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Kadlec liquid filled AK39 German wrist compass found by a US soldier

Object | Accession Number: 2014.480.70

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    Kadlec liquid filled AK39 German wrist compass found by a US soldier

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Large, liquid filled, model AK 39 German wrist compass found by David F. Busch, a US soldier fighting in Germany during World War II. It was manufactured by Kadlec and designed to be worn on Luftwaffe pilot or crewman’s right wrist. An additional strap allows the compass to be secured over the sleeve of a flight suit or on to a rescue vest. In June 1943, David was drafted into the US Army and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. In October 1943, he was deployed and fought in Central Europe and Germany. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered.
    Date
    manufacture:  1939
    Geography
    found: Germany
    manufacture: Prague (Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Tara Barenok
    Markings
    overall : face, center, printed in a circle : KADLEC-INSTRUMENTENFABRIK-PRAG [Kadlec Instrument Factory Prague]
    overall : bottom, engraved : Armbandkompaß / Bauart: kadlec. / Baumuster: AK 39. / Werk Nr.: 10140564 / Anforderz.: FI 23235 [wrist compass / design type: Kadlec / model: AK 39 / plant number: 10140564 / requisition number: flying 23235
    Contributor
    Subject: David F. Busch
    Manufacturer: Kadlec
    Biography
    David F. Busch was born on May 25, 1910, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the third of three children born to John and Margaret Busch. His parents were both born in Germany and married in 1901. John worked as a metal temperer at a factory. When David was young, his father, John, died. In the late 1920s, David completed high school and became a deliveryman. Soon after the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States entered World War II. On June 18, 1943, David was drafted into the US Army and assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. In October, he was deployed to the European Theater of Operations, where he fought in Central Europe and Germany. On May 7, 1945, Germany surrendered. Following his discharge from the military, David returned to Ohio. David, 69, died on October 6, 1979, in Cleveland.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Tools and Equipment
    Physical Description
    Large, liquid-filled, wrist compass with a 2 part, circular housing: the upper half is a clear, rotating, plastic bezel with a smooth center and ridged sides and the lower half is black painted metal. On the interior, floating in kerosene, is a flat, black painted metal disc, or compass card, with painted, offwhite Arabic numerals, 3 to 33, and lines for degrees, 30 to 330. A red N replaces the 0/36/360 position. Cardinal directions are indicated by a dot of radioluminescent paint above the N and numbers 9, 18, and 27. A radioluminescent painted arrow points at the N. A small, red painted circle is engraved on top of the bezel, above a radioluminescent lubber line across the underside. There are 2 metal brackets attached to protruding lugs on the top and bottom of the lower housing. It has 3 attached black leather straps: 2 loop around the brackets, one (6.250”) with 10 punched holes, the other (2.875”) with a buckle, and the third (6.125”) is 4 hole extension buckled to the longer strap.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 3.375 inches (8.573 cm) | Width: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm) | Depth: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm) | Diameter: 2.500 inches (6.35 cm)
    Materials
    overall : plastic, metal, leather, kerosene, paint, radium paint, thread

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The compass was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2014 by Tara Barenok, the great-niece of David F. Busch.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-13 16:18:27
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn157317

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