RAF 1943 Pattern Escape Boots with a twist!
This pair was recently purchased in Normandy and show how the 1943 pattern flying boot can be transformed as the designer Major Clayton Hutton of MI9 intended. The leg section has been carefully cut away leaving in place of an obvious pair of aircrew flying boots a 5 eyelet cap Oxford shoe that would not have been out of place in Oxford Street or in the then German occupied Avenue des Champs-Élysées thus giving the downed airman a much better chance of avoiding capture. Clearly we can only speculate on the provenance of this pair but lets hope the owner managed to link up with La Résistance Française and he was able to make a home run leaving only his footwear behind in Normandy! The shoes show signs of wear and interestingly the original leather soles have been repaired with rubber that have hand cut grooves cut into them to give better grip. This could indicate post war civilian use under new ownership! The interior still features the lambs wool lining that would have extended up the original leg to keep the airman warm in flight. It seems the escape knife having performed its intended role was then discarded and is now sadly missing. In line with all 1943 pattern boots no size is marked but we would estimate these to be around a UK size 10-11 (45-46).Few collectors would mutilate an original set of escape boots but here you have the chance to display this set in the ‘escape mode’ perhaps alongside an 'as issued' pair. The shoe fillers are for display purposes only and are not included in the sale.