Featured Artifacts

  • Pith helmet

    WWII Tropical Pith Helmet Khaki covered sun helmet with a puggaree that runs around the bottom of the outside torso of the hat. It forms a type of bow at the back just above the protective neck peak. On the left side of the helmet a tri coloured patch of dark brown white and reddish brown, has been attached to the puggaree midway between the front and the back. The interior bowl of the helmet is made up of one quarter inch thick layer of sola (Indian swamp growth) copper mesh and finally the fine straw-like mesh forming the inside liner of the helmet. A brown hand sewn leather sweat band encompasses the inner rim of the helmet. A small square paper label is affixed to it and reads, EXACT 7 1/8 59. A triangular paper label attached to the inner bowl of the helmet reads, Star Millinery, D-58, Municipal Market, CALCUTTA.
  • Jack Friday's Logbook

    Observer's and Air Gunner's Flying Log Book. The name Friday, J. W. is printed in capital letters on the cover of the log. Jack Friday was the bomb aimer on Lancaster Mk X, KB726, the Mynarski Lancaster. The log shows Friday's record of service from 26 April, 1943 to June 12 1944 when the aircraft was listed as missing on a raid over Cambrai. Jack Friday was the fourth member to crew up with Lancaster KB726 VR.A. Jack joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in August 1942 and graduated from No. 2 Bombing & Gunnery School at Mossbank Saskatchewan, and No. 7 Air Observer’s School at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba as a navigator. He went overseas in August 1943 where from Bournemouth was posted to Moreton Valence and No. 6 Group, No. 419 Squadron. June 12/13 1944, raid on Cambrai. The crew of KB726 VR.A, Arthur “Art” de Breyne, the pilot, Roy Vigars, flight engineer, Jack Friday, bomb-aimer, Jim Kelly, wireless operator, Bob Bodie, navigator, Andrew “Andy” Mynarski, Pat Brophy, rear-gunner took off in their Avro Lancaster MkX on their 13th operation together. While flying on a raid to Cambrai, France, Jack and his crew were attacked by a Ju-88 nightfighter. The damage to the aircraft was substantial, the port wing was hit which disabled both engines and set the gas tanks between them on fire. Another fire broke out between the mid-upper and rear gunner turrets associated with the hydraulic fluid for the rear turret. The intercom as well as the pilot’s instrument panel were disabled. As the aircraft descended between 3000-4000’ and Art de Breyne, the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. Jack Friday, the bomb aimer had pulled up the escape hatch in the nose of the aircraft and the force of the airstream had blown it up into his face, knocking him unconscious. “I made my way down to the bomb-aimer’s position and found Jack Friday slumped on the floor, unconscious, as if having a nap. He had a gash over his eye. I rolled him over, clipped on his chute pack, and slid him over to the escape hatch and dropped him through the opening while holding on to the ripcord. This was a risky manoeuvre, as pulling the ripcord too soon, the parachute could wrap around the big tail wheel of the Lancaster, which was non-retractable. But Jack made it O.K.” – Roy Vigars, flight engineer. Jack was found by two farm workers early in the morning of June 13, 1944. He was to learn of this later after the war from members of the French Underground. The farm workers took him to a doctor in a nearby village for medical aid. The doctor feared that Jack was seriously injured and turned him over to the Germans, with whom he felt Jack would receive better medical attention. The doctor also feared for his own life by attending to a downed airman, as many were shot for assisting Allied airmen if they were caught. Jack’s first memories were of waking up in a prison cell in Amiens, four days later on June 17, 1944. He remembered asking an American airmen sharing his cell to lift the bandage over his eye and tell him if he had lost his eye. The American told him that the Germans had apparently not stitched his wound, as the flap of skin from his injury was hanging down over his eye preventing him from seeing. After he was deemed fit to travel, Jack was transported to Dulagluft Interrogation Centre. The first vivid memory Jack had after recovering, he had no recollection of the events of the raid after the briefing, was the bright sunlight at the railway station where to his surprise he saw Roy Vigars, crewmember and flight engineer of KB726. Together they were transported to Stalagluft 7 in Silesia, and were later liberated after months as Prisoners of War, on April 22, 1945. After liberation Jack traveled to England, and in June 1945 he returned home to Canada.
  • Flying Helmet

