Original British WWII Royal Canadian Air Force RCAF Compass for Course Setting Bomb Sight - dated 1943
Original Item: Only One Available. The British Course Setting Bomb Sight (CSBS) is the canonical vector bombsight, the first practical system for properly accounting for the effects of wind when dropping bombs. It is also widely referred to as the Wimperis sight after its inventor, Harry Wimperis, who started work on the sight in 1916. The idea was to put as many of the manual calculations required for aiming into an easy to use device. During the years between WWI and WWII, the design was updated many times, and by 1941 it was in the 9th revision.
However, one things that always remained constant was the large compass at one end, and that is what we offer here. This is an excellent condition Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.) marked compass REF 6E/0.276, for use with the Course Setting Bombsight in use by Canadian and British forces. This is why it is marked BOMBSIGHT on the bezel around the top, when it is obviously not a bombsight.
Other markings of interest include the serial number No 1877/43, indicating 1943 manufacture. It is also marked by the maker ONTARIO HUGHES OWENS / CO. LTD..
Condition is very good, though the interior has had some flaking of the white paint. These were originally filled with alcohol and water, and over time that could degrade the interior finish.
RCAF material from WWII is extremely difficult to find especially in such good condition with original Canadian markings. Ready to display!
The Canadian Air Force (CAF) was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force that was formed during the First World War in Europe. John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over later the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members also worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry, surveying and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible for all flying operations in Canada, including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title, becoming the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Most of its work was civil in nature; however, in the late 1920s the RCAF evolved into more of a military organization. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild.
During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, Europe, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, and with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force was headquartered in 20-23 Lincolns Inn Fields, London. A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building.
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