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Night goggles

Night goggles
Author: mbriscoe
Time Stamp:
22:44:41 11 November 2004
Post:
There is the obituary of Flight Lieutenant John Cairns in the Daily Telegraph today. He was a night fighter navigator with No. 488(NZ) Squadron.

The obituary mentions one interception ......

"Cairns picked up a target on his radar and controlled his pilot until they were in visual range, when he used night goggles to identify the contact as a Dornier 217"

What does night goggles mean? I don't think that they had the image intensifier type Night Vision Goggles that are used nowadays so what was used?

Martin


RE: Night goggles
Author: DeanJ
Time Stamp:
23:15:29 11 November 2004
Post:
Almost certainly one of two options.

Night fighter crews did wear "Goggles, Night Adation Mk1 & Mk1a" goggles which had red lenses - looked like welders goggles, prior to early evening night to help their eyes acquire night vision prior to getting airborne, but these weren't commonly worn once in the air, so these aren't so likely.

The most likely option is "Night Binoculars" which are regularly mentioned in combat reports and which gave me the same thought until i queried it. Part of a night-fighter aircraft gear was a pair of binoculars with larger than average apertures and IIRC specially coated lenses to aid clarity at night. I would imagine this is what is being referred to.

The allies did start to use infa-red technology towards the end of the war, especially on small-arms but not in aircraft that I'm aware of.

I stand to be corrected if wrong, but I hope this helps.


RE: Night goggles
Author: mbriscoe
Time Stamp:
23:36:33 11 November 2004
Post:
Thanks I thought it might be something like binoculars.

Martin


Rodd Night Glasses
Author: RodM
Time Stamp:
09:54:05 12 November 2004
Post:
Hi Martin,

I don't have any firm details but Ross night glasses (an image intensifying device) were used later in the war.

The following is a brief extract from a No. 239 Sqdn Combat Report from the 16th March 1945:

"Closed in and visual obtained at 1,200 ft. Ross night glasses were used and aircraft identified as a Ju88."

Cheers

Rod


RE: Rodd Night Glasses
Author: DeanJ
Time Stamp:
16:16:57 12 November 2004
Post:
Rod,

Are you sure they are image intensifying as I have and seen several reports reporting use of night goggles/binoculars mid-late war which I understood to be the binos I mentioned. Would be quite interesting if early "NVG's" were in use WW2.


RE: Rodd Night Glasses ---- ROSS Night Glasses
Author: RodM
Time Stamp:
23:16:03 12 November 2004
Post:
(keyboard Madness of delusions of granduer! Title should read Ross night glasses).

Hi Dean,

I definitely could be wrong in the modern sense of "image intensifying". I once saw a photo and a description of the glasses and thought that they were not straight IR glasses but I cannot confirm this.

Of course, IR technology was definately used by the Germans with mixed success(the Spanner series of devices)

Cheers

Rod


RE: Rodd Night Glasses ---- ROSS Night Glasses
Author: DeanJ
Time Stamp:
00:09:29 13 November 2004
Post:
Dear Sir Rodd! Ha!

Ross were a major manufacturer binoculars as well as other optical kit such as scopes etc. so could be any of the options i guess. My (large) gut says "posh binos" but it would indeed be fascinating to know if they were a Brit copy of the German kit.


RE: Rodd Night Glasses ---- ROSS Night Glasses
Author: RodM
Time Stamp:
00:29:03 13 November 2004
Post:
Hi Dean,

the Ross glasses would not have been a direct copy of the German Spanner series of optical devices - the latter consisted of a large circular viewing device that was mounted to the side of the front windscreen on the likes of the Bf110.

I can't remember the exact source of the info. I once read and, for once, doin' the google thing produces no results!

Cheers

Rod


RE: Ross Night Glasses
Author: Ian Brown (Guest)
Time Stamp:
07:22:26 13 November 2004
Post:
Whilst I can't really answer the question of what the night goggles were, I can say that they would be unlikely to be copied from any German technology. Research was carried out in Britain from about 1936/7 into infra-red detection by R V Jones. I haven't checked, but there is likely to be a mention of this in 'Most Secret War'. He was taken off this work before the war when it was shown that radar would be much more effective and he was moved onto scientific intelligence.

It's also interesting to note that John Logie Baird had developed the Noctovisor in the late 1920s. This was a commercial infra-red vision system which was well publicised at the time. So clearly there was a long history of infra-red technology in Britain which may (or may not) have had a connection with these goggles/glasses.


RE: Night goggles
Author: aestorm
Time Stamp:
10:27:04 12 November 2004
Post:
A very interesting and funny obituary .Especially the sentence about the men being given the title Flying Tigers and then given raw meat to eat -back at base !

AEStorm


RE: Night goggles
Author: Mark Huxtable (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:59:01 13 November 2004
Post:
Hi All:

I believe some infra-red devices were used, however this was more of an IFF-type affair - infra-red transmitters were located in the tail of some allied bombers, which could (going from memory here) be picked up in friendly nightfighters.

Incidentally, Cairn's pilot, Johnny Hall, passed away in January of this year, after a long and successful career in law I believe.

Cheers,

Mark Huxtable