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David Duxbury

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About David Duxbury

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    Christchurch New Zealand
  1. The images in post # 3 show the almost forgotten "Star & Garter" NCO aircrew badges, with an eagle at top of a circlet, latter enclosing stars, with nil star equivalent to Cadet, one star was Cpl I think, two stars Sergeant, three stars F/Sgt, and top dog "Master Aircrew" featured the Royal Coat of Arms. Actually from memory the star system did not exactly match the equivalent "ground" NCO ranks, so these did create a slight problem - my equivalents may not be absolutely correct as I am certain the full range was nil to four stars, that is five "ranks". So plenty of Dakotas, Hastings, one Solent flying boat (probably civilian). I am somewhat intigued by the "wrecked aircraft", but that is possibly becasue it may be laying on its side! The atmpshericc shots with the snow certainly give some "colour" to these small but interesting snaps. David D
  2. Notice the Astral crown atop the design, which signifies that this badge is NOT an official RAF badge, and the organisation it represents if is not strictly speaking an official military service.. I only know this because I have a relationship with the RNZAF Museum at Wigram (also known as the Ir Force Museum of NZ), which uses the Astral Crown, and it controlled by a civilian Trust Board rather than the Ministry of Defence, although there are RNZAF officers (including retired officers) military as appointments. I believe the Naval crown is used for similar purposes. David D
  3. Peter, Thought you would be a good sport about this, but your behaviour is exemplary! David D
  4. Couldn't help but jump in on this one! The motto of course is the same as used by the RAF, RNZAF, RAAF, etc. I agree with everything else suggested by members, but feel that Peter is kidding us about the albatross though, presume he served in the Navy! Navy types always seems to be the source of the hoary old myth of the RAF albatross. I think the only reason they get away with it is that the rendering of the bird is so poor that it could be just about ANY kind of bird you could name! Blame the original artist. David D
  5. Tomas, I would imagine that this is rather a rare item - I have never seen anything like it (although I do live in New Zealand!) This type of protective helmets began to became popular just a few years (2 or 3) before the Great War (WW1) in Europe and the UK (Rhood was a well-known maker, and another type was the Warren helmet). The Germans were rather keen on a similar type for their aircrew during the Great war. However the British seemed to shy away from protective helmets (probably because of their weight and general ungainliness) during this war, and the RAF did not introduce another protective helmet for general issue until the mid-1950s (the "Protective Helmet, Mk. 1"!) However the RAF did have an interesting looking helmet in the 1920s and 1930s, which was a modified "Solah Topi" (British style tropical protective helmet), although the protection in this case was from the sun, and not accidents. So, all in all,t thank you for showing us this most interesting specimen. David D
  6. Todd, I have never heard of RAF Transport Command buttons, and am somewhat at a loss to explain nyour SD tunic. However the button you display does conmtain the key - this is NOT and RAF button, because it it ensigned by the Astral crown rather than the soverign's crown (which was the "Imperial" crown in WW2). The use of the Astral crown (formed with stars and bird's wings) shows that this is a civilian-type uniform item (all true military and full time official services such as Police, CUstoms, etc, carry the soverign's crown). For instance the ATA of WW2 (Air Transport Auxiliary) might have worn the Astral crown, although I am not certain of this. One organization of which I do have some inside knowledge is the RNZAF Museum (I work there from time to time!) and this is NOT a military organization as such as it is controlled by a civilian-adminsutered Trust Board, although it does have military officers serving on this Board. Another interesting crown used by British and Commnwealth bodies is the Naval crown (formed from views of ships!) which is used to ensign Naval badges, among other duties! Nevertheless your tunic seems very similar to the normal RAF officer tunic of WW2, with 4 normal fromt buttons, and breast pockets with inverted box pleats. However the pilot badge is interesting as it is NOT and RAF badge, and does look somewhat like the ATA badge, although their uniform is black! So what do the letters on this badge read? Lii,m forward to your reply. David Duxbury
