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  < Back to Table Of Contents  < Back to Topic: They Served

article number 741
article date 10-25-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
We Enter War . . . Radio is "Beamed" to Our Soldiers Overseas, 1942
by Yank magazine writers
   

Three Organizations Broadcast to Our Soldiers

At the present time there are three organizations in the States concentrating on short wave broadcasts to the A.E.F.:
The Columbia Broadcasting System, the National Broadcasting Company and the Coordinator of Information. Below you will find the stations affiliated with each outfit. In practically all cases all the stations in one organization carry all its programs.

Short wave being what it is, do not take the directional beams listed too seriously. A station beamed on Northern Europe for example may very well be picked up in Australia.

That’s what the Signal Corps told us anyway.

CBS
WCIX—15270 KC-19.6 meters, Beamed on Europe
WCRC—11830 KC—25.3, Beamed on Europe
WCDA-11830 KC—25.3-and 17830 KC-16.9, Beamed on Latin America

NBC
WRCA—15150 KC—19.8-and 31.02, Beamed on Europe and Australia
WNBI—17700 KC—16.8-and 25.23, Beamed on Europe and Latin America
WBOS—15210 KC—19.72-and 25.26, Beamed on Europe and Latin America

COI
WRUL—11790 KC—25.4, Beamed on Far East
WRUW—9700 KC-30.9, Beamed on Far East
WRUS—6040 KC—49.6, Beamed on Far East
WJQ—1001O KC—30.0, Beamed on Australia
WBOS—15210 KC—19.72, Beamed on Europe
WCW—15850 KC-18.9, Beamed on South Africa
WCB—15580 KC-19.3, Beamed on Europe

   
It’s Dinah Shore, she with the soft voice, and a bunch of soldiers. The soldiers are not exactly veterans. They have been at an Army Air Force Replacement Center for just three days now.

Dinah is short-waved to the A.E.F. by NBC on its “Fashions in Jazz” program.

Add Hardships of War

If your favorite program on the air from the States is cut off suddenly and your radio dummies-up all over the band, blame it on the Axis.

When the Japs raided the Dutch Harbor Base off Alaska on June 3rd, all radios along the West Coast from Canada to Mexico were silent for eight hours as a precautionary measure. A second silence was ordered the following night by the Western Defense and Fourth Army Interceptor Fighting Command.

The reason is obvious: transmitters are silenced to prevent enemy planes, if any, from locating themselves and coming in on the beam.

   
CARDS MISS DOUBLE PLAY—Jimmy Brown, the St. Louis second baseman, did a swan dive and dropped the ball as Mel Ott, Manager of the Giants, slid into the bag safely at the Polo Grounds, But the Cards won, 3 to 1.

Oskaloosa, Iowa, Calling Australia

"THIS is the home front calling the fighting front . . this is ’News from Home’ . . ."

Sixteen times a day, six days a week these words are punched through the air on shortwave beams to every corner of the world where Yanks are bivouacked. That’s a lot of corners. But “News from Home” is a lot of program.

Produced by the Overseas Forces Division of the Office of War Information, it aims to bridge the gap between Idaho and Iceland, to flash to the AEF a complete picture of each day back home.

This radio half-hour is stuffed with items of interest to overseas G.I.’s.

Ten spot features every day include sports commentators like Red Barber, Stan Lomax or Don Dunphy. Maybe Raymond Clapper or Drew Pearson or Fulton Lewis, Jr. to discuss the day’s serious news developments. Quotes from Winchell or Sullivan, Fred Allen or Bob Hope. One or two numbers from a name band or vocalist. And a straight survey of the big news of the day.

Main Street Doings

“News from Home” also digs up the kind of news that can’t be picked up in the big towns or heard from the big commentators. It’s the only short-wave program on which a yardbird, if he is near a radio, can hear news of his home town in the voice of the same announcer he used to hear over the local station.

The news, maybe, that George Smith, the town dog-catcher, is now supply sergeant of an infantry outfit in Camp Shelby. Or that the kids in town are still chalking all over the wall of the pickle works. Or that the old pickle works now makes G.I. shoes for the Army.

Or, to quote a recent broadcast: "Jim Haggerty, the local barber, back from two weeks at camp with the state guard, has hung a sign in his shop reading ‘G.I. Haircuts Repaired.

“News from Home” has pumped this kind of home-cooked news out of as many as 48 different towns and cities in one week. To do this job it’s become more than just a program—it’s a network.

More than 65 stations are searching out and recording at their own expense Main Street news they think will be of interest to local G.I.’s overseas. These records are sent to the OWI where they are edited and added to the program.

