The First Army's Mobile Station Happened While Mark W. Clark

1324 Words6 Pages
The beginnings of the Fifth Army’s mobile station happened while Mark W. Clark, commanding general of the Fifth Army, was preparing for the invasion of Italy. Clark thought so much of the morale value of radio stations that he wanted an AFN station near the front lines in order to reach large numbers of combat soldiers. A signal officer told him that it would be impossible, because much of the equipment required for radio broadcasts was too fragile for rapid movement in a combat zone, but Clark was insistent. Being the first overseas radio station to be activated during WWII, the Fifth Army radio station was activated in Casablanca, Morocco, and was largely established under the direction of Major Francis L. MacAloon, a Fifth Army staff…show more content…
An example being that most American and Allied soldiers would often listened to the German “Sally and George” propaganda programs that were on the air. The men of the Fifth Army Mobile Radio Station always had to carefully pack their broadcasting equipment and moved. By the time the radio station had been set up, the Fifth Army had already moved, and the station had to be immediately taken down and the men prepared to move again with the Allied advance. Both setting up and breaking down the station took two days. During the early days of 1943 in North Africa, Major Francis McAloney thought of a rolling radio station that could follow front line soldiers along with countering enemy broadcasting in the process. Overall, Major McAloon planned for a mobile, self-sustaining radio unit, which could reach large members of men that the stationary station transmitters could not reach. With the help of Carstensen, the solution to the station’s mobility problems was solved. For some time, Carstensen also had the idea of a mobile station which could be quickly set up, broken down, and transported along with advancing troops. Clark was briefed and was enthusiastic about the idea, but the same signal officer who had doubts about the idea of a mobile station, told him it could not be done. The equipment was too fragile to be set in an Army truck and would not last. However,
Open Document