RAF Escape Compass
small but essential aid to shot down aircrew in WW11. The Air Ministry, in conjunction with MI9,went to great lengths to ensure all aircrew serving operationally carried a hidden compass to assist with finding their way out of enemy territory when used in conjunction with silk escape maps also carried hidden within their flight clothing or uniform. In the same way escape compasses were smuggled into POW camps to aid escape attempts and were hidden in Monopoly boards, bars of soap, packets of cigarettes and even pipes! This is an example is of the second pattern with a star shaped compass card with two luminous dabs and a red tip to indicate magnetic north and a further dab of paint to show south. The case is made from brass and this example features nearly all its original paint and despite its 70 odd years of age appears to do its job today just as intended back in WW11. Please note image size is larger than the actual compass which measures a modest 6/10 ” (1.5 cm) diameter.