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Hello, I thought I would share my WWII Emergency Rescue Equipment war room (A.K.A survival stuff). Represented are both the AAF and Bureau of Aeronautics from a primary time period of 1940-1945. The emphasis is towards individual equipment but some multi-place or person equipment is represented. An attempt was made keep the services seperate but there is never enough room!

The first set of pics are BuAer (Navy)



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Wow...that's very impressive! I know some of our other members collect survival gear, but your collection is so comprehensive it's museum standard. Congatulations on your achievement in sourcing it and displaying as you have!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"


Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon





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You are to be congratulated for assembling such a fine collection of survival material, which you have by others. I have a rather large aviation display room, but only showing bits and pieces of survival material. My wife would pitch a fit if I advanced into items such as rafts with complete gear. I guess that's what separates the truly great collections from us wanna bes. Hope to see more of your collection. Jack Angolia

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Thanks for the kind comments!!


Hirsca, the knife bottom left is a PAL RH-36 in post #8


Max, unfortunately there are not very many reference books out there amd what are! you probably already have. My questions and collection eclipsed what is/was available some years ago. Over the years I have taken it upon myself to build a personal reference library by researching in libraries, inter-library loans and several archives to inlcude the NARA. To date I have amassed a personal archive of about 30,000 plus, documents and photographs pertaining to emergency rescue equipment.....The digital world has made researching very friendly...gone are the days of pulling files and photo copying being able to store thousands of images on a special magic box. It has been a fascinating research project!!

For the AAFthe two principle resources are the Manual for Personal Equipment Officers and AAF Historical Study 272. These two should be taken with a grain of salt. The PEO manual should be viewed as a basic reference guide as it was intended to be. There is some information in there that is misleading and not entirely correct on a technical stand point. When this manual was printed, June 1945, it was a revised version omitting obsolete items and including new items and at the time of printing were not available yet but on procurement status. Many inter and early war items are not included in this printing so as a collector/researcher you are only getting half the story. AAF Study 272 covers the development of emergency rescue equipment during WWII to inlcude rations, rafts, life preservers and emergency kits. A good reference but often leaving more questions than answers but a good overview of the development and a good place to get a foot hold or perspective on the subject. The Author often generalized and skipped over important details, the details we collectors want to know. I have recently obtained from the national archives the documents used to compile that study and then some. I was able to do a thurough checks and balance and it became clear that the author did not totally evaluate some of the documents he used and not continue to use the documents at his disposal coincidentally printing some mis-information here and there. Sweetings books are a must have in an AAF collectors library but if you look at the bibliography of the Survival chapter you will note the bulk of infrmation in that chapter are from the PEO manual and Study 272. Essentially Sweetings chapter is a condensed/overview of Study 272. These are really the only ones that have "information" there of course are others like the Class13 supply catalog and such. You will find that most all collector type resources that touch base on this subject reference these two sources or perpetuate the information orignatingfrom them and often add too many guesses.

For the Bureau of Aeronautics....there is none! My entire naval collection is based off of documents from the national archives and publications printed during the era.

For both services there are many reference publications but are very difficult to obtain.A lot of hours have been spent networking with archivists and the like to get copies etc.

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In post #3 bottom right is a Navy multi-person MK-IV Type-D raft (4 person). Type-D references it as Air Droppable, The raft in its case would be manually dropped out of the side of a aircraft and at that time actuating the CO2 valve inflating on the way down landing gently on the water. The end of the CO2 bottle has the red cover. This type of equipment is huge and consume a lot of room so I do draw lines haha.

The raft was manufactured in May 1943 just slightly over 70 years old. Displayed with it are the typical type accessories that would have been supplied with it at time of manufacture.


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All multi-person rafts had a basic compliment of accessories of Oars,sea anchor and repair kit all other accessories are dictated by timeline of representation. This raft being an M-3Q of mid 1943 would have had in addtion 2-paulins, signal mirror, jackknife, match safe/compass, line, fishing kit and whistle, these would have been palced with the raft in designated pockets. There is an addtional container housing other equipment stored seperately containing rations, distress signals,first aid kit etc..


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