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History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy, Captain Linwood S. Howeth, USN (Retired), 1963, pages 107-115:
Early Usage of Naval Radio
The organization of the U.S. Navy resulted in the division of naval radio into two almost separate components at its very beginning. One of these, the shore radio system, by the nature of the organization of the Shore Establishment, was a coordinated system under a control stemming down from the Secretary of the Navy. This organization was improved even more by the early adoption of the naval district organization wherein the commandants were responsible for all naval activities within their specified areas. The operators at these stations were given specific tasks to be performed at specific times and their work was under close scrutiny. Circuit discipline, although not as good as in later years, was exercised by the commandants and their staffs. Moreover, the establishment of the radio system took away none of the prerogatives of the commanders of the Shore Establishment, for they were already subject to the telegraphic orders of the Navy Department. In the case of fleet radio communications the stations in the ships were, of course, responsible to the commanding officer and through him up the chain of command. However, in comparison with the shore stations, the operators were poorly supervised and circuit discipline was practically nonexistent. The radio operators developed into a group apart, usually only answerable to the commanding officers, who, in most part, let them do as they pleased. Senior officers took it as a means of diminution of their powers and were apt to be somewhat like Lord Nelson at Copenhagen when he used his worthless eye on a signal he did not care to receive.
Mr. George H. Clark, the Navy's first civilian radio expert, and the one person best qualified to describe what must be called a sad commentary on fleet usage of radio, noted:
They sent to each other whatever and whenever they pleased. If one of them wished to send a message from their ship to some sweetheart ashore, the ship's wireless called the nearest shore station, prefaced his remarks "take a note, old man" and then sent his message of love, which was duly forwarded by telephone. Installations were not standard; that is even for a given type of set the installations could be changed around at the will of the chiefs, and this they did often and freely.
Had gunnery, seamanship, or engineering been as subjected to the lack of interest and understanding as radio was, we would have had a fleet in name only. Had radar received this treatment in its infancy it would not have been one of the major contributors to the victories which brought the Axis Powers to their knees.
Speaking with the utmost candor, the older officer mistrusted, did not understand, and made mild fun of wireless. Out of my own experience I recall the remarks of one officer, who saw a flat-top antenna not yet drawn up taut and who remarked testily, "How can they expect to tune a thing like that when its strings are loose"; and of another who announced that finally he saw what was meant by "grounding" a set on a ship, because the water in the salt water pipes went down until they reached the ground (or, as I put it then, "to have a grounded set you need a grounded ocean") . . . Ensign Harold Dodd got his first assignment to wireless because he could play the piano, hence "knew how to tune a set." Even in the earliest days this antagonism was evident. When Admiral John Rodgers was head of the Wireless Telegraph Board testing American sets at the Highlands, he was present one day during tests with the U.S.S. Topeka. The coherer at the Highlands was very sensitive and started to jam; Jack Scanlin tried to tell the ship to reduce power, but unsuccessfully; finally he climbed the wireless mast and wig-wagged the message to them. The Admiral, looking on, remarked, drily, "You had to go back to the old-time wireless after all, Scanlin."
As to the officers, they used the wireless for messages concerning their position and expected date of arrival at port, for data as to supplies, and in general, for an every-day telegraphic service by ether instead of wire. As to using this for tactical work, there was hardly any of this done. Nor were the commanding officers desirous of too close contact with Washington . . . the traditional power of a commanding officer to do as he felt best with his ship or command as soon as he got out of sight of land would have been completely wiped out if someone in the Bureau of Navigation or elsewhere could give him orders. So often the instructions to the wireless room were to shut down the wireless and not acknowledge calls from shore at all.1
1. THE SHORE RADIO SYSTEM
With the responsibility for Government radio operations placed upon the Navy by President Roosevelt, the Bureau of Equipment immediately commenced to expand the shore system to meet the established requirements. Immediate action was taken to make it available to all Government departments and to all ships at sea, irrespective of nationality or of the type of equipment with which they were fitted.
"Instructions for the Transmission of Messages by Wireless Telegraphy, U.S. Navy, 1904," were promulgated on the same day that President Roosevelt approved the recommendations of the Interdepartmental Wireless Telegraph Board insofar as governmental usage was concerned. This 15-page publication, which had an effective date of 1 October 1904, superseded the "Instructions for the Use of Wireless Telegraph Apparatus" which had been prepared by Hudgins. It contained six pages of instructions for use of the system, and required that a continuous watch be maintained at all shore stations. The remainder of the publication provided information concerning the telegraphic codes and the call letters of ships and stations. At the time there were three separate telegraphic codes in use, the Navy or Meyer, the American Morse, and the International or Continental Morse. Naval radio operators were required to use all three of these.
