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  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942
  • Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942

Item: C6525

Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942

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Canada, Commonwealth. An RCAF Navigator & DFC Recipient's Aircrew Flight Uniform Set c. 1942

Includes six pieces:

1. Dress Tunic,

2. Trousers,

3. Raincoat,

4. Flight Suit,

5. Flight Suit Liner and

6. Flying Helmet.

1. The dress tunic is fabricated from a grayish-blue cotton-wool blend, the traditional look of the RCAF, with CANADA flashes on both shoulders. The front has four large pockets, one on each breast which have decorative straps giving them a pleated-look, the other two at the waist are without pleats and are larger and deeper than the breast pockets. All four pockets have fold over button down flaps with reinforced button holes and small brass buttons bearing the RCAF eagle insignia, the breast pockets with dual snaps. Above the left breast pocket is an embroidered GRVI Royal Canadian Air Force Navigator half wing badge and a four-ribbon ribbon bar (Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939-1945 Star, France and Germany Star and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Maple Leaf clasp). There is also a flap-less pocket midway between the upper and lower pockets on the right side. The front is completed by four large brass buttons on the right side, each bearing the RCAF eagle insignia, facing four reinforced button holes on the left side, while the rear of the tunic is single-vented. All buttons are maker marked "J R GAUNT MONTREAL" on the reverse. There are loops placed on either side at the waist, with the matching belt fed through them, the left end with a dual-prong belt buckle and snap closure receiver, the right end with three rows of two reinforced holes each for an adjustable fit at the waist, the snap closure stud having come away. Each of the sleeve cuffs are purposely designed without buttons and have Flying Officer rank stripes sewn upon them. The inside of the tunic comes with a gray rayon lining, while the sleeves are lined in the same material. There are pockets on either side, a small one at the left waist, the other on the right breast with the "SMALLMAN & INGRAM LIMITED London Canada" retail label sewn on the front and the owner's label sewn inside it, inscribed "This garment made exclusively to order for" but all the naming on the label having faded with time. The tunic measures 450 mm across the shoulders x 720 mm in length, exhibiting light soiling overall;

2. The accompanying trousers are also fabricated from the same blueish-gray coloured wool blend as the jacket. They come with a zippered fly and a hook and bar closure above at the waist, ensuring a snug fit. There are a series of eight belt loops spaced at intervals around the waist. It has five gray cotton-lined pockets, two on each side at the front with a traditional hip-side entry and two at the rear, both with a reinforced button hole and button closure. Inside, there are a series of six plastic buttons spaced at intervals around the waist. The trousers measure 760 mm around the waist x 980 mm in length overall, free of interruptions in the fabrics;

3. The raincoat is fabricated from a tightly worsted wool, better known as gabardine, on the exterior. There are side-entry pockets on either side, the one on the right side exposing direct entry into the interior, the left one with a lining. The front is completed by four large black plastic buttons on the right side, facing four reinforced button holes on the left, while the rear of the raincoat is single-vented. There are loops placed on either side at the waist, the belt having been lost to time, with button down straps on both sleeves. The inside of the raincoat comes with a mid-tone purple rayon lining, while the sleeves are lined in the same material. There is a large "Croydon" maker's label sewn in place just below the collar, with the illustration of a streaking plane just above the maker's name. There are a series of four black plastic buttons placed vertically just inside the opening on the right side, along with a pentagon-shaped patch that is secured in place by two small black plastic buttons. There is a button down pocket on the left breast, with a large black plastic button sewn in place on its front. The raincoat measures 480 mm across the shoulders x 1,130 in length overall and exhibits soiling and holes in various locations;

