(Login avro626) Forum Member from IP address 22.214.171.124
Hi, Do we have any collectors of Air ministry Tools here, or anyone with some knowledge of the tools that might have been used by a Wireless Operator in the air. I understand that each W/Op. carried a small set of tool (I guess a screwdriver, pliers, BA Spanners etc.) to deal with radio faults and repairs and I would like to put together a small representative collection of such tools. Any info. or advise would be most welcome. Cheers Dave.
You have it pretty well spot on dave. It would mostly be personal preference I'd think, some on advice from 'old sweats', but the rest, as they felt lilke it. You'd probably find a mixture of AM marked and 'civvy', and maybe an odd tool, one of those that has 101 uses!
Hi Guys, Thanks for the responses, next task is to put together a suitable small tool kit and a few relevant spares to complete the kit. By the way Chris, the Pigeon Box is a sore subject, would you believe that on the day it was finishing I lost my internet connection for 10 hours so could not place a bid!! I was a little annoyed to say the least. Cheers Dave.
You need to train somebody else to literally do your bidding for you. I am on the road a lot and I keep track of when auctions close. Sometimes I have the wife or a buddy do the bidding at the last second. You should get a local forum member's number so at least they can jump in for you if need be. There are also snipe programs that are web based and others that reside on your own machine. Obviously, the latter would not have mattered much here.
Another will come around. It is amazing how long you can remember, though, auctions that were missed and where the opporutunity never presented itself again. I need a very rare propeller for my Aeronca Model 50. There was one that was a 1939 original that was airworthy that I missed for some reason and I remember it was with seconds to spare...something like wwindows update or something like that decided it was time to download. Anyway, the airscrew was purchased by an outfit that did interior decorating for restaurants! I made an offer they could not refuse but they never got back to me. So now it sits on a wall somewhere with some big screws screwed right through the hub.....and the logbook binned.
I have a few RCAF tools that were no doubt used by engine and frame mechanics. However, I work at an artillery site that just recently refurbished our Fitter's Shop (similar to a blacksmith, but with tools for specialized work on guns and carriages).
The good news is that we found the military were great about making lists of equipment needed for each specific job. Once we had the list, it was a matter of traking down as many military marked items that we could find, and filled in the gaps with period civilian tools. It's amazing how many broad arrow marked old tools are out there if you have the time to dig though them (and 60 years a grime
The bad news is you have to find that blasted list! We have a gentleman here in Parks Canada who deals specifically with military heritage (actually one for western Canada and another in the east). It took him a lot of work digging through old files and manuals until he struck gold.
In the meantime, I'd follow the advice you've received here. Make up a set of tools that look the part and perhaps track down an actual vet who might have some memories of what was in his kit. He likely had to account for them at all times and still remembers what they all were and where they were placed on his workbench!
In seeing your query, I posed the question to a good friend of mine. His name is Doug Tidy, and along with his many accomplishments, which includes writing a history of 74 Squadron entitled 'I Fear No Man' Doug served time as a W/O on Wellingtons. This is what he just wrote to me:
"Never took anything bar a penknife with a screwdriver. Not much one could do if the set failed with tools in the air. Some had a roll of sticky tape."
I'm certain it depended on individual preference. I would think given space and situational contraints it would be rather difficult to do much to effect delicate repairs.
Anyway Doug's a lovely man with a crisp, sharp mind so that's one account anyway.