Zero Pilots Wore Clocks around their necks!

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Diptangshu, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    A very interesting stroy; what do you think of it? But it was true for land based Japanese pilots wore clocks around their necks, even sometimes tied the thing with their pull-chords! Interesting ...
  2. Watson

    Watson Member

    In my collection I have what one of my WWII pilots called a Japanese flight computer. Apparently, they strapped it in on their leg and charted their course on it. It's got small map on rollers inside a glass face that they could move and thus follow their course. On the lid are a series of numbered wheels that helped them adjust for wind, speed, etc.
    I would imagine that the cockpits of Japanese aircraft were pretty Spartan as well as cramped so anything that they could carry on their person would help make their flight a little easier.
  3. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    Don't know why they would do so. Like most of the aircraft, then and now, the A6M had a clock as a standard instrument on the instrument panel, in the case of this particular craft, top row, 2d from left. And most single seaters had some sort of arrangement for plotting and tracking one's course . . . the USN used plotting boards which were stored in a slot beneath the instrument panel. Pretty standard stuff if one plans on finding one's way to and from a given destination, especially over the ocean. Compass, clock, fuel, speed all working together. Pretty much SOP to check the clock to the correct time & make sure it was wound, not to mention periodically checking to ensure one's compass is boxed and knowing the variation between true north and magnetic north. I have the clock from one of my father's F4Fs, works like a charm except you have to remember to wind it every 7 days if you want it to keep running. These things, especially from wrecks, were prime souveniers. In USN service, the charts that one might have clearly show the magnetic variation, I have some from the Solomons which have the necessary notations . . . without dragging them out, as I recall, it was a fairly significant difference.
  4. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Well .... Very interesting indeed! The Zero, Zeke pilots would have worn Flight clocks allowing him to easily read it and for one's convenience, worn as the winder upside!
    Many WPP (World Press Photo) shows the same, though I've no such collection.
    These flight clocks were marked as 'Type O' or anchor for IJNAF and 'Type *' for IJAAF, made by then famous Seikosha. These nice flight clocks comes with Radioactive illuminations and large arabic digits with big colored arrows, flanged with four holes to set the clock to the instrument panel, oftenly found missing from the aircraft! So the pilots preferd to wore it around their necks, sometimes tied with parachute cords dyed with different 'colors', that bears a different meaning according to their different customs.
    Taking a clock from the instrument panel without permission was considered to be theft, and would be rewarded with heavy punishment if caught red handed.
    So the pilots prefer to take the clocks out of the panel and hang it around the neck. During night, soldiers would sneak in and steal the clocks out of planes, since watches were not issued for both the army and navy!

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