Escape and Evasion Compass Button
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The Escape & Evasion Compass Button was inspired by the ingenious, disguised compasses developed for Allied airmen and commandos during World War II. The British MI9 intelligence organization crafted a variety of clever escape tools which could be carried by aircrew in danger of being captured by Axis forces and were even mailed to prisoners of war inside care packages from fictitious charitable aid organizations.
Not to be outdone, the US War Department also created an agency dedicated to helping prisoners liberate themselves whenever possible. Designated simply as PO Box 1142 but known internally as the Escape Factory, the clandestine group was headquartered at Fort Hunt in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington DC.
Both organizations sent thousands of maps, compasses, and components for transistor radios hidden inside hairbrushes, decks of cards, hollowed-out baseballs and other disguised items to prisoners of war held all over Europe.
The Escape and Evasion Compass Button is an updated, modernized tool that can save your life and is a tribute to those that came before. These specialized escape compasses resemble clothing buttons and feature barely visible markings, intended to hide in plain sight and be overlooked by anyone who isn’t already familiar with them. It can be substituted for one of the buttons on your existing clothing or just sewn into a garment as a spare button, which are commonly found on the inside of shirt plackets manufactured worldwide. When removed from your clothing and used properly, the compasses indicate gross magnetic north.
To use the compass, simply remove it from wherever you’ve stashed or sewn it and then pull out the titanium gimbal pin. With the pin’s point oriented upward, place the button with its bottom (flat) side down onto the pin in the hidden 5th hole in the center of the bottom side. The button will then self-orient and after a few seconds the small dimple on the top of the button will indicate magnetic north.
To reduce its signature even further, you can push the titanium gimbal pin all the way into the button so it is flush with the edge. But you'll need a toothpick or something similar to push it out from the other side in order to use it when you need it.
Always be prepared – sew one of these into your clothing so you’ll always have a direction-finding tool available when you need it the most. Choose between black or tan buttons, whichever best suits your intended hiding spot.
The Escape & Evasion Compass is manufactured in the USA by a small business.
Diameter - 3/4”
Thickness - 3/16”
Weight - 0.07 oz
Material – Plastic and Titanium