Radar: The Silent Weapon of World War 2
October 1945 Radio News Article
the history of radar intrigues you, then you will not want to miss this
article titled "Radar: The Silent Weapon of World War 2,"
from the October 1945 edition of Radio News. There are a couple
dozen photos of early radar equipment installations on land, ships,
and aircraft. Radar pioneers Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor, Chief Consultant and
Chief Coordinator of Electronics at Naval Research Laboratory, and Leo
C. Young are pictured reminiscing over the "scope" of radar's history
beside the first radar set at the Research Laboratory. In 1922, while
experimenting with communications equipment for the Navy, the two men
made the initial discovery of distortion in radio reception caused by
the intrusion of objects between the transmitter and receiver. Working
from this discovery, they and a number of associates made great strides
forward into the vast sphere of scientific fields covered by the word "radar"
today. Do you see the name(s) of anyone you know?
Thanks to Terry W. for providing this article.
Radar: The Silent Weapon of World
The trellis-work of this ship's radar, outlined against the
sky, is in contrast to the small antenna on the wing of the General
Motors Avenger torpedo bomber shown in foreground. Close inspection
at this plane installation will reveal the "teeth" of
the antenna affixed to the terminal of the white strut. This installation
is a Yagi type antenna. The vessel is a Navy escort aircraft carrier,
photographed while at sea.
AN ELECTRONIC "eye" apparently developed independently
by U.S., British, French, and German scientists in the 1930s, radar
owes much of its rapid growth to the advent of war. First used in detection
of surface objects in the near-distance under conditions of poor visibility,
radar's range and versatility were quickly extended to provide long-range
detection of air-borne, as well as surface objects, accuracy in fire-control,
and identification of distant or unrecognizable planes and ships. To
radar, the silent weapon of World War 2, goes much of the credit for
England's doughty defense in the dark days of the "blitz",
and also for "lighting the way" for our victories in the Pacific.
|Thinking cap" of the PT boats, the "radome"
bulb, shown circled, houses the antenna of the radar set aboard
the vessel Invaluable to the hard-hitting PTs, because of their
habitual tendency to operate under the cover of night, radar's
electronic eye pierces the darkness. indicating the various
targets and warning of immediate navigational dangers.
||Enlisted men in a radar unit listen to instruction during
shakedown cruise of a Navy warship. Instructors are also enlisted
men chosen for their aptitude and actual experience.
|Radar equipment at the Naval Research Laboratory,
Chesapeake Bay Annex, recently made this "search"
of surrounding terrain. Lettered on the photographs of the PPI
(Plan Position Indicator) scope are designations of points picked
up by radar pulse. Compare the photograph (left) made with a
considerably larger range with the photograph (right) made with
a substantially lesser range, both of which represent scope
of the same area. Notice how "pips" converge when
the range is widened and diverge when the range is lessened.
|Radar takes a lot of the woe out of mountain
flying. A navigator equipped with relief maps and scope pictures
can determine his position without any trouble al any hour of
the day or night. as the radar scope will show a pattern almost
identical with his maps. Above photographs show scope picture
(left) compared to same section on relief map (right).
|(Left, Center) Radar's directional characteristics are
such that its results can be minimized by contour of terrain
below. These two pictures of Innsbruck. Austria. illustrate
what directional approach can do. Picture at left made on approach
from south. shows city. Picture at right made on approach from
north. spots general contour of valley. but fails to show the
city proper. (Right) This photograph of a ship's PPI (Plan
Position Indicator) scope was taken during the invasion of Lingayen
on Luzon. The cluster of white dots shown in the photograph
represents warships in the bombardment group: the large white
mass. the coast. headlands. and highlands of the island: behind
the attack flotilla. transports and the other ships composing
the large invasion armada throw light pips on the radar scope.
|P·38 radar reconnaissance missions provide scope
photographs for routes to and from the targets, as well as series
of target runs, made from the cardinal points of the compass
and from the logical axes of attack. The scope photographs made
by reconnaissance planes are plotted on maps and reproduced
for reference by Pathfinder operators during the actual bombing
missions. In the photograph at left. forest areas around Vienna.
Austria are resolved on scope in droopsnoot P·38. Returns are
good enough to be used as check points in radar navigation.
