Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sun azimuth tables

It's pretty remarkable that after years of hunting for the azimuth tables required to employ the Howard MkIII Sun Compass purchased about seven years ago, I found a .pdf of them tucked away online.

They are available, free, on a website called I had previously purchased at Ebay auction a CD-ROM of what was advertised as sun tables, but the disc was crap and only made my disc drive shudder as though it was going to explode. No joy there.

Today I was looking online at Howard Sun Compass information, and saw an incomplete one for sale on Ebay. Included in the auction was a CD-ROM of the tables (it may have even been the seller who sold the crap copy years ago), and that was where I picked up the title of the book and name of the author.

For too long I had thought that the tables were nothing more than a nondescript government survey office pamphlet. Most people I corresponded with on forums and guestbooks had heard of the tables, but never seen them before.

Alas, the wonder of the internet and Google. I ran a search string using "Davis sun tables" and out churned a number of hits that took me to Amazon and some old book sellers. I did the same back at Ebay and found nothing. Then I added the simple word "download" to my query and found a copy available at the archive site:

Sometimes, what you are looking for is right under your nose.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Today represented perhaps the single greatest movement forward with the project, as I had the opportunity to speak with Sadler for approximately an hour, across a long-distance telephone connection to the UK.

Despite his disclaimers that his memory has grown a bit dime, I found him as sharp as ever when he answered the many questions I posed regarding his service with the SAS, and how it was that he came to become a navigator.

It is probably an indicator of his self-effacing manner that he considered himself an amateur at the business of navigating. He did concede that the breed of men who served with the SAS in those formative years, and who serve in current times, have a dash of skill, bravery, and sense of adventure that makes them successful when going up against greater odds.

I'll probably post additional updates and cover some of the topics we discussed, but for now, it's back to the notes for organization and further research.

The embedded picture is from the tour he (by this time a major) was invited on, along with other members of the SAS, of the US in June, 1945. They were touted as heros of the North African and European Campaigns, and rightly so.