403 ERKS in German Camouflage Working on the Auster

More Pictures from George White’s Collection

The Auster was used during WWII by the RCAF primarily as an Air Observation Post (AOP).

It was also used for communications and casualty evacuation purposes.

I have some pictures from my father George White’s collection of the ERKS working on 127 Wing’s Auster.

The boys are wearing captured German camouflage jackets.

The journal I have mentions that RCAF personnel in their dirty blue battle dress were often mistaken for Germans.

I often wonder if the boys felt safer wearing German camouflage jackets as opposed to dirty RCAF battle dress.

The German jackets look very comfortable and practical.



Auster and the Boys

Boys camo

Boys camo 2

Boys and Auster

Auster 3

The aircraft in the photo above is a Taylorcraft Auster Mark V.
Auster series aircraft gave invaluable service in the war in southern and northern Europe. At their peak, Austers equipped 19 squadrons, often using their remarkable short-field performance to operate very close to the front line.

Specifications (Auster V)

General Characteristics
• Crew: Pilot plus observer sitting side by side and one crew (if needed) in the space behind the two front seats.
• Length: 22 ft 5 in (6.83 m)
• Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
• Height: 8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)
• Wing area: 167 ft² (15.51 m²)
• Empty weight: 1,100 lb (499 kg)
• Max takeoff weight: 1,850 lb (839 kg)
• Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-290-3 flat-four piston, 130 hp (97 kw)

• Maximum speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
• Range: 250 miles (402 km)

 Auster 4


Mark White
February 2013