When America was drawn into World War II after the attack
on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the country snapped into
action and our citizens were ready, willing, and able to help.
One big immediate need was knowledgeable electronics technicians
and engineers, particularly people with experience in radio
communications. Amateur radio operators were the natural reserve
source for just that need. The FCC shut down Ham radio transmissions
in January 1942 ostensibly for security reasons, but some suspect
the reason was at least partly to motivate Hams to enter the
armed services or work at government research laboratories.
Still feeling the lingering effects of The Great Depression
that began with the Wall Street collapse in October 1929, many
long-out-of-work citizens welcomed the chance to be gainfully
employed once again - especially doing something they loved.
According to this article from the January 1942 edition of
QST magazine, pay at some military posts was around
$1,620 a year which, according to the BLS'
Inflation Calculator, is equivalent to $23,514.75 in 2015
Unlike with the September 11, 2001 attack on the homeland
by Muslim extremists when many people told us we need to understand
the motivations of the terrorists, in 1941 the spontaneous reaction
was to wipe out the enemy regardless of his declared motivations.
"Radar" in the Navy
The Navy is going in for radiolocation in a big way and needs
5000 men as technicians and Radar maintenance men. To obtain
applicants with radio experience who can be trained in the secret
new work in the shortest possible time, the Navy wants amateurs!
Naval recruiting officers have the details.
Many American civilians are serving as noncombatant
technical experts with the British as members of the Civilian
Technical Corps, the radio portion of which work is concerned
principally with the maintenance of secret locator gear. Here
is an official British Ministry of Information photo just received
in this country by air, showing some American hams of the CTC
who are now receiving instruction at an RAF radio school "somewhere
in England." Left to right, front row:
Campbell, W6TOQ; Lessard, WIFFL; Baker, W5CBZ;
Tallman, W1JTI; Gould, ex-W1BVF. Back row: Davis, W9VVW; Turner,
W9OIR; Ingraham, ex-W8CGE; Farrio, W4FOK; Wright, W9UYA. Pretty
snazzy art for a government photo, too.
Enrollments in CTC are still open. See August
QST, page 36. Particulars and forms may be had from CTC, c/o
British Consulate General, 25 Broadway, New York, or from the
nearest British Consulate.
Applicants must be high-school graduates; must hold or have
held an Amateur Class A or B license; or, if no ham experience,
must be engaged in radio repair work or have had experience
of h.f. communication. Enlistment is as radioman second class,
USNR, with immediate orders to active duty for the purpose of
receiving six to eight months schooling in the new technique.
A new Radio Material School for this purpose will soon be opened
on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. Until it is completed,
students will go to the naval radio training school at either
Los Angeles or Noroton, Conn. Upon successful completion of
the course, men will be candidates for promotion up to and including
chief radioman, depending upon qualifications.
These high ratings and the creation of the special schooling
indicate the great importance of this service and give point
to the Navy's desire for skilled amateurs to man it. It is a
field in which you'll meet many ham buddies.
War Department Operators
There is a continuing and urgent need for high-speed radio-equipment
operators in the fixed service of the War Department. Over 200
positions paying $1,620 a year are now open at various Army
posts throughout the United States and territories. These are
Civil Service jobs called Junior Communications Operator, High-Speed
Radio Equipment, and are covered by Announcement No. 20 and
an amendment thereto. Particulars and forms may be had from
major post offices or the Civil Service district offices: see
page 28 of November QST.
The requirements for JCO have just been relaxed. Applicants
must be citizens not over 48 years old; must have had at least
one year of experience as radiotelegraph operator in commercial
or government systems, which must have included at least three
months' experience in the operation of high-speed equipment.
Training at a service school may be substituted month-for-month
for the operator experience except the three months required
in the high-speed field. Candidates must be capable of reading,
and transcribing to typewriter, syphon-recorder tape at a sustained
speed of 40 w.p.m.; operate perforators at 40; copy audio English
to typewriter at 30 and code groups at 20; be capable of "touch"
typing at a sustained speed of 50. Unassembled examination,
open until further notice.
On page 28 of our November issue, we gave some details of
the Civil Service's solicitation of radio mechanic-technicians
now needed in large number for a variety of positions in numerous
government agencies, as per Announcement No. 134. At that time
the offer was open only until November 6th, but an inadequate
number of applications were received and the closing date has
been removed - applications will now be accepted until further
Originally in five pay grades from $1440 to $2300, a new
grade of Chief Radio Mechanic-Technician has been added at $2600.
At the same time, the experience requirements have been modified
somewhat downward, and education may be substituted for part
of the required experience. Details may be found at your post
office or local Civil Service office. Ask to see both Announcement
134 and its amendment.
Free Radio Engineering Training
In our last issue, page 26, and in the November number, page
29, we reported the availability of free technical schooling
in a large number of educational institutions in cooperation
with the U. S. Office of Education. An announcement from the
University of Maryland brings to hand a specific example.
There is urgent need of radio engineers and other technical
radio men in defense work. If a sufficient number of applicants
can be found, the university plans to convene on January 5th
a full-time day course in radio engineering, continuing through
August 7th. The course will deal with advanced theory and practical
radio engineering, the student spending a minimum of forty hours
a week in lecture room and laboratory. Tuition expenses are
borne by the government, the student paying his own living expenses.
Requirements for admission include a degree in electrical engineering
or a minimum of three years' E.E. training at a recognized college.
The appearances are that all students completing the training
will receive good offers of employment. Application forms and
an outline of the proposed curriculum may be had from Dean S.
S. Steinberg, College of Engineering, University of Maryland,
College Park, Md.
January 1942 QST
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
QST, published December 1915 - present. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Posted May 25, 2015