF. At present it's stripped down for a proper restoration...and a repaint!.

http://i908.photobucket.com/albums/ac284/MRimmer/ClarkCT-6.png

 

And what it will(hopefully) look like once finished. Pic taken at RAF Valley,Anglesey in 1945 following VE Day,the B-24 is "Glory Be" of the 44th BG.

 

Sorry me and photobucket are not getting along,I'll try again!.

 

Matt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

Pre-war D1 jacket, this jacket has never been issued, it still retains it's original colour and still retains the treatment laquer which was applied to all shearling items. However the jacket is extremely fragile and brittle and has a couple of tears. The jacket has no contractors tag as it was made "in house" before a need for civilian contractors arose. On the back of the neck, under the collar, stamped onto a leather panel are the details, the stock no. is pretty illegible but "MFG SAAD" and the size "MEDIUM" stamping can clearly be read. SAAD stands for San Antonio Aero Depot, I know nothing about this facility, but I have a couple of Air Corps Dzus tools stamped the same. If anyone has any info on thr San Antonio Aero Depot I would be very gratefull to hear about it as I know absolutely nothing. These SAAD jackets are pretty distinguishable by the sleeve seams and the diagonal seams at the fron of the jacket. Also the back is made up of four panels as opposed to two.

post-14242-0-16260600-1367773399.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

D1 jacket made by Western leather clothing company.

The label reads

TYPE D-1

SPEC NO. 94-3084-A

SIZE LARGE

ORDER NO. (535)43-3607-AF

WESTERN LEA. CLO. CO.

PROPERTY, AIR FORCE

U.S.ARMY

 

A s can be seen this jacket has the zipped side pockets, some D1's came with pockets and some didn't. unfortunately it has a replaced main zipper but apart from that it's a good honest D-1. The back is the usual two panels.

post-14242-0-61661700-1367774074.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

This was my first D-1 made by i Spiewak and sons. this old fella has seen many hours on the hardstands, it has had a hard working life but oh boy! the stories it could tell. The front zipper has departed from this Earth long ago and been replaced with a series of press studs. The left shoulder has a been heavilly patched and not too well either. but I still love it. The label reads

TYPE D-1

SIZE LARGE

SPEC NO. 94-3084

ORDER NO. 42-4694P

I. SPIEWAK & SONS

JERSEY CITY N.J

 

It too has a two panel back. I love these jackets and am always on the hunt for more. Thanks.

post-14242-0-11245400-1367774413.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

littlebuddy

D1 jacket made by Western leather clothing company.

The label reads

TYPE D-1

SPEC NO. 94-3084-A

SIZE LARGE

ORDER NO. (535)43-3607-AF

WESTERN LEA. CLO. CO.

PROPERTY, AIR FORCE

U.S.ARMY

 

A s can be seen this jacket has the zipped side pockets, some D1's came with pockets and some didn't. unfortunately it has a replaced main zipper but apart from that it's a good honest D-1. The back is the usual two panels.

great looking jacket Andy !!! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

A1 Mechanics Sweater, the A1 sweater was specifically designed for Air Corps Groundcrew, they came with the typical Air corps type labels sewn into the neck. There are other wartime sweaters which are damned near identical to A1's but they have a typical "Army" label inside as opposed to the Air Corps type. I have studied pictures of both sweater types and the only difference I can find is that the "Army" sweaters seem to have a lower V neck than the Air Corps type.

All that said, this is my sweater and I have no idea what the hell it is, It seems to have the higher V neck, which to me suggests it is an A1, but the label reads " V43, Made in Australia 1942".

