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Radio History: ANZAC Day 2007 Radio Salute

During World War 2, Australia sent a number of mobile radio stations overseas to broadcast to troops, mainly in the South West Pacific, and also operated a station at Gaza, in Palestine.

New Zealand's National Broadcasting Service sent mobile units to the Middle East and the South West Pacific, not to broadcast [although some broadcasts took place from Tontouta, in New Caledonia] but to collect messages and reports for the home audience.

Our ANZAC Day 2007 Salute takes us to Egypt, New Guinea, North Borneo and Papua, and visits to stations of the Australian Army Amenities Service, and NZ's NBS.

image of Radio Station 9AB, Lae, New Guinea

Radio Station 9AB, Lae, New Guinea. Officer Commanding, Lt. Dear at the microphone.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AC, Torokina, Bougainville

Radio Station 9AC, Torokina, Bougainville. Included in this line up are 9AC personnel: Corporal VHW Krosch, Lance-Corporal B Carton, Sergeant EW Evans, Warrant Officer 1 ME Callard, and Sergeant RG Caldicott.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AD. Morotai, North Borneo

Radio Station 9AD. Morotai, North Borneo. Gunner JP Ramsay sorts some of the 1600 records in the station library.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AE, Jacquinot Bay, New Britain

Radio Station 9AE, Jacquinot Bay, New Britain. Sergeant NP Gilchrist in the control room, attempts to pick up shortwave broadcasts of the Japanese surrender announcement.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AF, Labuan, North Borneo

Radio Station 9AF, Labuan, North Borneo. Warrant Officer 1 CA Symons readies a turntable to play music. On his right, the xylophone used to play the 9AF station ID tones.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AG, Balikpapan, Dutch East Indies

Radio Station 9AG, Balikpapan, Dutch East Indies. Exterior view of the radio station, with one of the 90 ft masts in the foreground.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AJ, Wewak, New Guinea

Radio Station 9AJ, Wewak, New Guinea. Sergeant EC Parrent and Sergeant NS Bray at work inside the mobile studio aboard a 3 ton army truck.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9AL, Rabaul, New Guinea

Radio Station 9AL, Rabaul, New Guinea. Members of 6 Entertainment Unit are introduced by the 9AL announcer before going on stage to perform the musical comedy 'The Maid of the Mountains'.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 9PA, Port Moresby, Papua

Radio Station 9PA, Port Moresby, Papua. On opening day, February 26 1944, Sergeant K Plant [RAAF] performs the first song, accompanied by Station Manager Captain R Wood on piano, whilst 9PA announcer Mr VJ Anderson looks on.
© Australian War Memorial Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


image of Radio Station 2ZB is on the Way image of Radio Station 2ZB is on the Way

The NBS Middle East Mobile Recording Unit was built by New Zealand Railways and shipped to Egypt where it saw service from 1940.

Inside the NBS Middle East Mobile Recording Unit, Noel Palmer, who was joined on location by Doug Laurenson, Norman Johnston, and, later, Arch Curry.

© Radio New Zealand, in 'Voices in the Air' - Radio Broadcasting in NZ: A Documentary.


More details about all the many stations of the Australian Army Amenities Service can be found in our article Diggers On Air and if you have any information you can share about any of these stations, please contact us.

We have a few copies left of our 'Voices in the Air' package that includes a copy of the book and a set of New Zealand stamps celebrating the 1920's [including an anniversary of radio in NZ issue], and you can order your set here.

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