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Smart Radio?

Wartime tends to result in innovative measures for communications and electronics technologies. Just prior to World War I, the areas of communications and electronics had begun a rather rapid evolution that would eventfully lead to where we are today. The use of radios in WWI, a technological advance or innovation in and of itself, would give way to innovations that would provide an answer to newly evolving questions related to the need to know what your adversary was saying. Why this question? From a tactical standpoint the answer would allow you to determine what your adversary was planning.

The photograph featured in this blog is both interesting and intriguing!

CE Museum Photo #288

CE Museum Photo #288

 

According to information that is available with the photograph, the photo is of a mobile radio intelligence station that was located in what was for four years an area considered no man’s land. The purpose of this mobile station was to intercept communications made by the enemy. The station was, as stated on the back of the photograph, equipped with a very powerful wireless set

This station could also be used for goniometric purposes. Goniometry involved the use of an apparatus to quickly determine compass bearings of any station sending a message. Using the bearings collected from a few stations the operator could determine the intersect point of the compass bearings for the signal, and then determine the enemy station location; with this information, troop concentrations could also be determined. An excellent discussion of this tactic can be found in the “Report of the Chief Signal Officer to the Secretary of War” for 1919.

The photograph featured here is of a station near Avocourt, Meuse, France, on 22 October 1918

These items and other communications-related documents and photographs are available for review at the CECOM Historical Office. The Historical Office is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Contact us via our Web-based contact form at http://cecom.army.mil/historian/contactus.php for additional information.

This post was written by Floyd Hertweck.

Posted in From the Archives.

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School’s In Session

The Signal School was located at Fort Monmouth, NJ, until it moved to Fort Gordon, GA in 1974, though limited classes continued at Fort Monmouth until 1976. Below is one of hundreds of classes that passed through Fort Monmouth for the Officers’ Basic Course.

CE Museum Photo #606

CE Museum Photo #606

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane!

In the early days of Fort Monmouth, when it was known as Camp Alfred Vail, the Army in conjunction with the aspiring radio laboratory operated an airfield and maintained four hanger buildings. The information here is heavily borrowed from a history of the Fort and CECOM that was generated by the CECOM History Office. We tell this story here to introduce a couple of photographs of the airfield operations. These photographs, and other photographs related to the airfield and as well of numerous other subjects are included as part of a larger collection of materials that was received by the Historical Office in 2011. This blog site has hosted numbers of the photographs from this collection.

Shortly after the laboratory operations that were set up at the Camp became operational it followed that the air-to-ground radio equipment that was being produced required ninety to ninety-five airplane flights a week for testing. As noted in a Fort Monmouth history, due to the number of flights, residents had mistakenly believed that Camp Alfred Vail was an airfield.

CE Museum Photo #390

CE Museum Photo #390

To carry out the testing, two squadrons for the United States Army Air Service were assigned to the base in 1918, including the 504th Aero Squadron arriving on 4 February 1918. This Squadron consisted of one officer and 100 enlisted men; the first planes along with the Squadron, arrived at the Camp in March 1918. The second Squadron, the 122nd Aero Squadron, consisted of 12 officers and 157 enlisted men.

Flying activity at Camp Alfred Vail reached its peak with personnel of the 122nd Aero Squadron operating a total of twenty aircraft that included two DeHaviland 4s, nine Curtiss JN4-Hs, six Curtiss 4-6Hos, and three Curtiss JN-4Ds.

The first flights did not take off until May 1918 as the 122nd was quarantined upon arrival due to several cases of measles.

Following the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the Aviation Section was moved from Camp Alfred Vail. As stated by the Historical Office in various editions of Fort Monmouth’s history, the laboratory “had made enormous headway in adapting radio to aircraft for World War I.”

On 13 December 1918, orders were received to ship all aeronautical equipment from the Camp. The Hanger buildings were then adapted for use by the Radio Laboratory. The last of the Hangers was demolished in the 1970s. The photographic collection maintained by the history office contains a number of photographs related to the hangers as well as some additional photographs showing the Hanger buildings in operation.

CE Museum Photo #392

CE Museum Photo #392

These photographs and others are available through the CECOM Historical Office. The Historical Office is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Contact us via our Web-based contact form at http://cecom.army.mil/historian/contactus.php for additional information.

This post was written by Floyd Hertweck.

Posted in From the Archives.

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Telefunken (Gesundheit!)

Over the past few years the CECOM Historical Office has accessioned a large number of items, including photographs/negatives, documents, and technical manuals/reports. Through postings to our blog site, we will be introducing some of parts of this collection to our readers.

With this post, we will be introducing the Telefunken. Telefunken was a (German) brand name that was applied to and became the common name for a telephone set that was used in military applications. The materials related to the Telefunken contained in the CECOM archive date from the early 1900s to about 1912.

The two photographs included here, both from the History Office collection, are (1) of the Telefunken Field Wireless Set (Pack) – transmitter chest and transmitting apparatus and (2) the Telefunken Field Wireless Set (Pack) – receiving chest and receiving apparatus. In addition to these two photographs there are also photos of the Telefunken set as set up with a mast, a wiring diagram, the Telefunken as set up at various locations such as at Fort Leavenworth, at the Coast artillery school at Fort Monroe, and as a wagon radio set.

CE Museum Photo #24a

CE Museum Photo #24a

CE Museum Photo #24b

CE Museum Photo #24b

 

The following documents that address the Telefunken set are also included in the Historical Office’s archive.

The first document set consists of a collection of drawings for Tast-u.Modulationsgerat Type ST 577 S zum 700 Watt Kurzw-Senders S467S, partial set of typed operational instructions (front page missing), a diagram “Schaltbild des 700 Watt Kurzw-Senders S467S.

