Operation of the Flux Gate Compass in B-17 G   Save
Operation of the Flux Gate Compass in B-17 G
Description: Military manual for the use, maintenance, and repair of the "flux gate compass," an electronic device used for navigation on board B-17 bombers. What this manual refers to as a "flux gate compass" would be known today as a type of heading indicator. Heading indicators show the direction in which the front of the plane is pointed. This particular type of heading indicator uses a gyroscope as its primary means of determining orientation, and an electromagnetic sensor that automatically corrects the gyroscope over set durations. This sensor is referred to as a "flux gate," and should not be confused with a basic "flux gate compass" of today, which contains no gyroscope. As a navigator, C. Walder Parke would have used this device frequently, and he took further notes for his own benefit on the reverse of the manual. Charles Walder Parke was born on July 28, 1924, and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 intending to be a pilot during WWII, but spent most of his military career as a navigator on B-17 Flying Fortresses in the 94th Bombardment Group. Parke earned two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal with several Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his successful bombing missions, including some over Berlin. He is best known for being on board a B-17 which was shot down over France by German planes on June 25, 1944, during a non-combat mission. The crew managed to make an emergency landing, and everyone inside survived. After the war, Parke founded the Cleveland-based Laurel Industries Inc., which became a prominent supplier of antimony oxide to the plastics industry. He died of Lou-Gehrig’s Disease on September 15, 1996, at the age of 72. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: MSS1510_B01F07_001_01
Subjects: B-17 bomber; Airplanes, Military--Electronic equipment; Compass
Places: Kearney (Nebraska); Buffalo County (Nebraska)