Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Navy Fan Initiated Type 16 A-4 Nose Fuze for Type 97 Ordnance With Bringback Documents - Inert

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a completely INERT example of a WWII Japanese Naval Aerial Bomb nose fuze, and is in compliance with the current BATF standards on inert ordnance. Not Available For Export.

This fuse was sent home in 1945 by United States Navy Reservist D. W. Christenson, a Mineman 2nd Class who was apart of Bomb and Mine Disposal Team #3. A scanned and printed copy of the original paperwork is included with the purchase. Information on the fuze and labels indicate that it is a Fan Initiated Type 16 A-4 Nose Fuze for Type 97 Ordnance.

The Japanese Navy classified bombs as land attack, ordinary, and special bombs. Land attack bombs were relatively cheaply manufactured bombs designed for use against ground targets while ordinary bombs were more carefully manufactured and were intended for use against shipping. However, the distinction was not sharp and both would have been described by the Americans as either general purpose or armor piercing bombs. Special bombs included antisubmarine bombs, air-to-air bombs, cluster bombs, certain armor-piercing bombs, and chemical bombs.

The Japanese Navy designated bomb designs by type (year introduced to service, with 1939 being Year 99 and 1940 being Year 0), number (which the approximate bomb weigh in tens of kilograms), model (for major types) and modification (for minor changes). Thus the Type 99 Number 25 Model 1 Ordinary was a bomb brought into service in 1939 that weighted approximately 250 kg (551 lbs) and was the first antishipping bomb design adopted that year. Special bombs used Marks in place of Models, so the Type 99 Number 80 Mark 5 was a special-purpose bomb (in this case, armor-piercing) weighing 800 kg (1760 lbs) and introduced in 1939.

Bomb fill was typically either Shimose (picric acid), Type 91 (trinitroanisole), or Type 98 (70% trinitroanisole, 30% hexanitrodiphenylamine). Type 91 was considered particularly insensitive.

Number 80 bombs were too heavy to be carried by dive bombers and were intended for delivery by torpedo bombers and fast attack bombers. The Number 50 bombs were too heavy for the D3A "Val" but could be carried by the D4Y "Judy".

We believe this to be an Aerial Bomb Fuse, initiated by a fan. There are numbers stamped into the brass hex nut, but we are uncertain if this is a designation, or a capture code. The stamp is 16 A299.

Japanese Navy bomb fuzes designation system was unknown to the Allies until after the end of the Second World War. As a result, a designation system was created to describe the fuzes as follows. It consists of a capital letter, a numeral and a lower-case parenthetical letter.

The capital letter designates the fuzes type as follows:

A - nose impact
B - tail impact
C - long delay fuze
D - airburst fuze
E - protective fuze

This is definitely an interesting piece and comes with the original “removal” pull pins and original Japanese tags still attached, meaning this device was never used. It appears to be complete and without damage, there is however some paint loss to the fan blades.

Prior to World War II, there were no formally trained bomb or mine disposal personnel, but the need became apparent when in 1939, the British navy dismantled the first German magnetic mine that had washed up on the shore of Shoeburyness, England. In 1941, the U.S. Naval Mine School was established at Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C., and subsequently, the Bomb Disposal School was established. The first U.S. casualty in mine disposal was in 1942, when Ensign John M. Howard was killed when he attempted to dismantle a booby-trapped German magnetic submarine-laid moored mine. About 20 trained bomb and mine disposal personnel, to include Howard, were killed in action during WWII.

This wonderful example comes ready for further research and display!

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