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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 22:49 pm 
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Did RAAF Sergeants wear rank on both sleeves or just on the right arm like the Australian Army.

I have RAAF blue chevrons but not sure if they are big enough, they are a bit smaller than the RAF ones. Also did they wear the RAF white ones? if so where is the best place to get some from original or repro.

Was the wearing of Australia titles on epaulettes just for officers or did Sergeants wear them also?

These questions relate to RAAF personal serving within Bomber command and not Australians serving in the RAF ie Mickey Martin. Thanks for the help in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:03 am 
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Hi mate.

Chevrons were worn on both sleeves, the smaller ones are imdeed correct and there's plenty of evidence to show them being worn..ome photo shows them on a bd on ops.

I've never seen photos of raaf crews wearing raf chevrons unless wearing raf issue wsd/suits aircrew blouses with the raaf forage caps (very very common indeed!) And raaf brevets.

I've seen raaf officers with shitehawks on epaulettes but never Australia titles. There's plenty of photos of raaf crews in raaf uniform in the uk without titles, and equally plenty with! So it's yur chpice really.

Sorry. .written from my phone so shocking grammar and spelling!

Regards

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 14:24 pm 
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Thank you for your swift reply Euan , I will find my other chevron out for the other sleeve and sew it on cheers again.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:03 am 
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Hmm, here goes- On RAAF dark blue BD/WSD for officers, rank rings on epaulettes, metal eagle/ crown optional. Cloth shoulder "Australia" titles in blue on dark blue, the Aussie made ones. On Officers dark blue RAAF SD , rank rings around the cuff with the eagle/ crown metal badge above the rings on the sleeve. Aussie made "Australia titles on the shoulders per BD/WSD.

For NCO's, sleeve rank on both RAAF dark blue BD/WSD and SD and cloth Australia titles on shoulders on all. Also the combination Australia/ eagle titles can be seen.

If using RAF WSD etc, then go with the Brit pattern Australia shoulder titles and rank per RAF allocations, i.e. blue grey for officers and dark blue/ black for NCOs ORS. No metal eagles if using RAF uniforms.

Hope that makes sense?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:54 am 
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Just to add a bit more:
RAAF were issued blue-grey BD as a stopgap until dark blue version were available in quantity. Those issued with blue-grey (on RAAF squadrons) wore the dark blue backed RAAF NCO chevrons and round-end RAAF Australia titles along with whatever other badging they wore.

As to the badging worn, one must determine timeframe to determine if the uniform seen is Suits, Aircrew (which is/was a form of working dress) or War Service Dress. Other than dressing pocket style and a few minor differences, both fall into the ubiquitous category of "battledress".

Suits, Aircrew was working dress -- meaning the regulations for working dress applied -- i.e. rank on right arm, no sleeve eagles, etc.

War Service Dress -- as the name implies -- was a form of service dress and all the regulations pertaining to service dress applied -- i.e. rank on both arms, shoulder eagles, etc.

I'll defer to others on the chevrons sizes. My perception has been that in the ETO, the RAAF chevrons were the same size as used by RAF -- ~6-inches across.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 13:18 pm 
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Hmm, looks like we'll have to straighten this out (...again).
Quote:
“1. From 1st November, 1943, suits air crew […] will cease to be issued as such…”
“2. The air crew suit, which is re-designated “War Service Dress”, is a standard working dress for officers and airmen of the Royal Air Force and the Polish Air Force. As regards officers, issues are to be on repayment on surrender of eighteen coupons; as regards airmen, an issue of one suit of war service dress is to be made in lieu of the second suit of service dress”
“6. In commands at home, war service dress is essentially a working dress; it is not to be worn for ceremonial purposes nor is it to be worn when away from a station on leave or pass.”


There are some who seem to think that SA and WSD were separate patterns and there was a distinct change, when it appears that any differences are due to variations between manufacturer and the natural change you'd expect over time. Certainly, I've had two outfits, one labelled Suits Aircrew and one War Service Dress that were identical.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 13:48 pm 
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Everyone seems to get mixed up with this!

With regards to Australian insignia, the formula is quite simple, especially for flying dress - these guys wore whatever they could get their hands on! Loads of Aussie Aircrew can be seen mixing RAF WSD with RAAF SD trousers with RAAF brevets and RAF style chevrons -as long as the RAAF blue headdress was worn no one batted an eyelid, it seems. Remember - there was a war on! ;)

Bryan, do you mind me asking where you quoted that from? Not by ANY means questioning it..just would like a good read of the source.

Best regards and thanks

Euan

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:17 am 
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Euan, the source is Air Ministry Order A.1062/43

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:19 am 
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RAFSC wrote:
Euan, the source is Air Ministry Order A.1062/43


Thanks chap, much appreciated.

