Continuing our study of RAF blue-grey webbing, today we turn to the bayonet frog. In design the frog mirrored that of the army’s model, but in blue-grey! The frog had a pair of loops at the base to hold the stud of the scabbard, and a top loop to steady the handle of the bayonet:
Later in the war however, the frog would see use with the spike bayonet and even when it had modified for use with the shorter spike bayonet by adding a stitched eyelet there was a long drop from belt to scabbard that was not really needed and resulted in the bayonet in its frog bouncing around far more than was desirable. Whilst the Army decided it could live with this, the RAF looked into ways they could modify the frog to shorten it. The solution they came up with in 1944 was gloriously simple and was a completely free way of shortening the frog, with no permanent changes to the frog and could be completed in under a minute- rarely are solutions as elegant as that!
To modify the frog, it was to be held upside down and the tab with the belt loop passed up through the two loops used to retain the scabbard stud and out the bottom to create a much shorter drop from the belt to the scabbard, effectively using the retaining loops upside down. Airmen were advised that if it was too tight to get the scabbard in from the (new) top of the frog, it could be pushed up from below. The order, published in September of 1944, advised that all personnel with the No 4 bayonet should make this modification with immediate effect.
The resulting change saw the length of the frog drastically reduced:
The RAF’s frogs were stamped on the rear with manufacturer and date, however the dark colour of the webbing plus ager and wear makes these details very hard to see now:
If you want to learn more about 1937 Pattern Webbing, check out my new book on the equipment set that can be found here.