SCR-299

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The SCR-299 was a U.S. Signal Corps mobile military communications unit used during World War II.

CCKW truck shelter-mounted version of the SCR-299, the SCR-399

History[edit]

Hallicrafters SCR-299 ad c. 1944, depicting DUKW mounted SCR-399 version

The SCR-299 "mobile communications unit" was developed to provide long-range communications during World War II. The US Military sought improvements of range, flexibility and durability over its existing SCR-197 and SCR-597 transmitters. In 1942, Hallicrafters Standard HT-4 was selected as the SCR-299's transmitter, known subsequently by its military designation as the BC-610. The SCR-299 was first used on November 8, 1942 during Operation TORCH involving companies of the 829th Signal Service Battalion establishing a radio net that could exchange messages between beach-landed forces and bases in Gibraltar. Despite initial problems unloading the sets from convoy ships, the SCR-299s served until the installation of permanent Army Command and Administrative Network stations.[1] According to US Army military historians, "General Dwight Eisenhower credited the SCR-299 in his successful reorganization of the American forces and final defeat of the Nazis at Kasserine Pass."[2]

SCR-299 housed in K-51 panel van

The range of the SCR-299 exceeded original specifications, sometime establishing contact over 2,300 miles (3,700 km).[3]

The SCR-299 provided reliable communications with England during the North African campaign, and in Normandy on D-Day, served as a connection between two airborne divisions with Britain.[4] The SCR-299 was also used in the invasion of Sicily and the Allied invasion of Italy.[2]

War correspondents and press reporters frequently made use of the SCR-299 and SCR-399. Access to the sets was provided to them by US Second Army and US Third Army Group Communications Teams, and in one instance, the SCR-399 became the only means of getting press copy direct to London.[5]

In 1944, a short subject film was produced by the Jam Handy Organization and sponsored by the Hallicrafters Company that showed the construction of the SCR-299 and dramatized its use during World War II.[6][7]

Hallicrafters Company advertising of the period sometimes used illustrations of the shelter-mounted SCR-399 to describe the achievements of the SCR-299.[8]

Specifications[edit]

SCR-299 interior operators desk and gear, from Hallicrafters ad, 1942
  • Transmitter: BC-610 plus BC-614 (speech amplifier), BC-729 (tuning unit) and BC-211 (frequency meter)
  • Transmitter output power: 350 watts.
  • Receivers: BC-312 and BC-342
  • Frequency coverage: HF from 2 to 8 MHz (and 1–18 MHz using conversion kits)
  • Power supply: 2000 watts, with additional 1500 watts for heater and lights supplied by PE-95 (power unit) on K-52 "Ben-Hur" style trailer. Optional 12 volt storage battery, or 115 volt 60 cycle AC commercial power and two spare 6 volt storage batteries
  • SCR-299 housing: K-51 van truck
  • SCR-399 housing: HO-17 shelter mountable on 212-ton trucks.
  • SCR-499 housing: air-transportable
  • Frequency Conversion Kit MC-503: coverage down to 1 MHz.
  • Frequency Conversion Kit MC-516: coverage to 12 MHz
  • Frequency Conversion Kit MC-517: coverage to 18 MHz.
  • Antennas: 9-foot (2.7 m) whip antenna (receiver), 15-foot (4.6 m) whip antenna (transmitter). Optional 21 ft (6.4 m) whip antenna while stationary or 45 ft (14 m) auxiliary wire antenna for 2.0 to 4.5 MHz coverage.[9]
  • Remote control: field telephones, control boxes and cable.[10][11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]


References[edit]

External links[edit]