The bomber aircrew dressed for survival. Connections to the leather flying helmet and face-mask were provided for oxygen and an intercom. Life vests were brightly coloured for easy recognition by air-sea rescue units, and a harness (with a quick release buckle) was worn for a parachute that was normally stowed separately. A heavy, warm flying suit was worn by crewmen operating in the unheated positions in the aircraft. The cold and draughty rear gunner’s turret was the most uncomfortable, remote, and dangerous position.

A typical uniform consisted of:

  • C type flying helmet
  • G type Oxygen Mask
  • Parachute chest type, Mae West, life saving waist coast
  • Flying Boots were dark brown, rubber golosh shoe, lined with sheepskin, zipped at the front but could vary in pattern
  • Blue battledress blouse and trousers, RAAF blue shirt, and black tie
  • Flying Gloves
  • Whistled pinned to the tunic
  • Escape kit, with a compass sewn into part of his uniform

The mid upper gunner and rear gunner would also wear a flying suit as these positions meant that they was exposed to the elements. It was electrically wired and adapted for use under extreme conditions by using a variety of electrically heated linings, gloves and boot liners.


British Type C flying helmet.

British Type G oxygen mask with Type 26 microphone. REL29698.002

British Air Ministry 1930 Pattern khaki canvas flying suit. REL/17339

Parachute Harness. RELAWM30332.002