How High Tech Radios helped win WW2 in the South West Pacific.
World War 2 in the Pacific commenced with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941. U.S.A. General MacArthur arrived in Brisbane on 21 July 1942 shortly after having been appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in the South West Pacific Area and immediately set up his General Headquarters there.
Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), by unknown photographer
The United States army immediately set up radio communications with its headquarters in the USA. Early in 1943 the army’s most important radio receiving and transmitting stations were operational in South East Queensland at Capalaba in the now Redland City and at Hemmant the latter being within the Brisbane City boundary. Both were located strategically near Moreton Bay for optimum reception and transmission of communications to and from the allied forces. Radio infrastructure was heavily deployed, much of which remained in use after the war. Message handling is critical in wartime and importantly both sites worked to save thousands of lives through the movement of very large volumes of messages correctly and in a timely manner.
Very little was known about these top secret sites and the technology used at the time. An important historical record has now been pieced together by our own long standing Bayside District Amateur Radio Society member Laurence J. Murray, Licensed Radio Amateur Callsign VK4LO, with the assistance of a number of radio amateurs within the Society and elsewhere in Australia and overseas. In addition, it is based on interviews with people who worked at the sites after the war and who in some instances knew those who had worked for the Americans. The assistance provided is gratefully acknowledged by the Society.
The account documents the records from various sources including Commonwealth Government Archives, and local, state and international arenas. The material includes a lot of technical data and facts that are not only important in a historical sense but lay the foundation for technical information for future generations.
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