Virtual Museum - Recogniton Manuals and Aids

 Ref. No. 953. IDENTIFICATION POSTER FOR A6M ZERO.  July 1942. Original WWII poster manufactured in the United States. Wording at top reads: “Japanese Fighter Type Zero (“0”).”  Shows top view, side view, silhouettes, position of guns and unprotected fuel tanks, plus performance data.  At bottom of poster it reads: “Identification Poster .  . No. 3 7/42 D.I.T.-A.A.F.- Identification Unit. From Data currently available. Restricted. U.S. Government Printing Office; 1942-O-477937.”

Ref. No. 857.  B-17 FORTRESS II RECOGNITION MODEL. This model was made in England from shell moulded plastic and is one of a series that were made in the 1:72 scale.  The manufacturer is unknown but an identical model can be seen at (see below).  The modified example  has clear plastic windows and turrets added, as well as being painted.  Even so, the models share common features, including the upward curving tailplanes (a model design defect and not evident on the real aircraft) and the raised word “Fortress II”  on the underside.  Wingspan measures 420 mm.  Length measures 310 mm. Recognition models like this were often made from plastic, resin, cellulose and bakelite.

Ref. No. 124. IDENTIFICATION MODEL HUDSON. Circa 1940. Wingspan 350mm. Length 265mm. Made from aluminium and originally painted black. Model in three parts; top fuselage which includes tail, bottom fuselage, and wing with engines. Stamped on bottom "HUDSON R/B OSNRB.  Rare.

Ref. No. 858. VIEWMASTER RECOGNITION REELS FOR US NAVY RANGE ESTIMATOR. Circa 1940. These reels were used as a training aid in conjunction with a stereoscopic “Sawyers Viewmaster”. When viewed through a Viewmaster, the cards allowed aircrew to estimate the distance of a particular aircraft when compared to two concentric circles which would relate to those on a gunsight. The discs consist of a variety of aircraft and groups of aircraft, each with its own number. The reels consist of “Study Reels” and “Test Reels”.  Some of these reels were originally owned by an Englishman, Larry Bond, who flew Lancasters in WWII.  The reels in this collection, consist of the following.

Study reels

S1    Lightning, P-38E US Army Fighter
S5    Baltimore, A-30 US Army Attack
S7    Mitchell B-25B US Army Med Bomber
S8    Marauder, B-26B-1 US Army Med Bomber
S10    O-52, US Army Observation
S14    Dauntless, SBD-3 US Navy Scout Bomber
S16    Avenger, TBF-1 US Navy Torpedo Bomber
S20    Catalina, PBY-5 US Navy Patrol Bomber
S21    Coronado, PBY2Y-3 US Navy Patrol Bomber
S22    Mariner, PBM-3 US Navy Patrol Bomber
S23    Hurricane, Hurricane I, II British Fighter
S24    Spitfire, Spitfire V British Fighter
S25    Stirling, British Heavy Bomber
S31    Stuka, Ju 87B German Dive Bomber
S32    He 111K, He 111K German Torpedo Bomber
S33    Ju 88, Ju 88A-1 German Med Bomber
S35    Zero-Zeke, Type 00 INF Jap Fighter
S36    Abdul, Type 97 ANF Jap Fighter
S37    Val, Type 99 NDB Jap Dive Bomber
S38    Mary, Type 97 ALB Jap Light Bomber
S39    Babs, Type 97 ALB Jap Light Bomber
S41    Sonia, Type 98 ALB-R Jap Light Bomber
S42    Kate, Type 97 NTB Jap Torpedo Bomber
S43    Adam, Type 97 NFP Jap Obs Seaplane
S44    Dick, Type 98 ANF Jap Fighter
S45    Ruth, Type 98 AMB Jap Medium Bomber
S46    Nell, Type 96 NMB Jap Medium Bomber
S47    Sally, Type 97 ANMB Jap Medium Bomber
S48    I-16, I-16 Russian Fighter

