Display number 7 contains the only uniform we have from the First World War. This is a Royal Flying Corp. tunic and cap which were worn by Lieutenant Walter Hall of Foxwarren, Manitoba. You will notice the types of guns that were common at that time. The Air Force sword and scabbard and was part of the dress uniform worn by the personnel of the Royal Flying Corp. The models are of the type of aircraft used in World War I.
DISPLAY NO. 8 ~ WOMEN’S DIVISION (WDs)Display number 8 is of the Women’s Division of the R.C.A.F. They were commonly known as the WDs. The jobs associated with the Women’s Division are usually that of Nurse and of Stenographer. While these were important jobs filled by some of these women, they were definitely not the only jobs filled by these courageous women. These ladies did a tremendous array of jobs, including parachute packing, some were aero engine mechanics, air frame mechanics, instrument mechanics, radio operators, they worked in the communications section, refueled aircraft, they drove and serviced the myriad of vehicles that the R.C.A.F. operated, a tremendous job with a very dedicated group of ladies doing it. The display depicts WDs doing instrument repair work, nurses and administration. There were more than 17,000 WDs and their motto was “We serve that men may fly.”
DISPLAY NO. 9 ~ RADIO EQUIPMENT
Display number 9 contains many items of radio gear and again we suggest you compare these transmitters and receivers to the size of the radio receiver you have at home or in your pocket. The radar scope is typical of the ones used by our airmen when searching for surface contacts such as submarines and ships. The wooden box on the top shelf which contains a wind up mechanism is a mystery to us. If you can tell us what it is we would appreciate it.
BARBER'S LIST FROM MANNING DEPOT
Just past this case and to your left is a small table on which are a number of binders. Number 2 Manning Depot was located in downtown Brandon (where the 10th street Safeway is now located). One of the first things that new Airmen had to do when they got into the Air Force at Manning Depot was to get a haircut. In the case of the Number 2 Manning Depot, a gentleman by the name of Jack Taylor, (a picture of Jack and his staff is on the wall above the table), asked everybody who got their hair cut to sign a scribbler. The copies of the signatures of some 22,000 airmen are in these books. We often have people coming through the Museum who passed through number 2 Manning Depot. When they come across their names they get very excited about doing so.
RANKS & TRADE INSIGNIA OF RCAF
On the wall above the barber’s books there is a display of the various ranks and trade insignia of the RCAF.
Beginning at the top left row and working down is a Canada shoulder patch, the Albatross, a propeller, which denotes the rank of Leading AirCraftman, Corporal, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant, Warrant Officer Second class and Warrant Officer First class.
On the right-hand side at the top you have an officer’s cap badge and below that are the commissioned officer rank insignia which were indicated by a silver strip worn on the epaulette. The lowest rank was the Pilot Officer, moving down the display but moving up in rank there is, Flying Officer, Flight Lieutenant, Squadron Leader, Wing Commander, and Group Captain
The white flash at the bottom was inserted in the wedge cap and worn by aircrew when they finished initial training school. This indicated that the wearer was aircrew and that the person without the flash was not. This was not an indication of rank.
The centre row holds the trade badges for ground and air trades. Starting at the bottom and working up are several ground trade badges including that of the Radio Operator (sparks), Musician and Physical Training Instructor.
Above these are the air trades, Air Gunner, Engineer, usually referred to as the Flight Engineer, Bomb Aimer, Navigator/Bomb Aimer, Navigator, and Pilot. The pilot was the only one to wear the full wing. All other air trades wore a half wing.