1943 Pattern Black Leather and Sheepskin 'Escape' Boot (L) -

Catalogue number
  • UNI 5535
Department
Exhibits
Production date
1943
Materials
  • Boot: leather
  • Lining: sheepskin
  • whole: rubber
Dimensions
  • whole: Height 36 cm, Length 31 cm, Width 10 cm
Alternative names
  • full name: 1943 Pattern Black Leather and Sheepskin 'Escape' Boot (L) -
  • simple name: footwear, British
Category
uniforms and insignia

© IWM (UNI 5535)

Purchase & License
Label

There were three distinctive patterns of flying boot developed and worn during the Second World War. The first, the 1940 pattern (22/C 435-442) was a one piece boot with a black leather shoe and brown canvas calf section with sheepskin lining. This was the pattern worn by the majority of Royal Air Force aircrew, until the introduction of the 1941 Pattern Boot (22/C 748-755). This was a one piece rubber soled, brown suede sheepskin -lined boot with a front zip-fastener. The final pattern of boot introduced for wear by aircrew, was the celebrated 1943 Pattern Boot (22/C 917-924) often referred to as the 'Escape' boot. This boot was so designed that, if the wearer was obliged to bale out over enemy occupied territory, he could, using the small knife concealed in the lining, cut off the tops of the boots and wear the shoe. Without the top part of the boot, the shoe was designed to look like ordinary civilian footwear. The prefix 22/C was the RAF stores reference prefix for all flying clothing officially issued to aircrew. The exceptions were Oxygen equipment which had a 6D prefix and electrical head equipment which had a 10A prefix. The range of numbers after the 22/C prefix for the three patterns of flying boot refer to the sizes.

Physical description

left boot black leather and suede sheepskin-lined flying boot. The boot comprises a black leather Oxford (plain leather with a toe cap) lace-up shoe. The upper part of the boot is black suede with a sheepskin lining. The boot is fastened by a zip on the outer side of the boot and there is a strap secured by a buckle at the top of the boot. Inside the right boot there is a concealed pocket cut into the sheepskin lining designed to hold a small metal knife. The sole is in leather

History note

There were three distinctive patterns of flying boot developed and worn during the Second World War. The first, the 1940 pattern (22/C 435-442) was a one piece boot with a black leather shoe and brown canvas calf section with sheepskin lining. This was the pattern worn by the majority of Royal Air Force aircrew, until the introduction of the 1941 Pattern Boot (22/C 748-755). This was a one piece rubber soled, brown suede sheepskin -lined boot with a front zip-fastener. The final pattern of boot introduced for wear by aircrew, was the celebrated 1943 Pattern Boot (22/C 917-924) often referred to as the 'Escape' boot. This boot was so designed that, if the wearer was obliged to bale out over enemy occupied territory, he could, using the small knife concealed in the lining, cut off the tops of the boots and wear the shoe. Without the top part of the boot, the shoe was designed to look like ordinary civilian footwear. The prefix 22/C was the RAF stores reference prefix for all flying clothing officially issued to aircrew. The exceptions were Oxygen equipment which had a 6D prefix and electrical head equipment which had a 10A prefix. The range of numbers after the 22/C prefix for the three patterns of flying boot refer to the sizes.

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