Test Reels

T2    7 Planes - One View of Each, Val, Kate, Abdul, Sally, Sonia, Zero-Zeke, Ida
T10    7 Planes - One View of Each, Babs, Mary, IL-2, Ruth, Nell, Hudson, Flying Eye
T11    7 Planes - One View of Each, IL-2, Mary, Babs, Flying Eye, Hudson, Nell, Ruth
T12    7 Planes - One View of Each, Nell, Mary, Hudson, IL-2, Flying Eye, Ruth, Babs
T13    7 Planes - One View of Each, Flying Eye, Ruth, Babs, Nell, Mary, Hudson, IL-2
T14    7 Planes - One View of Each, Mary, Ruth, Hudson, Babs, IL-2, Nell, Flying Eye
T16    7 Planes - One View of Each, Corsair, Coronado, Zerstorer, Mustang, Me 110, Liberator, He 113
T18    7 Planes - One View of Each, Liberator, Coronado, Me 110, Corsair, Mustang, He 113, Zerstorer
T19    7 Planes - One View of Each, Me 110, Coronado, Liberator, Zerstorer, He 113, Mustang, Corsair
T20    7 Planes - One View of Each, Zerstorer, Corsair, Liberator, Mustang, Coronado, He 113, Me 110
T24    7 Planes - One View of Each, Dauntless, Vengeance, Helldiver, Marauder, Avenger, Baltimore, Texan
T25    7 Planes - One View of Each, Baltimore, Vengeance, Avenger, Dauntless, Marauder, Texan, Helldiver
T26    7 Planes - One View of Each, Marauder, Texan, Helldiver, Baltimore, Vengeance, Avenger, Dauntless
T27    7 Planes - One View of Each, Vengeance, Texan, Avenger, Helldiver, Dauntless, Baltimore, Marauder
T28    7 Planes - One View of Each, Texan, Vengeance, Marauder, Baltimore, Dauntless, Helldiver, Avenger
T29    7 Planes - One View of Each, O-52, I-16, Seagull, Dick, Vindicator, Stirling, Me 109F
T30    7 Planes - One View of Each, Me 109F, I-16, Dick, Stirling, O-52, Seagull, Vindicator
T31    7 Planes - One View of Each, Stirling, I-16, Vindicator, O-52, Dick, Me 109F, Seagull
T33    7 Planes - One View of Each, Dick, I-16, Me 109F, Vindicator, Seagull, O-52, Stirling
T34    7 Planes - One View of Each, Seagull, I-16, O-52, Me 109F, Stirling, Vindicator, Dick
T35    7 Planes - One View of Each, I-16, Me 109F, Stirling, Vindicator, Dick, Seagull, O-52
T36    7 Planes - One View of Each, Hurricane, Claude, Mariner, Stuka, PE-2, Wildcat, Adam
T38    7 Planes - One View of Each, Wildcat, Claude, PE-2, Hurricane, Stuka, Adam, Mariner
T39    7 Planes - One View of Each, PE-2, Claude, Wildcat, Mariner, Adam, Stuka, Hurricane
T40    7 Planes - One View of Each, Stuke, Claude, Adam, PE-2, Mariner, Hurricane, Wildcat
T41    7 Planes - One View of Each, Mariner, Hurricane, Wildcat, Stuka, Claude, Adam, PE-2
T42    7 Planes - One View of Each, Claude, Hurricane, Adam, Wildcat, PE-2, Stuka, Mariner
T43    7 Planes - One View of Each, Kingfisher, Mitchell, He 111K, Catalina, Ju 88, Thunderbolt, Lightning
T44    7 Planes - One View of Each, Spitfire, Mitchell, Catalina, Thunderbolt, Kingfisher, HE 111K, Ju 88
T45    7 Planes - One View of Each, Lightning, Mitchell, Ju 88, Kingfisher, Catalina, Spitfire, He 111K
T46    7 Planes - One View of Each, Thunderbolt, Mitchell, Lightning, He 111K, Spitfire, Catalina, Kingfisher
T48    7 Planes - One View of Each, Catalina, Kingfisher, Lightning, Ju 88, Mitchell, Spitfire, Thunderbolt
T49    7 Planes - One View of Each, He 111K, Kingfisher, Spitfire, Lightning, Thunderbolt, Ju 88, Catalina

Ref. No. 871. THE AEROPLANE SPOTTER, 2 January 1941 to 10 July 1948, Temple Press, complete set of publications in nine binders. The Aeroplane Spotter ran for 217 issues in 9 volumes. Initially published weekly, but became fortnightly during late 1941, due to newsprint shortages.  Launched with official support just after the end of the London Blitz, this magazine quickly became the focus for all the aircraft enthusiasts in the UK. It's official function was to help improve the standard of aircraft recognition among civilian air defence volunteers, but it effectively launched the hobby of 'spotting'. It was also the first magazine to cover military serial number and civil registration changes. With 12 pages in each issue, it contains features, photos and silhouettes of the major aircraft types (both friend and foe), and news of the latest types. Naturally, some information was ommitted for security reasons, but generally this magazine was the best informed and best written of the war years. After the demise of the magazine, many 'spotters' set up their own organisations to carry on their interest - one of which was Air Britain. As this title was printed on ordinary newsprint paper, surviving copies experience a progressive discolouration of the pages and the edges often become browned.  An example of the cutaways and photos is shown below with a Spitfire in the first issue.

