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1940s USAF B-1 Signal Mirror Front | by signal mirror
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1940s USAF B-1 Signal Mirror Front

This flash photo shows a 1940s 3"x5" glass USAF type B-1 Signal mirror (Specification 41063) from the front, together with it's paper envelope. See the next photo to see the other side of the mirror.

 

The 41063 specification was released on March 4, 1946 and cancelled April 8, 1953 .

 

The United States developed the B-1 emergency signaling mirror (signal mirror) in late World War II, and production was started in 1945, but they did not reach the troops before the war ended. The B-1 used a ring of red retroreflective "ScotchLite(TM)" material around the sighting hold to create a red round virtual image of the sun focused at infinity as a "red dot" sight. The next generation of US military signal mirrors to be developed was the Mark 3 with the retroreflective mesh aimer, in 1949.

  

The French military, however, has stuck with the B-1 type of aimer, in their "Miroir de Signalisation SOS Type 643" and "Miroir de Signalisation SOS Type 644" signal mirrors.

 

There's a nice description of the design of the B-1 mirrors here: p. 21, column 1 in "Heliographic signaling mirrors", R.S. Hunter, NBS, in Air-Sea rescue bulletin, US Coast Guard, publisher, v3 March 1946, pg. 29. babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015010566720;view=1u...

 

The patent description is here: www.google.com/patents/US2412616

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Taken on January 25, 2015