September 1945 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.
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" was more than just a clever slogan during World War II. It was a way of life that extended to both civilian and military realms. While civilians were being both encouraged and compelled to make the most of what was available, military operations were scavenging, borrowing, begging, confiscating, manufacturing, and cannibalizing. According to this 1945 article in Radio-Craft magazine, France was an important center for not just resurrecting battle-damaged Handi-Talkie and other types of radios, but for taking salvageable components out of unrepairable units. The bit about grinding special crystals for the French underground radios is especially interesting.
French civilians "cannibalize" irreparable radios under direction of American sergeant.
Handie-Talkie and receiver repairs.
The U.S. Army's policy of employing civilian personnel wherever possible in its installations in France paid military dividends in the Signal Corps' largest salvage, repair and spare parts depot in the European Theater.
One thousand French civilians were employed at the depot at its peak. In December 1944 the depot carried in stock 20,000 spare parts items, totaling 225 tons. By March of this year those figures had increased to 50,000 weighing 950 tons.
During the first three months of this year the soldier and civilian workmen completed 12,000 repair jobs despite the fact that an estimated nine out of every ten items sent back from the front had been so badly shot up that they were good for salvage of undamaged parts only.
At the same time and up to V-E day, the Army's best team of crystal manufacturers were turning out 360 specially ground crystals a week. Activated last August, this group was made up of top-flight specialists and technicians drawn from the Signal Corps units throughout the Theater.
For example: The fifteen-man crystal team was the unit which made the special frequency crystals used in the radios of the French resistance leaders. These men were parachuted into France months before the invasion.
Reclaiming used communication wire.
Posted October 26, 2014