Aeronautical Instruments & Tools
RAF Very Pistol 1' Red Star Mk X11T Distress Flare Tin
This example, which is now empty, would have contained three red star distress flares, designed to be used in conjunction with the standard RAF issue Very pistol and would have been included in both the single seat and multi place dinghy packs of WWII. Whilst the original paint shows some wear and suface rust minor this is hardly surprising after 79 years, but the writing on it is still readable. The top would originally have been taped to avoid moisture entering and is marked 'Do not remove sealing tape & open until cartridges are required'. The front detail confirms the contents as '3 Cartridges Signal 1" Red Mk X11. T. and 'Lot No' below. The same is written on the reverse side whilst on the side is 'Box No.381. Mk I'. In smaller writing towards the base is written '12MB/44' indicating the tin was made by the British Metal Box Company in 1944. The tin measures 3 1/2" x 2..75" (9 cm x 6 cm) and an identical example is illustrated on page 68 of Mick Prodger's excellent Luftwaffe V RAF Flight Equipment reference book. A small but critically important escape aid that most certainly helped save the lives of many downed aircrew in WWII. These are getting increasingly hard to find so grab this opportunity whilst you can!