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Radio History Question--Pearl Harbor Navy & Army Communications Before Attack?

Sep 14th 2013, 17:20


Joined: Jan 7th 2009, 12:50
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Apologies if this request is poorly placed--I'm unsure where in the ARRL Forums to post questions of an historical nature.

Does anyone know...or know of authoritative references...regarding the degree of organized joint Navy & Army radio communications systems in operation at Pearl Harbor shortly before Dec 7, 1941?

For example: Did the Army, Navy and Air Service have any coordinated, shared nets? Tactical communications? Commonly used frequencies? Designed message traffic nets & procedures (similar to ARRL's George Hart's [W1NJM (SK)] National Traffic System)? Joint Emergency Communications protocols?

Hypothetical Illustration: What if...(say) a USAAF (Army) Patrol aircraft needed to send URGENT-OPERATIONAL IMMEDIATE [OI] traffic to a specific naval vessel (or, vice-versa)...then send a joint OI message to a Navy aircraft (in the air) with coordination to ground-based Army anti-aircraft units. Would such a thing have been possible on Sun, Dec 7, 1941?

Or...were the three services (Navy, Army and USAAF) all operating (at least with respect to tactical radio operations) as independent, un-coordinated forces?

Thank you in advance for any assistance.

Best & 73,


PS: The nature of this request is also being posted to may see the same thing, twice.
Sep 25th 2013, 17:11


Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have read a number of documentary books from that time. Each service was jealous of the others and had their own communications nets. They didn't talk to each other much.

On a beach invasion, the Army couldn't always comunicate with the ships. By the time of Normandy this was somewhat corrected in the beach landings could call for support via fire support radios that stopped working if they got wet. Why such radios didn't have rubber gasketing, I don't know.

During Operation Market Garden, shown somewhat in the movie 'A Bridge Too far', the paratroopers couldn't radio Allied fighter pilots and ask for support against the Panzer/tank units in the areas of their drops.

I know when I was in, about 1970, the services still couldn't comunicate 100 percent with each other.

From watching the Military channel, they do a much better job now.

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