To provide nonnaval personnel with the necessary information concerning the U.S. Naval Radio Service and instructions pertaining its free use, a separate bulletin was prepared. In order to obtain the widest possible maritime distribution for this, resort was made to a U.S. Naval Hydrographic Office periodic publication, "Notices to Mariners," which was widely used by merchantmen and always available at U.S. naval branch hydrographic offices located in all principal seaports. A "Special Notice to Mariners," issued under date of November 1904, contained these instructions and the information and a notice that additional information of interest to mariners concerning the service would be included in its future editions.
This "Special Notice to Mariners" stated that U.S. naval radio facilities were available for the public, generally, and the maritime interests, in particular, for communicating with ships at sea, where not in competition with private radio facilities, for the purpose of:
Reporting vessels and intelligence received by radio with regard to maritime casualties, derelicts and overdue vessels;
It also listed the locations and call letters of the available naval radio stations and contained instructions relative to the methods of payment of commercial charges to the telegraph and telephone companies. Information was provided concerning the transmissions of weather, dangers to navigation, and a proposed time service.
Receiving radiograms of a private or commercial nature from ships as sea, for further transmission by telegraph or telephone systems; and, transmitting radiograms to ships at sea.
Following the promulgation of this bulletin, the Navy established the first organized radio aid for navigation and safety of life at sea service in this country. The regulations and information promulgated have remained applicable to this day and remain the basis for the provision of such services. This "Special Notice to Mariners" is reproduced as appendix E.
2. ORIGINS OF SPECIAL BROADCASTS OF THE NAVAL RADIO SERVICE
After issuing its "Instructions for the Transmission of Messages by Wireless Telegraphy," the Navy Department, on 30 November 1904, directed all naval shore radio stations to promptly transmit all weather reports and storm warnings, provided by the Weather Bureau, on designated schedules. Additionally, they were directed to transmit hurricane information as soon as warnings were received as well as on the regular schedules. All U.S. naval vessels fitted with radio were directed to transmit meteorological observations, addressed to the Weather Bureau, at least once daily or oftener when storm conditions existed.2 The times of the specified weather schedules were published in the December issue of ''Notices to Mariners."
In 1906 the masters of approximately 50 ships agreed to provide the Weather Bureau with radio messages containing weather observations once daily, at a specific time, when within certain prescribed ocean areas. Mostly, these were passenger ships plying North Atlantic routes, but there were a few in the South Atlantic and Caribbean areas and one in the Pacific, the SS President, said to be the only merchant ship in that ocean fitted with radio as of 18 June 1907. A report from the SS Cartago of 26 August 1906, off the coast of Yucatan during a hurricane, is credited as the first from a ship to be used in connection with the issuance of such warnings.3
The increasing number of the Navy's radio installations enabled the Weather Bureau to obtain information from constantly widening sources, thereby increasing the reliability of the reports. The contributions of this service to the safety of life at sea have been and continue to be inestimable and have been fully justified by the saving of life and property.
With exact time being of the utmost importance in celestial navigation, the Navy realized at the very beginning of the establishment of the shore radio stations the desirability of providing a scheduled broadcast of exact Naval Observatory time. In September 1903 experiments were commenced with the short-range, low-powered radio transmissions of time signals from the station at the Highlands of Navesink, N.J.4 On 9 August 1904, the first official scheduled transmission of such signals was started at the radio station of the Boston Navy Yard. This was the beginning of the worldwide service now rendered by the naval communication system.
When the order was received at Boston to begin broadcasting time signals, no automatic relay was available to the station, so they were unable to let the impulses from the landline automatically key the transmitter. As the "time clicks" arrived the operator attempted to keep an even pace with them with the unwieldy key fitted to the Slaby-Arco transmitter. This resulted in a slight timelag due to the delay in translating thought into manual action. It was feared that the error in the chronometer rate obtained from the use of these signals might nullify their usefulness. This error was eventually eliminated by the use of instantaneous automatic relays.
