Original Japanese WWII Submarine 140mm Gun Sight by Nikko 15 x 2.0

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Made of solid brass, aluminum, and steel by Nikko (Nikon), this scope is in excellent condition.  It retains 98% of its original black paint and finish, and the optics are clear and function perfectly. Measuring approx 30″ long, it weighs approximately 20 lbs. It was designed for use with the 140mm gun on a Japanese Submarine during WWII. An identical sight was used aboard Submarine I-401 and can be found in the Yokohama WWII Japanese Military Radio Museum and seen at this link.

This example still retains a perfect original data plate and is also nicely marked:

15 x 2.5
No 2785

It is contained in its original wood transit chest complete with wartime dated data plate still attached. The box was used to ship home after the war by George WIlliam Zieverink who was on the USS Chicago. Zieverink can be found in dozens of official WWII USS Chicago muster rolls some copies of which are included. He also marked the box War Trophy Souvenir Value Only.
A very rare, excellent example of a genuine Japanese Submarine Gun Sight brought home by a USN service member who served aboard the USS Chicago in the Pacific Theater during World War Two.
USS Chicago in WWII:
Chicago spent her first six weeks preparing for sea duty before departing on 26 February for Norfolk. After conducting training exercises, and calibrated her compasses in Chesapeake Bay, the cruiser got underway on 12 March for the Gulf of Paria, Trinidad. Arriving on 18 March, the cruiser conducted shakedown training and shore bombardment exercises off Culebra, Puerto Rico, before returning to Norfolk on 11 April. Following inspections and battle problem training, the cruiser sailed to Philadelphia for post-shakedown repair availability on 16 April.

In company with the destroyer Alfred A. Cunningham, the cruiser departed for the Caribbean on 7 May, en route to the Pacific Ocean. Designed to operate offensively with strike and amphibious forces, Chicago spent her transit time conducting various anti-air drills, gunnery exercises, and radar tracking training. After refueling at San Juan, Puerto Rico on 11 May, the ships spent three days conducting gunnery practice before departing for Colon, Canal Zone, on 15 May. With transit complete the next day, the ships arrived at Pearl Harbor on 31 May.

Following another period of gunnery, day battle, anti-aircraft, and shore bombardment exercises off Kahoolawe Island, the cruiser departed for Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, on 28 June. In company with the battleship North Carolina, Chicago arrived at the atoll on 5 July and immediately refueled from Pan American. Underway that same day, with the destroyer Stockham, added for anti-submarine screen, the ships joined Rear Admiral Radford's Task Group 38.4 north of the Mariana Islands on 8 July.

Added to the anti-aircraft screen, Chicago guarded the Task Group's carriers as they conducted air strikes against the Tokyo Plains area, Honshū, Japan, on 10 July. After refueling on 12 July, the Task Group returned to the Japanese coast and launched air strikes against airfields, shipping, and railways in the northern Honshū and Hokkaidō areas the next day.

On 14 July, in company with the battleships South Dakota, Indiana, Massachusetts, cruiser Quincy, and nine destroyers of Rear Admiral Shafroth's bombardment unit, Chicago closed northern Honshū to bombard the Kamaishi industrial area. At 1212, the cruiser joined the battleships in firing on the iron works and warehouses. Although heavy smoke obscured the target from the cruiser's spotting planes, the combination of pre-plotting the target through photo reconnaissance and radar positioning data allowed Chicago's guns to start fires in numerous buildings, several large warehouses, and among nearby oil tanks. At 1251, the cruiser's secondary battery guns began firing on a Japanese destroyer-escort type vessel. The escort was straddled and hit by 5 in shell fire, began smoking, and retired into the harbor. The Task Force retired at 1426, leaving the port under a pall of black smoke.

The following day, Chicago operated as "a temporary seaplane carrier" when the battleship Iowa transferred her SC Seahawk floatplanes to the cruiser. By hanging one plane over the side with the crane the crew was still able to launch a Seahawk from the catapult for spotting services. After replenishment operations on 16 July, the cruiser resumed screening the carriers as they launched air strikes over the Tokyo Plains, northern Honshū and Hokkaidō, and the Kure-Kobe area over the next two weeks.

On 29 July, in company with King George V and several American battleships, Chicago participated in a night shore bombardment mission against the port of Hamamatsu. Using radar, and assisted by spotting planes dropping flares and rockets, the ships fired at bridges, factories and the rail yard for about an hour. Rejoining the Task Group five hours later Chicago once again screened the carriers as they launched air strikes against the Tokyo-Nagoya area.

Operations with the carriers, including a diversion to the south to avoid a typhoon, continued until 9 August when Rear Admiral Shafroth's bombardment unit returned to Kamaishi. The battleships, joined by Chicago, three more heavy cruisers and a Royal Navy light cruiser detachment, delivered another two-hour bombardment of the town before returning to the carrier task forces.

For the next six days, the cruiser screened the carriers as they launched continuous strikes against the Japanese Home Islands, until 15 August and the Japanese armistice. Chicago remained with the carriers until 23 August, when she departed for Japan. Anchoring in Sagami Wan on 27 August, and then moving to Tokyo Bay on 3 September, the cruiser supported the unloading of supplies and equipment for Third Fleet occupation forces.
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