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    3D News

    Military Reels

    During World War II View-Master® was in the war effort "Doing their Fair Share"

    In conjunction with the Armed Services, View-Master® produced self-study military reels for distribution to the men in uniform for Plane and Ship recognition and range estimation. Study and Test Military Reels exemplify the amazing contributions View-Master played in so many aspects of everyday life even in days that were far from everyday.

     The U.S. Army and Navy contracted View-Master® and several model making companies to produce accurate models of actual military aircraft and ships belonging to every belligerent nation to be photographed and made into 3D View-Master reels.


    Pilots and Gunners:
    Mainly for use by pilots and anti-aircraft/ships' gunners, t
    hese reels were to be used in self-teaching -recognition and range estimation- of planes and ships. Sets of varying sizes were boxed and accompanied by black Model B viewers, and were readily available for individual study.

    These sets were produced in great quantities, but only a fraction of the sets found their way into one's homeward bound sack.

    Three Classifications of Reels:
    There were basically three types of reels:

    • Recognition and range estimation of aircraft for pilots

    • Recognition and range estimation of aircraft for anti-aircraft gunners

    • Recognition and range estimation of ships for ships' gunners.

     And for each Classification there were two Types: -Study Reels and -Test Reels.  That makes a total of six different kinds of reels. The six kinds are pictured and explained below:

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