Regards

Euan

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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 14:43 pm 
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Gents,
Suits, Aircrew (SA) and the later War Service Dress (WSD) were and are two distinct and separate garments - each with its own guidance regarding badging. To claim the differences between the two are simply manufacturer variations is simply incorrect. Each was made to specific requirements and accounts for the differences in features between them.

If, as suggested, the differences were manufacturer variations, I would expect to see 1945 dated WSD trousers with the earlier SA flapped dressing pocket or WSD blouses with internal pockets, large buttons or wider pocket pleats. Along the same lines, I would equally expect to see 1941/42 dated SA trousers with the army-style dressing pocket or SA blouses without interior pockets, narrow pleats or larger buttons.

The only gross manufacturer 'variation' I've encountered is the odd garment produced during the manufacturer transition from SA to WSD whereby old label stock was being used up.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 11:27 am 
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Tell you what, you invent a time a machine and go and tell the Air Ministry that :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 10:32 am 
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RAFSC wrote:
Tell you what, you invent a time a machine and go and tell the Air Ministry that :wink:


Please clarify. While I can appreciate your opinion/theory, I prefer things to be backed up by fact. I agree that existent, unissued stocks of Suits, Aircrew were issued as War Service Dress after November, 1943.

This does not change the fact that prior to that date, SA existed as a separate, standalone form of working dress with its own badging rules.

The garments themselves are different. Suits, Aircrew blouses and trousers have features unique to that pattern while WSD has its own traits. Claiming they are the same is like saying Blouses, Serge BD (aka P37) is the same as the 1940 Pattern battledress (which are two different patterns, not 'manufacturer variations').

For the most part, SA blouses can be outwardly identified by their wider pocket pleats (which return on the postwar WSD, New Pattern blouse). Not as visible are the internal pockets, pocket placement, and fuller cut.

The below photo is reportedly from 1945. Note that both are wearing rank on just their right arm, even at this late date. We know this is sometime after Nov 1943 since the trousers are WSD pattern (evidenced by the army style dressing pocket which is not seen on SA trousers).

Also feel free to theorize that aircrew only wore rank on their right arm, even after WSD introduction. Then look at the second photo.

Variant theorists: please show me a photo of a pair of RAF BD trousers with the army-style dress pocket in use prior to 1943.
Image


189 Sqdn, 1945
Likely a mix of SA and WSD with some SA-badged and others WSD-badged. Perhaps A, F, and I are a rebellious lot of junior Sgts who told the SWO to stuff it and they'll wear what they please? Since these people are all from the same unit, it's very unlikely there was an anything-goes policy.
A: Sgt pilot. No shoulder eagles. Rank on only right arm
B: Sgt pilot. Shoulder eagles. Rank on both arms
C: F/Sgt pilot. Shoulder eagles. Rank on both arms
D: WO aircrew. Rank on both arms (compare to previous photo)
E: F/L pilot. I found the very wide braid spacing interesting. Possibly a former S/L reverted back to his permanent rank (or just widely spaced)?
F: Sgt aircrew. No shoulder eagles. Rank on only right arm
G: Sgt aircrew. Shoulder eagles. (Presumably) Rank on both arms. Note the wound bar on lower left sleeve.
H: Sgt pilot. Shoulder eagles. Rank on both arms
I: Sgt pilot. No shoulder eagles. Rank (presumably) on only right arm

Image


Last edited by FtrPlt on Thu May 19, 2016 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 16:28 pm 
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It was a comment in jest referring to the fact that, as per my earlier post quoting the Air Ministry Order, the Suits Aircrew were being redesignated War Service Dress.
You’re welcome to come and visit me at work, I’ll dump all of the AMOs and other material on a table and you can see if you can sort the mess out.
Looking at photographs is all well good but firstly it’s a retrospective and secondly the viewer starts looking for things to support a view. I don’t doubt that the regulations for badges changed (it’s in clear black white print), but the reason for that was due to simple economics. SA was not originally intended as a uniform – the AMO even states as much – it was a flying outfit and chevrons and wireless operators badges would be worn on one arm “to afford all the privileges of such”. It would be pointless to waste the extra badges on something that was not worn other than when on flying duties. When it was changed to WSD this was to be an actual working dress uniform for all ranks replacing one issue of Service Dress. Thus it was decreed that badges were to be worn as on SD, the idea being those already wearing SA (which was now WSD don’t forget) would badge up accordingly but we know what the services are like for that sort of thing :roll: hence the variety we see in pictures.
The offer to visit still stands though because I don’t have the time to dig through it all :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 16:57 pm 
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No worries.

I find it interesting that in 1945, with WSD already on issue for 2 years, we still find the SA-style badging still in fairly common use. To me, this suggests that both badging conventions were still in effect thru the end of the war.


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