Pilot's maternity style flying jacket : Lieutenant J H Butler, 1 Squadron AFC
|Title||Pilot's maternity style flying jacket : Lieutenant J H Butler, 1 Squadron AFC|
|Place made||Australia: New South Wales, Sydney|
|Physical description||Wool gabardine; Plastic; Oxidised brass|
Australian Flying Corps (AFC) pilot's khaki wool gabardine flying jacket, popularly known as a 'maternity' jacket. The lieutenant's rank insignia on the shoulder straps and general service 'Rising Sun' collar badges are oxidised brass. The jacket is fitted at the back and has a vent running from the waist to the bottom of the skirt. The front of the jacket opens on the right shoulder and is secured with two press studs. From here the placket opening, with seven concealed plastic buttons. extends diagonally to hip level at the centre front. The front of the jacket is loose fitting and is shaped by a dart at the centre front of the neck, and by two darts running up from the pockets. There is a brass belt hook on both sides of the waist. A welt pocket with a plain flap has been let into the front of the jacket on both hips. An AFC pilot's embroidered brevet is sewn to the left breast. Sewn onto both upper sleeves is the triangular blue, dark blue, and red colour patch of the AFC. Both colour patches have brass Anzac 'A's fitted in the middle. The cuffs are plain but about 70 mm above both of them is a backward facing adjustment tab fitted with a press stud. The lower right sleeve bears embroidered overseas service chevrons, with one red (for 1914) and four blue stripes (for 1915-1918). 'Lt. J.H. Butler / 28-6-18' has been typed in blue onto the bottom of the maker's label that is sewn inside the back of the collar. The body of the jacket is lined with khaki polished cotton and the sleeves with with brown and blue striped cotton.
This jacket was purchased by Lieutenant (Pilot) John Herbert Butler, 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), while he was on sick leave in Australia in 1918. He enlisted as a trooper in 2 Light Horse Regiment, AIF, on 19 August 1914, and served at Gallipoli before transferring to the AFC in January 1917. Butler was graded as a pilot on 4 June and posted to No. 67 (Aust) Sqn RFC (titled No.1 Sqn AFC from 19 January 1918). He was formally taken on strength on 8 June with the rank of Second Lieutenant. Butler was admitted to 14th Australian General Hospital on 16 August suffering Dyspepsia and was transferred to No. 10 Red Cross Convalescence Hospital, Alexandria on 3 September. He returned to his squadron and was promoted to Lieutenant soon after. On 5 April 1918 Butler was readmitted to 14th Australian General Hospital suffering debility. He was discharged from hospital for return to Australia on 28 April and embarked for Melbourne aboard the “Tofua” at Suez the next day. Butler arrived in Melbourne on 14 June and his appointment in the AIF was terminated on 12 December 1918.