The Caterpillar Club

The Caterpillar Club was open to all aircrew whose lives had been saved by a parachute made of silk. It was run by Irvin Air Chutes of Great Britain, who made the parachutes.

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Caterpillar Club Membership. Courtesy of John Arthurson.

The badge and card on this page were awarded to John Arthurson of the Smith crew, who was one of fourteen 97 Squadron aircrew whose lives were saved by parachute on Black Thursday, 16/17 December 1943, when they abandoned their Lancasters due to lack of petrol. The other crew was that of Robert Mooney.

All the men would have received these pins and cards, but sadly by the time they arrived at RAF Bourn the seven members of the Mooney crew were all dead.

F/L Hind, the Adjutant, had applied for membership of the Caterpillar Club on behalf of the Smith and Mooney crews. See his letter below, written on 23 December 1943.  (As is common, he misspelled Irvin as Irving).

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Letter from the Adjutant applying for the badges. attribute tbc.