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Lecture on USAAF Jeep Headlight Blakout Shades


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Gentlemen (and ladies),


Please assemble in the Clubhouse Lecture Room for 9.00pm, at which time I will present a short lecture on Jeep Blackout Shades.


You may bring drinks in but please Bodge, no popcorn.


Thank you.

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If you ever thought that Jeeps came over with all the right accessories, think again! From a 1944 USAAF Journal:


Two tin cans, four discarded bolts, a pair of tin shears and a few daubs of black paint recently were combined to produce a new headlight shade now providing maximum road light for jeeps in Britain's blackouts.


Designed by Maj. Robert H. Savage of Rivera, Calif., ordnance officer at an 8th Air Force Service Command depot, the new gadget takes advantage of the coincidence that a number ten can is the same size as a jeep's headlight opening.


Designed to provide an absolute minimum of road light, when the shade is installed no part of the headlights can be seen head-on, although the driver has good vision for approximately 50 feet. Full use of dimmers is permitted.


An experienced maintenance worker can complete a set of shades in thirty minutes, although Major Savage, working with jigs and fixtures has cut the time to ten minutes. After cutting the can (which is six inches in diameter) to a height of four and a half inches, ordnance workers use a templet to measure off a face opening three inches deep, then cut away the marked-off area. This leaves a full circular strip one and a half inches wide around the bottom of the can.


The second can is reduced to an inch and a half strip which runs its full circumference, and half of the circular bottom is cut out. Holes are then drilled in both sections at points marked by the templet. The smaller section is fitted inside the larger section, hole to hole, and fastened to the headlight opening and to each other with four bolts.


Extreme care is taken in installing the shades so that the top and bottom sections form a horizontal plane, thereby preventing a direct view of the headlights. The shade fronts are then blackened and the jeep is ready for the blackest blackout.




USAAF Blackout Shade.jpg

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Very good Tony

Jack would like to know if pot noodle cartons can be substituted if tins are unavailable?

I left the popcorn outside and instead brought a bag of Doritos which were left out overnight on sunday at Debach... chewy and silent...although hard going!


I love these field modifications they are the most interesting aspects of most MV in my opinion

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