World War II Navy Radio
Navy Television
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Projects Block and Ring

NOTE - This is a re-creation of Rob Flory's original site which crashed some time ago - unfortunately some photos are still missing but most of the text is here - if you can help with any replacement photos, please send e-mail to Rob or to Nick K4NYW

Click here for Nick's 1950's-60's Navy Radio Pages -

Military television got its start during World War II.  In 1934, on learning of the newly-formed Japanese Kamikaze Corps, Vladimir Zworykin of RCA proposed that the American answer to that potentially devastating tactic could be to use television and radio control to acheive the same results.  The Navy led the way in the field of military television, with RCA as the prime civilian contractor.

Airborne Television Camera CRV-59AAE

This TV camera uses an 1846 iconoscope pickup tube. 

One of the applications of the Block system was its use for remote control of war-weary bombers that were turned into flying bombs.  After conventional bombing attacks on hardened targets in Europe failed, Project Aphrodite sought to direct remote-controlled flying bombs into the small vulnerable areas of V-bomb launching sites and sub pens.  After take-off and arming by a crew of two aviators, the flying bomb would be controlled from another plane.  Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., the elder brother of President Kennedy, was killed in the process of sending a PB4Y(Navy version of B-24) on its way towards a target.
The system was used more successfully in the Pacific Theatre.

Click here to read more about WWII television equipment.

Click here to read about my grandfather's career at RCA, where he worked on television, military, and medical electronics