Storage case for Japanese Type 94 anti-aircraft binoculars : Major A C Smith, 1 Parachute Battalion

Place Asia: Singapore
Accession Number REL35079.002
Collection type Technology
Object type Optical equipment
Physical description Aluminium, Celluloid, Cotton webbing, Ferrous metal, Leather
Maker Tokyo Optical Machinery Company
Place made Japan: Tokyo
Date made May 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Khaki aluminium storage case with a hinged lid, fitted with a pair of webbing carrying straps. Each face of the case is reinforced with stamped ribbing. An enamel plate on the exterior reads 'Made by Tokio Optical Machinery Company, May 1942, Type 94 Six degree anti-aircraft glasses (arsenal number) 403' in Japanese. The interior of the case and lid are fitted with a series of padded leather mountings to ensure a secure fit for the binoculars. There are other empty fittings in wood and leather which held contents now no longer present. The original contents are listed in Japanese on a celluloid protected panel screwed to the lid: 'List of Contents / Item / Comment / Glasses (1); Cleaning brush (1); Cleaning cloth (1); Coloured lens (2); Anti-fogging liquid (1); illumination device (1)'.

History / Summary

Related to the service of Andew Clifford Smith, born Ballarat 15 March 1915. Smith was living at Bunnaloo, NSW when he enlisted on 3 November 1939. After training he embarked for overseas service with 2/5 Battalion in Middle East. His skill and leadership qualities saw him rise through the ranks and he was a Lieutenant when he earned a Military Cross for 'great gallantry near Fort Merdjayoun' in Syria on 24 June 1941, where he was wounded. Upon his return to Australia, Major Smith was detached to command Headquarters, Mortar & Tank Attack Group, 1 Parachute Battalion. At war's end he visited Army Headquarters in Singapore where he was presented with this pair of cased Japanese binoculars. Smith was discharged from service on 13 April 1946. He reenlisted for service in the Korean War with 3 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, serving from 19 October 1951 until 2 March 1952. The binoculars are designed for use with anti-aircraft defence, employ a 6 degree field of view and are fitted for use with a stand or tripod. It is highly likely that they were employed in the wartime defence of Singapore. From 1944 to 1945 the United States Army Air Forces operating out of India bombed Japanese military targets on Singapore (in particular the docks and harbour area) several times with their massive B-29 Superfortress bombers.