Small Post War RAF Kit Bag

A few years ago I posted about wartime RAF kitbags here. Tonight we are looking at another example, but this time dating from the 1960s. This kit bag is far smaller than other examples we have looked at previously, being about half the length of the wartime designs:The bag has a row of brass eyelets around the throat, now quite badly corroded unfortunately:

These allowed a brass handle to be threaded through and a padlock fitted to keep the contents secure. Two blue rings are painted around the outside of the bag:RAF kitbags can be found with both one and two stripes on them. It is unclear exactly what these were for, but the most likely it was to easily distinguish between what an airman might need on voyage and what could be stowed in a ship’s hold.

The inside of the bag has a date stamp for 1967 and a stores code:Quite why the RAF changed to a smaller kit bag is unclear, unless it was just to save money. These small bags are very much a post war design and were not issued during wartime. David Henderson was an airman in the 1950s and remembers the perils of travelling with a kitbag:

My journey to Marham was routed via Euston and Liverpool Street stations (through the wisdom of some clerk GD in Cosford) to disembark at Downham Market – I can remember thinking how dark the soil was and how flat the land seemed to be in Norfolk. My other memory is travelling with full kit, webbing harness, small pack, large pack, water bottle and kitbag. The form was to balance the kitbag on top of the large pack, unfortunately as I got to the top of one of the tube escalators my SD (peak cap) slipped over my eyes and as I flicked my head back, off rolled my kitbag causing mayhem to all and sundry behind me.


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