Description of combat clothing, March 1944

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by better duck, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. better duck

    better duck Active Member

    Groningen, Holland
    Hi guys,
    I thought you might find this of interest.
    Recently I got a copy of "A Reason To Live" by John Harold Robinson. The copy I got was originally from the Library of Congress - but withdrawn, as it is stamped on the title page.

    The book is really mostly the diary of JHR, decribing his missions as a gunner with 445th BG, flying B24's over Germany, and, incidentally, commanded by Jimmy Stewart, who makes quite of few appearances in the book, giving a genuine feel of the kind of person and leader he was.

    I want to quote a part of the book, because it illustrates so well, what bomber guys were wearing in early '44.

    it starts at p 317, and continues on the next page:

    "Back across the base we walked to the quartermaster. The new heated suits were no longer a blue monkey suit. The suit was built in to an Eisenhower Jacket, and a regular pair of army pants. We went back to the hut and tried them on. You now wouldn't have to wear a dress uniform over it. The jacket and pants looked like a uniform. The suit was larger than the regular dress uniform but it would serve its purpose if you were to go down in enemy terretory.
    The shoes plugged into the pant legs, the pants into the jacket, the gloves into the jacket sleeves, and the jacket cord plugged into the ship's electrical system. It sure felt better than the old heated suit. Cross and I walked over to the flight locker room and hung the suit in our flight lockers. Boy! Was I glad to have a new suit. I thought, "Tomorrow will tell if it works or not."
    The next morning, dressing in the locker room, I put the new two-piece heated suit on, over my long handle underwear. I pulled a pair of heavy white socks over my regular sox. Then I put on the heated shoes. Except for the shoes, I looked like I was in a dress uniform with an Eisenhower heated suit jacket. I had a dress shirt under the heated jacket. The gun holster and .45 automatic went on next. Then came my lightweigth flying jacket, heavy fleece-lined pants and fleece-lined boots. The white silk gloves, heated gloves, heavy mittens, heavy coat with morphine tubes on the sleeve, parachute harness, May West with CO-2 bottles, flight helmet with headset, throat mike and goggles, ogygen mask, K rations, carbohydrate rations, regular pair of shoes, chest parachute, all went into my flight bag to take to the airplane and be put on just before taking off. The flak suits were left in the airplane so we would not have to carry them around.
    I always put my wife's picture and my little Bible in my left shirt pocket, and my dog tags around my neck.
    Cross and I still went through our flight gear check list every time. After being on a seven day pass, I was afraid that I had forgotten how to dress out."
    Grant and Pete17 like this.
  2. jack31916

    jack31916 Active Member

    Zoetermeer The Netherlands
  3. dujardin

    dujardin Well-Known Member

    very interesting


    same opinion as Jack

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