Map at right covers same area as shown on scope."
|Scope picture" of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands made
by a Navy plane on a radar test. Blob of light in center of
the photograph marks the position of plane as shown on indicator
of its radar: the island itself is the largest white area with
low points in the topography in black. The two "pips"
between the inner and second circles are ships.
||Radar repeater unit which repeats information from main
SG type radar so operator in remote position may have indication
exactly the same as main unit. Units of this type enable several
positions to simultaneously monitor main radar unit. thus eliminating
much delay in transmitting Information to all locations at one
time and affording multiple checks.
||Radar photography experts consider this picture one of the
best of its type. It was taken over the Munich area. with Munich
proper shown as the light spot at the top.
Operator using a type SG radar indicator to obtain the range
and bearing of target, The relative bearing of operator's
ship may be seen in center, just to the left of scope. Equipment
of this nature is also used for plotting position of ship.
Close-up of a typical pattern as seen on an SG radar scope.
A picture such as this affords the operator a complete picture
of the territory in all directions from the ship in spite of
the log or darkness, and may be quite readily compared with
ordinary, conventional maps.
|Study in black and white-radar training at a naval air station
in U.S. Officers and men spend long hours. that will later pay
dividends, studying intricacies of the "electronic eye"
in simulated plot room.
||A typical parabolic antenna used with many types of radar
equipment. By employing a parabolic antenna, very high gain
and a highly directional beam are obtained.
|The slim and angular "elbows" of radar antennas
are silhouetted atop folded wings of these Curtiss Helldivers
spotted on flight deck of a Navy Essex-class carrier somewhere
at sea. Adding this equipment to Navy planes gave the effect
of applying telescopes to the "eyes of the Fleet"
as aircraft are often known.
Through the electronic eye of radar. a Navy man determines distance
and bearing of his "target" during experiments at
the Naval Air Station, Anacostia. D.C. The indicator bearing
the graph-like line in the center of the equipment is an A-scope;
the large disc into which he is peering s a PPI scope - Plan
Radar equipped P-38 "Lightning" reconnaissance plane,
its "droop snoot" nose crammed with special electronic
devices. readies for a take-off. Trips like these precede visits
of giant bombers against enemy industrial targets. Intensive
preliminary planning characterizes reconnaissance trips of this
nature since the plane carries no armament and is under orders
to avoid combat. Pilot and radar operator agree on final details
of flight plan which will be followed.
Instruction and improvements in radar are constant necessities
in the Navy. At this station on Espiritu Santo, two types of
radar antennas can be seen - one housed in a radome near the
ground, the other installed on a towering "mast" By
their use, Navy men on duty instruct or get instruction on latest
in radar operations.
Information provided by radar's electronic eye is marked
down on a vertical chart in the radar plot room of an Essex-class
carrier during strikes against the Japs early in 1945. Behind
the transparent expanse of the giant circle other enlisted men
can be seen working on various additional aspects of the incoming
flow of information.
Pioneer workers in radar, Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor (right), Chief
Consultant and Chief Coordinator of Electronics at Naval Research
Laboratory, Anacostia, D.C., and his long-time associate, Leo
C. Young reminisce over the "scope" of radar's
history beside the first radar set at the Research Laboratory.
Few men know the history better. In 1922, while experimenting
with communications equipment for the Navy, they made the initial
discovery of distortion in radio reception caused by the intrusion
of objects between transmitter and receiver. Working from this
discovery, the two men and a number of associates and assistants
made giant strides forward into the vast sphere of scientific
fields covered by the word "radar" today. The equipment
in the background, crude and elementary in comparison with the
sets of today, was a breathtaking innovation when first used
Close-up of the antenna of the first complete radar, installed "topside"
of a building at Naval Research Laboratory in Anacostia, D.C.,
in the late 1930s. It is a "dirigible" antenna, meaning
it is so mounted that it can be turned to allow for around the
compass search. See photograph lower right for below-decks equipment.
Photograph of the first radar installation on a ship. Shown
in the upper right-hand comer is a Yagi-type antenna mounted
to a five-inch gun on the old USS Leary in 1937. The antenna
was swung about by moving the gun. The photograph was taken
during epochal tests in Chesapeake Bay, when equipment marked
a monumental milestone in radar's history.
Below-decks view of the first complete radar set. The "dirigible"
mast in the very center of the photograph pierces the ceiling
and its upper extension bears the mattress antenna of the radar.
Thus the operator below can turn the mast to cover the compass
while making a search. The antenna can also be tilted. with
the handle visible on the side of the mast. This equipment was
so heavy, compared to present sets. that in order to tilt and
turn it, two men had to do the job.