Any help in identifying this sweater would be very gratefully recieved, but also any info on distinguishing A1 and the regular Army version would also be welcomed. Perhaps they are the same garment just with different labels? I honestly don't know.

post-14242-0-17248000-1367954509.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the "V" means the sweater was manufactured in the state of Victoria. The "3" is possibly the manufacturer's allocated number?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

littlebuddy

A1 Mechanics Sweater, the A1 sweater was specifically designed for Air Corps Groundcrew, they came with the typical Air corps type labels sewn into the neck. There are other wartime sweaters which are damned near identical to A1's but they have a typical "Army" label inside as opposed to the Air Corps type. I have studied pictures of both sweater types and the only difference I can find is that the "Army" sweaters seem to have a lower V neck than the Air Corps type.

All that said, this is my sweater and I have no idea what the hell it is, It seems to have the higher V neck, which to me suggests it is an A1, but the label reads " V3, Made in Australia 1942".

Any help in identifying this sweater would be very gratefully recieved, but also any info on distinguishing A1 and the regular Army version would also be welcomed. Perhaps they are the same garment just with different labels? I honestly don't know.

looking forward to the input on this subject Andy !!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this picture of some groundcrew men "Somewhere in England". I found it at an antiques market.

 

 

post-8022-0-84335900-1367955445.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

B1 Mechanics trousers. This set of trousers was designed for use by groundcrews in harsh winter climates. Very similair to air crew trousers, these are made from a slightly lighter weight shearling. These were to be worn alongside the D-1 jackets and like the D-1's some came with pockets and some did not. The pockets on the trousers were simple patch pockets sewn to the thigh. the trousers have a front zip and a zip on each ankle. The trousers came with an integral set of suspenders.

The label inside reads:-

TYPE B1

SPEC NO. 94-3085-A

SIZE LARGE

ORDER NO. 43-13615-A

ROUGHWEAR CLOTHING CO.

MIDDLETOWN, P.A.

PROPERTY

AIR FORCE U.S. ARMY

post-14242-0-37525400-1367956265.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

Ian, thanks for the info regarding the label on the sweater, every bit of info is precious, now I know something that I didn't know 10 minutes ago, how bloody brilliant is this site!

I love the pic of those bomb ridin' armament boys, the diversity of headgear is pretty impressive, I need to get me one of those winter hats, and also the guy in the foreground, do you think he's wearing roughouts? I read that roughouts wern't usually worn as they soaked up the oil and aviation fuel too much, so the groundcrews tended to wear service shoes.

I like the sounds of the antique market too if they sell gems like this.

Fantastic pic, I really hoped when I started this thread that we would get some topping pictures, thanks for posting it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

B2 Mechanics trousers. Just like with the combat crews as the war went on the army started to replace the heavy shearling clothing for groundcrews with a lighter weight canvas duck and alpaca combination. These trousers are made with a cotton canvas outer shell to which an inner set of alpace fur lined trousers are fitted utilising a series of press studs. The trousers also caome with a removable set of suspenders. Presumable the ability to remove the outer shell trousers from the inner made the laundering process much easier. The pants also have the thigh patch pockets. but with closing flaps.

The label inside reads:-

TYPE B-2

SPEC NO.3172

A.C.ORD

N0.44-3239-AF

AERO LEATHER CLO.CO

BEACON N.Y.

PROPERTY

AIR FORCE U.S.ARMY

SIZE MEDIUM

post-14242-0-71942300-1367957633.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

littlebuddy

Ian, thanks for the info regarding the label on the sweater, every bit of info is precious, now I know something that I didn't know 10 minutes ago, how bloody brilliant is this site!

I love the pic of those bomb ridin' armament boys, the diversity of headgear is pretty impressive, I need to get me one of those winter hats, and also the guy in the foreground, do you think he's wearing roughouts? I read that roughouts wern't usually worn as they soaked up the oil and aviation fuel too much, so the groundcrews tended to wear service shoes.

I like the sounds of the antique market too if they sell gems like this.