During 1904 the stations at Cape Cod, Mass., and Norfolk, Va., were directed to transmit time signals and, during the next year, Portsmouth, N. H., Key West, Fla., and Mare Island, Calif., were added to the list. Since the reliable range of these transmissions was about 50 miles, they were only of aid to vessels near the coast. By 1909 the number of stations transmitting time signals had been increased to 19 and the reliable range to about 100 miles. This service was another which enhanced the safety of lives at sea by affording more accurate navigation for those approaching land. No other country attempted to broadcast time signals until 1927.5 Improvements in this service continued apace with the improvements in radio until eventually ships were able to receive these transmissions regardless of the ocean in which they sailed.
Another important aid to maritime security was instituted by the U.S. Navy on 7 August 1907, when an item was included in the "Notices to Mariners" stating that radio warnings of obstructions dangerous to navigation would be broadcast three times daily by naval radio stations. In addition to the positions of obstructions such as icebergs and derelicts, these broadcasts contained information concerning lightships off station and lighthouses with extinguished lights.6
The Bureau of Equipment issued the first international call book of radio stations in 1905. This was prepared under the direction of Lt. J. J. Hyland, USN, and was titled, "List of Wireless Telegraph Stations of the World."7
A few years after the initial publication of the "Instructions," the "Manual of Wireless Telegraphy for the Use of Naval Electricians," frequently referred to as "Robison's Manual," was issued. Robison, during his tour of duty as head of the Radio Division, assisted by J. L. Jayne, prepared this manual in 1905. It was first published in January 1907. For approximately 25 years it was, with revisions, recognized as the Navy's standard textbook on the subject.
3. TRAINING IN THE STRATEGIC USE OF RADIO
It was not until 1906 that any effort was made to train fleet personnel in the use of radio for strategic purposes. Failure to conduct exercises for this purpose was the result of a totally inadequate radio operator training program, both in number and in scope. The Bureau of Navigation, responsible for the training of naval personnel, could or would not understand why ordinary signal training was not sufficient and took no positive steps until forced to do so by the Secretary of the Navy after numerous criticisms of its inactivity and the paucity of personnel for the maintenance and operation of radio equipment.8
Early in 1906, Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans, USN, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, set up a simulated search problem en route from Hampton Roads, Va., to the Caribbean area. Shortly before this, the floating drydock Dewey, which had been constructed in the United States, had departed under tow for the U.S. Naval Base, Cavite, Philippine Islands, via the Suez Canal. Evans decided to use this as the target for his search since it would also afford the commander of the towing group a means of relaying his messages back to the United States.9
Upon departure from the United States, Admiral Evans established his scouting line to the eastward of his main body. The latter was to maintain a direct course from the Virginia Capes to Culebra, West Indies.
The scouting line was composed of five ships, in order from the main body eastward, U.S.S. Illinois, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, and Maryland. The scouting interval was varied dependent upon the ability of the scouts to maintain radio communications with adjacent vessels on the line.10
Late on 19 January, when the Maryland was 500 miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., 600 miles north of San Juan, P.R., and 640 miles west of the U.S.S. Glacier, flagship of the towing expedition, she received a message from the latter for relay to Washington. This was relayed to the U.S.S. Missouri, in the main body via the Illinois. The Missouri passed it on to the U.S.S. Maine, Evans' flagship, by visual methods. The Maine endeavored to relay this to a shore station but was unable to obtain a receipt.
Some 40 hours later with the main body about 300 miles further south another message was relayed via the scouting line to the Missouri, relayed visually to the Maine, and broadcast by her to the shore stations. These were the only two transmissions relayed from the Glacier, although the Maryland maintained fairly good communications with her for several days.11
During the trip constant endeavors were made to maintain communications between the ships of the scouting line and the main body, but with exceedingly poor results.
In his preliminary report of the exercise Evans wrote:
The vagaries of the wireless instruments do not seem to be fully understood as yet, for at times when there seem to be no atmospheric electricity present the nearest scout could not be heard by any one of the First Squadron, but at other times they have picked up messages apparently passing between the Dock and the Maryland.12
The final report, signed by Evans, contained an analysis of radio operations which, in substance, is stated below.
There were numerous instances in which atmospheric disturbances interfered with the scouts reception of messages from each other, some periods being of 12 to 14 hours' duration, and occurring to most of the ships alike, except in case of the Maryland, with a radio transmitter of such power that atmospheric electricity interfered with the reception of her transmissions very little. The West Virginia, having a set next in power to the Maryland, was best able to keep in communication with all the remaining ships. There were instances when all the vessels intercepted messages from ships many hundreds of miles distant and messages from the Colorado to the West Virginia were read by the Maine, and even fragments of messages from the Glacier to the Maryland, but, as a rule, with the exception of the Maryland and the West Virginia, with the Illinois third, static interference affected all alike. There appeared to be a great difference in the delicacy of the receiving instruments, as well as in the power of the transmitters, with both being subject to variation for long periods of time. At one time the Maine could receive nothing from the Illinois, then only about 200 miles distant, and at the same time her transmitter was the only one powerful enough to transmit to her. In this case when the Illinois called the flagship, one of the other vessels would inform her, whereupon the Maine would answer, the other vessel receiving and the Maine acknowledging. All ships experienced interference from the transmissions of other vessels. Even the Maryland, nearest the Glacier, at times would have a message broken up through interference of vessels further to the westward and at a long distance from her. There were causes other than interference which prevented the ships from receiving messages; the Maryland tried for hours to call the Colorado, and finally contacted her and transmitted a message to her 12 times, and in repetition each word was repeated 3 times, but no acknowledgment was received from the Colorado. Finally, after these attempts, the Maryland called the West Virginia, then about 550 miles distant, and the latter ship relayed the message. The Maryland could both transmit and receive messages under good conditions for a distance of 600 miles, but if the adjacent vessel lacked the power to acknowledge receipt of messages, even if she heard them, the value of the power of the Maryland's apparatus was lost. The Colorado and the Pennsylvania had ranges of about 150 miles, and the West Virginia probably about 300 miles. Errors frequently occurred that became quite serious at times, such as when operators gave positions and courses incorrectly by failing to spell out numerals in an attempt to speed up transmission.13
This is a confusing analysis and thoroughly indicates the lack of knowledge and appreciation of the capabilities of the installations. Efficiency of installation was confused with power as indicated by the following table of equipments:
|Ship|| ||Transmitter|| ||Receiver|
|Maine|| ||Slaby-Arco|| ||1.25 kw|| ||Shoemaker|
|Missouri|| ||Slaby-Arco|| ||1.25 kw|| ||De Forest|
|Maryland|| ||Shoemaker|| ||1.25 kw|| ||Shoemaker|
|Colorado|| ||De Forest|| ||2.00 kw|| ||De Forest|
|Glacier|| ||Slaby-Arco|| ||1.25 kw|| ||Slaby-Arco|
|West Virginia|| ||De Forest|| ||3.50 kw|| ||De Forest|
|Illinois|| ||Fessenden|| ||1.00 kw|| ||Fessenden|
It will be noted that the West Virginia was fitted with the most powerful transmitter; the Illinois with the least powerful. The remainder of the ships, except the Colorado, were fitted with transmitters of the same power. The Maine, equipped with the same type receiver as the Maryland and West Virginia, did not obtain as good results as the latter two. The transmissions of the Colorado, with her 2-kw. De Forest transmitter, apparently were difficult to receive. The Illinois, fitted with the same type of equipment as the U.S.S. Alabama, which at this time was having considerable trouble with its radio plant, was given an efficiency surpassed only by the Maryland and West Virginia. The fact that some of the ships were able to maintain communications with each other for long periods of time and yet not with others would indicate that they were better tuned to the 700-kc frequency in use. Undoubtedly some of the operators were more capable than others and it is possible that better officer supervision may have existed in some ships. The one glaring deficiency, as indicated by the wording of the analysis, was the lack of understanding of the workings of the apparatus and that sufficient training was still not being provided. Although some knowledge existed concerning the directivity of radio transmissions, no effort was exerted to make practical use of this. It is quite possible that during some of the extended periods in which no reception was possible the ships were on unfavorable headings.
In concluding his report Evans commented to the effect that radio could not be used with certainty between ships of a scouting line nor between the scouting line and the main body. The uncertainty could be reduced considerably if two ships occupied a single station on the line and if its advance was paralleled by a movement of the main body in order that the latter always remain relatively close.14
A month later another exercise was conducted simulating the conditions which had existed the previous August when the Russian battleships sortied from Port Arthur in an attempt to escape the Japanese Fleet. The Blue (Russian) Force consisted of the U.S.S. Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Kearsage, and Iowa while the Red (Japanese) Force was composed of the U.S.S. Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. One facet of this exercise called for the Blue force to endeavor to prevent the Red scouting line from communicating with each other and with the main body by creating radio interference.15 Unfortunately the two ships selected to provide the interference were the Fessenden-equipped Alabama and Illinois, both of which were having troubles with their equipments in tropical waters. However, between them they did manage to keep one transmitter at a time operating almost continuously. When within a few miles of the Maryland, representing the Red main body, they were able to interfere with her reception but her transmission15 could be copied by the scouts on the line except at such time as the distance between the main body and the closest scout was reduced to a few miles. The critique which followed the exercise adjudged that the Blue Force had failed to disrupt the communications of the Red Force and that the latter's scouting line had been able to provide its main body with the Blue Force's changes in courses and speeds. This is also a confused report and appears to indicate that it was believed that the best position for creating interfering radio reception was close to the transmitting vessel.
The radio personnel of the Alabama and Illinois had a difficult maintenance job during the period these ships were providing the interference. Transmitting with maximum power caused excessive heat which resulted in cracked condenser plates and burned out transformers. These were repaired by spare pilothouse window glass, pieces of sheet zinc, and tinfoil taken from tobacco packages. Blowers had to be jury rigged to provide air jets to dissipate the heat generated in the radio room.16
No endeavor was made to utilize radio for tactical purposes during these exercises nor during this year. The procedures for such use had been established,17 but commanders were wary of its use for maneuvering in close formations and of its ability to withstand the shocks of battle.18 In fact, following these two exercises, radio, insofar as the fleet was concerned, became more and more a seaward extension of cable and telegraph facilities and so remained for several years.
4. AID RENDERED BY NAVAL RADIO FOLLOWING THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE
The U.S.S. Chicago departed San Francisco on the evening of 17 April 1906. Early the next day that city was in the center of the most disastrous earthquake this Nation has ever suffered. The damage from it and the fires which followed destroyed much of this western metropolis. Upon learning of the disaster the rear admiral on the Chicago directed her return to port to render all possible assistance. Among other aids she provided the only rapid means of communication from the stricken area. Past Midshipman Stanley C. Hooper,19 USN, a young officer who had had some experience in telegraphy as a summer vacation operator at a country station of the Southern Pacific Railroad, was then serving on the Chicago. During this incident, he gained his first naval radio experience and from this he was to go on and eventually gain the appellation, "Father of Naval Radio." This work is dedicated to him and to others who aided in building the effective system which was available at the beginning of World War II.
Since he was there, the story of the Chicago's part in providing a rapid communication channel from San Francisco following the disaster is best told by quoting from his memoirs:
There is not much to say about the Chicago. She did have a radio set because she was a flagship, but it was not of much use because its range was less than 100 miles . . . I did learn a little about the apparatus but was not allowed to operate it. That was the sacred job of the radio operator and the radio was under the Flag Officer, so ship's officers keep discreetly clear.
The Navy radio stations played a major role in providing this means of remaining in touch with the outside world. As soon as it was realized that this was the city's sole rapid contact with the outside, they were flooded with messages from military and municipal authorities and the general public. In about 2 weeks the Chicago sent and received over 1,000 messages. The naval radio station on Yerba Buena Island was fully occupied acting as a relay between the Chicago and the station at the Mare Island Navy Yard which provided telegraphic connection with the rest of the country. The radio station on Farrallone Island provided the means for directing the shipping headed to the stricken port.21
All radio sets in those days made a lot of noise and could be heard the length of the ship and further. I was able to read the signals which were transmitted even though I did not go into the operating room. It seemed they used a slightly different code than I was used to in railroad telegraphing but listening carefully I was able to learn the differences and found that seven of the letters were different. Soon I became accustomed to those differences and became qualified in Continental as well as American Morse code.
One day the Chicago's radio became very important in an emergency. We had put to sea from San Francisco in the late evening and at five in the morning the operator received a message that there had been a terrible earthquake in San Francisco and that the city was ablaze. The Admiral immediately ordered us back and by ten that morning our ship was docked near the Ferry Building and the crew landed to help fight the fire and curb looting. The Western Union and Postal Telegraph wires were all down and it was decided to use the Chicago's radio as an outlet for all priority messages, by relaying them to the radio station at Mare Island from which place they could be telegraphed. There was no one available to take charge of this project who knew anything about the telegraph business. The officers were assembled in conference and the question was asked as to where we could locate a person possessing this knowledge. I stepped forward and meekly admitted my small experience as an operator at a small railroad station and two hours later found myself installed in the Wharfingage Building by the docks in charge of all outgoing messages. The Army Signal Corps sent an officer to cooperate and he established field circuits from seven different zones within the city. Messenger service was established between the office and the radio station on the ship just half a block away. Thus it was, that all through the emergency, until the cables were repaired a few days later, I, a young past-midshipman, had charge of all the outgoing telegraph business of San Francisco during that disastrous period.20
1 "Radioana," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, G. H. Clark, "Radio in War and Peace," unpublished manuscript, n.d., pp. 65-66.
2 E. B. Calvert, "History of Radio in Relation to the Work of the Weather Bureau," Monthly Weather Review, January 1923. (Government Printing Office, Washington, 1923), p. 1.
3 Ibid., p. 4.
4 J. F. Hellwag, "United States Navy Time Service," Astronomical Society of the Pacific, vol. 52 (1940), p. 17.
5 Wireless World, (Dorset House, Tudor St., London E.C. 4, England), 28 Dec. 1927, p. 843.
6 Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1908, p 317.
7 L. J. Haslett, "Some Notes on the Early History of the Radio Division," Radio and Sound Bulletin, July 1, 1944 (Navy Department, Bureau of Ships), p. 6.
8 Letter, dated 6 Feb. 1904, Acting Chief of the Bureau of Equipment to the Bureau of Navigation, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Letter, dated 15 Feb. 1904, CO U.S.S. Kearsage to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
9 Letter, dated 13 Jan. 1906, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
10 Letter, dated 13 Jan. 1906, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to Commander, 4th Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
11 Letter, dated 22 Jan. 1906, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Office of Naval Records and Library, series RG 45.
12 Letter, dated 2 Feb. 1906, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Equipment. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
15 Letter, dated 3 Feb. 1906, Commander in Chief, US. Atlantic Fleet, to Commander, 4th Division, US. Atlantic Fleet, files, Bureau of Equipment. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
16 Letter, n.d., Commander in Chief, US. Atlantic Fleet, to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Washington, D.C.
17 "Instructions for the Transmission of Messages by Wireless Telegraphy, U.S. Navy, 1904."
18 B. A. Fiske, "War Signals," US. Naval Institute Proceedings, vol. XXIX, no. 4, Dec. 1903, p. 932.
19 Stanley C. Hooper was born, 16 Aug. 1884, at Covina, Calif. He was appointed to the US. Naval Academy from California from which he graduated in 1905. After 7 years of sea duty he returned to the Academy as an instructor in electricity, radio, physics, and chemistry. He was appointed Fleet Radio Officer in 1912. While serving in that position, he participated in the occupation of Veracruz. Following the outbreak of World War I, he was sent to Europe as a radio observer. On completion of that tour of duty he served as Head of the Radio Division of the Bureau of Engineering (now Bureau of Ships). During this time he was made a member of the first Board of Organization of the Naval Communication Service. In 1917 he commanded the U.S.S. Fairfax, and for distinguished service, during this duty he was awarded the Navy Cross. From 1918 to 1923 he was again Head of the Bureau of Engineering's Radio Division. He served as U.S. Fleet Radio Officer during 1923-25, after which he again became Head of the Radio Division. In 1927, in addition to his regular duties, he was appointed Technical Adviser in Charge of Engineering for the Federal Communications Commission. He was appointed Director of Naval Communications in 1928 and remained in that capacity until 1934. During this period he was a member of the President's Radio Board. During the period 1915 to 1928, Hooper was the guiding spirit in developing naval radio from little more than a toy to the essential communication medium it became. Under his direction and influence, many new features, such as the radio direction finder, appeared as standard in naval radio equipment. For many years he represented this country's Government radio interests in practically all international radio conferences. He originated the recommendation which resulted in formation of the Radio Corp. of America, thus creating an all-American worldwide communications company, to free the United States from dependence on foreign-controlled radio communications. He served as Director of the Radio Division under the Chief of Naval Operations from 1939 until appointed in 1942 as Technical Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. He was transferred to the retired list as a rear admiral, on June 1, 1945. Besides a number of military awards, Admiral Hooper was recipient of the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, given by Franklin Institute for his "discovery of original research, adding to the sum of human knowledge, irrespective of commercial value," and the Marconi Memorial Medal of Merit "for outstanding contributions to the radio art, particularly in building up the communication system of the United States Navy from the status of an engineering experiment to a major military arm for control, detection, and communication." He died on 6 Apr. 1955 in Miami, Fla.
20 S. C. Hooper "Navy History--Radio, Radar, Sonar," 2R4, p. 10 (Naval History Division, Washington, D.C.), unpublished manuscript, n.d.
21 Electrical World, (McGraw-Hill Co., New York), 2 Apr. 1906, p. 1110.
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