September 1945 Radio-Craft
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
"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.
Civilian-Military Service Station
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
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
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