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Here’s my latest acquisition after several dry months. I’ve been looking for a nice reasonably complete example of one of these Mark 1 target kites for a long time.  I was lucky enough to find this one for a great price. It looks fantastic hanging from the ceiling of my war room. I hope everyone enjoys the photos. 

E774BF8A-A31C-4C30-A74F-3974DC4136C1.jpeg

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OK, now that's cool!

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

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Thanks. These things display really well. I didn’t realize until I started looking them up, but I suspect they must have been used for areal identification because there are several types of German and Japanese aircraft printed on them.

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Nice to find with the rudder assembly!  I have a Japanese Zero one I need to hang in the shop.

Mr.JERRY

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2 hours ago, Vpep said:

Thanks. These things display really well. I didn’t realize until I started looking them up, but I suspect they must have been used for areal identification because there are several types of German and Japanese aircraft printed on them.

 

I think they were actually used for target practice for ground troops.  The idea was to get them psychologically trained to shoot at the shape flying at them in the sky.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

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Very nice!  Those are pretty cool...  There are a few of these to see if you search the forums for "kite", such as:  

 

Looking for items related to the Ninth Coast Artillery District and 6th Coast Artillery Regment

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These kites were a Navy development by the Special Devices Branch and were invented by Dr. Paul E. Garber, the founder of the National Air and Space Museum. They were called "target kites" and used to train anti-aircraft gunners aboard ships. The link below is to a Navy training film on their operation and use. Although the title on YouTube says "1946", the film itself is dated "1945":

 

 

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You are absolutely right Gil, I forgot to mention that aspect of their use in my initial post. I bet it was no easy task to try to hit one of these while they were whipping around in the sky. My next job is to try to find the control unit that a sailor would be holding to maneuver this thing. They are probably a lot less common to find than the kite.

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