The RAF Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot's Kitbag

Uniforms & Equipment from the Summer of 1940 and the Human Stories Behind Them

Mark Hillier

Date Published :
May 2018
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Illustration :
100 color & black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473849990
Pages : 128
Dimensions : 9.5 X 7.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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The scenes are familiar ones; the young ‘Brylcream Boys’ sat at dispersal waiting for the haunting call of ‘Scramble’, lounging in their shirt sleeves and fur-lined boots, their leather flying helmets lying limp by their side. But what did the RAF fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain really wear, and what vital items would their kitbags have held?

The casual air of the dashing pilots of Fighter Command in the Spitfire Summer of 1940 conceals a necessarily professional approach to their task of holding Hitler’s Luftwaffe at bay. Therefore, each item of clothing and equipment they wore and carried had a role and a function, be it for warmth and comfort, communication, or for fighting and survival.

All the objects that an RAF fighter pilot was issued during the Battle of Britain are explored in this book in high-definition color photographs, showing everything from the differing uniforms, to headgear, personal weapons, gloves, goggles, parachute packs and the essential Mae West life jacket. Each item is fully described and its purpose and use explained.

Relive Britain’s finest hour as never before – through the actually clothing and accouterments of ‘The Few.'

About The Author

MARK HILLIER is a chartered surveyor who has a deep knowledge of the history of the RAF, with a particular focus on the Second World War. He is also a qualified pilot, having flown for more than twenty-two years, including many flights from the former RAF Westhampnett, now Goodwood Aerodrome. He has previously co-authored a number of successful books on aviation and has written the biography of Wing Commander Thomas Murray.


“This is on great picture album of what these RAF pilots wore and used during the Battle of Britain. The book will be of much interest to both aviation historians and modelers alike.”

- AMPS Indianapolis

“The author sets an iconic scene of young “Brylcream Boys” casually lounging around in shirtsleeves and fur-lined boots with their leather flying helmets lying by their sides waiting for an alert to “Scramble!” and take wing to battle the German Luftwaffe. Then he painstakingly details how every item of clothing and equipment the aviators wore and carried had a function ranging from comfort and warmth to communication, fighting and survival.”

- Toy Soldier & Model Figure

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