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Bail out kit compass


Garandy
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Garandy

Was the Waltham nickel plated brass compass marked U.S. used in bail out kite in WW2? 

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Garandy

Ok so with folding machete and with Collins #18 type as well? I have both just wondering 

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General Apathy
7 hours ago, Garandy said:

Was the Waltham nickel plated brass compass marked U.S. used in bail out kite in WW2? 

 

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Hi Garandy,

 

Yes there was a specific cut-out in the felt padding underneath the blade of the folding machete, ( lower right )

 

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regards lewis.

 

.

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Waltham wasn't a supplier for too long into the war as much of their manufacture was for contracts of other instruments. Longines was the primary supplier during the war. Interestingly, specifications for sustenance kits called out for Compass, Waltham or Equal. Those drafted in 1942 or earlier. These pocket compasses were also integrated into life raft accessories for a short while as well, until superseded by other types. They were supplied for more than just "Bail-Out" kits, this being individual parachute kits. You have to add multi-person sustenance and life raft kits. Also as important, they were carried individually as a supplement to pre-capture or evasion aids. 

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Garandy

Thanks for the information so they were made in 1942 or from 1918?

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The compass production itself dates from WWI (1917-1918), typically brass. It is formally an engineer compass that was then adopted by the USAAC for use in emergency sustenance kits in around 1940. Prior, they (USAAC) were using prismatic compasses (USCE), these being more cost effective. Typical wartime production was a nickel alloy, yours appears to be a nickel plated brass. Nickel alloy or nickel plating was used prior to the war so difficult to date and am not sure when Waltham was involved in its production. These compasses are first a US Army Corps of Engineers item, then USAAC or USAAF. In the early days these compasses were drawn from USCE stock then large quantity contracts awarded to Longines-Wittnauer as illustrated above. Long story short I do not know when yours was made but it being brass I'd say pre-war. 

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General Apathy

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An earlier example initially it would have been considered a brass version, due to corrosion wear it is in fact copper coated in brass, has the same U.S stamped on the front cover but no makers name.

 

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regards lewis.

 

.

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great examples Ken. Have a couple myself and one marked for the Engineers (CE stamped)

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1 hour ago, doyler said:

great examples Ken. Have a couple myself and one marked for the Engineers (CE stamped)

I don't know about these compasses, so glad to learn something  new here.  They look like a beautiful piece of work. Dad had a prismatic one, dated 1942 or 43 of I remember right. It was black painted brass I think.  Not sure if he carried it in the war or bought it later.

Hey Ron, if I was a drinker, I could make a drinking game, take a shot every time you say that you have or had a couple of whatever item is under discussion. If you ever open a museum under that bridge,  let me know, I'd love to see it. Your collection must be impressive. Ken posted about documenting our collections. Something I have not done well. Have trouble remembering half of it. Do you have any system? 

Mikie

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1 hour ago, mikie said:

I don't know about these compasses, so glad to learn something  new here.  They look like a beautiful piece of work. Dad had a prismatic one, dated 1942 or 43 of I remember right. It was black painted brass I think.  Not sure if he carried it in the war or bought it later.

Hey Ron, if I was a drinker, I could make a drinking game, take a shot every time you say that you have or had a couple of whatever item is under discussion. If you ever open a museum under that bridge,  let me know, I'd love to see it. Your collection must be impressive. Ken posted about documenting our collections. Something I have not done well. Have trouble remembering half of it. Do you have any system? 

Mikie

 

Mikie

No system. Unfortunately organization isn't my strong suit. I spent all my educational money for organizational training on military artifacts and a bit of various spirits over the years. Been wanting to hire a couple of Russian ladies to document and organize but other pressing issues have kept me entertained  😊 Guess Im a pilot.... I pile it here and pile it there. 😉 Will either be a good auction or a hell of a bonfire one day.

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1 hour ago, mikie said:

I don't know about these compasses, so glad to learn something  new here.  They look like a beautiful piece of work. Dad had a prismatic one, dated 1942 or 43 of I remember right. It was black painted brass I think.  Not sure if he carried it in the war or bought it later.

Hey Ron, if I was a drinker, I could make a drinking game, take a shot every time you say that you have or had a couple of whatever item is under discussion. If you ever open a museum under that bridge,  let me know, I'd love to see it. Your collection must be impressive. Ken posted about documenting our collections. Something I have not done well. Have trouble remembering half of it. Do you have any system? 

Mikie

 

 

I also have a couple of those survival kits.One still with a parachute set up.

 

  Regret not purchasing a kit that was full and unissued 30+ years ago but even then the seller was very proud of it wanting $400 at the time. 

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