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Aircraft Star Signal Mk. 6

Brian Keith

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I’ve had this example for over 30 years. A previous collector likely fabricated the spoon from a later M205A2 fuze dated June, 1961. I think the proper spoon would be a M200A1? This example has been inerted and has no contents. These were likely phased out by the use of the 37mm Flair Projector AN-M8. I don’t think I’ve seen many of these over the years.

The markings are very faint but are:









DATE JAN 26, 1942

LOT No. 307


Information I have found says that Signals of this series were used primarily for emergency identification purposes at night. These signals were commonly used to indicate wounded personal on board so emergency crews could meet the aircraft on the ground quickly.

The body of the signal is an aluminum cylinder with a bouchon type of grenade firing mechanism on one end and a metal cap on the other. Contained in the body is the ejection charge, the pyrotechnic candle, and a silk, rayon, or paper parachute. The type and color of the signal star are printed on the side of the cylinder. The closing cap on the lower end of the signal is embossed for night identification as follows: red star, one dot; white star, straight line; and green star a wide '‘V”. All three signals have an arc of a circle, one inch in length, embossed near the edge of the cap.

Thanks for looking, Information and comments very welcome.




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Hey Brian, I had the same one for years till recently I sold to a friend. The original spoon was an early style unmarked over hang/hook spoon because the fuze body is a modified M10/M200 series bouchon. The primer is actually built into the body, so when the fuze is removed it remains. I'm not sure if you have ever tried to remove it or not but it's like no other grenade of that era.  I'll see if I can get photos from my friend to show what the original looks like. You have a nice uncommon grenade there. I don't think many people even know about this series of signal grenades. 

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Thanks for your comments and information. The fuze seems tight, so I did not force it to try to unscrew it. I can tell the canister is empty, it hardly weighs anything.


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The projector with 37mm cartridge were more economical, these grenades remained in service and still a standard through 1945 for patrol type aircraft i.e PBM, PBY and various float planes, a Navy item. As mentioned, there were three colors of the Mark 6 but there is a smoke version designated as the Mark 7 slightly taller at 10-inches in leu of the six-inch Mark 6. The top cap on the smoke was color coded whereas the Mark 6 was embossed with markings. They remained to serve a purpose as the Mark 6 star burned for 25 seconds and could be seen for a distance of 8-10 miles. The 37mm only burned for seven seconds and visible for five miles. They could be used for any purpose.

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Spoon change

I had a proper profile spoon that was improperly matched to another grenade, so I changed it. While it is a M200A1 fuze spoon that is not actually the correct unmarked spoon as Kaptainssurplus mentions, it does “look” better. Not too likely I’ll find a loose 100% correct spoon, so this will have to do.



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