The Listeners: Members of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Corps who secretly monitored the airwaves

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Fred Waterer, who shares the following fascinating video from the CBC and notes:

“The Listeners” Members of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Corps monitored the airwaves for German U-Boat traffic. Their participation was secret for decades.”

Click here to view this video via the CBC.

This is such an amazing story, Fred, and the CBC did a fine job putting it together. Thanks so much for sharing.

Editor’s note regarding WWII history: Regular SWLing Post readers know that I’m an avid WWII history buff, in that I read, view, and especially listen to many accounts of the Second World War era, the glory days of radio. I’ve traveled and lived in several of the countries that were, at that time, among the Axis Powers, some of my close friends are from or reside in these countries now, and feel much as I do about this history: that this was a devastating war which we must not forget or romanticize, and from which we can learn about ourselves as human beings, hopefully with the view of preventing such chilling events from ever being repeated.  As we have readers and contributors from all over the world in this radio community, I sincerely hope that WWII-related articles are regarded in this light of understanding. The takeaway? Times have changed.  I firmly believe that a deep understanding of our shared history makes us all better people.

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3 thoughts on “The Listeners: Members of the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Corps who secretly monitored the airwaves

  1. 13dka

    “As we have readers and contributors from all over the world in this radio community, I sincerely hope that WWII-related articles are regarded in this light of understanding. ”

    I hope you didn’t feel like writing this because someone complained. Anyway, I think there is no valid reason for “don’t mention the war” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfl6Lu3xQW0 sentiments, in particular when it comes to radio in the war. 🙂

    What I like most about the SWLing Post is that it’s really an “all things radio” outlet for news, stories and information, despite the name. This is exactly what “radio” means to me – a big world between ELF and EHF, Radio Caroline and radio astronomy, between casual listening and ambitious, sleep depriving DX hunting, commonplace and mystery signals, between extremes of all flavors – and history is what’s connecting all those with each other. I’m pretty sure most (if not all) Post readers understand what I mean by that. If you will, radio is living history I can hear and feel, that is world history and my very own history, and that’s making radio all the more exiting for me.

    WWII is an extraordinarily important and interesting part of (of course not only) radio history, where so many firsts took place that are still very meaningful for us today. To begin with, radio was (ab)used to set the world ablaze in first place and it helped tremendously to put out the fires, it was the first electronic medium to demonstrate the power, the potential and the risks of all electronic media to follow, including the internet. Many people don’t realize how many tangible and intangible things that surround, govern or move us today are echoes of WWII.

    I welcome every tidbit of new information about it, and I am grateful that we can mention the war and discuss it as friends. Too many innocent people, kids and families on all sides paid an inconceivably high price for that freedom, and we are obliged to honor that by making the best of it, forever, no matter how hard some politicians may try to rock the boat.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      That is the classic Fawlty Towers clip! 🙂 No one has ever complained, actually, about my numerous WWII and radio history posts. I’m so glad the SWLing Post resonates with you and other readers so well. Your comment made my day, OM!
      -Thomas

      Reply

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