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WWII Forward Air Controller radio?

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I do WWII living history periodically, and I've been trying to put together an impression as an early forward air controller, in the vein of what Quentin Aanenson experienced on the front. I've been trying to find information on what kind of radios they would have been using, along with the respective equipment. I've been fairly unsuccessful so far. It sounds like they jerry-rigged a lot of stuff. I'm unfamiliar with the wartime air-band receivers and transmitters, so I'm not sure of what may have been typical. I'm also looking for any pictures of these guys in action. I've only seen one or two, not counting the one of Capt Aanenson, and his picture doesn't show any equipment (but interestingly, it does show him wearing paratrooper boots he must have procured somewhere along the way). Any resources y'all have would be greatly appreciated!





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Might want this in the radio section of the forum....


seems like they would have had a ton of radio gear...I don't think there was one radio for all needs kind of thing....I think they had radios for ground to ground and separate radios for ground to air....



I like your idea of doing the FAC impression...tough duty...I was reading about Aanenson's experience in one of my coffee table books about WWII....he lead a charmed life.....

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  • 5 years later...
Fort Susquehanna

If you haven't found it, you should take a look at aafradio.org.  It is written by a collector named Mike Hanz, who has a wealth of knowledge about WWII AAF Radios.  He would be the guy to ask, but I think you would have seen a ground version of the SCR-522 used for fighter and bomber control.  There were multiple versions of the SCR-522 used in WWII, including a ground set.  




From my research on ETO Liaison Squadrons, it is known that they flew with G2 or G3 section (aviation) controllers from the divisions.  The AAF was more concerned about not hitting our guys than getting ordnance accurately onto target (especially after Operation Cobra).  So they put Divisional personnel who had knowledge of the whereabouts of ground forces into the air to talk to fighters and bombers.  There were several instances of this I have documented in ETO.  I was unable to get information from the pilots about the type of radio they used, but I was told their passenger/observer brought their own radio to talk with the strike aircraft, and it was different from the ones used by the Field Artillery spotters they flew.  The pilot of the Liaison aircraft only flew the mission- the back seater did all the communication and spotting work.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

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