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Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
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Return Letter for Binoculars World War I 

Letter marking the Eyes of the Navy Program return of items to lender

Title: Letter, Return of Binoculars, WWI
Accession #: NHHC 2016.062
Circa: 1918
Size: 8 x 10.5"
Medium: Paper
Location: Headquarters Artifact Collection, Naval History and Heritage Command

Navy Department
U.S. Naval Observatory
Washington, D.C.

Subject: return of articles, in connection with the NAVY’S call for binoculars, telescopes, spyglasses, and other navigation instruments.

1. There is being returned to you by registered mail the article received from you in response to the NAVY’S call.

2. An engraved certificate evidencing the participation of this article in the war, is now being prepared and will be forwarded to you at a subsequent date.

3. It is hoped that any evidence of wear or damage will be compensated for by the fact that a great service has been performed and that historic interest has been added to the article returned.

Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Assistant Secretary of the Navy.


This letter accompanied the binoculars returned to B.L. Stowe following WWI. Like many Americans, Stowe answered the Navy’s call for optic and navigation equipment through the “Eyes for the Navy” program. Unable to meet the demand for binoculars, telescopes, and spyglasses aboard American vessels, the Navy created the “Eyes for the Navy” program whereby Americans could loan their navigation instruments to the Navy for the duration of the war. Following the war, all navigational instruments not in use were returned to their original owners.  

To view more artifacts associated with the "Eyes for the Navy" Program:

 Will You Supply Eyes for The Navy?
Published: Tue Mar 31 10:49:12 EDT 2020