Escape Aids

The following pages discuss some of the resources available to an airman who is evading capture or, if captured, seeking to escape:

1. Box and Purse

2. Cloth Maps

3. German Propaganda Magazines

4. MIS-X Secret Aids to American POWs

5. Royal Air Force Escape Aids

See also the two reports reproduced on this website:

1. It’s the Little Things

2. M.I.S.-X Manual on Evasion, Escape, and Survival

See also the article by Ed Reniere, “The Escape and Evasion Material for Allied Airmen” reproduced on the Comet Network website.

On the page of this website listing other websites concerned with escape and evasion, scroll down to the heading “Escape Aids” for further information.

“Cumberland Map and Compass Pencil” of World War II

One day in 1942 a ‘Man from the Ministry’ turned up at the Cumberland Pencil factory at Keswick, Cumberland (seen in Photograph No 1 above). He introduced himself to the factory’s management. He told them his name was Charles Fraser-Smith. Officially he was from the “Ministry of Supply Clothing & Textile Department”. In reality, Charles Fraser-Smith was “Q” (the inventor of gadgets for the wartime British secret service). He was the real person behind much of the special equipment used by M.I.6, M.I.9 and the S.O.E. during the war.  For a more complete account on this subject, click here.

New Book on Escape and Evasion Devices:

Froom, Phil, Evasion and Escape Devices Produced by MI9, MIS-X, and SOE in World War II, Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, expected date of publication December 2015.  Click here for a link to the publisher.

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