Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

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The Devils Bank
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Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat May 09, 2020 8:17 pm

The Luftwaffe had a sea rescue service called the "Seenotdienst", which operated from 1935 to 1945.

It started as a civillian run service, but was then taken over by the Luftwaffe.

The war against England resulted in more aircraft/airmen being downed in the sea, needing a new approach immediately.

The success of the "Seenotdienst" made the allies copy this service and they brought in their own branch of sea rescue.

When pilots/crews ditched in to the sea, they got out the dinghy, clambered in and hoped to be rescued.

They were issued with a small cap, that fitted over the flying helmet with tiny clips.

It could be turned inside out, Red one side and yellow on the other.

I believe (?) the red was for desert operations, red easily being spotted from the sky.

The yellow side was for the sea, again being easily spotted from above.

It is a very small cap, and I should imagine it was easily lost.
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The Devils Bank
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Construction.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat May 09, 2020 8:19 pm

It was a six part construction and made with what looks similar to a light denim cloth.

It simply fitted over the flight cap, stretching the four corners to fit tightly with the clips.

I don't know where this cap was carried/stored, either in the flight jacket pockets or within the plane itself?

Nobody seems to know :((
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The Devils Bank
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat May 09, 2020 8:23 pm

The clips are very small indeed, and on this particular cap seem to be for the red side to be worn?

When I put it on my flying helmet, I'll see how it does fit. :ymapplause:

I think with the stretching over the flight helmet, these clips would eventually come off..
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The Devils Bank
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Markings.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sat May 09, 2020 8:26 pm

The only markings on the cap that I can see, are "L.B.A." and there are more letters next to it, but I can't make them out.

The marking L.B.A. stands for Luftwaffe Bekledungsamt.

Of all the Luftwaffe stuff I have collected over the years, this little cap is the one item that has always been my dream to own.

For nearly twenty years I've been after this little bu++er, but I've always missed out, either being too pricey or simply not available.

I've only seen two examples for sale, in all those years.

One became available earlier this week, late at night and I couldn't believe my eyes, yes, this is the one that's always eluded me.

I had to have it, and minutes later it was mine.

But, as usual.. things didn't go to plan X(

It was sent by "Special Delivery" arriving before 1pm the next day??

It didn't, and it had gone "missing" ~x(

Two days later, I traced it to a Kent Mail Centre, who hadn't booked it in properly..

Anyway, it finally arrived, and I did a celebratory jig when I got to open the parcel, better than Christmas day!
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sat May 09, 2020 10:33 pm

Great stuff Pete and congratulations on finally tracking one down :thumbsup:

Regards Mark

Christopher Ailsby
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby Christopher Ailsby » Sun May 10, 2020 10:51 am

Dear Pete you are a "Real Star", as I have often "very boringly" said wake up smell the coffee tune in, better than the Daily Telegraph.

The little tank was donated many years ago by a neighbour, who was most concerned when I said I was having one on the drive. That was to go with the "Pot Bellied Pigs" and the brace of peacocks.

Christopher

The Devils Bank
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sun May 10, 2020 3:53 pm

Here is the skull cap on the summer flight helmet LS100.

I think the cap is a one size, as this one is bigger than I originally thought.

It isn't stretched fully and is loose in places.
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The Devils Bank
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby The Devils Bank » Sun May 10, 2020 4:09 pm

As you can see, the rear of the cap is designed to fit around the microphone attachment.

This particular cap must be for the desert operations as the little clips are on the yellow side.

When added to the front and back, the clips are facing inwards, gripping the fabric.

If the yellow side was to be used, the clips would be on the red side, again, facing inwards.

So, I think it's safe to say that these were issued by their colour to the fighting crews.

Yellow for "flights over sea" and red for the desert ops.

You can't fit the yellow side without changing the clip positions.

So, to show the yellow side, I would have to remove the clips and sew them on to the red side.

I am really pleased to finally get my hands on one of these ultra rare caps, and still a lot of questions remain unanswered.

Maybe some day, I will find some paper work that will help with the caps history.
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Tailgunnerdownunder
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby Tailgunnerdownunder » Sun May 10, 2020 9:01 pm

Looks great on display Pete :thumbsup:

Regards Mark

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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby Dave_Holden » Mon May 11, 2020 4:11 am

Never seen on Pete and got to be a very rare cap indeed. There must be a photo out there with one being worn in use. Congratulations on achieving another goal in your collection :thumbsup:

The Devils Bank
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby The Devils Bank » Tue May 12, 2020 5:57 pm

The thing is Dave, because the pictures are in black & white, those wearing the red side of the cap, it wouldn't really show.

Even the yellow side just looks white in colour pictures :sad:

But I did find this one:

Luftwaffe Bombers/Battle of Britain.

A great book by Chris Goss.
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Andyb
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Re: Luftwaffe Seenotdienst Skull Cap.

Postby Andyb » Sun May 17, 2020 4:25 pm

Great Post Pete and the cap looks like new :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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