Torpedo gyro, Whitehead/RGF MkIV or V


I am researching a Mahogany cased torpedo gyro.
It’s a 1920’s vintage RGF built, SN# 5028.

The question is, it’s marked in three places “N. J. W. Sc.”, including painted on the case, what does that stand for? I can post pix later but it similar to others seen on this forum.

I have been searching for a while but still no clue, other than a suspicion of where it came from, and this might help solving this mystery.



I don’t have an answer, but your question reminded me of someone who would have.

Chief Torpedoman Burrel T. Boatwright. Known as “The Chief”.

I 'll be rememberig him on this Veterans Day.



Here are some pix:



That is a beautiful specimen. I have a large collection of these and have seen a few with the same markings. I also have not figured out what they stand for. I do know that RGF made this and other gyros under license from Whitehead & Co… Can you take a photo of the main rotor? Just curious if it is smooth (early spring only) or ported (later spring & air) driven.



I have found two stamped numbers that are probably dates, 1-37 and 7-42, I earlier discounted them because I didn’t know a gyro used around 1915 was still in use in 1942. The Rotor is stamped BUSM 38 and a cage plate 42 and RNTF so it probably updated later then the older RGF parts.

Here is a list of gyro types mentioned in early 1940’s:

Types S.P. & A.R., Variants? A.R.A., A.R.A.T., A.R.N., A.R.P., A.R.S.G., A.R.W., N.A.R.W., A.R.P.W., N.A.R.J.W. , & N.J.W.Sc. , “except N.A.R.M & A.R.K.”
Gyro markings: frame RGF (for Royal Gun factory), Top plate and gimbals RNTF (for Royal Naval Torpedo Factory). Main rotor BUSM 1-38 (for British United Shoe Machinery)

Still looking for the meaning of NJWSc to discover where it came from.

I’ll attach more pix soon.


Just a guess, but maybe these markings were applied to the items used for instructional purposes (which would also account for their survival) perhaps by the

Naval J??? W[eapons?] School?


Here is some details showing the stampings.

I did try to see if it was a weapons school, no luck yet. the initials would also have to work with N.A.R.J.W. etc.
Why would it be marked in so many places, (by the Factory?) and do other examples have similar markings?
Here is an excerpt from the Admiralty Fleet Orders requesting removal of these types of gyros from Destroyers in Mar 1945:

1401.—Torpedo Stores—Chests, Tools and Spare Gear for Gyroscopes—Withdrawal
Leaders and Divisional Leaders of Destroyers

(A.S. 10606/41.—26.3.1942.)
It has been approved for the following items, viz. :
Section II
Chests, tools and spare gear of gyroscopes :
A.R. and S.R. :

A.R.W., N.A.R.W., A.R.P.W.
N.A.R.J.W. and N.J.W.Sc.

to be withdrawn from Leaders and Divisional Leaders of Destroyers.
2. Vessels concerned are to return any chests referred to in paragraph 1 at
present on board to the nearest Torpedo Depot.
3. The Naval Proportion Book, Part IV, will be amended.

This type of gyro was used in Whitehead torpedos from late 1800’s up to 1940’s, and it looks like this style of box from at least 1912 or earlier.