Fantastic pic, I really hoped when I started this thread that we would get some topping pictures, thanks for posting it.

i remember trading one of those hats with Ian !!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

littlebuddy

B2 Mechanics trousers. Just like with the combat crews as the war went on the army started to replace the heavy shearling clothing for groundcrews with a lighter weight canvas duck and alpaca combination. These trousers are made with a cotton canvas outer shell to which an inner set of alpace fur lined trousers are fitted utilising a series of press studs. The trousers also caome with a removable set of suspenders. Presumable the ability to remove the outer shell trousers from the inner made the laundering process much easier. The pants also have the thigh patch pockets. but with closing flaps.

The label inside reads:-

TYPE B-2

SPEC NO.3172

A.C.ORD

N0.44-3239-AF

AERO LEATHER CLO.CO

BEACON N.Y.

PROPERTY

AIR FORCE U.S.ARMY

SIZE MEDIUM

epic militaria have some of these listed for sale they have them as flight trousers !!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian, thanks for the info regarding the label on the sweater, every bit of info is precious, now I know something that I didn't know 10 minutes ago, how bloody brilliant is this site!

I love the pic of those bomb ridin' armament boys, the diversity of headgear is pretty impressive, I need to get me one of those winter hats, and also the guy in the foreground, do you think he's wearing roughouts? I read that roughouts wern't usually worn as they soaked up the oil and aviation fuel too much, so the groundcrews tended to wear service shoes.

I like the sounds of the antique market too if they sell gems like this.

Fantastic pic, I really hoped when I started this thread that we would get some topping pictures, thanks for posting it.

 

 

They certainly look like slightly muddy rough-outs to me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

That is a very nice hat Ian, I have the ww1 version, never got round to getting the ww2 type, I guess I will now, cracking condition! Did this come from Carl's Surplus Stores?

Carl, thanks for the heads up regarding the b2's at Epic, I think I might have to invest in a 2nd pair, I havn't seen that many sets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This forum is an awesome place to learn. Thanks for showing all the great collections of ground crew items. Even though they did not fly combat they knew the crewmen that did. Other "paddle feet" on base did not socialize with combat crews. I am sure there were many emotional times for these men. I never started out to collect photographs but I have a modest collection now. Here are some of the ones I like the best.

post-5349-0-28968400-1367962745.jpg

post-5349-0-95914100-1367962757.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not out to hijack the thread with pictures but you can get a feel of how the uniforms were worn in the field. I like the way on this ship they are painting crosses instead of swastikas for "kills".

Steve

post-5349-0-78121400-1367962893.jpg

post-5349-0-39071300-1367962907.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think these pictures give a good overview of the ground crews in action. I have more but I think these are the best of what I have.

Steve

post-5349-0-63070300-1367963106.jpg

post-5349-0-60828400-1367963121.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

Steve, if these are typical of the photo's you have then hijack away! superb, the first photo just sums up everything we have been talking about, it's like a catalogue picture of what the well dressed airplane mechanic wore. And the second photo is great, it looks as if the dark coveralls are the second pattern which is nice to see, and I wish we had a close up of the mallet, I would like to know what heads it had, copper? rawhide?

Again great great pics, thanks for going to the trouble of posting them, keep 'em coming!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like a picture that tells a story, and that first one does, as you said. It is of a 9th AAF crew. Never encourage me to post more pictures! I see so many great pictures that are sold on Ebay and they are never seen again. I enjoy sharing the pics. I get with the forum. They should be seen and studied and enjoyed by all. I am not sure if the last picture is a ground crew or a salvage crew. It looks like the top turret is not on this ship.

Steve

post-5349-0-04511000-1367964259.jpg

post-5349-0-96248300-1367964272.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27thdivcollector

Steve, the airplane looks pretty new and kind of unfinished to me, do you think it's in the process of being built? and look at the guys on the far left, the one standing with his legs apart and the one sat behind him, look at their shoes, they look like very soft, flat shoes, almost like slippers or loafers, do you think these might be worn to protect the skin of the plane? Or am I just thinking too much and talking a load of old bull!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...