|Physical description||Brass, Glass, Leather|
|Place made||United Kingdom: England|
|Date made||c 1932-1945|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Signal mirror : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
Air Ministry signal mirror, as issued with 1932 pattern Mae West life jacket. Circular mirror with a black painted nickel rim and a black painted brass backing, with a pair of integral loops through which a buckled leather hand strap passes. The backing is impressed 'AM (crown) REF NO 6E/271'.
Related to the service of 404900 Thomas Edward White Howes. Employed by Qantas Airways, Brisbane before the war, he enlisted in the RAAF on 6 December 1940 aged 18. He trained in Australia and in Canada as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). After training he embarked for the United Kingdom, where he completed his training as a navigator, flying in Wellington bombers in January 1942.
Howes was commissioned as a Flying Officer on 15 March and was assigned to 70 (Wellington) Squadron, RAF in the Middle East later that month. The squadron was equipped with Vickers Wellingtons based at Qotafiyah, Egypt. His first mission on 28 April was against German supply shipping anchored at Benghazi. With targets ranging from shipping and airfields to road convoys and supply dumps, Howes flew 13 night missions through May and June 1942.
The squadron moved northwest of Cairo in the wake of the allied retreat. He later transferred to 104 (Wellington) Squadron, RAF and having flown 44 operational missions, it appears that Howes took on a navigator training role with 203 Group.
He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in September 1943 before moving to RAF Aquir in Palestine, (south of Tel-Aviv). On 6 May 1944 Howes embarked for Australia, arriving on 4 June. He was transferred to the RAAF Reserve on 16 March 1945, enabling him to rejoin Qantas. He remained with the RAAF Reserve until at least the late 1950s. During the Vietnam War, he served as a navigator on the Qantas ‘Skippy’ troop flights to and from Vietnam.
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- 'Mae West' 1941 flap life jacket : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Winter service dress tunic : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Winter service dress trousers : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Souvenir pennant : Corporal T E W Howes RAAF, Empire Air Training Scheme
- RAAF Pattern 37 water bottle with attached clasp knife : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Forage cap : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Ear drum defenders [ear plugs] : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Rolls Razor Imperial No 2 shaving set : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Water sterilizing outfit : Flying Officer T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF
- Medical first aid supplies stored in Boiled Sweets tin : Flight Lieutenant T E W Howes, RAAF, 70 Squadron RAF