Messages From Home

Another feature takes the microphone into the living room of the family of a man overseas. The gal on the mike is Connie West. She’s about five feet four, has brown hair and brown eyes, is younger than you’d think and wouldn’t trade her job for four brand new tires.

She delivers the messages straight—no syrup, slush or corn. About 150 messages have been broadcast to date. The OWI gets them from letters written in by mothers.

   
Miss Connie West.

An exclusive daily feature is “G.l. News—Furnished by YANK the Army Newspaper.” This is a strictly G.I. capsule of up-to-the-minute Army developments, personality bits and general items about Yanks at home and abroad.

Each day’s broadcast also includes a three-minute feature that digs under the news. Features so far have included the broadcast highlights of baseball and football games and championship fights; reviews of forthcoming films to be shipped overseas; advance stories of popular comic strips told by the cartoonists themselves; an interview with an ex-officer in the German Air Force; Clifton Fadiman on books, and Fred Allen on himself.

If there’s anything you think “News from Home” can do for you there’s something you’d like to hear, write to OWl or to YANK. To quote Pvt. McTurk, “You puts down your letters and you listens to your choice.”

“Command Performance” Brings All-Star Show to the AEF

Purged of soap-opera corn, singing advertising and amateur music from the hills, radio programs representing a million dollars worth of talent are being beamed by short wave to G.I.’s on foreign service around the world.

The War Department says its “Command Performance,” all-star show aired Sunday nights, is heard all over. Letters from Surinam, Guatemala, Greenland, Iceland, the Canal Zone and other spots show the AEF is picking it up on all fronts.

Talent Terrific

With NBC contributing the bulk of the overseas shows at the moment, the concentration of available talent reads like a gold star edition of the Radio Guide annual . . . to name a few:

• Dinah Shore,
• Jack Benny,
• Kay Kyser,
• Fibber McGee and Molly,
• Fred Allen,
• Henry Aldrich,
• Bob Hope,
• Phil Baker,
• Al Pearce,
• Burns and Allen,
• Bing Crosby,
• Fanny Brice,
• Bill Stern,
• Ted Husing and
• Grant Rice

   
Bob Hope, shown here with Frances Scully of his radio cast, is heard by American troops as far away as India and Australia, thanks to KGEI, San Francisco shortwave station. KGEI beams entertainment along with the news so nettling to the Japs.

‘Dear Adolf’ New Program

Stephen Vincent Benet has written six letters to Adolf Hitler which NBC will short-wave abroad each Monday and Tuesday on a show, “Dear Adolf.” Raymond Massey, Helen Hayes and Melvyn Douglas will take part in the program.

New Pacific Station

A new short-wave radio station, KWID, a 100,000-watter, is being tested in San Francisco for transmission of programs to A.E.F.’s in Australia and the Orient.

   
Dinah Shore as a Yank "Pin-Up."

Cities Broadcast To Their Troops

A series of short-wave broadcasts, each sponsored by a newspaper in a different city and intended to interest soldiers from that city, will start this week. Titled, “Men in Service,” it will be presented each Saturday night for a year and will be carried by the most powerful short-wave outlets in the Western Hemisphere, General Electric’s KGEI, WGEO, and WGEA.

Under the plan, one station in an American city will present a show with a local atmosphere. The program will consist of music, a chat by the mayor, a word from the editor of the sponsoring newspaper, and personal regards from some of the mothers and sweethearts.

Some of the newspapers which will sponsor programs are the Bangor (Me.) News, July 4; Buffalo News, July 11; Indianapolis Star, July 18, and Rochester Times-Union, July 25.

Other papers which will sponsor programs are:
• New York Sun,
• St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
• Knoxville News-Sentinel,
• Albany Times-Union,
• Minneapolis Star-Journal,
• Atlanta Journal,
• Richmond News-Leader,
• Kansas City Star,
• Memphis Commercial-Appeal,
• Boston Traveler,
• New Bedford Standard-Times,
• Manchester Union,
• Jamestown Post-Journal,
• Hartford Times,
• Syracuse Post - Standard,
• Elmira Star-Gazette,
• Niagara Falls Gazette,
• Watertown Times,
• Worcester Telegram,
• Waterbury Republican,
• Portland Press-Herald,
• Battle Creek Enquirer and News and
• Poughkeepsie Eagle-News.

   
NEWS FROM HOME. Troops in a Pacific outpost end a long, hard day around the radio, waiting to hear shortwave news beamed out from home.

Radio Table Designed For Troops Overseas

On this page is a radio schedule designed especially for the men in foreign service. Unlike the week’s radio schedule in your Sunday newspaper at home, it does not list separately each day’s programs. To do so would involve much repetition. so this arrangement was devised to permit publication of the largest possible number of programs.

