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Rare WWII AAF survival kit with trinkets for trading with "natives"


Bob Hudson
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Bob Hudson

Issued by the Army Air Force, this is a KIT, FLYER'S TRADING - Besides the still photos below, I made a little video about this kit. Click the image to start that:

 

 

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Bob Hudson

For use when encountering a "primative native population"  - notice "primitive" is misspelled on the box:

 

1.jpg

 

 

 

2.jpg

 

4.jpg

 

 

 

 

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That is a great kit and the most complete one I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing!

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Bob Hudson
24 minutes ago, RWW said:

most complete one I have ever seen.

 

There are very few references to these online and I have yet to run across a photo of another such kit.

 

Besides razor blades, fish hooks and safety pins, it has needles and threads and a supply of colorful buttons and what can only be described as "trinkets." There is also lace and a hard, curved piece of what appears to be pemmican or leather.

 

pins.jpg

 

needles.jpg

 

 

 

buttons.jpg

 

lace.jpg

 

So- WHAT IS IT?????

leather.jpg

 

leather2.jpg

 

 

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Bob Hudson

If the native populations you enounter are not into plastic beads and buttons, you might want one of the post-WWII survival barter kits with gold coins:

 

 

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Bob Hudson

The book United States Army Aviators' Equipment, 1917-1945 says some of these "Spec 40685" trade packets came with silver rupee coins from India.

 

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 8.46.55 AM.png

 

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Bob Hudson

Someone on YouTube suggested the brown ugly thing is tobacco: and indeed it does look like it could be what they call rope or twist chewing tobacco, such as this:

twist.jpg

 

and  this is what's in the kit:

 

leather.jpg

 

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mohawkALSE

That does sort of resemble some kind of twisted tobacco leaf.  I would have guessed it was something to burn/fire starting item.

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P-59A

I have never seen this before. Pacific theater to be sure. The brown rope like item is indeed a twist of tobacco. 

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Bob Hudson
14 hours ago, P-59A said:

I have never seen this before

 

I wonder if anyone has seen one of these before? I've looked all over the web including worthpoint.com which has ebay sales going back several years. I found a couple of text references, but that's it, no other photos.

 

I have typed in the info printed on the box so search engines can pick it up and maybe someone will show up here with another.

 

Kit, Flyer’s Trading

Specification No. 40685

Stock No. 8300-559285

Order No. (14-055) 44-10111

Cappel, MacDonald and Co.

PROPERTY

Air Forces, U.S. Army

 

Cappel, MacDonald and Co. also made the AAF C-1 VEST

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There is very little factual / published documentation of any barter kit. There is a picture of your kit on page 164 of the book "One-Man Pneumatic Life Raft Survival Kits of World War II" written by Robert S. McCarter & Douglas Taggart. The kit pictured doesn't seem to have the thread and perhaps a few of the plastic items are missing.  The only information in the book is the caption which reads: "Rare AAF Flyers Trading Kit."

 

You indeed have a very rare kit there and have provided the most comprehensive documentation of its contents I have seen.

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dustin

Fortunately I have some good factual information in my book, Volume-2. The mystery twisted item is in fact tobacco. It was a very hot commodity all thru the Asiatic-Pacific, Very popular in the SWPA, Philippines and China as well. Cigarette packs were often included in parachute kits to simply use as bartering or as a simple gift or exchange of services. In my book I have two images that show all the components laid out, These were taken by the Materiel Command in 1944. In a cursory observation, the only thing missing is a book of matches to the container with the thread and tobacco. The compact mirror in the images has a lady painted on the back, the one in this kit does not, all else matches. 

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Bob Hudson
58 minutes ago, dustin said:

In a cursory observation, the only thing missing is a book of matches to the container with the thread and tobacco.

 

They got laid aside when I took the photos: 

 

matches-2.jpg

 

matches.jpg

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