October 25, 2016

Collection Name: Kite Collection

Collection Number: 4272

Post Type: History

This item was entered by Matthew Sutton. They assume full responsibility for all content.

Artist or Author: U.S. Navy,,

Creation Year:

Length: 0.00

Height: 38.00

Width: 17.00


ԇibson GirlԠbox kite used as survival equipment by American and British aviators during WWII. Yellow cotton cloth and folding aluminum metal frame, with cloth bag. Assembly instructions printed on the kite fabric. Kite only, line, radio, and other accessories not included.

Further history and description by Carnet De Vol online:
During the Second World War, the English and American bombers were equipped with survival equipment to contribute to the recovery of the men fallen at sea. Referred with the number M357 a by the American army, it is more popularly called the "Gibson Girl."

According to the weather conditions, the operator used either the balloon or the kite, which had as a function to support the antenna of the radio of distress.

An RAAF survival radio transmitter carried by World War II aircraft on over-water operations was named the 'Gibson GirlҠbecause of its 'hour-glass' shape. It included a fold-up/down metal frame box kite for which the flying line was an aerial wire. A hand-crank generator provided power for the distress radio signal.

The Gibson Girl was the personification of the feminine ideal as portrayed in the satirical pen and ink illustrated stories created by illustrator Charles Dana Gibson during over 15 years spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Images: (Click to open in viewer.)