Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Navy Type 97 (“B-6”) Rail Initiator Tail Fuze with Bring Back Documents - Inert

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The type 97 tail fuze, which has a U.S. designation of “B-6”, is a simple impact design used in the Japanese 31 Kg practice bomb. On release from the aircraft, the safety pin is removed and the fan assembly rotates 12 times and falls free, leaving the striking mechanism held back by a spring. On impact, inertia causes the striker to move against the spring and pierce the primer.

This is a completely INERT example of a WWII Japanese Naval Aerial Bomb tail 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.

The following information was found in a 1945 US Army publication manual:

Navy Mechanical Impact Tail Fuze

COLOR: Brass
OVERALL LENGTH: 3.6 inches.
OVERALL WIDTH: 1.25 inches. Vane width: 2.3 inches.
MATERIAL OF CONSTRUCTION: Brass except steel striker point and creep spring.
POSITION & METHOD OF FIXING IN BOMB: Screwed into tail fuze pocket and tightened with spanner wrench.
THREADS: 1-3/64 in. diameter 20 TPI

DESCRIPTION: The upper portion of the body acts as a guide for the arming spindle. The lower portion of the body contains the light creep spring. The striker point is screwed into the end of the spindle. The lower portion of the fuse has a combination spanner ring and detonator cup screwed to it. Around the striker point, four air vents are drilled. Two vents are also located on the striker collar. These vents allow the striker to move against the primer on impact without any cushion effect caused by the air in the striker channel. The arming vane assembly has eight vanes.

OPERATION: On release from the aircraft, a U-shaped safety fork is withdrawn from the two holes in the arming spindle. The vanes rotate twelve times and fall free, leaving the striker held back by the light creep spring. The arming spindle is prevented from rotating by a small guide pin which fits in a groove in the lower portion of the fuze body. On impact, inertia causes the striker to move against the spring and to pierce the primer.

This is definitely an interesting piece and comes with the original “removal” pull pins and original Japanese tag still attached, meaning this device was never used. It appears to be complete and without damage.

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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