The entire week’s programs for each hour of the day are listed opposite that hour. To find what programs are on the air at 2 p. m. on any given day, merely look at 2 p. m. and check in the next column for that day’s program. The program marked M is Monday’s, T is Tuesday’s, W is Wednesday’s, Th is Thursday’s, etc.

News is heard at intervals too frequent to list. Broadcasting news seven days a week, every hour on the hour, are Stations WDJ, WDI, WJQ, WDO, WCW and WLWO.

   
Sample of A. E. F. Radio Station Log and Broadcast Schedule.

Quick Watson, the Needle, New Discs Due

The Jones family back home has finally found a use for those highfalutin’ opera records which Pa bought by mistake ten years ago when, being sent by the jitterbug daughter to get some “hot music” for her birthday party, he returned with the Fire Music from Wagner’s Die Walkure.

Ma gave them to the American Legion, which on July 7 launched a nation-wide, house-to-house campaign to collect used recordings for Records For Our Fighting Men, Inc., a non-profit organization headed by Kay Kyser, Lily Pons, Harry James, John Barbirolli, Benny Goodman, and scores of other topflight musicians who are actively co-operating to supply every U. S. outfit, at home or overseas, with the latest and best in recorded music.

RFOFM, Inc., will sell the used discs to the leading record manufacturers who will salvage them for vitally needed shellac. The money thus obtained will be used to purchase at cost the cream of each month’s releases.

The organization also will provide phonographs for all outfits which lack them.

   
Betty Grable as Yank "Pin-up."

Pick Your Own Stars, Radio Will Put Them On The Air

Two million bucks worth of talent on the cuff!

That’s what the A.E.F.’s are getting in “Command Performance”, War Department radio show, short-waved by 14 U.S. international station each Sunday to American forces throughout the world.

“Command Performance” is not broadcast in the U. S. It is exclusively A.E.F.

The talent is recruited from every network. The choicest big-names of stage, screen, music and radio donate their services, and the unions suspend their customary broadcast regulations to participate on the program.

Plenty of Talent

The “Performance” mirrors the radio requests of men in foreign service. There is no star which the War Department can’t get, and there is no name who would turn down an opportunity to appear on the show.

Below is a partial list of talent available for the radio entertainment of the A.E.F. These stars are ready and willing to amuse you G.I.’s in New Caledonia or Iceland.

Check or add the names of the people you want. Send them in to YANK, the Army Newspaper, U.S.A. And leave the rest to us.

Don’t worry! You’ll get them!

Pick Your Favorite

In orchestras:
• Al Goodman,
• Mark Warnow,
• Ray Noble,
• Harry James,
• Sammy Kaye, Ozzie
• Nel son,
• Phil Harris,
• Glenn Miller,
• Benny Goodman,
• Rudy Vallee,
• John Scott Trotter,
• Charlie Spivak,
• Guy Lombardo,
• Tommy Dorsey, and
• Jimmy Dorsey.

In comedians:
• Eddie Cantor,
• Danny Kaye,
• Joe E. Lewis.
• Henny Youngman,
• Robert Benchley,
• Kay Kyser,
• Lou Holtz,
• Bob Burns,
• Bergen & McCarthy,
• Phil Baker,
• Walter O’Keefe,
• Fanny Brice,
• Abbott & Costello,
• Burns & Allen,
• Frank Morgan,
• Red Skelton,
• Jack Benny,
• Bob Hope,
• Milton Berle,
• Hugh Herbert,
• Fred Allen.

In vocalists:
• Bea Wain,
• Dinah Shore,
• Gladys Swarthout,
• Carmen Miranda,
• Connee Boswell,
• Ella Logan,
• Andrews Sisters,
• Ginny Sims,
• Betty Hutton,
• Benay Venuta.
• Dorothy Lamour,
• Frances Langford,
• Harriet Hilliard,
• Betty Grable,
• Mary Martin,
• Deanna Durbin,
• Carole Landis,
• Betty Jane Rhodes, and
• Judy Garland.

   
Marie McDonald, who used to sing with Tommy Dorsey, apparently didn’t like the label "America’s Typical Brunette" which press agents gave her when she went to Hollywood. The starlet, who will be seen in Universal’s "Pardon My Sarong," has turned blonde.

Reports From Radio Fronts

Labrador
SANDGERT LAKE — Radio is the only link with the outside world. Most of the equipment here is used to take weather observations. Reception in southwest Labrador is not so hot but “Command Performance" has been coming in fairly well along with a few other shows.

