RCAF Anklets

One of the more distinctive features of Canadian webbing is the use of a reinforcing strip along the edges of some pieces. This modification can be seen on holsters, entrenching tool covers and the subject of today’s post, the anklets:

These anklets were produced for the Royal Canadian Air Force and so are pre-dyed in blue-grey. The reinforcing strip goes around the perimeter of the anklet and gives the item a more fluid profile than a British produced example. The anklet has a pair of webbing tabs:

And matching buckles to secure it around the airman’s ankle:

Turning to the rear we can see a piece of cotton cloth is sewn across the bottom half of each and leather reinforcement is provided at front and rear for the area where the anklet rubs against the boot:

There were two main webbing manufacturers within Canada, and these were made by Montreal Suspender and Umbrella Ltd whose initials can be seen on the back of the anklet, together with a marking indicating they are a size 4:

The Royal Canadian Air Force was the world’s fourth largest allied air force by the end of World War II with a total of 215,000 personnel by 1944. Its personnel took part in the Battle of Britain, Coastal Command operations in the North Atlantic and bombing runs on continental Europe. These anklets would not have been worn by air crew, but would have seen service amongst ground based staff both during and after the war. I am slowly building up a small collection of RCAF webbing and we will return to some other items later in the year.

One comment

  1. That’s because we’re thrifty (cheap) and only want to issue one item per person 😉
    Trading items at Supply was like pulling teeth…I had a pair of workdress trousers that had gotten stained to the point that the WO has very ‘insistent’ that I trade them in but Supply said they were still serviceable and when I used a cheese grater to wear a hole in the knee and said I’d fallen they said to patch the hole and keep wearing them. I finally ended up zipping them up halfway then giving a sharp tug to break the zipper. Apparently that was irreparable since workdress trouser zippers weren’t an instock item 😉
    When I did my final clearances on retirement, a young 2lt Supply officer took it personally that I couldn’t come up with a pair of knit combat glove liners to return to the point that he had my pay docked to cover the dollar or so cost but didn’t blink an eye when I had two parkas but only one was listed and said nothing when I walked out with the best one, along with most of a full web kit that I had no real use for and a bunch of other things that the issue cards had been lost for but that I figured made up for the cost of the gloves…

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