The biggest names in Hollywood and Broadway recorded for AFRS during the war years, The American Forces Network can trace its origins back to May 26, 1942, when the War Department established the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). The U.S. Army began broadcasting from London during World War II, using equipment and studio facilities borrowed from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The first transmission to U.S. troops began at 5:45 p.m. on July 4, 1943 and included less than five hours of recorded shows, a BBC news and sports broadcast. That day, Corporal Syl Binkin became the first U.S. Military broadcaster heard over the air. The signal was sent from London via telephone lines to five regional transmitters to reach U.S. troops in the United Kingdom as they made preparations for the inevitable invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. Fearing competition for civilian audiences the BBC initially tried to impose restrictions on AFN broadcasts within Britain (transmissions were only allowed from American Bases outside London and were limited to 50 watts of transmission power) and a minimum quota of British produced programming had to be carried. Nevertheless AFN programmes were widely enjoyed by the British civilian listeners who could receive them and once AFN operations transferred to continental Europe (shortly after D-Day) AFN were able to broadcast with little restriction with programmes available to civilian audiences across most of Europe (including Britain) after dark. As D-Day approached, the network joined with the BBC and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to develop programs especially for the Allied Expeditionary Forces. Mobile stations, complete with personnel, broadcasting equipment, and a record library were deployed to broadcast music and news to troops in the field. The mobile stations reported on front line activities and fed the news reports back to studio locations in London.
This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.
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A really fine presentation of AFRS material. Thanks for your efforts. For you GI Jive Fans Afrs016a-GiJive-NavySpecial-TommyDorsey-BoogieWoogie matches GI Jive Program number 510 I can't find a Pgm# for Afrs016b-GiJive-JaneWithers-BobChester-OnTheFire but it has the AEF Jukebox of the Air opening so it should fall somewhere between Pgm 466 and 600 The other two GI Jive show as #81 and #82 both feature "Jill" and I believe are program numbers 1981 and 1982
The other numbers on the disc are H-12-510 and H-12-511, so the they should be programs 510 and 511. I'm glad everyone can enjoy the show's I'll try to keep finding them and I should have more V-disc's coming soon.
David R. Smith
Good compilation - a little scratchy in parts - but fabulous to be able to listen to the “vibes” of yester - year:) Thanks!