Original U.S. Navy Mark 9 Illuminated Sight

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The US Navy Gunsights used during WWII and the early post wars years was limited to just three main types of Gunsights (and their many late war and early post war adaptations and evolutions); all of them being adaptations of British sights:

• The Mark 8 illuminated sight used for fixed gunnery that was a modified version of the British Barr & Stroud GM2 fixed gun sight (designated the Fixed gun Reflector Sight Mk II);
• The Mark 9 illuminated sight used for flexible gunnery that was a modified version of the British Barr & Stroud GJ3 free gun sight (designated the Standard Turret and Free Gun Sight Mk III);
• The Mark 18 lead-computing gyro Gun Sight for use in aircraft turrets that was adapted from the British GGS Mk IIC (turret) lead-computing Gunsight.

If the number of gunsights used was limited, the Navy designations used to name their sights and associated equipment’s was rather confusing and complicated. The following designations were used: Illuminated Sight, Gun Sight, Gun Sight System, Sight Unit, Aircraft Sight system and Aircraft Fire Control Sight system. You could therefore for example find the Gun Sight Mk 18 Mod 6 System which used a Sight Unit Mk 10 Mod 0 (basically a Gun Sight Mk 18 fitted with a Range Unit Mk 18 Mod 0) or the Sight Unit Mk 8 Mod 0 that is part of the Aircraft Fire Control system (AFCS) Mk 6 Mod 0 that should not be confused with either the Mk 8 illuminated sight or the Sight Unit Mk 6. Confusing isn’t it!

Adopted from the British in 1941, the Mark 9 Gunsight was based on the Barr & Strout GJ3 Free Gun Sight (designated the Standard Turret and Free Gun Sight Mk III). It was mass produced by the Wollensak Optical Co. (and later American Cystoscope) and equipped, from 1942 onwards, virtually every Navy plane fitted with turret(s) and/or flexible gun position(s). It was also used as a fixed Sight for toss bombing and rocket firing, together with the adjustable reflector Mk 3 and a different reticle, in attack planes (mostly the PV-2 Harpoon, the P2V-1 Neptune and the P4M Mercator) were space restrictions did not allow the use of the Mark 8 Gunsight.

The Sight consists of an easily removable bakelite case containing the light bulb, a cylindrical middle section for the optics, a hood assembly holding and protecting the reflector plate, and a dimmer switch assembly.

This Mark IX (Mk 9) sight is in good condition with clear optics.

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