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MAPS ONLY KIT


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I was curious, did all of the bomber crewmen receive a MAPS ONLY kits prior to a mission and were they turned it upon completion? Also, would they have received additional survival kits to carry in case they were shot down such as the E-17? I'm only asking about the bomber crews and not the fighter pilots with survival back pad kits.

 

Thanks!

Rick

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That is a loaded question...but since you are referring to the MAPS ONLY kit this is a British article, ETO specific and only issued in 1945. No matter crew position each member was issued the same complement or escape and evasion aids and were accountable whether they had money in them or not, distributed upon mission briefing and return upon debriefing. Accompanying the maps purses was a ration box typically of British origin designed as an E&E item. The US designed, adopted and issued a copy of the British Ration Box designated Type E-3 Emergency Sustenance Kit, either ration box would be correct and acceptable. Other emergency kits were available but were issued to the aircraft crew positions. The maps purse and ration box are the two principle items issued to the individual intended for E&E purposes, however depending on unit and time frame other items may have been issued.

The E-17 kit was designed for jungle use and were the priority of the PTO and CBI it is doubtful very many if any made it to the ETO before VE day.

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Hi Dustin,

Thanks for the info. I wasn't trying to ask a "loaded question", but am unsure which kits were used or when. The silk maps C/D, E/F would be carried in a purse or rubber pouch with a compass and small saw blade. Would those be issued to aircrews in 1943 and 1944? If the kits were only issued in 1945 would the crew just carry the silk maps in a pocket then? I'm trying to figure out what type of escape kit/equipment would be correct for an ETO bomber crew circa 1943-1944. I have read that in the early days crew members brought K-rations, candy bars and whatever they could get in their pockets. I just wasn't sure if the MAPS purse with C/D stamp would be accurate for '43 and '44.

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The pouches marked MAPS ONLY did not exist unit 1945 and only representative in that year. The purses used in 1943 and 1944 like you asked were color coded purses available in many colors for regions/countries containing currency for said regions/countries. If you want to represent the 1943-1944 time frame you need a colored regional map purse. The MAPS ONLY purses no longer carried currency since by that time most of Europe was back in the hands of the allies and no longer really required the capabilities to "buy" your way to friendly lines.

"K-rations, candy bars and whatever" is purely personal preference, bringing snacks/meals on long missions were common practice and not intended really as a "survival" ration.

The maps you speak of are correct for the era and again just not the waterproof pouch marked MAPS ONLY, however maps were distributed individually as well and carried in the pocket or wherever.

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there is about 25 variations of the map purses but only about three of those are actually marked MAPS ONLY. Most are marked with color codes and letters , capitol F=France I=Italy etc. This then lends the question , was the mission in/over/near France? Italy? Belgium etc. so you get down to the specific mission even. Some topics get complicated all by themselves.

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