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  #1  
Old 10-10-16, 06:47 PM
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Mtnman Mtnman is offline
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Default Orange Overseas Stripes/Bands on Shoulder, HOW?

Does anyone know how I can purchase the orange bands that signified overseas service for the South African Air Force? They were attached to the shoulder straps where rank insignia were set in place. I cannot find anyone who sells these or I am looking in the wrong place. Help would be much appreciated or direction where to purchase. Thanks everyone
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Old 10-10-16, 08:10 PM
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Original "red tabs" may be hard to come by, as they were worn only between 1940 and 1952. Some regiments which had served in WWII started wearing them again in 1994, but those tabs are modern ones, and not necessarily quite the same colour. You might find originals attached to shoulder slip-ons for sale on e-bay and the like, from time to time.
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Old 11-10-16, 04:27 PM
Alex Rice Alex Rice is offline
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I will try to have a look and see if I have any spares around. I'll let you know.
Cheers,
Alex
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Old 11-10-16, 04:51 PM
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Thank you gentlemen for your kindness in sharing your wisdom. Might I ask, is it known as fact that these were not worn before 1940? Again, I extend my thanks.
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Old 11-10-16, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman View Post
Might I ask, is it known as fact that these were not worn before 1940?
Yes. Its purpose was to identify those who volunteered for service "anywhere in Africa", from March 1940 onwards. As the volunteer had to sign an oath, volunteering became known as "taking the red oath".

Once the African campaigns ended in 1943, volunteers were recruited for service "anywhere in the world", and this became known as "taking the blue oath" because it was believed that they would be issued with a blue flash. However, they also got the orange-red flash.

IIRC, the official name of the flash was something like "Mobile Field Force emblem".
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Old 12-10-16, 08:07 AM
Madziro Madziro is offline
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The "orange "tab tended to fade in the sun and one can find slight variations in the colour. Have attached some images of examples I have for interest.
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Old 12-10-16, 09:09 AM
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Here they are being worn:
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File Type: jpg VC010.jpg (28.7 KB, 12 views)
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  #8  
Old 13-10-16, 09:09 AM
milhistry milhistry is offline
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IIRC the colour was officially "Orange, Sealed Permanent Force Shade" which tends to be a closer to red than orange. The slip-ons are normally called "red tabs".

I have a few of them on uniforms and with shoulder titles. The actual colour and texture often varies considerably. Some are soft like melton cloth or velvet while others are very coarse felt. I suppose in wartime the quartermasters took whatever material they could lay their hands on that was more or less the right colour.

It is also because of these orange/red slip-ons that the central stripe of the Africa Service Medal is the same colour.

I'd suggest keeping an eye on Bid or Buy and eBay as shoulder titles on the orange/red tabs do turn up every now and then. There is also an outfit in the USA that sells reproduction red tabs for a small sum (something like $10) if you want ones without holes in them. I haven't seen the actual product though I was tempted to buy some a while ago to put on an old uniform I was restoring. The moths always seem to go for the red tabs first! The felt one tends to find in craft shops is usually synthetic material and not quite right colour-wise. I didn't end up buying the repro ones though as a collector friend of mine had coincidentally obtained a pair of genuine ones and asked me if I was interested in them.
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