Operation: The Mid Atlantic Air Museum's 15th Annual World War II Weekend June 4-5-6, 2004
Mission: Provide an on site display of Maintenance of Radio Equipment. Display to be "Hands ON"
Personnel: KA3AIS, N3TPM
OL: Reading Army Airfield A.K.A. Reading Regional/Carl A Spaatz Field.
Background: World War II weekend is the largest W.W.II commemoration event in the US. It has been hosted by Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA and has been held on the first weekend in June every year since 1990. They take over "Spaatz Field" and recreate 1944 with "a total immersion event". There are 1000's of re-enactors representing all the combatant's - Allies AND Axis. In addition to the encampments, vehicles and flea-market, there is an air-show featuring some of the rarest of flying W.W.II aircraft. This year it included the B-29, P-38 and Spitfire aircraft.
NOTE: All photos and most of the comments on these pages are by Bill, KA3AIS and Craig, N3TPM. Their effort at Reading to provide the public a view of W.W.II radio equipment and its maintenance is outstanding and they deserve a lot of credit. Many logistical problems were solved with detailed planning and preparation resulting in a top notch display. The bulk of the equipment came from N3TPM's collection and additional material came from Terry, N3GTE and Paul, WA3GFZ. Many of us have this equipment buried in our storage areas and it never sees the light of day.A recent trend here on the East Coast is to set up and operate military equipment at Ham Fests and to have Dayton style nets on 51.0 Mcs and 3885 Kcs. A link to the MRCA Gilbert show is on page three where many collectors will display and "operate" their equipment this fall.
|The show management was contacted and a permanent building was generously offered for the display. Otherwise, we would have had to set up a tent (which we didn't own). The barracks or hut we used is a (scaled) reproduction of the buildings found at Ft. Indian-Town Gap. The building size is 10 x 14 feet (3m x 4.5m). Shown is an outside view of hut/barracks in 2003 on "Rainy Saturday". In 2004, they got smart and put hay on the ground in the muddy areas.
|Inside view of the "other" hut/barracks. It is maintained year-round with cots and uniforms
|KA3AIS and N3TPM had attended the show in past years, and decided to put on a 'strictly radio and electronics' display of their own. We set out to recreate a "Radio Maintenance Depot" (Third Echelon), to service and maintain all of the electronic equipment found at a large US Army Air Corps Base/military base in England in 1944. We expanded this to include radios used by all of the services in as many configurations as possible. . After months of planning, we compromised on layout that used the vintage furniture/fixtures available on-site and maximized open area. Coming through the front door, our guests were presented with walls of radios directly ahead and to the left and right.
|On the left wall we set up a telephone switchboard, forward radio and corespondent's/CW traffic operating positions. We wired the adjacent hut and structures for telephones, ringing through the switchboard.
also put the 'heavy' gear on this side - BC-603/683, ART-13 and BC-348.Pin-up
girl posters were supplied with the hut, we supplied W.W.II radio equipment
advertisements, charts and announcements. Filler or background material
included boxed and loose spare parts, headphones, microphones, QST magazines,
Technical manuals, tools, cables and other misc. supplies.