Ref. No. 27. JAPANESE AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION HANDBOOK. 1944. Includes 25 aircraft types. Restricted use - not to be taken into the air. Gives drawings, photos, description and code names. Previously owned by E R Buttolph F/O 432939.
Ref. No. 824.  RECOGNITION BOOKLET – AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION – HOW TO TELL FRIEND FROM FOE. 1939. Second Edition, Second Impression. The Aeroplane. 36pp, illus., soft cover.

Ref. No. 870. AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION  - PART ONE (REVISED) – FRIEND OR FOE? BRITISH AND GERMAN FIGHTERS AND BOMBERS, 1940, The Aeroplane, 64pp., illus, very good condition with staples removed.  Details include dimensions, type and size of engine, weight, fuel capacity, performance, and includes narrative description with sillouette and other illustrations showing markings.  A rare, comprehensive and original identification booklet.

Ref. No. 827.  RECOGNITION BOOKLET – AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION – PART TWO – GERMAN MONOPLANES. 1943. The Aeroplane. 64pp., illus., soft cover.


Ref. No. 825.  RECOGNITION BOOKLET – AMERICAN MONOPLANES WITH THE RAF – PART FOUR. 1942. First Impression. The Aeroplane. 64pp, illus, soft cover.

Ref. No. 719. JAPANESE AEROPLANES AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION – PART FIVE.  Prepared by the Aeroplane.  First impression, second edition.  Published February 1943. Cover 21 Japanese Naval Air Service aircraft and 21 Japanese Army Air Force aircraft.  Soft cover. Some stains. Small holes in cover.

Ref. No. 793 WAR DEPARTMENT, FM 30-30 AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION PICTORIAL MANUAL, 1943, Training Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, approx 100 pp, illus, soft cover, cover torn, edge of pages tatty. Cover reads “This document contains information effecting the National Defense of the United States, within the meaning of Espionage Act, 50 U.S.C., 31 and 32 as amended. Its transmission or the revelation of its contents in any manner to unauthorized person is prohibited by law.” Includes US Army, US Navy, UK, Reich, Japan & Italy. Rare item.

Ref. No. 84. AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION BOOKLET - LIST "A" ALLIED AIRCRAFT TYPES IN NEW ZEALAND AND THE SOUTH PACIFIC. Dec 1943. Royal New Zealand Air Force. Includes photographs and silhouettes. Aircraft are Aircobra, Warhawk, Corsair, Dauntless, Dakota, Fortress, Electra, Voyager, Wildcat, Hellcat, Avenger, Kingfisher, Seagull, Hudson, Ventura, Lodestar, Lightning, Liberator, Catalina, Mariner and Coronado.

Ref. No. 792.  WAR DEPARTMENT, BASIC FIELD MANUAL - MILITARY INTELLIGENCE IDENTIFICATION OF U. S. GOVERNMENT AIRCRAFT, 1941, War Dept - Printed by United States Government Printing Office, 92pp, photographs and silouettes, reasonable condition, soft cover. This restricted document was published to identify US government aircraft.

Ref. No. 11. RECOGNITION HANDBOOK OF GERMAN AIRCRAFT & RECOGNITION OF JAPANESE AIRCRAFT. Circa 1939. Published by the Air Ministry. No 1480B. Amendments page signed 26.11.42 by W P Berrell.

Ref. No. 1040. AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION – SILOUETTES AND DESCRIPTIONS USA. Issued by the NZ Air Department. This is N.Z. Air Publication No. 14B. Issued March 1943. Printed E V Paul, Government Printer, Wellington New Zealand.

Ref. No. 1059. AIRCRAFT RECOGNITION GUIDE. Issued by War Department, USA, and dated 15 October 1943. This booklet was issued to individual soldiers in order to raise the general standard of aircraft recognition.  Covers British, American and German fighter, bomber and attack aircraft.

Ref. No. 796. AIR MINISTRY, RECOGNITION HANDBOOK OF JAPANESE AIRCRAFT, 1942, Air Ministry, 51 pages (one sided), good cond but used.  Front cover reads “For Official Use Only.  Air Publication 1480F Recognition Handbook of Japanese Aircraft. Air Ministry.”  Includes Ammendment List No. 11 dated April 1942, which is loose (ammendments have not been incorporated).

Ref. No. 9. SCALE SILHOUETTES, PHOTOGRAPHS and "ODDENTIFICATIONS" of well-known British, American and German first-line aeroplanes, 1942, reprinted from the "Aeroplane" and the "Aeroplane Spotter".

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