  7. This is DEFINITELY an aircraft instrument. My (limited) knowledge of the Air Ministry (RAF) stores system is that Section 6 = Aircraft equipment, with 6A = instrument, 6D = Oxygen equipment, et, etc. All you have to do it to locate a copy of AP (Air Publication) 1086 (RAF Catalogue of Stores and Equipment), Section 6, and look up Sub-section A, then check in index to find 0890 and see what it says! Of course not everybody happens to have the right volume of AP 1086 to hand, and you also have to have the issue which covers the right era (they are continually updated, and new editions are periodically issued to keep up with changing technology and style), so the suggestion to check with the RAF Museum is an excellent one. Good hunting! I also agree that in its original condition, this compass would be painted with grey enamel or similar rather than polished brass. David D
  8. Siegfried Looks very much like a typical British popeller of the 1920s to 1940s period; in fact I am part owner of an Auster 5D (DH Gipsy Major, 130 HP) which has a very similar looking prop (although with the rest of the blades of course), and to me your prop it does not look typical of WW1 props at all. David Duxbury
  9. Christer, That is a really nice photo of the Skua crew. The officer's uniform is very typical of the time; note the rank on sleeve, with the "A" for Air Branch in the "executive curl", and the "wavey Navy" style of the RNVR, also pilot's wing on sleeve. David D
  10. Stephen Miller, Have not got any modern RNZAF aircrew badges, but I can say that they are down to just two main flying badges being issued these days, Pilot and Air Warfare officer (I believe they got the second idea from the RAF in recent times!). However we still have the Helicopter Crewman, Flight Steward (mostly, if not exclusively female), and Load Master. There are still plenty of AEOP and Navigator badges in use, but these will gradually fade out as members retire, and I believe they also still issue a type of Air Gunner badge for ground crew personnel who volunteer to man the Browning machine guns sometimes mounted in the doorways of UH-1 helicopters when the need arises. Lastly the PJI badge is still in use, although all the trainees tend to be Army, or RNZAF personnel who have taken up parachuting as a recreational sport, including at least one padre! As with most other contemporary Commonwealth air forces, all these badges are "ensigned" (are "topped off") with a St. Edwards crown. This crown is usually referred to as the Queen's crown because most people have a problem with fact that the queen is naturally female, but St Edward was obviously a man! Why don't you enquire at the Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum? Or the Official RNZAF web site? One of these institutions should be able to supply you with the latest information, and probably downloads of the badges in question. David D
  11. Naxos, I catalogued the RNZAF MUseum textile collection about ten years ago, including all badges, rank insignia, uniforms, flying clothing, webbing gear, etc. My recollections of flying badges is that the variety is ENORMOUS, and it would be impossible to categorically state that any particualr badge was a fake as there is so little information on what the badges in question were supposed to look like. As no copies of actual manufacturing specifications sem to survive (if they ever existed in the first place, which is problematic as my feeling is that manufacturers interested in tendering for manufaaacturing contracts were probably simply supplied with an actual sample of an exisiting badge (which may have been manufactured anywhere, such as the UK, Canada or Austrailia, or Singapore, or Cairo, or Bombay!) Then the manufacturer might say that "Yes, they could make that badge, for this price, buit our machinists are not properly trained and very inexperienced, and the standard of finish might not be as good as the sample, and we cannot (in conditions of wartime NZ 12,000 miles from main source of supply) obtain good manufacturing materials at the moment, so do not expect miracles! At least that is how I imagine the system, such as it was, worked here in NZ. I do know for a fact that many newly qualified RNZAF aircrew in NZ were issued with two new badges on graduation, but were so apalled by the quality and look of them that they threw tham away and privately purchased at least one nice fat and smooth unoffical one from scertain well-known retailers, the presence of which was known to all qualified aircrew. Of course there were probably more "RNZAF" badges issued to RNZAF personnel in Canada than in New Zealand, and these were