1 Air Division Miscellaneous

So You Want to Drive in France


Drivers Licences

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  1. Front cover of the International Drivers Licence - 5 October 1964.
    Courtesy Angus "John" Cline.

  2. Interior detail of the International Drivers Licence - 5 October 1964.
    Courtesy Angus "John" Cline.

  3. Front cover of the Driver Training Course card - May 1960.
    Courtesy Archie Gill.

  4. Progress report of the Driver Training Course card - May 1960.
    Courtesy Archie Gill.

  5. Front of RCAF ME Operators Permit - 26 April 1957.
    Courtesy Chuck Myles.

  6. Front of RCAF ME Operators Permit - 26 July 1955.
    Courtesy Paul Martin.

  7. Inside of RCAF ME 6a Operators Permit - 26 July 1955.
    Courtesy Paul Martin.

  8. Back of RCAF ME 6a Operators Permit - 26 July 1955.
    Courtesy Paul Martin.

  9. Front of Operator's Licence - 17 June 1955.
    Courtesy Cal Shermerhorn.

  10. Back of Operator's Licence - 17 June 1955.
    Courtesy Cal Shermerhorn.

  11. Outside cover of English drivers licence - 15 February 1954.
    Courtesy Paul Martin.

  12. Inside of English drivers licence - 15 February 1954.
    Courtesy Paul Martin.



Licence Plates

The following detail is an extract from 1 Air Division Historical Records:

December 1953
Private Motor Vehicle Registration

Negotiations were completed with French officials in Paris for the uniform licensing of private motor vehicles in France. AF plates were to be substituted for the existing TT Plates.


Automobiles owned by RCAF personnel in France were registered under the "AF" system sometime in 1954. The licence plates of vehicles registered at RCAF Station Marville all started with the number 1. Licence plates issued to RCAF personnel in France between 1954 and 1962 were similar in design to that of the French plate. The shape of the licence plate changed and took on a standard 6x12 design in 1962.



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  1. Licence plate issued at 1 Wing Marville - June 1966.
    Courtesy Roger Cyr.



Automobile Insurance

Automobile insurance was a necessity in France. There appeared to be three major players: American Military Insurance (AMI), Zurich Insurance Company, and the Fortune Insurance Company.



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  1. Fortune Insurance advertisement - December 1960
    Extract from Arrowhead Arena hockey program.
    Courtesy Barry Thomas.

  2. American Military Insurance advertisement - December 1960
    Extract from Arrowhead Arena hockey program.
    Courtesy Barry Thomas.

  3. London Guarantee Accident Company advertisement - December 1960
    Extract from Arrowhead Arena hockey program.
    Courtesy Barry Thomas.

  4. Fortune Insurance Company handout - December 1959.
    Courtesy Don Gelling.

  5. The "Point System" part I - December 1959.
    Courtesy Don Gelling.

  6. The "Point System" part II - December 1959.
    Courtesy Don Gelling.



Gasoline Coupons

When a vehicle was registered under the AF system, the owner was entitled to purchase US Quartermaster Gas coupons. This enabled the owner of the vehicle to purchase gasoline at approximately 25 cents per gallon. The Quartermaster coupons were rationed on the basis of the size of the car as follows:

60 BHP and above

400 litres per month

59 BHP and below

200 litres per month

Motor Cycles

80 litres per month

Gasoline coupons were purchased at an outlet in the same building that housed the Snack Bar, the news stand and the PX upon presentation of your vehicle registration (or authorization letter in the case of a rental) and ID card. These coupons were redeemable at most ESSO gas stations, and at BP gas stations on the Autobahn.

The buyer had to ensure that he purchased gasoline coupons in accordance with his needs. As an example, gasoline coupons were valid for specific countries. French gasoline coupons could only be redeemed at gas stations in France. If you were planning a trip to Germany, then you had to ensure that you purchase German gasoline coupons.

Also of interest is the monthly entitlement. You could not legally obtain an amount beyond your monthly entitlement. If you were entitled to 40 litres per month, then you could purchase up to that amount and no more. Gasoline coupons were sold in different increments 5 litre books, 10 litre books and 20 litre books. While it was not legal, it was not unusual to rely on friends to help out when you required additional amounts for lengthy driving during vacations.

Do happen to have any memories or detail pertaining to how RCAF personnel made use of gasoline coupons?

If so - please send us an email message - and we will gladly add your information to this article.



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  1. Front cover of a 200 Litre Quartermaster Gasoline Coupon booklet - 15 September 1968.
    Courtesy Dudley Lye.

  2. Inside cover of Quartermaster Gasoline Coupon booklet - 15 September 1968.
    Courtesy Dudley Lye.

  3. Gasoline coupon valid in France - 15 September 1968.
    Courtesy Dudley Lye.

  4. Gasoline coupon valid in Germany - 15 September 1968.
    Courtesy Dudley Lye.

  5. Front of 5 Litre retail gasoline coupon - June 1964.
    Courtesy Dwayne Backer.

  6. Front of 5 Litre retail gasoline coupon - November 1963.
    Courtesy Bob Ross.

  7. US Quartermasters Authorization card - 15 January 1959
    Courtesy Dick Dinelle.

  8. USEREUR Ration card - 15 January 1959
    Courtesy Dick Dinelle.

  9. Front cover of Gasoline Coupon booklet 2-C 024031 valid in Germany - September 1954.
    The booklet size was 3.5 by 2 inches
    Courtesy Claude Bernier.

  10. Gasoline coupons from booklet 2-C 024031 valid in Germany - September 1954.
    One gallon gas coupons were 1.75 by 2 inches
    Courtesy Claude Bernier.

  11. Gas Tag number - June 1953.
    The rest of the story.
    Courtesy Claude Bernier.



Registration Cards

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    We are hoping to obtain some material for this section in the near future.



Automobile Sales Invoices

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    We are hoping to obtain some material for this section in the near future.



Miscellaneous Items

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  1. Air Force Police traffic ticket - 15 March 1965.
    This ticket was issued in Virton, Belgium for being "Illegally parked".
    Courtesy Andy DeGaust.



Photographic Credits

All photos are used with permission.


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Updated: June 28, 2004