WWII Era Survival Kits


This article is nothing in-depth! There, how do you like that! It is more for ideas and to preserve some pictures… 

Some Historical Information

Please read the following statement very carefully.


This is OLD STUFF here my friends. This stuff is NOT mine, please don’t E-mail me and ask me to sell it or anything else about it because I’m going to show it to you and tell you what I know and that’s all I have.


If you know more about the items, don’t hesitate to E-mail, but please don’t ask me to sell the stuff because I don’t own it and don’t have it.


Examine the pictures and precisely what these things are and apply them to modern container systems and your own kits if you want to. I already have and you will probably see an article on that kit in the future, a modern day version of these types of kits. And it is excellent!

Some Kits

E-3A “Tape Lid Kit”

This is known as the E-3A “Tape Lid” Survival Kit, sometimes these were referred to as “Sustenance Kits” or “Survival Flasks” too. It is called the “Tape Lid” because the top of the flask was secured by a piece of tape. You would peel the tape off then take the entire lid off of the flask so you could empty the contents and then use it for storing water you would purify (with tablets supplied in the kit).



I have also seen this described as Korean War vintage; I have no idea about that but know that these types of “Sustenance Flask Kits” were issued in World War Two.

E-17 “Bale Wire Kit”

The next type of kit is very similar to the “Tape Lid” Survival Kit. This next one is the E-17 “Bale Wire” Survival Kit or Flask…or…Sustenance Kit. Using Wire on the top of the kit instead of simply taping the lid in place. Very neat ideas, aren’t they?



You will notice the actual opening for drinking water moved from the end/side of the E-3A Flask to the center on the E-17 Flask.

There’s gold in the clouds!

Here is some very interesting stuff! The O.S.S. and S.O.E. were not the only people issued gold coins and whatnot for escape and evasion. Some pilots were as well.


Gold Barter Kit


Isn’t this so cool! I saw these for sale and they are way out of my league as far as cost is concerned but I grabbed the pictures so I could write about them. I usually do not write articles about things I do not have in my hands but this is entirely different.



These kits could be “country-specific,” meaning they could be tailored so they had coins indigenous to the country or countries the pilot would be flying over.



The Gold Barter Kit also contained solid gold rings in the form of simple Wedding Band types of rings. (Directly above)


Another Barter Kit:  Trinket Barter Kit


Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of these types of kits. I do not have content lists either. I do know that they contained mirrors and beads and these sorts of things that…the more primitive peoples in the world would have found valuable back in that time frame. As the name implies, “Trinkets.”


So, even though I do not have a picture or an actual list, I wanted to add that these Barter Kits existed hand in hand with Survival Kits and things like the Gold Barter Kit.


If you think about it, to some people, a mirror or string of beads might be more “valuable” than gold. It all depends on whom you are dealing with and what the conditions are.

Fishing Equipment

There were survival fishing kits that were like tool rolls. All the lures and various items had dedicated pockets and you simply rolled the kit up. I think these rolls were aprons as well. I’m not positive about that.


There were also small fishing tins not unlike the current fishing kit.


But this is something even more interesting…in a way…

Spit and Gaff Kit

I have to get one of these; this would come in handy even today (like most survival gear).


The sharp/pointy items were stored in the metal tin (as far as I know) and the rest of the spit assembly, which consisted of the rods and various attachments, was stored in the box.



The large hooks are Gaffs, but they could also be used to actually snag fish. (This is usually illegal in most areas, under the name “snagging.”) You could land a fish with a hook like that or actively snag fish – a good way to get them too. (It has to be a good way to get them or it would not be illegal! Same as with a Gill Net! Gill Nets are not illegal in almost every state because they don’t work, but because they work too well. Poaching and Poaching "Tech” is usually a good way to get animals – although not recommended and should not be condoned except in survival and emergency situations.)


In this picture, it looks like there is an attachment where you could create a drag attachment with several of the hooks; I am not sure, as I have never read the manual in this kit.


There is also a spearhead, this is self-explanatory. This is a much better idea than lashing your knife to a pole and using that to spear fish!


Very good piece of kit!


Hope you found this interesting!



Don Rearic


copyright 2004 DonRearic.Com

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