1940 – 1949

1940

“Aliens” in New Zealand were not allowed to listen to radio broadcasts other than from New Zealand and Australia. They had to register their radio sets with the police. They were also not permitted to have telephones.1

Private radio transmitters were impounded under the Radio Emergency Regulations.

“One important unit in the Second World War was the 2nd Divisional Signals. Its various sections included many P&T staff…
…The 2nd Divisional Signals, like its predecessor in the First World War, had the task of opening and maintaining communications for the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Men from Divisional Signals were the first unit to see active service, performing, under Royal Signals’ command, the communication duties of the UK Western Desert Force during Lord Wavell’s Libyan campaign of December 1940. The Corps fought in Crete, North Africa and Italy right up to the liberation of Trieste in May 1945…
…Over the length of the war, some 67 men from Divisional Signals were killed in action or died of wounds; a further eight died as POWs and 15 through illness or mischance.” 2

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.
1942

On 15 Oct, eight P&T radio operators serving as coastwatchers on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands were murdered after being taken prisoner by Japanese troops.

Early ZC1 transceiver
The first run of New Zealand-designed ZC1 field radio transceivers was delivered by Collier & Beale in December 1942. Photo: C Underwood
1943

The ZC1 Mk 1 radio set saw its first action in the Battle of Vella Lavella in western Solomon Islands.

wigram key
Wigram key: Due to a shortage of British Elliott Bros morse keys during World War 2, keys such as this one were made by technical recruits at Wigram air base near Christchurch. The base and lever are steel. Photo: N Sanderson, ZL1NZ collection
1945

Makara Radio opened in June.

1946

Private radio transmitters impounded during World War 2 were returned to their owners.

1948

The New Zealand Broadcasting Service (NZBS) begam short-wave service using transmitters purchased from the departing US military. “Later, the service used two Australian-made 7.5kW transmitters, originally (1938) intended for the Post Office’s overseas telecommunications, but after 1945 deemed unsuited to its requirements.” 3

1949
1949 map of New Zealand coast radio station
1949 map of New Zealand coast radio station, not including Chatham Islands. Source unknown.

» 1950 – 1959


Notes

1 Wilson, A.C. (1994). Wire and wireless: A history of telecommunications in New Zealand 1890-1987, (p 131), Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.

2 Wilson, A.C. (1994). Wire and wireless: A history of telecommunications in New Zealand 1890-1987, (p 134), Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.

3 Wilson, A.C. (1994). Wire and wireless: A history of telecommunications in New Zealand 1890-1987, (p 140), Palmerston North, New Zealand: Dunmore Press.