Tag Archives: Military Radios

Dan spots shortwave radios in the film “Operation Chromite”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

Operation Chromite (2016) is a South Korean film about the invasion of Inchon by UN forces in September, 1950. This film began streaming on Netflix in the USA on January 15, 2018 and is in the Korean and English languages. The English language subtitles run automatically. This story is inspired by actual events during the Korean War. Under the command of General Douglas MacArthur UN Forces, CIA, the South Korean military and the covert Korean Liaison Office infiltrate Inchon a week before the invasion. Their mission is intel, reconnaissance and disruption. They will operate behind enemy lines in North Korean uniforms.

I gave this movie a try for several reasons. I enjoy Korean movies. The role of General MacArthur is played by Liam Neeson (of all people) and this looked like a good bet for spotting some vintage military radios. I was right about the radios.

Captain Jang Hak-Soo and his seven infiltrators arrive for their first night in Inchon. Remember, they are posing as North Koreans. The radio they have packed along is a Russian RBM. This transceiver has distinctive dual magnifying lenses over the dials.

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General MacArthur is in the radio room at his Tokyo headquarters. He issues orders for the KLO to locate any naval mines placed in Inchon harbor. The radio in this scene is a complete AN/GRC-3. I am surprised to see this as it is a 24VDC vehicular radio set (a 115VAC power supply was available). I expected to see some brand spanking-new Collins R-390s or Hammarlund SP-600s for the General. Maybe he has another radio room at HQ. I could be wrong about this.

Click to enlarge.

The final radio is seen behind enemy lines and is the same AN/GRC-3 seen in Tokyo. This time a KLO operative is using it.

Click to enlarge.

Operation Chromite held my attention for the reasons given above. The historical accuracy is more dramatic than documentary but is not too far off the mark.

Being a fan of military receivers, I really appreciate these screen grabs from Operation Chromite, Dan! Thanks for sharing! I’ll add this find to our growing archive of radios in film.

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Lessons From Military Surplus Radios

The AN-GRR-5 Shortwave Radio. (Photo source: Popular Science)

The AN-GRR-5 Military Shortwave Radio. (Photo source: Popular Science)

Vin Marshall, of Popular Science, has written a great short article about lessons learned from military surplus radios:

“Military surplus equipment is more than just cheap, weird and green. For me, it’s a design study in what happens when usability and ruggedness are given priority and production cost is forgotten. […] Leaving aside the cost issues, I like to look at these pieces of equipment as a design study: How to build something that will be easy to operate and will continue working in almost any conditions.”

Read the full article on Pop Sci’s website–be sure to check out the photo gallery, too.

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