National Geographic : 1943 Jun
Lend-Lease Is a Two-way Benefit 15"rl I "S1 AllInIstry U Ilturllon What a Lend-Lease Team! Lancashire Lass and Austrian Exile Flank a Texan Elsie Astley and Hans Besler, on John Bull's payroll, and Ernest T. Eastwood, on Uncle Sam's, work on an Allison motor for the Army Air Forces. Eastwood wears wings of a San Antonio airfield. Ten-gallon hats so slowed the war effort that they now are limited to holidays (page 757). "The Battle of Britain was won," accord ing to Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferte, "by a combination of fighter force and radio-detection. Radio waves, or call them ether waves, which are not affected by wind, fog, or darkness, constantly are sent out far beyond the limits of our shores. "If they strike any object, such as a plane, they are reflected instantly. It is a 24-hour watch of the air. The system obviates the necessity of constant fighter patrols and means a tremendous saving in fuel, material, and strain on personnel." Did Radiolocator Save Midway Islands? Long before the United States entered the war American radio engineers were adding to our own research that had been under way here by operating these radiolocators in Eng land under fire and acquiring a mastery of technique now being used by our forces at our own fighting fronts. It is believed that the Midway Islands might have been captured but for the radio locator. The British secrets were given only to the United States, though for long they were kept so secret in England that in the British serv- ices radiolocation was referred to by three letters only, and even these could not be whispered outside. The invention was not the outcome of a sudden inspiration, but has been developed by gradual research. The first evidence of real progress was in the early spring of 1935. A battered truck was parked on the frozen grass in a quiet English lane while an airplane flew back and forth on a prearranged course. In the truck was the first primitive radiolo cator, detecting the aircraft flight. Tens of millions have since been spent perfecting it, but it has saved the investment and more. Dozens of other devices, in the complicated fields of mines, submarines, planes, and tanks, have been worked out in the same painful and costly laboratory of war and their secrets given to the United States, a Lend-Lease gift that has meant enormous savings to the United Nations and the United States. Lend-Lease is a pouring of the men, money, and materials of war into the United Nations' war machine. Everybody grabs a bucket and pours whatever he has into the hopper. At the other end the machine is grinding out a finished product, now beginning to emerge Victory.