The second document is a typed collection of papers/report titled “Telefunken.” This report is for the 700 Watt Shortwave Code and Voice transmitter Type: S 467 S, Wavelength Range 20 – 90 m. This report includes hand drawn diagrams, photographs, set characteristics, construction, hookup and operation, installation, and directions for use. There is also a German version of what appears to be the same report.

The third document was found in a collection of “Signal Corps Bulletins.” This particular set of bulletins starts in 1906, and runs through 1912 and in large part are informational or advisory publications. In this collection, Bulletin No. 15 from 1912 is titled “Telefunken Wagon Sets.”

These items and other communications-related documents and photographs are available for review at the CECOM Historical Office. The Historical Office is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground. If interested, the reader can also contact the Historical office through our “contact us” Web page at http://cecom.army.mil/historian/contactus.php.

This post was written by Floyd Hertweck.

Posted in From the Archives.

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Happy 2015!

It was business as usual at Camp Alfred Vail on New Year’s Eve, 31 December 1918. Hostilities had ceased in Europe, and the Signal Corps Radio Laboratories were ready to make technological history in the years to come.

CE Museum Photo#4859

CE Museum Photo#4859

Posted in From the Archives, This Day In History, This Week in CECOM History.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past

The CECOM historians extend our best wishes for the holiday with the cover of the Fort Monmouth Christmas program from 1934.

Christmas 1934 Ft Monmouth00000117

Posted in From the Archives, This Week in CECOM History.

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Mallard Project

Included in the CECOM Historical Office’s archive is a smaller collection (about 0.3 linear foot of material) of materials related to the Mallard Project. The Mallard Project (“Mallard”) did not originate at CECOM predecessor ECOM, but rather was a project assigned to the ECOM location. “Mallard” which operated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was an outgrowth of the ABCA (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia Armies) Agreement. As such the project was conducted with the involvement of all four of these countries. The location was in a freshly constructed building located on Hance Avenue, in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, a short distance from Fort Monmouth.

Dedication Booklet - 1967

Dedication Booklet – 1967

As an outgrowth of the ABCA, there were four flag poles in front of the building. At the onset, the project appears to have only involved three countries (The United States, Australia, and Canada). Note the flag poles on the image of the dedication brochure. Eventually the United Kingdom would also become a participant. The project was a major cooperative effort between these three countries, with the purpose being the development of a comprehensive secure tactical communication system for the field armies of the cooperating countries.

“Mallard” was divided into three stages, to include 1) definition of operational and technical requirements (“Mallard I”), 2) detailed study of the systems and equipments (“Mallard II”), and 3) advanced development, engineering development and production (“Mallard III”).

“Mallard I” ended with the completion of its major objectives by defining initial user requirements. The Mallard I study identified quantitative and qualitative requirements of the ABCA nations. The qualitative parameters were broad, to include mobility, flexibility, responsiveness, reliability, and more definitive requirements of security for nodes, mobile access (Single-channel radio access), and ability to accommodate voice, teletypewriter, and facsimile users.

“Mallard I” was the only stage of the project that was carried out to completion with the involvement of all of the agreeing countries; at the end of “Mallard I”, the United States withdrew from the project to seek other alternatives. At that time, Mallard was dissolved and the “Mallard II and III” stages were reexamined and redefined as four phases to include: 1) system studies and techniques investigation in support of the system studies, 2) development functional models and/or stimulations, 3) engineering development, and 4) production of the system to satisfy requirements of the four governments.

This is a really high-level overview of what was a unique cooperative effort that actually discusses the implementation of a project that traces its inception back to WWII.

The CECOM Historical Office Mallard Project collection includes a joint history of the Mallard Project, news articles and press releases, biographical materials on participants, and Annual Historical Summaries. Interested readers should contact the Historical office on the contact page located at http://cecom.army.mil/historian/contactus.php for additional information.

This blog was written by Floyd Hertweck.

Press Release - 1970

Press Release – 1970

 

 

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Checking In

Bravo Company guards at check points. 20 Dec 2001

Image #0466

Image #0466

For bibliography purposes, these images can be cited:

Image #—, “US Army Photo collection, C-E Museum Acquisition” from the CECOM Historical Office archive, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

Make sure to double-check your style guide for the appropriate method of citation for your work. Need a higher resolution version of this same photo? Leave us a comment below or click on our contact page above, and reference the image number. Each of the scanned originals is approximately 2-11 MB.

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Radar at Pearl Harbor – December 1941

The radar equipment developed in secret by the Camp Evans Signal Laboratory was in use on the morning on 7 December 1941 in Hawaii.

CE Museum Photo #2559

CE Museum Photo #2559

The photograph shows the Antenna Array of the SCR 270B Radar Installation installed at Opana, Oahu, Hawaii. This is the same radar that was used to detect and track the Japanese attack against targets on the Island of Oahu on 7 December 1941. Unfortunately, the warnings were ignored. The photograph was taken late in December of 1941.

Posted in This Day In History, This Week in CECOM History.

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Signal School

Students in Signal Officers Basic Course, Section 764 in Comcenter class, first ever being held in Squier Hall, Fort Monmouth, NJ. Capt. Willaim Tripp, Instr., O.D.T.S.S, F.M.N.J., using training aid to instruct students Lt. Arthur Withington, Lt Charles Fowler, and Lt. John Paul Jones. 11 July 1955

Image # 0608

Image # 0608

For bibliography purposes, these images can be cited:

Image #—, “US Army Photo collection, C-E Museum Acquisition” from the CECOM Historical Office archive, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD.

Make sure to double-check your style guide for the appropriate method of citation for your work. Need a higher resolution version of this same photo? Leave us a comment below or click on our contact page above, and reference the image number. Each of the scanned originals is approximately 2-11 MB.

Posted in Photo Series.

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