WW II Kit, First Aid, Aeronautic

Trainees in an aerial classroom for a navigator training flight during World War II.  The Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical is on the fuselage behind the head of the first seated trainee.  One or more of these kits were commonly installed
Trainees in an aerial classroom for a navigator training flight during World War II. The Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical is on the fuselage behind the head of the first seated trainee. One or more of these kits were commonly installed.

Today in WW II: 9 Dec 1940 British North African offensive begins against Italian forces in Somaliland, Egypt and Libya.  More 
9 Dec 1941 HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse sunk by Japanese air attacks of Malayan coast.
9 Dec 1942 Renewed attacks by Australian forces break through and take Gona Village, Papua New Guinea.
9 Dec 1945 Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. severely injured in a collision between his staff car and an Army truck, while on a hunting trip in the country outside Mannheim, Germany.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

World War II Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical

Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical
Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical, belonging to Col. J.R. Hardesty. Photo: Courtesy of and eBay seller Tom Raburn.

All military aircraft carry first aid equipment. In the case of fighter or small bomber aircraft, the Packet, First Aid, Parachute was attached to the parachute webbing of each crew member. On larger aircraft, cargo planes, or aircraft carrying paratroopers, a one or more larger first aid kits were also installed on the aircraft for emergency use.

The Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical (Medical Department Item No. 9776500), shown closed above, was a canvas bag constructed with four lift the dot fastener (LTD) female connectors on its four corners. LTD studs were permanently attached to the aircraft fuselage bulkhead so the First Aid Kit could be easily snapped down or pulled off for use.

Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical

The Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical was issued in a series of patterns. Early in World War II the kit was made of khaki canvas, had a zipper around three sides to fully open the kit, and was marked with a red cross on the left front plus the nomenclature, "Kit, First Aid, Aeronautic, US" in block letters to the right front (photo, left). A later pattern, shown in the large photos above and below this section, was of olive drab canvas, with the full zipper, marked only with "Medical Department, USA" in black block letters. A third pattern, believed to be the earliest one, was also khaki canvas, with a horizontal zipper that separated a smaller top compartment from a larger bottom compartment, not the three sided, full opening zipper of the others. Some models of the kit had a fabric carrying strap for use when dismounted from the wall.

Inside the bag of the Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical, the contents were held in divided compartments as seen in the photo below. The arrangement differed in the three patterns but all had multiple dividers for the contents packages plus a sleeve to store the instruments.

Contents of the Kit, First Aid, Aeronautical

Kit, First Aid, Aeronautic shown open, with contents
Kit, First Aid, Aeronautic shown open, with contents, belonging to Col. J.R. Hardesty. Photo: Courtesy of and eBay seller Tom Raburn.

Like other first aid kits of the World War II period, the contents of the aircraft first aid kit varied as supplies and technology changed. Typical contents would include all or part of this list:

  • Bandages & dressings: Carlisle dressings, cotton, gauze, adhesive bandages, triangular bandage, eye dressing unit.
  • Medical supplies: sulfadiazine & sulfanilamide packages, amyl nitrate vials, morphine tartrate syrette, iodine applicators & bottle, halazone tablets, burn injury set.
  • Medical implements: scalpel, blunt scissors, fever thermometer, tourniquet belt with buckle.

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