"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
By 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
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
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
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
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