4. The Cold Weather Flight Suit is of heavy construction, the exterior fabricated from a durable, moisture-resistant beige rayon-cotton blend. There is a large black button sewn in place on the underside of the collar on the right side and when placed in the loop extending from the long strap on the left side, ensures a snug fit at the neckline. The suit comes with a 140 mm wide dark brown fur collar, which is stitched in place to a 150 mm wide band of royal blue cotton. The edge of this wide band has a zipper where it butts the body of the suit, that allows for removal of the collar when it is not needed. The suit has a full-length zipper that runs the length of the torso, from the crotch to the neckline, with a button down flap with a dark brown button placed near the base of the zipper on the left side. In addition, there are zippers positioned on the outer leg that run from the hip to the leg opening on both sides, with dual beige cotton ties placed on both leg cuffs. All three zippers are functional. It is named to "F/O THORNE" in red ink on the upper part of the right sleeve cuff. The interior is lined in chocolate brown rayon and is thickly lined throughout. There is a Canadian Broad Arrow production insignia stamped in black ink on the beige flap overlapping the zipper placement in the collar. Just below the insignia is a strap sewn in place in the collar for hanging upon a hook. It measures 450 mm across the shoulders x 1,440 mm in length and exhibits light soiling, the stitching remaining intact;

5. RCAF M41 Sidcot Aircrew Flight Suit Liner is fabricated from a durable, moisture-resistant synthetic rayon-based blend in RCAF grayish-blue. There is a large black button sewn in place on the right side of the collar and when placed in the loop on the left side, ensures a snug fit at the neckline. The liner has a rayon belt stitched in place at the waist on both sides and comes with two length adjusters. It has a full-length zipper that runs the length of the torso, from the crotch to the mid-point on the right shoulder, with a button down flap with three black buttons placed near the base of the zipper on the left side. There are two large pockets, one on either side on the upper thigh on the legs, each of which is brown fur-lined. In addition, there are zippers positioned on the inner leg that run from the knee to the leg opening on both sides, along with zippers on the underside of the sleeves, that run from the mid-forearm to the opening at the wrist, on both sides. All five zippers are functional and incorporate a gray cloth pull tab. Inside, there is a Deacon of Belleviile, Ontario manufacturer's label stitched in place in the collar, the label inscribed "SIZE 3 / Height 5'7" to 5'8" / Breast 36, 40 / Waist 34, 36 / Breech 36 / Leg 30, Deacon BELLEVILLE, CANADA 1942", with the Canadian Broad Arrow production insignia stamped in black ink to the left of the label. Just above the label is a strap sewn in place in the collar for hanging upon a hook. The liner measures 520 mm across the shoulders x 1,500 mm in length, exhibiting soiling on the exterior;

6. The RCAF 2nd Pattern Flying Helmet exterior is fabricated from brown leather composed of four panels, with earpieces on either side designed to house the earphones, each earpiece composed of two semi-circular patches held together via a full-length zipper, which opens up for placement of the headphones, which have been lost to time, both of the zippers functional. There are two short vertical straps with snap closures just behind each earpiece. The rear of the helmet is vented, with a buckled strap sewn vertically in place to the right of the vent and a long strap with buckle that feeds through the aforementioned vertical strap and finishes beside the left earpiece. There is a chinstrap sewn in place at the front on the right side, and when fed through the buckle on the left side, ensures a snug fit. The inside is lined throughout in chamois leather (a type of porous leather, traditionally the skin of the chamois, a type of European mountain goat, but today made almost exclusively from the flesh split of a sheepskin), the padded ring on the underside of each earpiece incorporating a red pressed fabric lining. It is stamped "GUENIER" below the right ring earpiece and size stamped "SIZE 3" with an indecipherable maker's mark in black ink below the left ring earpiece. The helmet measures 180 mm (w) x 240 mm (h), not including the chin strap, exhibiting holes on either side of the seam at the rear, along with two tiny holes above the left earpiece, with wear evident from active service overall. As worn.

 

Footnote: Deacon Brothers Limited of Belleville, Ontario manufactured military shirts during the First World War. During the Second World War, the company became deeply involved in the design and manufacture of electrically heated flying suits for Commonwealth forces, as well as cold weather wear for the Royal Canadian Air Force. As one of the Deacon brothers noted, "When the Americans entered the Second World War, they lost more men to exposure than to Japanese bullets in the Aleutian Islands. They called on the Canadian government for assistance in cold weather clothing," said Deacon. The government in Ottawa authorized the supplying of the requested clothing and Deacon Brothers was chosen as one of the three manufacturers.

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