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SWLing in World War II - Wartime shortwave was exciting, but the shortwave hobby in the U.S. suffered greatly during the first half of the 1940s. With many SWLs in the service, or working overtime in the war effort, there was much less listening going on. The focus of wartime equipment production on the war effort meant new receivers were unavailable to civilians. Membership in clubs dropped, and paper shortages complicated production. Many clubs (and radio magazines) did not survive the war years. As a result, there is less hard information on what shortwave listeners were hearing during the war, compared to the years before and after. Below we are reproducing the shortwave loggings columns of some of the clubs that did manage to stay in business and report on shortwave during the war. We will be adding more years, and more clubs.
Newark News Radio Club | National Radio Club | International DXers Alliance | International Short Wave Club
Newark News Radio Club
1939 - Publication was maintained during the entire year. The "High Frequencies" column included loggings of utility stations as well as shortwave broadcasters. Interesting news is reported of W1XAL's (WRUL) 30-minute "Goodwill Program" to Holland, and of the many Chinese stations--XGOY, XGOX, XMHA, XGOK, XPSA, XHBM--and also MTCY in Manchuria. The "German Freedom Sender" was heard on 10052 kc., and there are frequent reports of the German "Zeesen" station, which was being well heard long before the war began. There are schedules for Germany, Paris Mondial, Rome, USSR, Japan, Hungary, Vietnam and others, and news about the new four-letter call letters for American shortwave broadcasters.
1940 - Reported in 1940 is Radio Podebrady, Yugoslavia; Lord Haw-Haw on 7270 and 11770 kc., "La Vie de la France" on 7240, and the German-run "New British Broadcasting Station." The new BBC Service to North America is also mentioned, and there are early reports of the then-new Radio Brazzaville. Also found is information on Bolivian and Venezuelan stations, the prohibition of radio listening in Germany, reports of new Australians, and information on early FM.
1941 - There were reports of the BBC Home Service on 6080 kc., Greece on 9935, and Radio Levant, Beirut, on 8035. New Zealand was heard on 11000 kc. with broadcasts to its troops overseas. The French station in Shanghai, FFZ, was reported, as was what would become one of the most famous of the British-run clandestines, Gustav Siegfied Eins. And Radio Brazzaville was QSLed.
1942 - The bulletin went to twice-monthly publication in January, monthly starting in May. Among the war-related stations reported were Radio Inconnue, 9750 kc., the German clandestine Radio Debunk, 7200, and Voice of Free India, 9395. Shortwave editor Earl Roberts entered the military and the last shortwave column of the year was August 1. And the broadcast band Courtesy Programs Committee closed down for the duration of the war.
1943 - The January and February bulletins were combined, and shortwave news returned in March with the appointment of James J. Hart of Irvington, New Jersey, as interim shortwave editor in Earl Roberts' absence. It was a year of abundant shortwave news, with loggings of the Allied Forces Headquarters station, Algiers, on 8960 kc. and other channels; "Free France Libre" on 12125; Croatian Freedom Radio, 11335, the west coast utility-shortwave broadcaster KROJ; and "Free Netherlands Radio" in Surinam, 11755. Also reported was the new Belgian National Radio relay station in Leopoldville (OTC), and "Deutscher Kurzwellensender Atlantik" on 9760 kc., which was a British clnadestine masquerading as a German forces station. And POW messages were heard from Japan.
1944 - There were many shortwave goings on this year. Reported heard were Saigon, 11775 kc.; Radio Shonan, in Japanese-controlled Singapore, on 9548, 9555 and 11850 kc.; the German-run, English language "Jerry's Front" station on 10615; the Allied Expeditionary Station, Teheran, 9560; the British Mediterranean Station, Palestine, on 9670; "General MacArthur's station," WVLC, Leyte, on 7800; and the American Broadcasting Station In Europe (ABSIE) on 9640 kc. and other channels. ABSIE was run by the U.S. Office of War Information and broadcast mainly over BBC transmitters. BBC "invasion broadcasts"--eyewitness reports from the front--were also reported.
1945 - Numerous war-related stations were reported: SEAC broadcasts over Radio Ceylon; Hungarian Nations Radio, 11635; Allied Forces Headquarters Italy, 17820; KRHO, Hawaii, 6110; Radio Martinique, "Voice of Fighting France in the West Indies," 9705; and the "The American Hour" over XGOY, China, 11905. Also heard: the new VOA station in Delano, California; British Military Administration, Singapore, 9553, once Japan had departed; American Forces Network, Munich, 8600; JCKW, Jerusalem, 7220; and Sharq al Adna, Palestine, 6710. There were also standalone reports from Arthur Cushen on his loggings. There was no bulletin in September, but twice-monthly bulletins returned in October.
National Radio Club
1939 - From 1935 to 1944, the NRC--today a club covering broadcast band only--had a shortwave section. In 1939 the Editor was Larry Lundberg of Minneapolis, followed by Fred Alfred, London, Ontario, and the Asst. Editor was Leo Herz of Chicago. The NRC columns were published weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, depending on the season. Among the highlights: Jan. 2, XTJ, Hankow, China, moving into the interior; Jan. 9, schedules from Germany and Italy; Jan. 16 & Feb. 6, Indian stations; Feb. 13, the German Freedom Station; Mar. 13, China stations, and W6XBE (KGEI); Apr. 10, R. Japan; May 16, Burma; Aug. 9, Rome schedule; Sep. 22 & Nov. 6, English war news from Europe to the U.S.; Oct. 30 & Dec. 11, Philippine logs. The NRC SW column had good coverage of the American "ultra high" (apex) band.
1940 - Larry Lundberg returned as SW editor in February, and the NRC did not publish a bulletin from May-October. Highlights: Jan. 8, R. Saigon; Jan. 22, ZAA, R. Tirana, and the Japanese SW schedule; Mar. 11, Burma, India; Mar. 25, Hungary, and many reports from Germany; Apr. 15, Chinese stations; Apr. 30, Philippine loggings; Nov. 16, new stations from Senegal, the French Congo and the Belgian Congo; Dec. 14, various "mystery Europeans"; and throughout, lots of reports of Australia, Mozambique, and numerous Latin Americans.
1941 - The column had broad coverage of SWBC stations around the world. Fred Van Voorhees, Buffalo, New York, took over as SW editor in July, and went from by-country to by-frequency listings.  Highlights: Jan. 4, WWV fire; Jan. 25, China, Saigon; Feb. 1, Little America; Feb. 15 (undated), French phone stations; Mar. 8, Greece and Poland; Mar. 22, new station in Verchers, Quebec; Mar. 29, R. Brazzaville QSLing; Mar. 29, R. Francaise Libre d'Orient, Syria; June 21, R. Brazzaville; Nov. 15, R. Cameroun; Dec. 6, the Azores, and XGRS-Shanghai.
1942 - Highlights: Jan. 3, BBC to North America, French clandestine R. Inconnue, Sverdlovsk, USSR; Jan. 10, R. Antigua; Jan. 17, Kuibyshev, USSR, Press Wireless, Hicksville; Jan. 24, KGEI, Vichy, France; Feb. 7, Algiers,Teheran QSL; Mexican station list; Feb. 14, Prague, Feb. 28, stations in Spain, All India Radio; Mar. 9, CBS shortwave, Surinam, Thailand, Mar. 4 (and other dates), Bechuanaland, Saigon; Mar. 1 (undated), WRUL, KWID, R. Caracas; Mar. 28 & Apr. 25, R. Debunk; May 16, R. Congo Belge; June 17, KZRH; Sep. 5, South Africa; Sep. 19, VONH Newfoundland, Wehrmacht Sender Nord; Oct. 17, Hong Kong; undated post-Oct. 17 pages, Voice of Free India, R. Congo Belge, CMZI Cuba; Dec. 5, R. Maroc, TI4NRH; Dec. 12, OWI [Office of War Information] traffic; Dec. 19, Iceland, Japanese-occupied Palau.
