24/vi/44 – Escape and Evasion Lecture

Although Broody did not fly today, there is an entry in the ORB that I thought I would share.

“…In the afternoon, F/Lt Ricketts, Interrogation Officer from Middle Wallop gave a very interesting and amusing lecture to the Aircrew. He made clear how to behave in the event of anybody falling into enemy hands. F/Lt Ricketts also brought with him two knives of German make, which had come from Aircraft destroyed by the Squadron on the night of 14th May. These souvenirs were much appreciated by the Squadron and particularly by the recipients, the successful pilots of that evening F/Lt JAS Hall DFC and F/O Jeffs.”

As a boy, stories of POW camps, escape and evasion were my thing. In Broody’s collection are a few items that would have been used by Aircrew who found themselves behind enemy lines.

These include: 3 notes of “Invasion Currency”, a set of fly button compasses, a small brass button compass, a seam compass and a shirt stud compass. All to be used to assist in attempts to evade the enemy or escape and return to Allied territory.

Invasion Currency - Issued to Personnel of the Allied Expeditionary Force in 1944

Invasion Currency – Issued to Personnel of the Allied Expeditionary Force in 1944

Brass button compass

Brass button compass

Fly button compass. One button (L) has luminous paint indicating North & South, The other (R) has a small spike that the first compass sits on to allow it to swing freely.

Fly-button compass. One button (L) has luminous paint indicating North & South. The other (R) has a small spike that the first compass sits on to allow it to swing freely.

Fly-button compass in use

Fly-button compass in use

A seam compass which would be hidden in the seams of clothing. When suspended from a thread, it would swing to indicate North.

A seam compass which would be hidden in the seams of clothing. When suspended from a thread, it would swing to indicate North.

A shirt stud compass. Originally, the glass would have been painted over, and only scratched off to reveal the compass needle when needed.

A shirt stud compass. Originally, the glass would have been painted over, and only scratched off to reveal the compass needle when needed.

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