Tag Archives: WWII

AWA Video Presentation: Patrolling the Ether in WW2 – Radio Intelligence for the War Effort

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark (AE2EA), who writes:

One of our AWA Members recently made this video on the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service (FBMS) and the Radio Intelligence Division (RID) during World War 2. I think it might be of interest to your SWLing enthusiasts:

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Brilliant presentation! Thank you for sharing this, Mark!

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Tokyo Rose: Exploring the Story of Iva Toguri and Genesis of “The Zero Hour”

If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ll likely know that I’m a Word War II history buff and I especially enjoy exploring the deep rabbit hole that is WWII radio and propaganda.

Radio broadcasts were heavily used by all of the players in WWII, and some prominent personalities emerged from the Axis propaganda machines: most notably Axis Sally and Lord Haw Haw in the European theatre, and Tokyo Rose in the Pacific theatre.

Iva Toguri

Toguri being interviewed by the press in September 1945 (Source: Public Domain)

Although Tokyo Rose was the name given to an array of female personalities on Radio Tokyo (NHK), at the end of WWII Iva Toguri was widely accused of being the “real” Tokyo Rose. After attempting to return to her native US, she was arrested, tried, and became the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason.

Her trial in 1949 resulted in a conviction on one of eight counts of treason and she received a 10 year sentence. Her sentence was eventually cut to 6 years due to good behavior.

U.S. President Gerald Ford pardoned Toguri in 1977 based on new evidence that important witnesses in her treason trial had been forced to lie.

The story of Iva Toguri is truly one of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tokyo Rose – Zero Hour: A Japanese American Woman’s Persecution and Ultimate Redemption After World War II

If you enjoy comics/graphic novels and WWII history, then you’re in for a treat. Last week, I purchased a new graphic novel about the life and trial of Iva Toguri written by Andre Frattino and illustrated by Kate Kasenow.

This book is beautifully illustrated in black and white and the author does an amazing job of telling the story of Toguri, woven into a narrative, while keeping it historical accuracy.

It’s obvious a lot of research went into this particular graphic novel.

If this sounds like something that would interest you, I highly recommend it.

Tokyo Rose – Zero Hour the graphic novel is available at Amazon.com as a hardcover or Kindle ebook. (Note: this is an affiliate link that supports the SWLing Post)

Twenty Thousand Hertz: Tokyo Rose

Image Source: Twenty Thousand Hertz. Art by Jon McCormack.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Wilbur Forcier, who recently shared a link to the latest episode of the excellent Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast. This entire episode also explores Iva Toguri’s life and involvement in NHK’s propaganda broadcasts.

I also highly recommend listening to this episode.

Read the show notes and listen to this episode at 20K.org.

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The passing of a compassionate shortwave listener, Agnes Joan Negra

By Jock Elliott, KB2GOM

I just received this:

Dear Jock:
It is with a heavy heart that I must report that 102 year old, Agnes Joan Negra passed away last Friday, peacefully, and at home. She went into Hospice care about three weeks ago.

We had a private funeral for mom…immediate family only. But I wanted to pass on her obituary which can be found on website:
calhounmaniafuneralhome.com

Thanks for your support of Agnes and her incredible life story, “Waves of Hope”… It is truly appreciated.

We hope this finds you well.
Regards,
Val Negra

Agnes Joan Negra was a shortwave monitor during WWII who sent out more than 300 letters and postcards to families to inform them that their loved ones were captured and still alive.

Click here to check out Waves of Hope on Amazon.

If you would like to know more about how shortwave monitors impacted lives during WWII, check https://swling.com/blog/2022/04/wwii-radio-letters-a-real-life-shortwave-story/ and https://swling.com/blog/2022/04/world-war-ii-radio-letters-a-real-life-shortwave-story-part-ii/ .

As I have said before: And so, dear reader, never belittle your hobby of listening to the airwaves, because you never know when something you heard may be able to offer comfort in times of trouble.

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Video: The Erres KY-418 radio set WWII era assembly line

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Adid, who writes:

The Erres KY-418 Radio set assembly line. You must watch this:

Click here to view on YouTube.

My heart goes to the poor guys who work under all that machinery noise with no ear plugs or with no mask when spray paint.

Everything is hand made in-house even the loudspeakers, coils or the rotary switches….

Just remember that WWII is on while it was made and I don’t think the KY-418 was a cheap radio…

Regards, Adi

Thank you for sharing this, Adid. You’re right: there were a few generations of folks who lost much of their hearing early on due to the constant noise on factory floors. 

That said, I’ve been enjoying these videos of early radio production lines. Thank you!

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From Raw Crystal to Crystal Oscillator: Crystals go to War in 1943

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mark (AE2EA), who shares the following AWA video about crystal production during WWII:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you so much for sharing this, Mark. I posted the original film of this a few years ago, but it appears that the YouTube account has been deleted. I’m grateful the Antique Wireless Association has published this. Thank you for the tip!

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John recommends “A Call to Spy”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, John (AE5X), who writes:

Hi Thomas: There’s an interesting movie now on Netflix that your readers might enjoy:
A Call to Spy.

Based on the story of Virginia Hall and two other female spies in WW2. She was trained in Morse Code and used a Paraset radio in helping the French Resistance in 1941-42.

Quite an amazing story, told more fully in Wolves at the Door.

John AE5X

Click here to read John’s full post on his excellent blog.

Thank you for the tip, John!

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BBC Radio 4: “Scotland’s Lord Haw Haw”

(Source: BBC Radio 4)

Scotland’s Lord Haw Haw

Radio played a key role in the propaganda campaigns of Nazi Germany. The most notorious personality in this radio war was William Joyce, or ‘Lord Haw-Haw’ – who came to be known as the English voice of Nazi Germany. But he wasn’t alone in this effort.

Professor Jo Fox of Durham University discovers the lost transcripts of Radio Caledonia, a ‘secret station’ designed to disseminate defeatist propaganda to the people of Scotland and sow seeds of dissent among its listeners. Set up by the German Propaganda Ministry in 1940, the presenter was Scottish national Donald Grant.

Jo Fox examines the Nazis’ attempts to appeal to Scottish nationalist feeling through these broadcasts and asks why, unlike Joyce, Donald Grant was spared execution.

Producer: Sarah Shebbeare.

Click here to listen on BBC Sounds.

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