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RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

Hi Guys, most British WW2 aircraft carried these. As the name suggests, they were designed

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    Administrator Adrian Stevenson's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    Hi Guys, most British WW2 aircraft carried these. As the name suggests, they were designed to be used by crew members to free themselves from crashed aircraft or to be used as a general survival tool. The handle is insulated with thick rubber and so it could be used to cut through electrical wires.

    It is dated 1939 and maker marked "Elwell". The other mark is the Air Ministry stamp of the Crown and "AM".

    British Airborne troops sometimes used these after taking them from their Horsa gliders. They made a vicious close combat item. One was just recovered this year in Arnhem on the positions of the King's Own Scottish Borders.

    I picked this one up on a vintage tool stall at a vehicle rally some years ago for a tenner.



    Cheers, Ade.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe-air-ministry-marked-escape-axe..jpg   RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe-escape-axe-makers-markings-date..jpg  


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    Moderator Gary J's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    I got a 1943 AM marked one from a car boot sale for a Fiver !!

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    Moderator Alan M's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    Nice find Ade , that is a vicious looking bugger , you would want to duck if you saw that coming at you

    cheers Al

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    Registered member gibba1008's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    i love this item ade, iv always wanted one, i have a similar one but mine is the fire service type....

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    Registered member Gary Cain's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    Very nice Ade! I still have not been able to find one of those, some day I'll get lucky though!

    Cheers
    Gary
    YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH RED WINE, TOO MANY BOOKS, OR TOO MUCH AMMUNITION.
    Rudyard Kipling

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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    im still looking for one out digging.

  7. #7
    whalerman
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    How can you tell the difference between a military issued axe and a fire service tool? Were the fire service models used to rescue people who were victims of German bombing? I was able to buy one here in the US, but there are no markings on the metal at all. The rubber handle says "test for 20000 volts" on one side, and the serial number "42D8331" on the other side. My Dad was in the US Army in London from 1943-1945. I feel like I've found another link to him. Best to you all. Thanks.

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    Administrator Adrian Stevenson's avatar in War relics WW2 military forums
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    Default re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    Military issues are marked as such on the metal. The one you describe will be a fire and rescue version as you thought.

    Cheers, Ade.

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    Default Re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    These are still currently installed in the cockpits of civilian airliners as emergency equipment. We refer to them as "crash axes" in the airline industry. Most that I have seen are unmarked. They are identical in every way to the WWII items, including the rubber coated handles, but lack military markings.

    >>>> Cascabel

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    Default Re: RAF Air Ministry marked Escape Axe

    i have one Ewell 1943 27 n/l A M well used thinking of selling it.

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