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Auction: Conflicts of the 20th Century
was auctioned on: 29 January 2021
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USAAF: THE NORDEN BOMB SIGHT.

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Estimate: US$1,200 - US$1,800
Price realised:  n. a.
Lot number 35, Views: 20

A Mark XV model Norden Bomb Sight, M9 sighthead. Carl L Norden inc, USA: in production 1932-1950, this example, number 2458 of the 1942 order. A Norden Bombsight Mk XV M9 with observation eyepiece and eye cushion, gyro, and various dials and knobs to turn to calibrate. the instrument. Mounted on the original wooden base of a carrying case, with a strap across the sight to secure it. Weight 30lbs: Base 445 x 270 mm. (17.5 x 10.5 inches.): Height 330 mm. 13 inches. A fine example of a World War II USAAF Norden bomb Sight, a tachometric bombsight used by the USAAF and US Navy Air force. Its accuracy in tests at high level was astonishing, although in operational conditions it was not as good. Used throughout Europe and on bombing missions to Japan, it became the standard for the US Air Forces. The importance of this instrument was enormous, and the secrecy imposed equally strict. Bombardiers were instructed to take it off the plane and put into a bomb vault at the end of each sortie. They were given instructions on how to destroy it rather than let it fall into enemy hands. In reality, a German spy working in the Norden factory had already stolen the plans in the 1930s, and the German bombers had similar bombsights. As was said at the time, this was the "bombsight that won World War II". This sighting device M9 was mounted on top of a stabilzer and autopilot, which in effect took control of the plane and kept the plane level and speed consistent, allowing the calculations of bomb discharge to be remarkably accurate and effective.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Bonhams London
Title: Conflicts of the 20th Century
Date of the auction: 29 Jan 2021
Address: Bonhams London
New York