Sunday, June 12, 2011


This quote is from a packet of source documents pertaining to the creation of "Advanced Intelligence Centers in the U.S. Navy.


Subject: Radio Intelligence Organization

June 20, 1942

Through the piping times of peace extending over a period of some twenty odd years Radio Intelligence struggled and was never allowed out of the closet. Politically it was illegal to have such an organization and for anyone to devote his time to the subject was committing professional suicide.

Now that the war is in being, many activities are desirous of having a finger in the pie....
The author (Naval Officer, Joseph Redman, assistant to the the Admiral in charge of Naval Communications) goes on to discuss the logical command authority for such a new form of intelligence collection, saying "Radio Intelligence cannot thrive and function efficiently except under the direct control of Naval communications."  He gives the following reasons:

  • All Kana trained operators came from Naval Communications
  • The intercept equipment was specified, procured, and maintained by Naval Communications.
  • Only those familiar with such equipment and operation could perform Traffic Analysis
  • The Direction Finding organization was entirely a matter of radio communications
  • Naval Communications was knowledgeable in the communications network and world-wide crytographic aids used to facilitate the exchange of information.
  • Emerging disciplines being developed within Naval Communications included:
    • "TINA" unexplained acronym, described as the identification of radio operators by the characteristics of their hand-sending, a process involving "tape recordings, accurate measurements and mathematical analysis"
    • RFP; radio fingerprinting, identification of enemy transmitters
    • Distance measuring to enemy transmitters by use of ionospheric data.

Townsend's particular expertise would have been needed for the last of the three disciplines listed above.  Redman said it consisted of mathematical computations which were enhanced by "complete knowledge of the performance of the radio waves which vary through the period of the sunspot cycle, the seasons and diurnal changes." 

The author went on to say, "these functions are new and being developed here', but they nucleus of two trained units was being transferred to the operational commands in the Pacific. Bet ya dollars to dinars that Townsend's soon-to-follow separation from the Atlantic Radar School (and ostensibly, from the U.S. Navy) was somehow connected to this new organization.

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