Imperial Japanese Air Forces parachute pack Type 97. This was the most widely used parachute during WW2, is commonly referred to as the 'fighter pilot parachute' and was popular with both Naval and Army pilots. This detachable pack is manufactured in dark green canvas trimmed with an orange brown edge piping and measures approximately 40 x 33 x 15cm. There is a faded cotton label on the outer side and another very clear label to the underside. This has printed kanji nomenclature indicating the parachute type, production serial number, date of manufacture and the manufacturer's details. This example is a Type 97 with the serial number 1900807 and has the Japanese Naval anchor symbol. It was manufactured by Fujikura Kougyou Kabushikigaishya (the Fujikura Aircraft Industry Co. Ltd) who are still making parachutes to this day. Manufactured on 11th December 1943 (translated from the Kanji/Showa 18-12-11). The pack has a partial harness manufactured in dark green webbing of cotton/silk mix - this is fitted with heavy duty cadmium plated spring clips for attaching it to the main seat harness (not present). The other ends are attached to the rigging lines within the pack. One webbing strap also routes the metal rip-cord channel to the rip cord handle housing that clips to the main seat harness. As with most Japanese parachutes, this one is fitted with a static line cord and clip. The pack is complete with the original white silk canopy and rigging lines, original bungees (one with broken end), ultra rare blue velvet coloured seat pad and log/inspection card showing an inspection on 25th December 1943. The pack is contained in its original bag, also produced by the Fujikura Aircraft Industry Co. Ltd. This heavy canvas bag measures approximately 45 x 25 x 40cm, has 2 handles and is fitted with press stud fastening. The large cotton label has matching date and serial number to those on the pack. Condition is generally excellent. The pack is undamaged bar a small hole as shown, retains good colour and is really quite clean. The cushion shows some wear to the velvet pile but the partial harness and metalwork are all excellent. The canvas bag is a little faded and has a small hole matching that on the pack - see photographs.
This parachute was found in a cave on Saipan c. June/July 1944 by Dr. Paul G White Lt. U.S.N., a dentist assigned to the 4th Marine Division. He took it back to the USA as war booty where it stayed until his son recently sold it to me. There is an 'examined in the field/passed by joint intelligence' tag and official despatch certificate/receipt relating to the removal and 'export' of the parachute. An extremely rare item. The only Japanese seat-pack/canopy we have ever had. Stock code S27634.