Fairchild Camera Machine Gun trainer, 80 years ago today

Via the California Military Department Historical Collection:

Soldiers of the California National Guard’s Los Angeles-based 115th Observation Squadron (now the Channel Islands Air National Guard Station-based 115th Airlift Squadron) manning a Fairchild Camera Machine Gun trainer at Fort Lewis, Washington during the 1940 Fourth Army Maneuvers as part of California’s 40th Division. 9 June 1940.

Note the potato sack sandbags with a Van Nuys address, and the soldiers’ M1917 tin pan helmets. Also, ties!

Rather than use more expensive live or blank ammunition, Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation developed this system for aircrews to train with. The system used film to evaluate the gunner’s performance.

Normally mounted on aircraft, it is seen here mounted on a tripod used for ground or low-level antiaircraft defense training.

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