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WW2 US Navy NAF 1173-1 Aircraft Control grip....


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Hi,

 

two of my favourite WW2 fighter aircraft are the F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat and I've wanted to get the type of grip that was used in them for some time now. It was a bit rough when I found it but with a bit of work it came up looking ok.

 

The grip is made of Bakelite and was made at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the NAF closed production in 1945.

 

Both the gun button on the front and the bomb button (marked 'B') on the top work. I mounted the grip on a nice timber base with a small USN aviator wing.... I think it looks good, hope you like it......

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Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Hi Jerry,

 

I'm pretty sure that this grip is used in both aircraft types, although there is a 1173-2 grip I don't see any external difference.......

 

The 1173-3 grip has an extra button on the side and I have seen them on the F7F Tigercat and F8F Bearcat.

 

maybe someone can jump in with more information.

 

cheers, John

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Hi again,

 

I was just reading that the with three types of grips, the -1, -2, & -3 indicate the number of switches on the grip.

Almost all 1173-1 grips I have seen had both the trigger and bomb buttons, so may have been upgraded when the F4F started to carry bombs...... just my theory.

 

I have an original FM1/F4F pilot's manual and it shows the bomb button on the top of the grip, WW2 photos of F6F cockpits show the two buttons also.

 

cheers, John

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Thanks for info. Im sure that early grip for F4F was a little bit different than for F6F... soo your theory should be true:

 

"Almost all 1173-1 grips I have seen had both the trigger and bomb buttons, so may have been upgraded when the F4F started to carry bombs...... just my theory."

 

Regards,

Jerry

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jerry,

 

you have a nice grip, my house is pretty small and space for my collection is limited, I have a small place on the livingroom bookshelf that has a few of my WW2 US naval aviation items, the rest are spread out or in the gun safe.

 

The USN MKVIII compass is a favourite of mine, it was used in the F4F and naval other aircraft, I cleaned this one up and refilled it.

 

Another favourite is the FM-1 pilot's handbook, I think it is a factory copy because there are hand written notes in it about changing photos and wording on some pages.

 

The silk map is of New Britain, I worked on New Britain for a month a few years back and took the map with me, the local pilots were very interested in it. We even found a few Japanese aircraft in the jungle.

 

Cheers, John

post-105780-0-17337700-1517008507_thumb.jpg

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Hi John.

 

Thanks for another one pic. Your display looks super cool, I like it.

 

The original manual for any WW2 aircraft it a rare stuff.

 

Map is WW2 example, used by aviators? It is hard to say from this perspective. Nice story about your trip to New Britain. I always was curiosity if it is possible to take some parts (of course something small only) from aircraft found in the jungle right now and if it is good manner? What is your opinion?

Who dont want to have a true combat WW2 aircraft parts in his collection?

 

Regards,

Jerry

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Hi Jerry,

 

yes the map is a 1944 printed AAF silk map, one side is 'NO.16, OWEN STANLEY', showing the eastern half of New Guinea and the other is 'NO.17 NEW BRITAIN'.

 

It was back in 1988 when I landed at Cape Hoskins I also had an AAF photo taken from a 403rd BS B-24 showing bombs dropping on the very runway I was standing on... very interesting! A few Japanese aircraft can be seen through the smoke, by the wing shape they were Val dive bombers.

 

The guy I was with said that there were still two Japanese aircraft just off the runway so (of course) asked if we could see them. There were two Val dive bombers, one, no engine, on it's u/c broken in half and the other was half buried but with the engine. Luckily we had a metric tool kit, everything on the engine was corroded, I found what was left of a compass with the brass ID plate and a nice centre elevator bracket at the rear end....... that was all we had time for.

 

Here's the photo, when magnified, it's easy to see the Vals........

I'll post again soon, I have two photos of the 1173-3 grip in F6F cockpits.

cheers, John

post-105780-0-06043100-1517067093_thumb.jpg

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Wow John great story. For sure it should be a great experience to be there. I guess today all of these wrecks are more demolished than in 1988...

 

Cool about silk map, maybe good choice will be also buy a NAVY example. They are pretty cheap and would fit perfect to your other NAVY items.

The best regards,

Jerry

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Hi Jerry,

 

here are two more F8F cockpits, I hoped that the 1945 photo would show the third button better, the restored F8F cockpit shows it much better.

 

cheers, John

post-105780-0-20142600-1517150289_thumb.jpg

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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  • 1 month later...

I would think that the -3 grip was used in later F4U........ here's a great photo......

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingmanphoto/7359495178

 

cheers, John

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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Here's a couple of WW2 training films about flying the F6F with some cockpit footage........

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1oWZwV7Gk0

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2cNZ8dKPjo

 

cheers, John

Interested in US Naval and Marine aviation history, aircrew wings & insignia.

WW2 US Navy and Marine Grumman Wildcat, Avenger & Douglas SBD aircraft.

Also interested in US 5th AF in Australia.


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  • 4 months later...

Thanks for this interesting thread. I wondered about these.

 

The curve gives a neat optical illusion that they are different sizes.

 

I wonder if this was a pilots initials on the 1173-2.

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Thanks for all the info. I had no idea they were that rare.

 

I had started mounting one on a pedistal like the one above but just had not taken the time. I drilled the chrome rod to fit and had a piece of steel. Now I wonder if walnut would look nicer and I could put a sound box in it to simulate MG fire when you push switch.? Any ideas appreciated even if my skill set limits me quite a bit.

 

I had another one on a demonstraton light gas gun that I took off so it did not get broken. I can use another switch

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I bought a large lot of radio tubes in early 70s.I'm not an aircraft item collector but got a lot of neat stuff in those boxes with the tubes. Radios, RDF antenna and controls, gunsights, grip sticks and aircraft instruments.

Lots of neat stuff. Many tubes are still in boxes military marked and dated 1938-1945. I tried to put pic of tubes on but it will be too small to read numbers.

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