WWII radios, photos and restorations
This page was last updated on 9-27-07
Someday I hope to expand this page into a full web site. There is so much interesting information about this subject that I wish there were more time in the day to devote to building pages. If you have any information or images that you would like to add please send it to me and I will gladly do so. The more interest and feedback that I get the more it stimulates me (by kicking me in the seat of the pants) to put more information up and to make improvements. There is not much rhyme or reason to the arrangement of this page. Things get thrown in to help answer some folks questions.
Thanks for your help and patience.
Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image
Here is the P-47D-40 that was restored by Westpac Restorations in Rialto, California. This Thunderbolt was restored for Paul Allen's Flying Heritage Collection by the amazing folks at Westpac. Under the guidance of Bill Klaers and Alan Wojciak this is the most authentic and original flying restoration that has been done to date. Thanks are due to Mr. Allen for devoting the resources to restore aircraft to standards that have never before been achieved.
What you see above is a perfect example of authenticity at its best. Not only are the radios and their control heads installed but they are operational as well.
Here is a shot of the radios in the back of the FHC P-47D-40.In the foreground is the APS-13 tail warning radar. Just above the APS-13 is the SCR-695 IFF set. To the right is the SCR-522 VHF command set and its dynamotor or power unit. Note the interesting antenna connector on the SCR-522.
In responce to an inquiry about the mounting of the AN-104 VHF antenna I have posted the image above and the following two shots.
Here is a shot of the interior of the aft fuselage of the FHC P-47D-40. Note the induction air cleaner. The brown wood part is the AN-104 VHF antenna that was used by the SCR-522 command radio. This is an excellent antenna that can be used today as it is being used by the FHC P-47. The modern comm radio is hooked up to this antenna.
Here is a shot of the AN-104 installation in the back of a P-51D-30NA that Mike VadeBonCoeur built at Midwest Aero Restorations. Mike also has that eye for authenticity that is so rare these days.
Here is a shot of the AN-104 antenna mounted to the top of a Beechcraft 3NM Canadian Navigation trainer.
Here is an interesting report on the Yardeny auto tuner which is mounted on the front of an R-26 receiver of the ARC-5. This receiver was linked to the ART-13 Liaison transmitter so the pilot or radio operator could tune both the transmitter and the receiver together. Click on the picture to look at the report and another shot of the radio set in a TBM-1C Avenger. The report is a PDF file which is about 4 MB click here to view the full report.
What a great photograph of an Eighth Air Force radio technician working on an SCR-522 VHF transceiver. It looks like this repair shack has been made from a shipping crate and isn't quite tall enough for him to stand in. I like the twisted wire for the lights on the ceiling of the crate/shop. Of interest is the specialized test equipment for the SCR-522 that is mounted on the wall. A BC-347 intercom has been mocked up to be able to listen to the audio. An MG-149 inverter is mounted underneath the bench to supply 115 volt 400 cycle needed for certain radio gear. Four transmitters and one receiver for the SCR-274N command set are up on the shelf to the left. The SCR-522 was a four channel crystal controlled set designed by the British early in the war. The set became standard equipment and was used in almost every theatre in WWII. The set was used through the 50's and some countries were using it into the 60's. The same frequencies, then called UHF, now are referred to VHF are used by air traffic control and civilian aircraft today.
WWII original color photographs certainly are impressive. This radio technician at the Consolidated Vultee factory is performing a radio check on the SCR-274N set installed in the BT-13B. He has the copy of the manual and the blueprint of the radio schematic on his lap. These documents would be placed in the stowage compartment and were delivered with this aircraft. All military aircraft in WWII carried a complete set of technical manuals both specific to the aircraft type and to its radio systems.
Here is a shot of the control tower at the 8th Air Force base at Thorpe Abbotts in England. This was the home of the 100th bomb group (the bloody 100th) that flew B-17's. It is interesting to see that the radios used in the control tower are the same exact sets that were installed in the aircraft. On the left, two Command sets (SCR-274N) with a transmitter control box and a two receiver control box for each set. Just to the right of that is an intercom jack box (BC-1366) which allows the controller to switch between the sets. The control head for the VHF set (SCR-522) can be seen next to the intercom box. The SCR-522 was a four channel crystal controlled radio that was developed by the British and became widely used throughout the war. Ray Robinson pointed out the BC-456 modulator for the SCR-274N sitting on the right side of the table. Thanks Ray!
The tower pictured above is alive and well. There is a great museum in the building below the tower and in several other buildings as well. They are trying to restore the inside of the tower just as it was in this photo.
For more information and pictures of the control tower try:
For more information about the 100th Bomb Group click on this link:
(For the following photos please click on an image to see a larger picture)
Here is a picture of our 1943 US Navy Howard GH-2 Nightingale restoration project. You may have heard the old "aircraft in a barn" stories haven't you? Well, this one turned out to be true.
This is a shot of her while she was still in the barn. She had been sitting there for quite a while but was in good enough shape that she could have flown out if you just put the prop back on. One of the best things about her was that she had only 500 hours total time since she was built on November 29, 1943. She has had very few modifications and she is in essentially in a factory stock condition. One of the rarest things about this great old Howard is that she still has her original WWII ATA/ARA command radio set still installed. She even had the original microphone and leather strap headset hanging from their clips. Looking back into her rear fuselage and seeing all the radios still mounted in place gave me such a thrill I can't tell you. You have to ask yourself what kind of an idiot gets all excited over some old black boxes? This idiot sure does!
This is how our GH-2 will look someday. She will be stock and original, painted in the three tone Navy colors and will be complete with all of the antenna wires that you see in the image.
Here are some interesting Howard links:
Below you will find some interesting documents that I have come across while researching radio equipment for the restoration of various WWII aircraft.
These images are thumbnails so please click on a page to view a larger, more readable image.
If you have any trouble viewing the images please let me know so I can fix it.
This is a document dated November 18, 1942 that details what radios should be installed into fighter aircraft in accordance with their destination.
Here is a three page document dated 11-24-42 that specifies what radio equipment will be installed in various aircraft that were slated for the 8th Air Force as of January 1, 1943. Of interest is the various configurations for the different aircraft. It is nice to find a document that gives the specific model number of the radios used in the theatre.
The following are excerpts from a memo about WWII aircraft radio production projections. It is interesting to note the differences between total requirements and total production.
Here is a great link for an awesome resource for old military radios:
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