Big Eye Binoculars - USS Forrestal
1 In Stock
Once in a life time opportunity to own a set of big eye binoculars salvaged from the USS Forrestal. The USS Forrestal was commissioned in 1955. While the USS Forrestal was a very historical US Navy vessel, it became better known for an accident that happened on the flight deck during the Vietnam War. In July 1967, an electrical error on one aircraft resulted in the discharge of a Zuni rocket that claimed the lives of 134 sailors. US Senator John McCain was one of the pilots in line to take off at the time of the accident. His aircraft was burned on the deck after he exited the cockpit.
The USS Forrestal was scrapped in December 2015. Before it was scrapped, we were able to salvage this set of binoculars from the deck of the vessel. These binoculars were made by Optic Electronic Corporation in Dallas, Texas. According to the decal on the side housing, this set was last overhauled May 10, 2012 by the Ship Repair Facility Japan Regional Maintenance Center, Yokosuka, Japan.
The attached photos were taken with the height adjuster in the lowest position of just about 5 feet tall. Cranked fully up, they will stand just over 6 feet tall. The binoculars are 27 inches long and about 16 inches wide. The base is a two part system. The very bottom of the base has a 12 inch wide base that mounted to the deck. About 30 inches up from where it mounted to the deck, you see four bolts. These bolts hold the two sections of the base together. The top section (the cradle and crank up assembly) are about 26 inches tall. The actual binoculars are attached to the cradle with two mechanical bolts with big black knobs on them. The total weight as shown is about 300 pounds.
The binoculars spin 360 degrees on the original base, and will tilt up and down. The original hand locks work that allow the binoculars to be locked into almost any position. As shown in the photos, the binoculars are being sold just as they were found on the deck of the ship before it was cut up for scrap. The lower section of the original base is made of iron and has some surface rust. The top section of the base is mostly aluminum and has most of the original paint. The actual binoculars housing is aluminum with some of the hardware being brass. The binoculars have most of the original paint with some surface wear.
Working Condition: The binoculars have a clear field of vision. I am able to focus and see items at a great distance very clearly. These are 20 power binoculars, so I am not sure to true distance they were made for. The binocular housing has as parts that have casting dates of 1983. It is safe to assume these were not the first big eye binoculars installed on the deck of the USS Forrestal, but they were the ones in place when the vessel was decommissioned.
I can safely crate and ship these big eye binoculars. The listed price includes shipping and insurance to any address within the continental United States. I strongly encourage you to come and pickup this historical piece at our South Carolina warehouse.
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