Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Perth Historical Society May Meeting

Here's an announcement of a meeting I would very much like to attend, but travel commitments won't allow:

World War II and Canada’s Major Role in the Development of Radar 

To most of us in today’s world, the application of radar as a defensive tool would be assumed.  However, the evolution of radar was still a work-in-progress prior to World War II, continuing throughout the war.  For our presentation on May 15, 2014, we welcome James (Jim) Sands who was among those who were actually involved in the development of radar and its application in the Battle of Britain and, ultimately, success by the Allies in the war itself.

While the principles of using radio waves to detect far-off objects were known long before World War II, it wasn’t until the 1930s that serious work began to perfect such systems.  While several countries were working each in secret, it was the British who most appreciated the application and benefits of such a system for defensive purposes.  As was learned later, they were leaders in the development of the system they called Range and Direction Finding or RDF.  The system could be used by the army, air force and navy, and was especially valuable during the bombing raids over Britain for early warnings of approaching attacks.  However, it was from American naval terminology that the name RADAR came to us (from RAdio Detection And Ranging).

F/O James Sands (Ret’d) will give us a presentation based on his own personal experiences and knowledge from his years of active participation in the development of radar and its place in winning World War II.  From high school, he joined General Electric’s apprenticeship program, but then went into the RCAF, receiving his commission.  He became involved in the early use of radar in aircraft, night fighter radar, and navigation bombing gear.  While with the RCAF, he was posted to Britain, serving as Station Radar Officer at RAF Winthorpe, RAF Bottesford and 5 Group Bomber Command.  After his return to Canada at war’s end, he had a varied career in industry, doing among other things, helping to train people how to repair TVs.  Retirement not being in his vocabulary, he became a car salesman – he achieved the distinction of being the top Cadillac salesman in Ontario.  He remains a tinkerer, inventor and builder at heart, including model steam engines and an organ.  He and his wife Evelyn have been married for over 60 years.

Please join us at Perth Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith Street E.,  Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7:30pm (Toonie Fee).

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