L.V.G. CV Aircraft Compass

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Palestine
Accession Number RELAWM12499
Collection type Technology
Object type Aircraft component
Maker Carl Bamberg
Place made Germany
Date made 1915-1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

German aircraft compass taken from L.V.G CV two seater biplane shot down at Afule, Palestine 1918.

The item comprises the compass bowl from a German aircraft. The internal parts are missing, as is the compass needle. The instrument is comprised of two main parts – the cylinder that comprises the upper portion and a bowl that attaches to the bottom of the cylinder. The overall height of the instrument is approx 85 mm.

The cylinder is approx 57 mm in depth and has a 115 mm dia with an opening of approx 85 mm dia. A metal ring approx 7 mm wide is attached to the top of the bowl and is inscribed with degrees at 15° intervals (0, 15, 30, etc.). On the outer edge of this ring is embossed “CARL BAMBERG BERLIN.FRIEDENAU Nr. 17276” This starts at the 150° and finishes at the 240° positions.

Inside this outer ring is another ring that has the 15° intervals marked by an inscribed line. It appears that theses would have been originally filled with white paint. This inner ring is sloped downward into the bowl.

At the 90° and 270° positions on the cylinder section there is an attachment point where the compass would have been mounted in a gimbal.

A vertical needle is fixed in the centre of the bowl by a metal ring with a cross bar. The bottom of the bowl is a brass(?) plate of concentric corrugations. The base of the instrument (bowl) is screwed into this by four screws. Inside the cylinder at the 0°, 90°, 180°, 270° positions a metal clip is screwed into the metal ring. These clips hold a vertical metal bar that is assumed to be the means of aligning the compass initially.

History / Summary

This compass was collected from the wreckage of LVG C.V two-seater biplane shot down on the the Palestinian front by Lieutenant Leslie William Sutherland MC DCM MID. The L.V.G. CV two-seater biplane was widely used for reconnaissance and light bombing missions from 1917.

Sutherland was born in Murrumbeena, Victoria on 17 December 1892. He enlisted as a Private in 1 Signal Troop, ANZAC Mounted Division on 19 August 1914 but was a Corporal on embarkation the 20 October 1914. Sutherland was promoted to Sergeant on 22 May 1916 and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for conspicuous gallantry in action on 31 August. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant and transferred to 1 Light Horse Regiment on 6 September and was promoted to Lieutenant on 21 December. On 15 June 1917 Sutherland was transferred from Base Signals Depot to Royal Flying Corps Rafa for duty. He was then attached to 67 Squadron RFC (officially titled No. 1 Squadron AFC from 19 January 1918) on 13 July 1917 before being formally taken on strength on 14 August as a Flying Officer (observer). Sutherland was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty in the field on 1 December 1917. On 1 November 1917 Sutherland relinquished his appointment as a Flying Officer to be the Squadron’s Recording Officer. He resumed duty as a Flying Officer on 13 July 1918 but trained to become a Flying Officer (Pilot) during the latter half of 1918. Sutherland graduated as a Flying Officer Pilot on 20 January 1919. He returned to Australia on 5 March 1919 aboard the Port Sydney and had his military appointment terminated on 16 June 1919.