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The Chichester Sun Compass (1944)

The Chichester Sun Compass (1944)

Price $119.00 Sale


Francis Chichester


An original WW2 sun compass manual, written by Francis Chichester, and published in 1944 by Allen & Unwin. This is a practical manual covering the information that an officer or NCO would need to know to navigate using the sun. It was intended to be a 'simple but scientifically accurate device which enables the user to tell his direction by the sun, provided the date and local time are known. It is designed for use anywhere in the world within 200 miles north and south of a line from Birmingham to Berlin.' According to Chichester, the greatest value in using the sun compass  was the cultivation of a sense of direction, 'A sense of direction is vital to all navigators and pilots; especially to a fighter pilot in an air-fight; and to a yachtsman, and to any sort of traveller'.

The book comes complete with its original dust jacket, and includes full instructions in the use of the sun compass (which is in a pocket at the front of the book). The sun compass itself has a transparent graticule superimposed on a circular disc with a serrated edge and a thick card base.

Sir Francis Charles Chichester (1901 – 1972) was a British pioneering aviator and solo sailor. He was knighted by for becoming the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route, and the fastest circumnavigator, taking just nine months and one day to complete the voyage in 1966–67.

Unable to join the RAF at the outbreak of WW2 due to age and eyesight, he was not granted a commission until 14 March 1941 when he joined the RAFVR for the duration of hostilities. His civil occupation was listed as Air Navigation Specialist. His first posting was to the Air Ministry in the Navigation section of the Directorate of Air Member Training, where he served until August 1942. In July 1943 he was sent to the Empire Central Flying School where he instructed in navigation until released in September 1945. He wrote the navigation manual that allowed the pilots of single-handed fighter aircraft to navigate across Europe and back using kneeboard navigation similar to that which he had used in the Pacific.


In good condition. The boards are in very good condition, with minimal signs of use. The dust jacket is in good condition, with wear, creases, and minor repairs at the edges. The binding is good and secure. The text is in good condition. The sun compass in the pocket at the front of the book is in very good condition.

Published: 1944
Blue boards with black titling, with original dust jacket
With sun compass in a pocket at the front
Dimensions : 135mm x 155mm
Pages: 10 (plus Sun Compass)