First Class CW Operators' Club


Exhibit honouring of WWII Voluntary Interceptors now at RSGB Radio Centre

  • 10 Feb 2018 19:50
    Message # 5730895
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Sunday, April 29, 2018, Pete Windle, G8VG, will attend the annual reunion of the World War II Voluntary Interceptors to introduce a commemorative exhibit that has been installed at the RSGB National Radio Centre, located at Bletchley Park. Pete’s father, Bill Windle, G8VG, had been a Voluntary Interceptor.

    The Voluntary Interceptors were amateur radio operators who had been recruited to wartime intelligence, the Radio Security Service, designated MI8(c). It was created after Ralph Mansfield, the 4th Baron Sandhurst, requested the assistance of Arthur Watts, G6UN, then president of the Radio Society of Great Britain.  

    Initially, it was thought that amateur operators were perfectly situated to locate the radio transmissions of spies who might be active on British soil.  They searched the bands for suspicious signals and sent the encrypted text they copied for analysis. Sworn to secrecy, the VI’s did not know what, if anything, they had accomplished until the secret was revealed in a 1979 BBC TV broadcast, “The Secret Listeners.”  They had discovered the encrypted communications networks of the Abwehr, greatly enhancing WWII intelligence efforts.

    Of the estimated 1500 hams who had served, Pete has identified 51 FOC members.  

    The annual VI reunion will be held at The National Museum of Computing, located immediately adjacent to the Bletchley Park Museum, at Milton Keynes.  The doors open at 1030 and the program will begin at 1100. Refreshments will be served. There is a nominal admission fee to The National Museum of Computing. In case you want to also visit Bletchley Park, RSGB members are entitled to free admission there, but you must download a pass from the RSGB website.

    Last modified: 10 Feb 2018 22:43 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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