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WWII Field Radio? HELP


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Can someone please help identify what radios these sailors are using? My grandfather is the one standing looking down next to the radio operator sitting. I am trying to create a display with his uniform and gear and would like to buy this type of radio to go with the display! THANKS!

 

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Looks to me to be a BC-659 with a PE-120 power unit. I have a pair in my collection.

 

Here is the receiver.

 

 

Does yours have handles on the sides? Do you know how they carried these from the landing craft to the beach? Did they have radio backpacks for these? Thanks!

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Yes the units do have the leather handles on the side. I don't think these could be used in a back pack configuration, they are quite heavy. I know that they can be vehicle mounted.

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Always looking for WW1 28th Division; anything, papers, field gear, uniforms, etc.

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If you look close you can see that the radio is question is a BC-620, not a BC-659. Thinner antenna and lack of a speaker on the front is the give away. Also there are no brackets on top to store the antenna.

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The SCR 610 was man portable because it broke into two major pieces and each half had a carrying handle and D=rings which attached a strap ST-19 to be carried over the shoulder. I've also seen these on packboards. interesting thing is that the radio had only two channels and had to be tuned correctly by signal corps personnel to work on the net. It wasn't until the BC-1000 came into the picture that a tunable radio became available.

Tom Bowers

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  • 2 years later...

I have a BC-620. As compared to the BC-659 and the BC-1000, the BC-620 operated on Armor frequencies. Thus, presumably the BC-620 was used by troops scouting for armor units.

 

The BC-620 was tried out as an answer for communicating with tanks during the fighting in the hedgerow (Bocage) country in Normandy. A backpack version was created, and you can imagine what it must have been like walking around with the equivalent of a full sized microwave oven on your back! The interim answer was to put field telephone boxes on the rear of the tanks, hooked into the intercom, so that the troops could tell the tanks thing like, "Shoot over there to the right. There is a machine gun position we need to take out." I don' think the problem was solved until the RT-70/GRC short range set was installed in tanks after Korea, able to talk to local infantry units with their PRC-10's and PRC-6's

 

There is a picture in the Warren Thompson book on P-51's in Korea of some ROK troops with a BC-620 on high ground above a major armor engagement, presumably scouting for the tanks.

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