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BERKELEY TOWNSHIP — The mysterious poles have stood in the open marshland off Good Luck Point for nearly 80 years, but sometime in January these local landmarks will finally be removed.
“We’re still working with the contractor to determine the exact start time,” said Virginia Rettig, a spokeswoman for the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge. “This is a little more difficult than the typical project, as we’re trying to be sensitive to the marsh surface.”
The Good Luck Point poles – and a similar pole field in Stafford’s Manahawkin section – were part of inactive shortwave antenna fields used by AT&T for ship-to-shore shortwave communications.
They’ve become a familiar landmark for boaters, fishermen and residents of the area, and can be seen from the bayside in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park.
The antenna field was in operation from the early 1930s until 1999. A shuttered building on the Good Luck Point portion of the antenna field contained equipment related to shortwave communications.
Under the call sign WOO, the shortwave facility at Good Luck Point (known as Ocean Gate) was a renowned transmitting station, which helped broadcast Voice of America around the globe after 1944 and enabled communication with ships at sea throughout the 20th century, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to federal officials, about 340 poles will be removed from the Berkeley site, along with several metal antennae.
In Manahawkin, about 113 wooden poles will be removed from the antenna field. Several metal antennas will also be removed.
Photograph taken from a Japanese plane during the torpedo attack on ships moored on both sides of Ford Island shortly after the beginning of the Pearl Harbor attack. (Source: WikiMedia Commons, Public Domain)
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Michael Guerin, who writes:
Interesting article from the US Naval Institute on the role of radio intelligence before and during the December 7 attack.
“The key to the success of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor-specifically, what enabled the Pearl Harbor Striking Force to reach its launch point undetected (and totally unsuspected) by the Americans-was Tokyo’s radio denial-and-deception actions. Significantly, these activities simply were not just a “bag of tricks” meant to bemuse U.S. naval radio intelligence. Rather, they constituted a function of the change in Japanese strategy and were meant to convince the Americans that there had been no change from defensive to offensive intentions.”
Whaddon: Secret life of village that helped crack WW2 code
On May 9, 2016, Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society members operated GB1SOE to establish contact with French special event station TM75SOE using WWII equipment
This was to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first transmission sent back to Whaddon Hall, Buckinghamshire, by Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent Georges Begue. They operated from Whaddon Hall during Monday using a replica MKIII transmitter and HRO receiver, on the French side a WWII B2 spy set was used.
The BBC report: The Codebreakers at Bletchley Park are well known for their top secret work which helped to change the course of the World War Two.
But the Buckinghamshire village of Whaddon, just a few miles down the road, has long been forgotten, despite the vital role it played. It was codenamed Section 8 and was a satellite station for Bletchley Park.
It is hoped a new memorial will give it its rightful place in history.