all actually Canadian-made badges which were generall of a better standard thab gebuine New Zealand ones. These baddges were also designed in Canada to Canadian standards and ideas, and their design had no NZ influence whatsoever, as the NZ Air Board was simply told that these badges would be supplied to those who qualified and the Air Board did not have to worry about sending supplies from NZ. Thus these badges were typically Canadian in style (although with "RNZAF" featuring on them), with King's (Imperial) crown on all types of aircrew, unlike any other Commonwealth air force (and very demoncratic in its way), and the pilot's badge ("Wings") often featured a sort of "Continental" (French?) touch be featuring the "slash" across the oblique stroke of the letter "Z" in the "NZ" centre piece. However I cannot say for certain that the prescence of this "slash" indicates that the badge in question was definitley of Canadian origin, but it does seem very likely. Of course the famous Canadian "WAG" badge was also issued to RNZAF graduates in Canadian schools in 1941/42 and these certainly created problems when they turned up in the UK, as the RAF would not recognize them at first, but they were very popular (especiually amongst commissioned WOAG personnel) because their full trade qualifications were contained iin the one badge instead of two (the winged A/G badge on breast, and the "Fistful of sparks" on the upper sleeve. Commissioned WOAGs liked them because, when commissioned, WOAGs had to give up their hard earned "Sparks" as this was a trade badge, and officers could never acknowledge that they were mere "tradesmen" (read "despised tradesman") for reasons of, well you know what I mean, the class thing! As to your "wings", the backing for this badge appears to be of the type modified for attaching to a khaki jacket (which was attached with small "snap" studs, so that the badge itself could be removed when laundering was about to be inflicted on it, which was of course guaranteed to prematurley wear the embroidered badge. On blue unforms the badgess were permanenetly attached by sewn thread. However there is no sign of there having been studs on your badge, but it still loooks like this type of backing to me. David D
  12. Lee, Try "RAF Commands", although I cannot remember if they actually have the RAF codes avaibale (although most of the memberts do!). Also "Air of authority" is an excellent site, and I think you will find a list of the codes there. Also has Command, Wing and squadron histories as well as all training units. Note that both therse sites cater moslty for the WW2 era. David Duxbury
  13. Learned old salts, I have always been interested in the expression "sea cocks" used to descibe some kind of valves supposedly mounted in the lowest regions of a ship (naval or merchantile apparently) which seem to serve the sole function of providing a speedy and neat way of deliberately sinking said ship for reasons unknown. I have also read one or two artilce by various 'salty sea dogs" who claim the entire concept of sea cocks is a myth spawned and propgated by writers of cheap novels, and why would any well-designed ship require a built-in self-sinking device anyway? What would the ship's insurers think of such an installation for instance? As my only experience of the bottoms of ships was working for about one wek in 1967 in a graving dock (where I also learned that practically all ships of whatever size have flat bottoms - this in itself was a revelation to me), I wonder if any of the highly knowledgeable blokes on this board could enlighten the rest of us land lubbers as to the truth or otherwise of the sea cocks legend. I can see that such a device might be useful in a top-secret experimental type of warship that might be in danger of falling into enemy hands and would have need of a rapidly functioning self-scuttling capability, and perhaps some kind of valves might be handy for purging some difficult to get at bilger water deep within the bowels of a ship in dry dock perhaps (something akin to the corks found in transom of some dinghies and small yachts), so any htopughts on this matter would be of great interst to me. DAvid Duxbury
  14. I would just like to add that to be a member of the General Duties Branch, you HAD to be Officer aircrew; if an Intelligence Officer was in the G/D Branch he would have to be still more-or less medically fit for posting to flying duties. Normally if you were no longer fit for flying duties you would be transferred to Administrative & Special Duties (Admin) Branch. There would normally be no provision whatsoever for non-flying officers in thre G/D Branch. David Duxbury
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