World War II Navy Radio
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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 -

Since every Navy Radioman is first a sailor, training starts with Boot Camp.  This consists of physical training, indoctrination, seamanship, and infantry training.  During Boot Camp, trainees are evaluated to qualify for service schools in particular ratings.

Service school for a Radioman might last 16 weeks.  After passing that, a period as a "Striker" would be required.  A Striker is an apprentice, who is assigned to a station or ship for practical work until such time as he is deemed ready to take the exam for his rating.

Exceptions to this system were fairly common, if it suited the needs of the Navy.

The following series of photos is from Camp Robert Smalls, the segregated training camp for black recruits at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois. 
To visit the Great Lakes Naval Museum:
Make sure to check out Camp Robert Smalls, where the first black recruits trained for general ratings.  Previously, only the steward rating was available to black men.  The story of the camp's namesake is an interesting one, too.  Robert Smalls led a group of his fellow enslaved sailors who stole a Confederate Navy vessel during the Civil War and surrendered it to the U.S. Navy!! His story will be told in an upcoming PBS special called, "Slavery and the Making of America", to be aired in February 2005.
Photos of Radioman recruits training at Camp Robert Smalls courtesy of the Great Lakes Naval Museum.

Recruits gather around an RBB or RBC receiver

Recruits Learning to Send Morse Code

Receiving Practice

Copying Fox Broadcasts Off the Air

Equipment pictured above(l-r) is: first position-unknown, second position-RAZ LF/MF receiver, third position-RAO or RBH MF/HF receiver, fourth position-RBK VHF receiver, fifth position-RAO or RBH.