"At a session of the Federal Communications Commission held at its offices in Washington, D.C. on the 8th day of December, 1941: Whereas a state of war exists between the United States and the Imperial Japanese Government, and the
withdrawal from private use of all amateur frequencies is required for the purpose of the National Defense;
IT IS ORDERED, that except as may hereafter be specifically authorized by the Commission, no person shall engage in any amateur radio operation in the continental United States, its territories and possessions, and that all frequencies heretofore allocated to amateur radio stations under Part 12 of the Rules and Regulations BE, AND THEY ARE HEREBY, WITHDRAWN from use by any person except as may hereafter be authorized by the Commission. By order of the Commission:
- T.J. Slowie, Secretary."
Transmitters were packed away, receivers turned to some other use. Soon the U.S. Government wanted to buy "commercially made" transmitters and receivers. My Hallicrafters Skybuddy receiver and a Stancor 200 watt AM transmitter went to the war effort.
Today thousands of Amateurs have no knowledge of those events, so this bulletin is a reminder of Amateur Radio privileges.
Prior to WW2 I participated in a forerunner to the ARRL ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Service.) There was no RACES or other emergency communications (EMCOMM) unit in use by government.
After WW2 ended the right to operate on Amateur frequencies was restored. I was in the U.S. Navy and my parents mailed my CW transmitter (an 807 and a rectifier tube and few other parts). What a thrill to be on-the-air again. CQ....CQ....CQ de .....! WOW! It was great! Even if it was from outside a Navy base, since operation from the base was not permitted.
So, why write about this in the year 2000? As a reminder that the use of FCC assigned Amateur frequencies is a privilege, not a right.
The FCC regulations say that the paramount purpose of the Amateur Service is PUBLIC SERVICE. I understand that to mean to help our communities in time of need with our skills and abilities in communications. In the year 2000 there are many ways to do that. Numerous organizations, methods, and means exist so you can help those in your area.
Please find a way to make that part of your future. The rewards that come to you will be those you don't expect, but will find interesting! If my experience is indicative at all, you will find ways to be of help you cannot anticipate. 73 de W6WWW