RAF emergency flying ration from Wellington crash site

RAF emergency flying ration from Wellington crash site

Code: S15925

SOLD

RAF Emergency Flying Ration Mk.II.  Stores reference 27P/7.  This was recovered from the Vickers Wellington Mk.X, MF584, of 27 Operational Training Unit that crashed on 18th July 1944 close to the village of Marchington, 3 miles south east of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.  The bomber took off on a training flight over Cannock Chase from RAF Lichfield at 1830hrs.  During the flight one of the starboard engine propeller blades broke away resulting in severe vibrations and the eventual loss of that engine.  The order was given to abandon the aircraft while the pilot held it as level as possible with only one engine and the large weight imbalance on the port side.  He then bailed out and the aircraft subsequently crashed into a field.  The crew: Pilot F/Sgt. John Sutherland Walker (RAAF); Navigator, Pilot Officer John Strange East (RAAF); Bomb Aimer Sgt. Joseph Arthur Barnard (RAAF); Wireless Operator/Air Gunner  F/Sgt. Harry Kearsley Chamberlain (RAAF) and Airgunner Sergeant Brian Joseph Mordecai (RAAF) all survived but Barnard was injured.  The site was dug in the early 1990s when this was recovered.  Originally measuring approximately 11 x 8.5 x 2.8cm this metal box is printed with A 'Crown' M to lid and with contents list to the base. It contained Barley Sugar Sweets, Chewing Gum, Malted Milk Tablets and Energy Tablets.  The tin was damaged during the crash and is both distorted and heavily corroded from decades in the ground.  Some of the text is legible and amazingly much of the original contents appear to remain, albeit in a very poor state as can be seen.  The tin has been lightly varnished to prevent further corrosion.  These rations were officially issued as part of the dinghy survival kit but saw much wider distribution.  A real talking point.  Stock code S15925.