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Silk Escape and Evasion Map (Celebes)

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Silk Escape and Evasion Map (Celebes)

This silk escape and evasion map was made in the 1940s by the Royal Australian Air Force (R.A.A.F.) which formed an overseas headquarters in London during World War II. It was created for the British Royal Air Force and features Indonesia. Silk maps were originally developed during the war to help British soldiers escape enemy territory or POW camps, and continued to be produced after the War ended in both Great Britain and the U.S.

These silk maps were developed for MI9 by Charles Clayton Hutton to help British troops find their way back to their regiments if their planes were shot down in hostile territory or if they were captured in POW camps. Hutton had to find a material that was water-resistant, crease-resistant, and could be easily hidden and noiselessly manipulated. After extensive testing, Hutton found the perfect material: silk. Printed on silk, Hutton’s maps could be folded and hidden in boot heels, jacket linings, or even-most ingeniously-Monopoly game boards, and go completely undetected.

This map is single sided and highlights Celebes (Sulawesi), Soemba (Sumba), Flores (East Nusa Tenggara), and the Soela Islands (Taliabu, Mangoli, and Sulabes) . The tightly woven silk allows for clear prints and small details.

Circa: 1940s

Origin: Australia

Material: Printed silk

Condition: Very good

Dimensions: 33.5" x 23.5"

Inventory number: TX4644N

Silk Escape and Evasion Map (Celebes)