    A Type C (22C/877-880, sizes 1-4) leather flight helmet with oxygen mask attachment. The first wired flying helmet introduced into the R.A.F./R.C.A.F. service in 1944 was an improved Type C with factory installed receivers and wiring which became standard for general purpose issue. The wired version was cut from the exact same pattern as the original, and differed little except for having the built-in wiring loom and plug connector on the left side of the chin for the oxygen mask microphone lead. The front goggle retaining straps were omitted and the leather chinstrap was replaced with one of grey elastic webbing.
  • Coveralls

    White coveralls from the Cockshutt Aircraft Factory in Brantford. The coveralls have dark red buttons and the Cockshutt Aircraft logo in red embroidery on the back. Tags on collar say "Kitchen's Frontliners" and "Peabody Shrunk."
  • Brylcreem Tube

    Tube of Brylcreem, used to style mens hair in the 1940's and 1950's. 4.5 oz fl/ 128 ml
  • Button Compass

    Air Ministry and M19 issued concealed button compass for aircrew. This half-inch diameter rotor compass was issued to RAF and RCAF aircrews. Early types had four holes in the rotating bezel, and the later ones had a star-shaped pointer. Used by aircrewmen in the event of a bail out or to escape or evade the enemy when in occupied territory. The button was made with either left or right hand thread after the first types were discovered by German captors. When unscrewed this button contains a small rotor compass. This type of escape compass was introduced as early as 1940 but ceased to be used after the introduction of the battledress later in 1941.
  • Lucky Charm

    "Peewee" a stuffed animal and lucky charm. Peewee sports a long red scarf, a Canada shoulder flash across his back, and a Canadian Volunteer Service Medal + Bar ribbon across his chest.
  • Spitfire Gun Camera

    Spitfire Gun Camera Type G45 B 12 volts, Ref. No. 14A/1389 AM SERIAL NO.13166 Camera stored and protected in a painted grey wooden box with metal fasteners and a brown leather handle with a white stenciled printing on the lid which reads, CAMERA AIRCRAFT-G45B (STANDARD LENS) -12 VOLT REF.NO. 14A/1577 CASE STORAGE- REF.NO. 14A/1381 Short lens type G45 has a green band painted on the base of the lens REF NO.14A/1398, AM SERIAL NO. 4194 Magazine Type G45 REF. No. 14A/1393 SERIAL NO. 55234 WILLIAMSON MFG. CO.LTD., LONDON READING.
  • Bomber jacket

    Brown leather bomber jacket with shearling cuffs and collar, lined with fur. The jacket is in excellent condition, has been oiled throughout the years. Chain hook for hanging at back collar of jacket.
  • Make Up Kit

    Leather Elizabeth Arden zippered Make Up kit in RAF/RCAF colours. One side has ¾" strap. Kit is lined in blue fabric and contains: 1) removable mirror (3 ½" x 2¼") 2) plastic pot of face powder (1⅝" diameter); white with blue and gold decoration 3) plastic pot of cleansing cream (1⅝" diameter); white with blue and gold decoration 4) plastic pot of all day foundation cream( 1⅛" diameter); cream with blue decoration 5) plastic pot of lipstick/gloss "Victory Red" (⅞" diameter); black with raised ridge decoration 6) attached blue leather pouch with snap closure and "Elizabeth Arden" signature on flap (3¾" x 2")
  • Silk blouse

    A hand made women's blouse made from parachute silk with short sleeve, short waisted with ruffle at collar lace trim at waist.
  • Flying Boots

    RAF 1943 PATTERN ESCAPE/FLYING BOOTS WITH HIDDEN PEN KNIFE. Black suede throat fastened by a vertical eight inch brass zipper stamped with the Broad Arrow. Above the zipper at the top of the throat is a single leather buckle strap which bears an identification stamp on the back and is attached to a plain metal buckle. A black leather civilian style shoe with ten painted black metal eyelets is sewn to the base of the suede boot throat. The black laces have metal lace ends which have since lost their magnetic qualities. It is not known whether these laces contain a hidden Gigli saw(special steel wire). The smooth stitched leather soles have one inch stacked leather heels which are attached by metal hob nails. Tucked into the wool lining of the right boot is a rectangular patch pocket where a small metal pen knife is hidden.
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