Museum Finds WWII Cutting Edge Technology in Containers

The Commemorative Air Force, a museum that preserves military history in Dallas, Texas, recently came into possession of two large metal drums.

They were donated by Dale Burand of Oklahoma City. Though no one knew what to expect to find in the drums, there was some suspicion that it would be valuable.

What they found were two Norden bombsights, still in their boxes. The Norden bombsight was formerly top secret technology that has been credited with helping to win World War II.

Durand had been using the barrels to prop up his work bench since 1953. His son and his friends had been out looking for something to make a raft with.

They emptied some of the barrels and saw that they contained bombsights. Durand decided to take a couple barrels for himself.

Keegan Chetwynd is the education coordinator at the Commemorative Air Force. According to Chetwynd, they were pretty happy to find the bombsights in the barrels, Paleo Future reported.

“We had a lot of folks tuned in on Facebook Live, and there was quite a bit of excitement around the containers. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but was ecstatic when I saw that they were bombsights new in their boxes.”

The irony of the Norden bombsight is that, while it was promoted as having pinpoint accuracy, the post-WWII research found that the sight was not as good as the military had hoped for.

It was a great technology for the time but a shadow of the technology to come.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE