Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 21, 2020 22:12:03 GMT 12
Oh right. Well it is very interesting to have learned that even before the war the RNZAF was planning on fitting radar to at least some of the Wellingtons. I know some of the RNZAF's Vincents and Hudsons had radar fitted too for maritime patrol work but before today I never knew it was planned for the Wellingtons.
I am trying to obtain copies of the production records, delivery records and/or movement cards for those first twelve NZ Wellingtons, assuming that construction had already started on at least some of the second batch when the order was cancelled.
Hopefully after the lock-down we might be able to find out more about them and shed some light on the radar installation.
I remember about the time I built my first crystal set, dad how was helping said it was looking more complex than the ASV radar that was fitted to a Vinent, he said that it was fairly short range, just a mile or two to pick up a moderate size ship. I think there are some bits of the experimental sets on display at the museum Wigram. isc
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 1, 2020 23:21:54 GMT 12
The impression of about 30 members of Parliament who visited the Dominion Physical Laboratory at Lower Hutt yesterday was summed up by Mr. W. J. Polson, M.P., when he said: "We have certainly had a most bewildering but, nevertheless, a fascinating morning. We are filled with admiration for the work you are doing, and we hope you will carry on the same work for the development of the Dominion in peace as you did in war."
Mr. Polson spoke as deputy for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Holland), who had to return to Wellington before the party was addressed by Dr. Marsden, Secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. This is the second visit that legislators have paid to the laboratory, where service secrets have been most closely guarded during the war period. A party of 28 Parliamentarians toured the buildings last week. They also were received by Dr. Marsden, and the director of the laboratory, Dr. E. R. Cooper.
In addition to inspecting the work in progress, the visitors yesterday heard a brief lecture by Dr. Marsden on the research that resulted in the development of the atomic bomb. While New Zealand had certain deposits of uranium, he said, Canada was far more fortunately situated in that respect, and, because of its potential value in energy, would become one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Dr. Marsden spoke of the pioneer services of the late Lord Rutherford, with whom he had been associated in research in the investigation of atomic structure.
Referring to the work of the laboratory, Dr. Marsden said the organisation had been the one behind the munitions effort, and while its activities would now be utilised in peace, it was essential that New Zealand should never be again caught, for in some of its activities the organisation had taken at least two years to establish.
After the outbreak of war, many instruments could no longer be imported, and the laboratory had had to make them. For example, between 300 and 400 pyrometers had been manufactured. Such an organisation was an insurance policy for this country: it could be used again at a moment's notice. He hoped there would not be "next time," but they must be ready for defence requirements. Dr. Marsden said that with the development of new products and processes the laboratory, which he called "a happy combination of expert mechanics, scientists, and engineers," could render additional service to the Dominion in the post-war years. It had been a marvellous experience for him to work with such a team.
After Dunkirk, he proceeded, the Department had been "given its head," and expense had not been considered. But instrument for instrument, those made by the laboratory had actually been less expensive than those previously obtained from abroad. It was not then a question of cost, but that was how it worked out. "If we vise our young scientists and engineers properly there is nothing that this country cannot do. That fact has been proved. It will be the country that makes the best use of its young technicians during the next 20 years that will make good. There are such tremendous changes in the scientific world that New Zealand cannot afford to ignore them."
While he was not advocating Government control of industry, if was essential that there should be the fullest co-operation between its scientific staff and private enterprise. Dr. Cooper said the staff of the laboratory was most anxious that it should pull its weight in New Zealand's industry, and that the utmost use should be made of it. Indicating what had been accomplished, he stated that in four years no fewer than 22,000 gauges had been made in the tool room for munitions. As each was valued at about £5, that work had a value of about £100,000. About 8000 special tools had been made for the Services, none of which could have been imported, apart from other "special jobs" that numbered' many thousands.
EVENING POST, 31 AUGUST 1945
About 30 members of Parliament visited the Dominion Physical Laboratory at Lower Hutt yesterday, where they learnt details of the war work done there by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. The Secretary of the Department (Dr. E. Marsden), on the right, is seen addressing the party.
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 6, 2020 1:19:39 GMT 12
THREE SUCCESSFUL NEW ZEALANDERS
When William Young, then a Palmerston North Technical College boy, dropped into a radio shop in his home town, Feilding, in pre-war days and became interested in radio, little did he dream that eventually he was to become associated with research connected with one of the marvels of the age - the atomic bomb.
With Frank Scarrott and John R. Shirley, both Napier school boys, he was subsequently connected with successful high frequency radio tests when communication was established in 1938 between trawlers operating off Napier and the shore base. The three boys were then members of the Palmerston North Radio Emergency Corps, which conducted the experiments. Radio-telephony was used, and the crews of the vessels were able to converse with workers on other trawlers many miles away, as well as with the base station at Napier.
William Young later obtained a bursary that took him to Canterbury College, where he obtained his degree in electrical and mechanical engineering. At the outbreak of war, while still at the University, he entered the radio development laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and was later sent to Canada, where he was among the research assistants engaged on the development of the atomic bomb.
Another of the three, John Shirley, toured North and South America before the war, spent some time in England, where he joined the Marconi Company, and, as a radio operator, served at sea. He was in England when war broke out. Returning to New Zealand early in 1940, he joined the Signals Section of the Army, secured a commission as lieutenant, and served in the Middle East with the New Zealanders.
In Italy he was in charge of the group that captured the German commander, General von Alten, and his staff. Of late he has been engaged in the vicinity of Trieste, where he developed an electronic weapon for disrupting enemy communications. He now holds the rank of major.
The third member of the group, Frank Scarrott, served with the Field Artillery Signals, where he gained his commission as lieutenant, and twice visited the Pacific.
The success of these young men, and many other New Zealanders who obtained their initial scientific training in amateur radio, draws attention to the importance of the voluntary work carried out in the Dominion prior to the outbreak of war. When hostilities broke out all amateur radio organisations were disbanded. Many young people in various parts of the country are now looking forward to an early resumption of activities.
EVENING POST, 8 SEPTEMBER 1945
Three young New Zealand amateur radio enthusiasts whose training stood them in good stead. From the left, Messrs. William Young (later atomic bomb research assistant), Frank Scarrott, and John R. Shirley, conducting experiments in a trawler off Napier in 1938. The photograph, taken by Mr. K. D. McEiven, was subsequently autographed by Count Felix von Luckner.