1943 - Jim Wedewer of Washington, D.C. edited the column from April to October. After that, Ray B. Edge, the club's publisher and key man in the 1940s, took over. Highlights of the bulletins: Jan. 2, AFHQ-Algiers; Jan. 9, Voice of Free India; Jan. 23, CBRX-Vancouver, PRL8-Brazil; Feb. 27, German Workers Station; Mar. 6, Palau; Mar. 13 (undated), CJRX-Winnipeg; Mar. 4 & 27, prisoner broadcasts; Apr. 10, Tahiti, "Freedom Stations"; Aug. 14, Deutscher Kurzwellensender Atlantik, Romanian Freedom Station; Sep. 4, COBQ-Cuba; Sep. 18 & Oct. 4, British Mediterranean Fleet Station; Oct. 4, Radio Republica Fascista, Radio National Belge-Belgian Congo, Batavia-Java; Oct. 9, Capetown and XGOY; Oct. 30 & Nov. 6, utility WKRD; Nov. 20, Hungarian Nations Radio; Dec. 11, Press Wireless frequency list.
1944 - Among the logs reported during the year: ZNR-Aden and Vichy Radio (Jan. 29); Radio Dakar (Feb. 12); HH2S-Haiti, R. Martinique (Feb. 19); HH3W-Haiti, SBT-Sweden (Mar. 4); Kahuku-Hawaii (Mar. 11); XGOY (Mar. 25); ICA-Italy, R. Shonan-Singapore, Lawrenceville-NJ (Apr. 8); ABSIE, PIRM-Manila (May 20); Podebrady and Prague (June 17); Soldatensender Mittlemeer (July 15); Rabat and Bratislava (Aug. 19). There were also reports of the widely-heard west coast Press Wireless-broadcast station KROJ (Jan. 15, May 20, Sep. 9). The club's coverage of SW ended with the Sep. 9 column, wherein the club's action in dropping SW in favor of all BCB was explained.
International DXers Alliance
1939 - Charles A. Morrison was the key man in the International DXers Alliance, which was founded in 1932. The bulletin, which was usually published monthly except July, was called the Globe Circler, and covered shortwave broadcast and broadcast band DXing. There was also a breaking news "Stop Press Sheet," which we have included for months where we have them. Among the highlights of the 1939 bulletins: Jan., R. Guadeloupe, the several Panamanian shortwavers, a Colombian list, the then-new Norway station, and various shortwave outlets in Spain and India; Feb., Chilean and Venezuelan stations; March, R. Experimental Tirana (Albania), Deutsche Freiheitsender, and South American expeditions; April, new Venezuelan SW frequencies, the status of "Bohemia" (Czechoslovakia), Turkey; May, stations of the Dominican Republic, special broadcasts from Hungary, South African call letters; June, coverage of stations in Cuba, Mexico, tests from Switzerland, PK6XX (Dutch New Guinea); August, Spatari-language programs from Guatemala, Australian and Venezuelan stations, fire in Schwarzenburg (also Sept.), French Indochina (also Nov.); Sept., new U.S. call letters, tests from R. Luxembourg (also Oct.), the situation in Iraq; Oct., the Australian Aerial Medical Service; Nov., Paris Mondial (France); Dec., Philippines. All issues, for this and subsequent years, had extensive coverage of the many shortwave broadcasters in the U.S. (including the "ultra-highs" and early FM), and the many stations in China.
1940 - Amateur coverage replaced the broadcast band in the bulletin; and most bulletin covers showed the times and frequencies for war news from various capitals. Highlights: Jan., the Byrd expedition (also later months), Berlin, Sweden, U.S.S.R., Philippines; Feb., Colombians and Venezuelans, France, Mozambique (also March), Australia; March, Mexico, Burma, Thailand; April, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Finland, anti-Nazi "La Vie de la France," Germany, Italy, Angola, Egypt, expanded broadcasts from Japan; May, Canada, Ecuador, Uruguay, new R. Andorra, post-invasion news from Denmark, Norway off after German seizure; June, French "La Voix de la Paix," New British Broadcasting Station (under Germany; also later months), Greece, Eddie Startz silent (Holland), French Morocco (also Sept.); August, Paris Mondial off after the fall of Paris, "The American Hour" from Italy, a new station in Iran; Sept., Colombia, Ecuador (HCJB), Peru; Oct., Dutch Guiana, revisions of BBC transmissions, Philippines program for North America; Nov., new Canadian station, El Salvador, Belgian Congo, Senegal, New Caledonia; Dec., Revolutionary Station of Europe, and French Equatorial Africa (then-new R. Brazzaville).
1941 - Jan., WPIT, (ex-W8XK), Pittsburgh, was now transmitting from Boston and would soon be integrated into WBOS; there were new call letters and frequencies for Venezuelan SW stations; and "The American Hour" could be heard in English from Italy; Feb., famous Canary Islands station EAJ43 now was just hanging on due to lack of advertising; "Radio Libre Francaise" was reported on 11850, Deutscher Freiheitsender on 9795; MTCY, Manchuria was now relaying Tokyo programs; and R. Pacifique, New Caledonia, was heard on 4050; March, the new CBC station at Vercheres was being heard; you could cable the German SW station at "Ameradio Berlin"; Gabon was being reported; "Accra Calling" was on 4910; and a new one was Aden, on 12115; April, R. Brazzaville was widely heard; the Christian Peace Movement station (run by the Germans) was being heard on 9445; "The Voice of Greece at War" was on 9935; and R. Levant, Beirut was operating c. 8025; May, IDA president Charles Morrison wrote about "mobilization of short-wave for national defense"; June, HCJB was offering a picture album for reports of "Morning in the Mountains"; and "Paul Revere" (U.S. turncoat Douglas Chandler) was heard from Germany; August, establishment of the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service was announced; stations of the new CBS Latinamerican network ("Network of the Americas") were listed; a Danish freedom station (run by the British) was heard on 9710; and in the Philippines, new KZND, 8790, was established for civil defense purposes; Sept., a new R. Cameroun was reported c. 10710; and in France, a high-power Vichy station was reported operating, as was a "mystery" station, R. Antoine (actually British clandestine R. Inconnue), which urged listeners to "think and act French"; Oct., Ponta Delgada, the Azores, 14580, was on shortwave; Nov., the New British Broadcasting Station was heard on several channels; and lots of Chinese stations were reported; Dec., the BBC was reported acknowledging reports with a Big Ben "London Calls the World" card.
1942 - Jan., U.S. stations "have risen to the war challenge"; new Brazilian network; French Camerouns, Gabon, Middle Congo now listed as "Free-French Africa"; restrictions on mail service to Europe; anti-Fascist R. Italia; R. Kuibischev heard from the U.S.S.R.; American stations in China reported in Japanese hands; Fiji was on 11895 after testing there and on 15160; Japan was broadcasting to Japanese troops in China; and the clicking sound over R. Brazzaville was identified as a native instrument, the Kissantzi; Feb., new R. Antigua was on the air; ANZAC Newsletter was heard from Canada; KGEI was heard over RCA-Bolinas; Australian broadcasts to the A.I.F. (Australian Imperial Force) were noted; U.S. army demolished radio and cable facilities in Manila; R. Sverdlovsk was operating from the U.S.S.R.; March, Press Wireless activity; AVROS was on the air in Dutch Guiana; R. Madagascar Libre was heard on 11100; new Vichy schedule; R. Bucaresti was on 9260; powerful new Soviet transmitters at Komsomolsk; and new from Ethiopia was R. Addis Ababa (also see April); April, U.S. network correspondents around the world were listed (including several "probably under arrest"); it was rumored that the U.S. government would be taking over U.S. SWBCing; the official song of Free France was "I'm a Soldier of DeGaulle"; messages from Australian POWs were heard from China; radio from the Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia) was shaky; the Japanese were now operating KZRH-KZRF in the Philippines; and multiple freedom stations were reported (see "Stop Press Sheet"); May-June, the "America Speaks" (English) program was heard over COK, Cuba; channels for Press Wireless Los Angeles and Hicksville, and RCA Bolinas, were listed; the BBC ran a series of "Lend Us Your Ears" test programs on particular frequencies and solicited reports; Finnish and Norwegian freedom stations were reported, also the Voice of Free India; and voices of American soldiers heard over the "Calling Home" program from Australia; July, the new station in San Francisco, KWID, was on the air; "Voice of America" IDs were starting to be heard; and Singapore broadcasts now originated from the Japanese-run "R. Shonan"; August, a rundown of HCJB programming was offered; American turncoat Robert H. Best ("Mr. Guess Who") was heard fom Germany; messages from internees were heard over R. Saigon; Sept.-Oct., there were extensive reports of U.S. shortwave operations; and two 10 kw. transmitters were reported operating from Japanese-controlled Palau; Nov., many European clandestine stations were reported; and POW messages were heard from Germany.
