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R.A.A.F. Armourers Manual (1943)

Price $896.00 Sale

R.A.A.F Publication 296


Promulgated for the information
and Guidance of all concerned,
by Command of the Air Board

Air Force Headquarters, Melbourne, S.C.I.

printed by Victorian Railways Print, North Melbourne, 1943

An extremely rare, original, WW2 R.A.A.F. armourers manual, produced by the Royal Australian Air Force in August 1943. This is a massive, large format volume (size: 215mm x 330mm, weight: 2kg) including a vast amount of information about the armament and associated equipment used by the RAAF and allied air forces during WW2. The iconic Browning and Vickers machine guns, Hispano cannon (as used in the Spitfire and Hurricane) and bomber gun turrets are all included. With comprehensive sections on air gunnery, bombing, air firing, bombs, bombsights, Camera guns, machine guns, cannon, small arms, ammunition, etc. Weapons covered include: Browning guns, Vickers guns, Lewis guns, Thompson submachine gun, Hispano 20mm cannon, small arms (Lee Enfield rifle, S&W Revolvers, automatic pistols, etc), bombs, fuzes, pyrotechnics, smoke bombs, and explosives. There are also details of bomb sights, camera guns, synchro gear, bomb carriers, bomb release mechanisms, gun turret mechanisms, theory of bombing, theory of air firing, harmonization of guns, maintenance, workshop practice, etc.

The manual is very well illustrated throughout with a series of excellent plates (some in colour), diagrams, fold-outs and line drawings. There is also a very interesting additional amendment sheet, dated 28 May 1943 covering the harmonization of the guns on the Spitfire Vc, which includes a detailed gun harmonization diagram

R.A.A.F. : In 1939, just after the outbreak of WW2, Australia joined the Empire Air Training Scheme, under which flight crews received basic training in Australia before travelling to Canada for advanced training. A total of 17 RAAF bomber, fighter, reconnaissance and other squadrons served initially in Britain and with the Desert Air Force located in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Thousands of Australians also served with other Commonwealth air forces in Europe during the Second World War. About nine percent of the personnel who served under British RAF commands in Europe and the Mediterranean were RAAF personnel.In the European theatre of the war, RAAF personnel were especially notable in RAF Bomber Command: although they represented just two percent of all Australian enlistments during the war, they accounted for almost twenty percent of those killed in action. This statistic is further illustrated by the fact that No. 460 Squadron RAAF, mostly flying Avro Lancasters, had an official establishment of about 200 aircrew and yet had 1,018 combat deaths. The squadron was therefore effectively wiped out five times over. Total RAAF casualties in Europe were 5,488 killed or missing. By the time the war ended, a total of 216,900 men and women had served in the RAAF, of whom 10,562 were killed in action; a total of 76 squadrons were formed. With over 152,000 personnel operating nearly 6,000 aircraft it was the world's fourth-largest air force.

Condition: In good condition. The hardback binder cover is in good condition, with general signs of use, wear to the edges and corners, and some marks. The metal screw binding is good and secure. The text, illustrations, and plates are in good condition, with creases and minor repairs to some of the folding plates, a few marks, and wear to some of the page edges. Pages 4-8 of the Browning Guns section are missing. One plate (Thompson SMG mechanism) has a piece misisng from the lower right  hand side.

Published: 1943
RAAF hardback binder boards with screw binding
Illustrated with numerous colour plates, folding charts, line drawings and diagrams
Dimensions: 215mm x 330mm
Pages: 320 (plus plates & diagrams)