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For the Record - Amateur Radio & Radar Technology
October 1945 Radio News Article

October 1945 Radio News
October 1945 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

"For the Record" was a regular feature in Radio News magazine in the 1940s. Written by the editor (Oliver Read, W9ETI, at the time), it was sometimes a collection of industry news items and other times a treatise on a particular relevant topic. This October 1945 issue dealt with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announcing the reinstatement of transmitting privileges to Amateur Radio operators who were restricted to receive-only during the war years - ostensibly for national security reasons. While welcome news, it applied only to Hams already licensed prior to the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. New Hams would be dealt with later. Mr. Read also highlight the emergence of radar technology being adapted from wartime use to civil aircraft traffic control. The Department of Defense was working on declassifying radar secrets so companies in the process of converting their manufacturing facilities and products back to prior conditions.

Amateur Radio Privileges Restored & Radar Technology

For the Record - Amateur Radio & Radar, October 1945 Radio News - RF CafeBy The Editor

The Federal Communications Commission announced, on August 21st, that, effective at once, amateur radio operators in good standing who have been off the air since Pearl Harbor may operate until November 15, 1945, in the 112 to 115.5 megacycle band.

They will share this band with the War Emergency Radio Service, which was established as a temporary radio service for emergency communication in connection with national defense and conditions jeopardizing public safety. Many of the operators in this service were amateur volunteers. This WERS service will be terminated on November 15, 1945.

About 60,000 amateur operators were licensed at the time the Commission ordered them off the air after the outbreak of war. All of these, except those whose operator licenses were suspended or whose station licenses were revoked, will be eligible to operate in the 112 to 115.5 megacycle band thrown open by the Commission today.

Before the end of the provisional period announced today, the Commission will announce a further policy on future amateur operation. It is anticipated that other bands allocated to amateurs in the recent FCC frequency allocations will be made available to them as soon as they are vacated by present users. We predict more frequencies will be returned very soon.

American radar, second only in effectiveness to the atomic bomb, now comes under the spotlight to reveal some of its technical magic. No one can deny the importance of radar as a contributing factor in winning both the European and Japanese war. The development of radar to its present high level of effectiveness has been the result of outstanding contributions made by American and English scientists.

We predicted many months ago that this would be, and it certainly has been, a radar war. Ever since Pearl Harbor the development of radar systems has progressed at a rapid rate. Many designs and changes have followed one another in rapid succession. Radar was not an old weapon, it was a new one especially adapted to global warfare on and over the earth and at sea.

Much has happened since Radio-News presented the first story on the British radio locator. Many of you remember it. What has been accomplished is now history and the saving of thousands of lives can be attributed to the intelligent use of radar in. the hands of Allied personnel thoroughly schooled to master the new technique employed.

Types of radar may be broadly classified in two categories. First comes the "search" type that sweeps distant and wide areas to detect the approximate position of a target. The second type is the "fire control" which employs a narrow beam to determine precisely the position of the target in order that shells can be aimed properly or that bombs can be released at the exact proper moment.

The search operation may be com-pared to the scanning of an entire scene with a naked eye. On the other hand, the fire control type of radar is comparable to focusing a telescope to "draw a bead" on the target,

Radar has not been developed by any one man or by anyone manufacturer. Many firms pitched in with their full facilities in order to produce many types of radar in the quickest possible time. In fact, one large laboratory developed and produced designs for nearly 100 radars.

To illustrate the effective use of radar let us review quickly some typical "case histories." American troops on the Anzio beachhead in Italy were taking a terrific pounding from Army night bombers. A new fire control radar was brought in and the following morning after its first night of action, the ground was strewn with Nazi planes. The night attacks stopped. The Nazis found out that they were losing too many aircraft. The same type of radar saw plenty of action in the Pacific by furnishing anti-aircraft protection on Saipan, Leyte, Okinawa, and on other Islands, especially during the early days of each invasion.

At sea in the battle of Santa Cruz Islands, the South Dakota was credited with shooting down thirty-two enemy planes during one engagement through the use of fire control radar. In the battle of Savo Islands, the same ship teamed up with the USS Washington to sink three Japanese cruisers plus one or two battleships with the aid of another fire control radar which supplied firing information to their main batteries. This engagement began at midnight and Japanese reaction to the amazing accuracy of U.S. Navy guns in pitch darkness at a great range is shown by the following authenticated story: It was a night battle near Guadalcanal; our warships had sunk a number of enemy ships before they could open fire. A Japanese officer, fished out of the water, asked immediately to see what he called "your six inch machine gun with the electric eye pointer." This Jap was referring, of course, to our cruiser's guns which had fired so fast and with such accuracy that he thought they were huge machine guns.

These are only a fraction of the many case histories where radar has been used in combating our enemies. Radar, like a tree, has grown from many roots. It has been developed through years of research and experiment. In fact, during all stages of the development of radar, the techniques of the communications art have been drawn upon by the engineers and scientists. In giving due credit to the development of radar we must recognize radar as being a "joint development." Now that we have reached a happy conclusion in our war effort, let us recognize the effective results that may be obtained only by carefully planned and extended team work on the part of nations fighting side by side to attain the common objective. Let us be careful in giving our credit to any one individual and, finally, let us be thankful that both American and foreign scientists rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to develop the potent weapon that is radar.

We are devoting considerable space in this issue to a review of some of the radar equipment used during the war. Space does not permit a complete resume. As time goes on and restrictions are lifted we will bring you later units.

Postwar applications for radar are many. To fly a plane in dense fog or to sail a ship on the high seas without fear has always been the dream of the pilot and navigator. Today it is a reality.

Yes - science moves on. We know now that the electronic tube is playing a vital role in the development of the atomic bomb. Let no one under-estimate the vast use to which electronic tubes will continue to perform in the postwar era .... O.R.

 

 

Posted December 14, 2021

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