RAF pilot getting a haircut during a break between missions, 1942

A Royal Air Force pilot getting a haircut and reading Greenmantle by John Buchan. There are a lot of interesting things about this picture, the color, the apparent stillness of these two men during the war, the young pilot smoking a pipe, and also the fact that he is reading a book in World War I during World War II. Is. war.

The pilot's name was Francis Mellersh and he was twice awarded Britain's Distinguished Flying Cross and recommended for the Victoria Cross.

About this photo of his daughter: "We have the original of the photo, and the book (he was mad about John Buchan) and that bloody pipe killed him at 72 in the end. I'm afraid of people who are fighting for war and Instead of dying daily, they are careless about their health.

Instead of resuming his Oxford studies at the end of the war, Francis stayed in the RAF for over 30 years and flew (often with a red arrow) until the end.

He reached Air Vice Marshal and was the Assistant Chief of Defense Staff. He was a very polite man, very laid-back (that picture says it all), and talked very little about war.

In the background is the plane Supermarine Spitfire. The first flight of the Spitfire was on March 5, 1936. It eventually entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1938. It remained in service with the RAF until 1955.

During this period 20,351 Spitfires were manufactured. Although it is believed that 'Spitfire' came from the formidable firing abilities of airplanes, it was also an Elizabethan word meaning someone who had a fiery character.

At the end of the Battle of Britain, Hermann Göring had a heated exchange with his commanders, frustrated that they were not winning the Battle of Britain as planned. He asked them what they needed to win and ace pilot Adolf Galland famously replied "I would like an outfit of Spitfires".

The boots that the pilot is wearing are the famous pattern flying boots. The earlier pattern flying boot, the 1940 pattern, was of a similar design to the 1941 one.

The only difference is that the latter was modified by adding a leather strap, intended should the airman need a bail to prevent the boot from falling. This modification was futile and was not partially corrected until the release of the Pattern Escape Boot after 1943.

The 1943 Pattern Escape Boots were based on the designs of Major Clayton Hutton in MI9, field tested in early 1942. Consisting of a black leather running shoe and a black zip-up suede leggings, the basic principle was simple: in the event of landing on enemy territory, the wearer would separate the leggings from the shoe, which would be placed in a pocket in the right boot. Using a pocket knife will separate.

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