Canal Zone
BALBOA—Radio reception from the U. S. is about as perfect as could be expected. Now that big names like Jack Benny, the Aldrich Family, Fibber McGee & Molly are off the air for the summer, the men are tuning in on jive and swing music.

Radios have been hooked up in corrugated tin huts. Crying need is for a complete radio schedule such as ones appearing in previous issues of YANK.

Western India
KARACHI—There is only one radio in this camp and it’s owned by two doctors, Capt. Albert King of San Antonio, Texas and Capt. W. E. Noblin of Jackson, Miss. who hold open house every night.

From 11 P M until 2 A. M. the staff of the Station Hospital for U. S. troops in India and China crowds into the medicos’ residence and listens to the “Here’s News from Home" show, a radio program short-waved throughout the world to American forces.

Most of the men here are Southerners and would like to get in touch with home-town chickens.

Central India
NEW DELHI — For the past month there has been a considerable improvement in the reception of American programs. Before that, according to Colonel J. B. Cochrane. “it was only under exceptional conditions that America could be received on the average of about once a week.”

News is now getting in at least once each night. Reception starts at 6:30 P. M. and improves steadily until 11. Short-wavers out of Boston are picked up best here on a 6-valve super-het bandspread.

Iceland
REYKJAVIK — Men stationed here are great admirers of swing music. Programs coming over are right up their alley. The short wave radios are hooked up in the recreation building, and the gang crowds around for that “Fashions in Jazz" show.

One buck private up here, Zone Ingersoll. wants NBC to play songs "such as Skylark, Miss You, I Don’t Want To Walk Without You and of course lively ones with Boogie.”

Gold Coast
ACCRA. Africa—Pan American Airways Operations say that the only good music received here emanates from the U. S. Pleads E. P. Whitney, one of the P. A. boys: ‘How about getting us more popular records in the afternoon around 5 and at night till 10?”

Here’s How G.I. Jive Was Born

NEW YORK—Pvts. John Rizzieri and Finney Miller, two G.I. hep-cats, were cutting a rug in an Australian music store a few weeks ago. Business was temporarily suspended while the proprietor pulled out his hair and customers flocked to watch “those two American soldiers jitterbug.”

A passing newspaperman noting the disruption, entered the music shop and asked the two Yanks what was playing.
“We’re just swinging out to some hot records Miller’s girl sent us,” Rizzieri explained. “That’s what we need in Australia, more swing music. If that "Here’s News From Home" radio show had more music and less talk. we’d like it better.”

The two privates got 24-hour service.

In New York the next day. Connie West. announcer on the “Here’s News From Home" program got hold of Rizzieri’s brother Nat, who lives in the Bronx, and Millers girl friend, Laura Childs.

The three of them broadcast to Australia, telling the two hep-cats to hold everything, that YANK, the Army newspaper was now short-waving hot recorded jam sessions. “G.I. Jive,” and “YANK Swing Session," in addition to daily G.I. News.

YANK is, and how about letting us know how we’re coming in down under?

   
Mitzi May fair, Carole Landis and Martha Raye sing “Snafu.”

G.l. Mail Girl

ALL her life, Mary Small has been answering letters.

When she was 11 years old, and they slapped her on one of the radio networks as “the little girl with the big voice,” she let loose with her powerful sexy contralto, and was immediately deluged with a pile of missives proposing everything including marriage.

Her shocked parents immediately made her sit down and answer every one of the letters in her innocent childish scrawl, to discourage further correspondence. It didn’t work—and that was the beginning. She’s been answering letters ever since.

Today, Mary isn’t a little girl any more (see attached cheesecake), and the situation has not improved. In fact, it has become quite terrifying. For Mary is rapidly developing into the world’s most prolific writer of letters to G.I.’s—including the British, the Russian and the Chinese.

This has come about because of a radio program of Mary’s, in which she reads and answers letters from G.I.’s all over the world.

She also sings songs in her sexy contralto.

The program is aired four times a week (CBS and shortwave, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), pulling an average of 150 letters per program. This makes 600 letters a week which Mary reads and answers.

It almost drives her nuts—but she loves it.

One-half of the letters are still proposals and propositions. About 25 per cent request songs or pictures of Mary for foot-lockers, under pillows, or more public places. Practically all of the letters inform Mary that her voice reminds them of the girl they left behind.

One private in Australia named Jack Miller has gone so far as to suggest that Mary come to Melbourne and personally sing him to sleep with a song called “You Are Always In My Heart.”

“That,” says Mary, “is a beautiful thought.”

   
Miss Mary Small
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