Original WWII flight gloves

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Sloan1874, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Not sure if this comes under the Original Irvin thread or not, but one of my colleagues kindly brought in his father's old WWII flight gloves for me to have a look (and try on).
    Given the back story to them, it's amazing they're still in one piece, but even after all these years, the fleece lining and stitching is in remarkable condition, and with a bit of a repairing and renovation, they'd make be good to go. Pics first, then a bit of background:

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    The final pic shows an interesting feature: each glove has a small pocket with a snapable closure built into the interior.
    These belonged to Duncan Miller, from Newtonmore in the Scottish Highlands, who passed away sadly earlier this year at the age of 89.
    He had joined Bomber Command as a 19-year-old, with the hope of being pilot but remustered and trained as a bomb aimer.
    He served in both 77 Squadron and 35 Squadron and flew on about 21 missions before being blown out of the sky in August, 1943.
    Here's his recollection of that incident: "We were on 35 Squadron Pathfinder. We didn't drop bombs but we dropped target indicators, which were flares.
    "The night we were shot down was over Berlin. We were attacked by a German night-fighter and set on fire. Three members of the crew got out and three were killed. I was the last to get out.
    "I'm not trying to be over- dramatic, but the plane was going down in flames and at 12,000ft the target indicators we were carrying exploded and I was blown out of the aircraft. I can't explain how I got out. I was unconscious and woke four or five hours later in a field outside Berlin with my parachute strewn out behind me."
    According to his son, the airman's Irvin remains buried somewhere out on the outskirts of Berlin somewhere!
    Mr Miller, who was badly injured, became a prisoner of war but was repatriated to Britain in the summer of 1944.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  2. Cheech

    Cheech One of the Regulars

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    That's a hell of a story!
     
  3. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

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    I would frame those up and have them on my wall to cherish for the rest of my life!!! no, seriously!!!

    thats one rough story!
     
  4. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Damn straight!
     
  5. winterland1

    winterland1 Practically Family

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    Great piece of history.
     
  6. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    Many thanks for that Sloan, I really love this sort of stuff. It's always so much more special when you can tie these items to a particular airman and his experiences. Nice one :eusa_clap
     
  7. ButteMT61

    ButteMT61

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    Craig, great story. I missed it 'cause I thought meh, and glove thread. Oops :)
    Thanks for posting it up!
     
  8. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Cheers, Smithy, and you're absolutely right: the gloves are great, but the story is adds so much more. They'd basically not been used since he'd left the forces, so all the repairs you can see were made 'in the field'.

    Ha, Scott, I know what you mean, but I didn't feel the Irvin thread was the right place for it, they're something a bit special - the pair are complete beasts btw, you could handle blocks of ice with them without feeling a thing!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  9. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

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    Im thinking of constructing a pair of those, Gosh I wish I had some patterns!
     
  10. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    Great items and a great story to go with them. Thanks for showing:cool:
     
  11. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Thanks, John, I thought it was just something a little different. DD, if you want me to get the gloves and do some measurements and very detailed pics for you, I'd be happy to ask my colleague.
     
  12. B-24J

    B-24J One of the Regulars

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    Fantastic gloves and story! He would have been in a Halifax at the time of being shot down.

    Check out the 360 deg virtual tour of the bomb aimer's position from the Yorkshire Air Museum http://www.yorkshireairmuseum.org/halifax-360vr-tours

    Does anyone know what the pockets were for?

    John
     
  13. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

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    Absolutely, If its no trouble, might as well take some detailed shots and measurements why not.

    I couldnt do them Justice even then. They look special order, Cant recal seeing a pair of these ever.

    The Story makes them invaluable.
     
  14. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    Maybe some kind of early insertable plug in hand warmer?
    J
     
  15. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    I think you're right, John. His son said that old pics showed Mr Miller's old Irvin was wired.
     
  16. Dumpster Diver

    Dumpster Diver Practically Family

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    Thats Tremendously hardcore Gear.
     

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