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Stock No. 7069

Price = n/a


RAF 1937 Pattern Webbing Belt and Holster Set - Click for the bigger picture

RAF 1937 Pattern Webbing Belt and Holster Set

This set came to us from the same family source as the shoulder holster that we have also recently listed. It comprises standard issue webbing but it would appear the theatre made holster was found more appropriate for aircrew duties by the owner. 1937 pattern webbing equipment was adopted by the RAF sometimes in 1941 and replaced the earlier 1925 pattern. It was made to the same specification as the Army issue sets, with the only difference it was issued in blue grey rather than khaki. The new webbing was compatible with the earlier design and the two sets continued to be worn interchangeably for many years. The holster viewed from the front looked identical in both patterns but on the back the later model, as well as the two double hooks that are provided for attachment to the waistbelt, it had a similar hook is fitted horizontally at the top for connecting to the ammunition pouch, absent on this example.

RAF aircrew flying over enemy territory could carry a sidearm, that would be for personal protection if the worst should happen and they came down in enemy territory. Paragraph 2566 of Kings Regs states 'Every officer, subject to clause 2, will be entitled to be issued with on demand one Colt automatic pistol or pistol revolver no2, Mk I (.38") for his personal use'. These weapons were designed to be carried in the 37-pattern webbing holster, as offered here. The mounting procedure for the holster was set out in Drill Instructions and was worn on the left, and to ensure thew weapons safety was attached to the wearer by a lanyard worn around the neck (see our separate listing) or under the shoulder epaulets by pilots or RAF personal when armed. We attach a range of pictures of the set, as well as a drawing of the correct usage of the webbing in aircrew use, based on an actual photograph of Flt/Sgt Frank Nutkins of 180 Sqd.

The set includes a standard '37 pattern belt and holster whilst also including webbing cross straps and brace attachments. The current condition is just as it was when it came to us. The nomenclature details of the holster are now largely faded but we believe the manufacturing date is 1943. The shoulder straps and braces carry various stamps as well as an RAF service number. We have left the brass work as the set came in, but for a small additional consideration we could have this buffed to parade ground standards if required. Wartime webbing is becoming increasingly hard to find and this Pathfinder issued set, that was all issued to one man, makes it particularly collectable.

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