1943 - Dec. 1942-Jan. 1943, the government takeover of U.S. SWBCing was announced; schedules of many U.S. shortwave stations were given (in subsequent months as well); the activities in Algiers, after U.S. occupation, were summarized (also subsequent months); a number of clandestines were mentioned, including several Indian clandestines; Feb., new 50 kw. PRL8, R. Nacional, in Brazil, was on the air; weak signals were heard from VQ7LO, Kenya; March-April, ZFA2, Bermuda was now on the air via Cable & Wireless, 6122; South African frequencies were reviewed; and numerous clandestines were noted; May-June, more clandestine coverage; schedule of the troops program from the BBC; American POW messages from Berlin; and from China, XGCA, Kalgan Central Broadcasting Station; July-August, it was noted that the BBC had reorganized its overseas services, and there were many of the usual loggings of stations of the world. But on page 7 was a surprise: the club was suspending publication of the Globe Circler for the duration of the war. The reason: reduction in membership and thus lack of sufficient revenue. The club was not being disbanded as such; unexpired subscriptions would be honored when publication resumed, and various organizational activities would continue "wherever and whenever possible." But for all practical purposes it was the end of the IDA.
International Short Wave Club
1939 - Formed in 1929, the ISWC was the first major club on America devoted exclusively to shortwave. For 1939 we do not have the bulletins for July, August and September. Summer advertising was reduced, editor Arthur J. Green was suffering some personal problems, and in September the war began, so whether they were published or not is unclear. Also, please note that the ISWC had the habit of repeating some items from month to month. -- Jan., a number of ham-broadcast stations in Spanish Morocco were noted; India and Japan were widely heard; "since the crisis," Czecholsovakia had stopped sending schedules; there were numerous reports (over many months) of stations in Spain; Peru was the site of the Pan American Conference; the St. Kitts station VP2LO was now ZIZ; in Canada, VE9HX was now CHNX; "Hawaii Calls: and the "Voice of Hawaii" were heard via RCA-Kahuku; and there would be special broadcasts for the opening of the World's Fair (see also Feb.); Feb., Romania was going to 50 kw.; the "VU" stations in India were covered; Goa ("Portuguese China") was back on the air; and there was the usual extensive coverage oif Latin American stations; W1XAL (Boston) was not replying to requests for schedules; March, first reports of W6XBE (later KGEI); many Chinese stations were reported; April, R. Eireann, Ireland, was heard; there were reports of German operations from occupied Austria and Czechoslovakia; news from HCJB; Colombian statioins were moving to the 60 meter band; May, a mobile station, R. Liberte, was reported from France; new calls and frequencies in Venezuela were listed; June, ZNS, Bahamas, was on 6090; Oct., new R. Andorra was heard; the new Swiss transmitter base at Schwarzenburg went up in flames after a few days on the air; the U.S. callsign changes were noted (continued in later issues), ditto changes in Colombian callsigns (the Colombian SW scene had become increasingly difficult to track); Nov., there were several new stations in Cuba; Dec., Luxembourg was on the air.
