Bomber Command aircrews flew over large expanses of water, and part of their training was how to evacuate the aircraft and use the dinghy in the event of the aircraft having to come down or “ditch” in the sea. As well as there being a correct procedure for actually ditching the aircraft, once in the sea aircrews needed to know their dinghy drill. ‘Tee Emm’ of May 1941 advises:
All those, therefore, who are at any time likely to have to use a ‘yellow donut’ are advised to study the drills carefully and to find out everything about the dinghy and its equipment. ‘Taking to the boats’ is one of those things you may never have to do - but if you do have to do it, you want to do it pretty quick.
Each man had to be aware of his role and “ditching station” in the event of such an emergency. To enable the men to learn their duties quickly, this air diagram clearly shows each crew member as a coloured figure in the correct position, and gives a step by step guide to ditching and leaving the aircraft. Air Ministry Pamphlet 204 and Pilot’s Notes-General (AP2095) gave aircrew further instructions on this topic.
Date: January 1944
Collection Ref: X001-5419