September 1942 Radio-Craft[Table of Contents]
People old and young enjoy waxing nostalgic about and learning some of the history of early electronics. Radio-Craft was published from 1929 through 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged. See all articles from Radio-Craft.
Do you know these men, or any of the many others that appear in the articles I post from vintage magazines? They might be your father or grandfather, brother or uncle. Once in a great while I will receive an e-mail from somebody telling me he or she recognized a person whose photo was posted with the article. I always try to include the names and, if available, cities of people in picture captions in hopes that the search engines will pick them up. Tracing family roots is a big hobby today and being able to find such an obscure source for a relative's past is a thrill to many such Internet sleuths.
My hobby website, AirplanesAndRockets.com, has received many contacts both from people who see themselves in old articles and who recognize fathers or brothers (not many women appeared in the old hobby magazines). In one case a guy wrote to me saying that the fellow who wrote a monthly column on model rocketry was the father of the woman he married (aka 'father-in-law'). Another time a guy wrote saying he was the photographer who took the edition's cover photo at a contest. Recently, a lady contacted me to say her father, who was an NCO in the USAF and was featured in an article about his collection of model planes, was still alive and living in North Dakota. This is a big part of my motivation for posting these old articles.
By Major J. R. Johnston, Air Corps
Students are shown loading a frequency meter into their ship preparatory to a flight check of the guiding beam signals of their area, putting into practice the theories learned earlier in their course.
A student at work on a breadboard layout. Corporal John F. Pearson, Oklahoma City, Okla., is adjusting the oscillator circuit of a basic Colpitts low-power transmitter.
Instructor Henry C. Royal, Jr., of Farwell, Texas, is helping William R. Skaggs, of Clinton, Mo., analyze the circuit of a low-power aircraft transmitter. In this class the sets are deliberately thrown out of balance and the students "trouble shoot" them.
Located far in the interior of the nation as it is, Scott Field - "Radio University of the Air Corps" - may never know the blasting impact of enemy bombs or the crunch of an Axis soldier's heel. But, nevertheless, Scott Field is playing an ever increasing part in the national war effort.
From air corps posts scattered all over the United States and its possessions come bright-eyed, eager young men seeking the intricate knowledge that will fit them for duty as ground and plane radio operators and mechanics. Here are found college graduates, engineers, chemists, budding attorneys and writers and many young radio enthusiasts of pre-war "Ham" days.
All of them - just how many is a military secret - are obsessed with but one idea - to qualify themselves as quickly as possible for combat service against the Japanese on the west or the two other Axis rattlesnakes in Europe.
The story of Scott Field, located in Southern Illinois, is the story of American defense itself, since the post's establishment in 1917. Then it was a training ground for aviators in World War I, but after making important contributions in that role, it was practically abandoned shortly after the Armistice, when a force of less than 65 men comprised the entire personnel.
In 1920, however, activities were revived to a considerable degree by the designation of the field as the nation's headquarters for the training of airship pilots and balloon observers. That was the day when blimps, dirigibles and other lighter-than-air craft were expected to play an important part in future aerial warfare.
This second chapter in Scott Field's history, during which large expenditures brought about great improvement, was concluded in 1937 when the War Department discontinued its policy on lighter-than-air craft.
For a brief period, the status of future Scott Field operations was in doubt. Soon, however, it was recognized for the advantages of its central location, and was designated as the future home of the General Headquarters Air Force - the principal striking unit of the Army Air Corps. With an appropriation of $7,500,000, outmoded facilities were eliminated and a new hangar, barracks, officers and non-commissioned officers' quarters, general headquarters building, and in all, 73 major buildings were constructed.
This was a far cry from the two old fashioned wooden hangars which had' been built prior to the expansion program. How-' ever, before the proposed establishment of the GHQ Air Force materialized, changes in the War Department's plan added still another chapter to Scott Field's history. Under this plan, announced at the begin-. ning of the national emergency in 1939, Scott Field became the Radio Communications Center of the entire Air Corps. The' expansion program begun two years previously, was a great stride, but now even greater steps have been taken. By the end of this year, thousands of qualified radio men will have been graduated from its many schools.
To meet the demands of war, the courses too have been stepped up remarkably in tempo. Classes in code, radio repair; mathematics, transmitters, receivers, radio compass, circuit analysis, radio telegraph procedure, flight operation and many other .. subjects are taught in the school's extensive curriculum. These classes operate long into the night, for here, as in the rest of the nation, the Army's war effort knows no recess.
In addition, a separate course for communications officers is provided and graduates are immediately commissioned as second lieutenants of the Army Air Corps Reserve upon completion. Then, like the enlisted men, they are sent to all parts of the country for assignment to tactical units of the Air Corps, or to more advanced schools. Not only do Scott Field students obtain instruction on the ground, but are taken aloft in the huge "Flying Classroom" to give them actual experience in plane-to-ground radio operation. The "Flying Classroom" has a capacity of 12 students and a crew of 5 and makes extensive flights throughout the middle west as an integral part of the radio training.
Like most Army posts today, Scott Field is truly a city in itself. It has its own utilities and traffic system, a well-regulated hospital system, its own churches, theaters, gymnasiums and athletic fields. It is named for Corporal Frank W. Scott, who met his death in an experimental flight at the first Army aviation school at College Park, Maryland, in 1912. Its laboratories, training radio operators for the Army Air Forces, are among the best-equipped in the world.
The present commanding officer at Scott Field is Co!. Wolcott P. Hayes, who arrived at the post in July, 1940. Co!. Hayes joined the Army in 1917, taking an examination for a commission in the cavalry. In December, he was promoted to first lieutenant, and in July, 1918, transferred to the Philippine Islands with the. rank of captain. While there he was transferred to the Air Corps, later to be advanced to his present rank in that branch, Co!. Hayes holds ratings as command pilot, combat observer and technical observer.
Posted December 4, 2014