Virtual Museum - Uniforms

In an effort to expand the Virtual Museum, this page has been added to show a range of uniforms.  These come from a collection owned by Barry O'Sullivan

SERVICE DRESS JACKET TO SQUADRON LEADER WILLIAM SIMPSON.  Circa 1942. Simpson (service number 23103) enlisted in the New Zealand  Permanent Airforce in October 1923 as a fitter with the rank of private, after service in the RFC and RAF from 1917 to 1920.  From 1924 he was attached to the RAF until 1942 when he returned to New Zealand.  This jacket is an officers service dress jacket tailored in a blue bareathea fabric. It has an attached belt with brass buckle, two bellows pockets on the skirt and two chest pockets. The rank is that of a squadron leader .
The pilots wings are padded. The medal ribbons are Order of the British Empire (military), India general service medal 1908-1935 (very unusual to a NZ serviceman), 1939-45 Defence medal, 1939-45 War medal with mentioned in dispatches clasp, Jubilee medal 1935.
McKeague enlisted in December 1940 as an airman and rose to the rank of Warrant Officer in August 1943.  He was attached to 500 squadron from January 1942 to August 1942 then 120 Squadron till March 1944. This jacket was a reissue named to 85251 G.A.V. Staples esq Sept 1940 . The cuffs can be seen with a turn back mark and badge holes can be seen on the lapel.  This jacket is tailored in blue bareatha with RNZAF brass buttons. Over the left pocket is McKeague's air observer cloth brevet and a ribbon for the 1939-45 star.
ARMY OFFICERS SERVICE DRESS UNIFORM. Circa 1943. This jacket is a New Zealand Army Officers jacket tailored in drab green whipcord fabric. There are 2 bellows pockets to the skirt and 2 chest pockets. The cuffs have a small vent secured by two brass buttons and a point (this is a 1930's style). On the shoulders are epaulettes to hold the rank. On either side of the waist are a pair of belt hooks.  When army Officers transferred to the RNZAF for pilot training they wore a blue  barathea triangle stitch to the upper shoulder. After they qualified they wore air force uniforms with air force officers rank. Approximately 250 NZ army Officers transferred and trained in their army uniforms. After qualifying some stitched the pilots qualification badge above the left pocket until airforce uniforms were tailored for them.
This jacket was tailored for 2lt Alan Mills an Officer in the 3rd Auckland infantry regiment.  In 1943 he transferred to the RNZAF for pilot training. This jacket was tailored by E.C. Greer Ltd, Queen Street, Auckland. On the epaulettes are rank stars of 2nd LT, on the collar are badges for 3rd Infantry Regiment with blue triangle cloth patches to the shoulder. This jacket is shown with a brown leather sam browne belt and brace.
SUMMER SERVICE DRESS JACKET.  Circa 1943 . Officers of the RNZAF could, at their own expense, purchase a uniform for wear in the summer months.  This uniform is the same cut as the blue version but was tailored in a tan coloured fabric.  The badges and buttons were the same colour as those used on the blue uniform.  Summer uniforms were  the exception rather than the rule and very few officers had tan uniforms made.  This jacket is named to P/O S.E. Sinclair, June 18 1943.  The label inside reads: "This garment was made especially to order for P/O/ S.E. Sinclair, Tip Top Tailors, Canada's high class tailors."  The badges are blue "New Zealand" shoulder titles, WAG aircrew badge to the left chest, and blue Flight  Lieutenant rank lace to each lower sleeve.  The brass buttons are all RCAF pattern.  Stuart Sinclair (# 426156) enlisted in the RNZAF in 1942 as an airman and, after initial training in NZ, he went to Canada as part of the Empire Training Scheme( were he had this uniform and his blue uniform made).  Sinclair returned to NZ and went on to serve in the Pacific with No. 6 Squadron.

Owned by John Raeburn Thomson Lieutenant and pilot RNZVR (A) attached to the Royal Navy during WW2. He flew a wide range of aircraft from a wide varity of locations, most of which were land based stations.  The jacket is a  Reefer style (double breasted) and tailored from serge fabric.  There are two rows of brass crown and anchor buttons to the front. There are two internal hanging pockets on each side with a small pocket on the left chest.  The rank is that of a Lieutenant of the Royal Navy Volunteer reserve with a bullion A sewn to the centre of the loop. Above the rank on the left sleeve is a bullion Fleet Air Arm pilots qualification badge. The cuffs have had a band of leather stitched to the lower edge to reduce wear.  Naval officers had two grades of winter reefer jacket. The first was tailored from fine Melton fabric and was kept for best.  The other type was a wool serge fabric and was used for general duties.  This jacket of Lieutenant (A) Thomson is the serge type and most likely the jacket he wore while flying circa 1943 to 1945.
OFFICER'S  TROPICAL  SERVICE  DRESS  JACKET. Circa 1944/1945. This jacket is the same style as the blue service dress jacket but is tailored in a khaki drill fabric.  All the brass buttons are removable and the rank is displayed on removable epaulette shoulder boards.  This type of jacket was used in the Pacific during WWII.  This example has rank braid of a Flying Officer and has the pilot qualification wings sewn above the left pocket.


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