1940 - Jan., much Australian activity was reported (this and other months); the SW situation in the Philippines was reviewed; and Finland appeared to be off the air (in Feb. it was reported bombed) following the invasion by Russia (the Winter War); Feb., there was a list of the South African stations; March, reports were being received on the activity of the Byrd expedition to Antarctica; reports were received on the Fahnestock South Seas expedition; "the best signal to come from an African station" could be heard from Mozambique, 9640 ("Everyone in America should be able to hear it"); April, Finland was back on; Germany was using 24 different frequencies; SODRE operations in Uruguay were summarized; and Japan was said to be building a station on Palau; May, Iran opened a new station; England was using 21 SW channels; there was a review of the Russian stations; HCJB increased power to 10 kw; June, COK, Havana ("Okay Batista"), was owned by soon-to-be president Fulgencio Batista; July, a "British rebel station," supposedly operating from Berlin but feigning location in England, was on 5925 and c. 11935 (also other months); R. Rabat or R. Maroc was heard on 11945 until the Germans took over; Hong Kong was on 9525; the Germans were now controlling Norway's broadcasts; and WRUL was operating irregularly; August, Fiji was on 9530; Sept., CKFX, Vancouver, "once known as the world's smallest station" [2 watts], was now using 1 kw.; and CBS was building new SW transmitters at Brentwood, L.I.; Oct., radiotelephone station OPM, Leopoldville, Belgian Congo, was now carrying programs of R. Congo Belge; the Chinese SW situation, which was always confusing, was getting more so; Nov., there was no issue; Dec., the first reports of R. Brazzaville; and a list of Venezuelan stations.
1941 - Jan., Dakar was on 9400 and 13345; several Peruvians were reported; and many Venezuelans; Feb., there were a number of "mystery stations" reported; not surprisingly, Australian DXers were reporting several Chinese stations not heard in the U.S.; Iran was reported operating with 14 kw.; Japan was "testing to beat the band"; and "Hawaii Calls" was heard from Kahuku, Hawaii; March, a "down with Hitler" station was reported; the BBC was reported sending "letters of acknowledgment"; April, ZNR-Aden was reported on 12120; so were the Vercheres frequencies in Quebec; and there were reports on Radio Guadeloupe and Radio Martinique; May, Brazzaville was verifying; June, Gabon was on 9320; Radio Falange was heard from Tangiers; there were numerous stations operating from China; and many new BBC channels had been reported for months; July, English from PSH-Brazil was reported; and the U.S. stations were increasing power; August, Radio Denmark was on 9710 (unknown at the time, it was a British clandestine); there were changes in the Australian SW scene; Sept., Radio Andorra was reported on 11670; TI4NRH, Costa Rica, was on 9690; Oct., announcements over the French stations were changing; Nov., the SW scene on Java (Indonesia) was confusing; and veries from the Byrd Antarctic Expedition were delayed; Dec., Moscow frequencies were changing often; and there were many unidentified "clandestine" stations.
1942 - Jan., Fiji was being heard on high frequencies 11895 and 15165; the Japan listing says "all schedules have been discontinued"; "Bohemia" was now relaying Germany; a long list of Chinese stations was presented (in other months also); the plan to build the KSFO-connected San Francisco shortwave station KWID was announced (see also May); and there were several "unidentified" clandestines. Feb., Sverdlovsk, Russia was reported; Japan--"the knife-in-the-backs are now using many new schedules"; prisoner lists were heard from Norway; and Jamaica played the national anthems of both the U.S. and Britain, "in the hope that this tribute from this colony will be appreciated in the United States." March, the size of the bulletin was much reduced. April: We do not have the April issue. That March and May were numbered 5 and 7 respectively of Vol. XIII, and that neither the March or May issues contain any mention of skipping April, suggests that there was an April issue, but this is not certain, especially in light of the reduced size of the March issue and the fate that would soon befall the club. May. "Moscow, Kuibyshev, Sverdlovsk, Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk are heard all over the dials now"; the BBC was said to be readying major schedule changes; some French frequencies carried programs identifying variously as Paris, Vichy and Berlin; a number of European clandestines were listed under "Mystery"; Press Wireless was being heard in voice; and volunteers were sought to relay POW messages to the Provost General in Washington.  Club members also learned that wartime conditions dictated that henceforth the bulletin would be produced only "irregularly." But it was the end of the club, and the bulletin, in its then form. It would be resurrected in the U.K. after the war. And there was this mesage to members: "Shush-sh-sh. Just a reminder folks. The enemies of America are depending on we short wave fans to carry their lies to our people, to create disunity and break up our morale. It is through we short wave fans that they hope to accomplish what they cannot accomplish with guns and planes. So, whatever you hear that is not confirmed by our own forces, keep to yourself."