"Pilots, Man Your Planes!"   
                                         WWII U.S. Naval Aviation Collector's Guide                                                                              
LT(jg) Everett W. Campbell of Composite Squadron Twenty (VC-20) in the cockpit of his FM-2 Wildcat. The photo was taken as the squadron completed its Stateside training prior to leaving for combat action flying from the escort carrier USS Kadashan Bay in the Pacific. His C.F.S. flight goggles are fitted with green anti-glare lenses which afforded a degree of protection from the sun's harsh rays. The green colored lenses were also known by the tradename "Calobar", as explained in this short piece from the November 1975 issue of Optical Management Magazine, written by David A. LaMarre and Wesley B. Reed:

How Calobar and Other AO Sun Lenses Were Born

By the early 1930’s, American Optical – like the rest of the optical world – had pretty well settled on a basic soda-lime silicate composition for almost all of its optical glass. It also began to take a scientific interest in the chemistry of glass coloration and found that the practice of adding a trace of iron to the glass, besides being inexpensive and decorative, also made good optical sense.
Around that time the formulation of the company’s famous Calobar® sunglasses was developed; it consists of a solution of two iron oxides of different valences which dissolve into the amorphous non-crystalline structure of the optical glass. One valence is the ferrous ionic state which absorbs at the long-wave-length end of the spectrum, red and infrared; the other is the ferric ionic state which screens out the short-wavelength end, the blue and ultraviolet.
The remaining energy in the center of the spectrum produce the familiar sage green known by the tradename Calobar. This green, of course, can be made yellower or bluer by nudging the balance between the two oxides one way or the other.
For many years the transmittance curve of the Calobar lens was regarded as the optical ideal because it screened out the potentially harmful invisible rays at the extremes of the spectrum while transmitting all of the colors in the visible range. Calobar lenses also found wide application in the industrial field, particularly as lenses for welding masks when used in darker shades than are available for ophthalmic lenses.



In addition to green, the two other standard type lenses available for the AN-6530 were clear and amber. The amber lens was used in hazy or foggy conditions and is popular to this day for shooting glasses.

When preparing to engage the enemy, it was accepted practice to wear the goggles down in position on the face. A secondary purpose of the goggles, often over-looked, was to provide some protection to the wearer from flash fire in the cockpit. This was always a potential hazard when seated only a few feet behind a radial aircraft engine of the day, with it's volatile fluids, while being shot at by the enemy. Rolled-down sleeves, gloves and the oxygen mask over the face helped to reduce the amount of exposed skin to a minimum as well.

The opposite procedure was applied if a pilot was faced with a forced landing. Experience had shown that the goggles, in these circumstances, became a potential source of injury and doctrine dictated they be pushed up on the head away from the face. Unfortunately, there was not always advance warning when a crash was immanent and little or no time to prepare.
Navy dive bomber pilot Harold Buell was the only carrier pilot known to have survived all five of the war's carrier-to-carrier battles in WWII. In his book, "Dauntless Helldivers" he recounts a chilling first-hand experience with glass goggle lenses that occured September 1st, 1942, during his time on Guadalcanal while flying SBDs with VS-5 from Henderson Field as part of the Cactus Air Force:

"Several of us were ordered to take off under fire and attack the ships shelling the field from the harbor. It was about 2100 with no moon and some overcast. I swung out onto the runway and started to take off as shells were coming into the field area. About halfway down the runway, an explosion occured under the plane, and turned me off course to the left.........I lifted the plane into the air but did not have sufficient flying speed and stalled..........The plane hit a small steamroller parked by the taxiway......Careening off the steamroller, the plane began breaking up around Villarreal (his rear-gunner) and me as it flew, slid and rolled for another fifty yards or so before coming to a stop. I was out of the crash almost before it stopped moving, fearing fire......blood was streaming from around my left eye, and I could hardly walk because the control stick had beaten my inner thighs when the wings were torn off, and my muscles were battered. I took the end of my silk scarf that was around my neck and felt around my left eye. Something was sticking out of the eye socket...it was a sliver of glass more than an inch long that had broken off my goggles. I pulled the sliver out, blotted the eye and asked the marine to shine a light on my face. Through a film of blood I could see light and knew that the eye was okay, apparently just cut a little."

Taken to the main field hospital by two marines in a jeep, he was examined by a Navy doctor and his eye was bandaged. The doctor told him how lucky he was as the glass sliver went into an area that did no harm to the eyeball or his eyesight. He was told to take it easy for a few days, remove the eyepatch the next day, and resume flying when he felt up to it. Two days later, LT Buell was back flying missions again.

 



  

 

AN-6530 Goggles