Auckland Radio 1940-1945

Operators at Auckland Radio ZLD. L-R: G Haywood (in background on Marconi MW Direction Finding), George Haines on 500kHz radiotelegraph watch, Carl Little John (standing) and J Thompson (?) on 2182kHz watch.
Operators at Auckland Radio ZLD. L-R: G Haywood (in background on Marconi MW Direction Finding), George Haines on 500kHz radiotelegraph watch, Carl Littlejohn (Supervisor) and J Thompson (or Ted Healy?) on 2182kHz small ships watch. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

Notes on photo above:
In the background is visible the Marconi DF and the remote control for the AWA Transmitter (#100 on 500/390 kHz) used in conjunction with the direction finder for RT contacts with shipping and aircraft as required.1
– Doug Morris

1940 air navigation chart showing DF stations at Auckland (Musick Point), Awarua, Lord Howe Is, Sydney and Brisbane
1940 air navigation chart showing DF stations at Auckland (Musick Point), Awarua, Lord Howe Is, Sydney and Brisbane. Dept of Civil Aviation. Click to enlarge.
Operators at Auckland Radio ZLD, probably in the 1940s
Operators Norm Ashwell (aircraft watch), Jim Clark (DF) and Henry Putt (500kHz shipping) at Auckland Radio ZLD, probably in the 1940s
Technicians at Auckland Radio ZLD: H Wiggens (standing) and possibly Robert William Fielding who died in 1951 at age 30 when the yacht Argo disappeared during the disastrous Centennial Yacht Race
Technicians at Auckland Radio ZLD: H Wiggens (standing) and possibly Robert William Fielding who died in 1951 at age 30 when the yacht Argo disappeared during the disastrous Centennial Yacht Race. Courtesy: Chris Underwood
A supervisor and two operators working at Auckland Radio ZLD
A supervisor and two operators working at Auckland Radio ZLD. Date unknown.
Larry Richards on the AGA (Air Ground Air) circuit
Larry Richards on the AGA (Air Ground Air) circuit.

Notes to photo above:
The primary watch (8523kHz) was kept on the bottom receiver. The top receiver, connected to the loudspeaker, was on 10,900kHz for Awarua Radio ZLB. In the rack above the receivers are two carpenter relays and a Morse sounder on the line circuit to ZLVY Waiuku HF Direction Finder on the edge of the Aka Aka swamp. This DF was part of the network supplying bearings to aircraft.”2
– Doug Morris

1942
Musick Memorial Radio Station
The Musick Memorial Radio Station was officially opened by New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser on 12 January, although it had been in operation since 1939.
Erecting DF mast at Musick Point Radio
DF Mast ready for erection, circa 1942
1943

On 19 May, two representatives of the RNZAF reportedly damaged the medium wave direction finding system at Musick Point, while taking photos for the Air Force.

During World War 2, the station conducted numerous services under Post Office control. These included coastal services for shipping, naval intelligence (DF watches), civil and military aviation.

Auckland Radio established a high-speed radiotelegraph link with the RCA station in San Francisco, as a backup in case cables were attacked.3

After the war, coastal shipping and civil aviation services remained at Musick Point.

1945
Doug Morris at Musick Memorial Radio Station in 1945
Doug Morris at Musick Memorial Radio Station in 1945. Doug began his career as a radio ‘mechanician’ at Musick Point in 1944. In 2002 he published a history of the station, Auckland Radio: Alpha & omega. Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library

1946 – 1949


Notes
1. Morris, D.C. (2002). Auckland Radio, Alpha & omega. Waitakere City, NZ: Copy Out West. p. 54.
2. Morris, D.C. (2002). Auckland Radio: Alpha & omega. Waitakere City, NZ: Copy Out West. p. 60.
3. Wilson, A.C. (1994). Wire and wireless: A history of telecommunications in New Zealand 1890-1987, (p 138), Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.