1940s RAF Forage Cap
he RAF forage cap (also known officially as the field service cap and unofficially as the chip bag or Thunderbird hat) has no peak and because of its longitudinal cut is called a "fore-and-after". Its two ornamental buttons at the front can be unfastened in order to let down earflaps for harsh weather. (The German army forage cap of the Second World War was similar, but of two distinct types, one with an eye-shading peak or bill, the other without.) Forage caps worn by group captains and above have additional light blue ("Minerva blue") piping. The forage cap was worn by RAF personnel for everyday purposes from 1936, completely superseding the previously worn peaked cap in December 1939, until about 1950 when it was superseded by the RAF blue beret (introduced after the Second World War) for officers of the RAF Regiment and all other ranks and the SD cap for other officers. RAF forage caps can still be bought privately and worn on duty by all ranks as working dress. They are commonly worn with flying suits, as they are easier to stow in a pocket or cockpit than SD caps, but only air vice-marshals and above are authorised to wear them with combat uniform. The fore-and-after is still worn by airmen in other services, such as the U.S. Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force.