It is probably safe to say that most people,
especially today, believe that the United States was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust
into involvement in World War II
on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl
Harbor. The fact is the U.S. was "unofficially" engaged for over a year beforehand
by "lending" both equipment and personnel to British, Russian, Chinese, French,
and other militaries as part of their effort to drive back invading German, Italian,
and Japanese Axis forces. World War II actually began in the Fall of1939 with
Hitler's invasion of Poland. Americans, being safely separated from the front lines
by the Seven Seas, knew little of and were concerned little about the goings on
the call to arms was sounded with the Pearl Harbor attack, the country quickly and
enthusiastically converted to full wartime mode. Manufacturing plants for many kinds
of products used in the various theaters of war halted production of commercial
and consumer products and dedicated operations to making certain our fighting men
had all the supplies and equipment needed to not just defeat the enemy but assure
the battle would never reach our shores - which we did and it never did, respectively.
Makers of automobiles, trucks, ships, trains, airplanes, rifles, ammunition,
clothing, footwear, television, radios, medical supplies, and other items reconfigured
production lines to rapidly turn out tanks, Jeeps, and amphibious vehicles; tents,
uniforms, and flags; battleships, aircraft carriers and landing craft; bombers,
fighters and troop transports; first aid kits, field operating equipment, and antibiotics;
portable radios, radars, and cryptograph machines. As such, a lot of common products
that had been easily obtained began to disappear from store shelves and showrooms.
Advertisements like the one shown in the June 4, 1942 edition of the Harrisburg
Telegraph newspaper, which I retrieved thanks to my subscription to
Newspapers.com, alerted readers to the
impending scarcity of new radios. A while back I posted a notice in the September
1942 issue of Radio-Craft magazine titled, "Crosley Scraps '43 Line for Military Radios." In fact, I suppose
that my 1941 vintage
Crosley 03CB floor console radio was probably one of the last
pre-war models of a Crosley radio! It was not until the early-to-middle days of
1945 that companies began running notices that they already were or soon would be
back to making products for public consumption again.
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas
and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer.
The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available
in the form of WYSIWYG
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