My feeling is that these are the pattern used by the Air Ministry and part of a Dingy survival kit, even though they have the WD Crows-Foot stampings. I believe there may have also been a similar pattern used by the Airborne troops, but not totally sure. In any event a neat pair of WW2 Binoculars. Regards, Clive.
Hello Clive, Thanks for posting. Yes, these are very similar to the Airborbe binoculars, the only dufference is that these are fixed focus whilst the Airborne are capable of variable focus through a central wheel. I have contacted two RAF friends , one from Bomber Command and the other from Costal Command , both of whom ditched and neither recall these binoculars. I have now contacted the RAF Nuseum. The reason I wondered about the SDS is that the owner was a reserved civilianm not in the HG and living near a SDS Out Station in Kent. His daughter says he was engaged in cloak and dagger actiities. I have never come across them in relatuon to operational patrols. Cheers, Bob
Just had thuis update from Capt. Peter Laidler,
I'm not a militaria type person but I have asked one of the older instrument technicians at our main workshops. He can't find any paperwork for these but that's not unusual. However, he says that he thought that these were issued and used by paratroopers. Being small and compact they could easily be carried in their smocks. He also commented that they were pretty unreliable because their optical make-up meant that at the first bump or knock, they'd go out of collimation (you'd see two pictures that weren't in line!).
Can't help after that. But, the old wartime binoculars, prismatic No2 Mk3 are still in service and will probably all be withdrawn quite soon.