During the official transfer of FCC historical archive material from Tony Gates and
Wayne Toivanen to Bob Mroz and Jim Higgins, including old RID material, the concept
of re-kindling the old RID organization was brought up. A brief discussion ensued
and the New RID was born.
Bob Mroz purchased the URL www.FCCRID.org and started work on a web site. A few
of the old photos were scanned and the web site was launched.
We hope establishing a “New” RID organization will provide a venue for field enforcement
staff of the FCC to gather annually like the original RID members did to discuss
memories as well as current and new technologies as well as common interests.
The Original RID
From its inception on July 1, 1940 until the end of World War II, the Radio Intelligence
Division (RID) of the Federal Communications Commission intercepted hundreds of coded
messages sent by German espionage agents all over the world and supplied the cryptographic
laboratories of our government with these messages at their specific request.
In performing its patrol of the ether, RID located Nazi agents with their transmitters
in the western Hemisphere, Africa, Europe and Asia. It sent trained radio intelligence
engineers to Latin American Republics to help clean out the infestation of German
spies in those countries and trained representatives of those countries in radio
intelligence techniques at its facility in Laurel, Maryland.
RID located distressed aircraft lost in the black-out or having cockpit trouble by
providing fixes to their radio signals and got them back on course to safe landings.
Another, rather unknown “first” for the RID was the fact that the movie produced
about the RID called “Patrolling the Ether” was the first movie to be broadcast on
television, March 10, 1944.
Let’s all help keep the spirit of the RID alive!
Become a “card-carrying” member of the New RID and help bring both old and new material
of RID member activities to this website.
As much as we currently look up to those original RID members that built the FCC,
future new recruits will look to us for inspiration!
George Sterling and Charlie Ellis
A reminder of the very beginning days of RID shows George Sterling and Charlie Elllert
standing in the Bunch Bowl area of Hawaii where they set up a critical Radio Direction
The first RID Team pictured here in Hawaii.
The first Radio Intelligence Division Team in Hawaii where they were tasked to set
up a Radio Direction Finding facility at Waipahu to be able to listen to enemy radio