Golden Gate Wing Guest Speaker Archive

Presentation Date: July 22, 2010

Army Signal Corps Officer Murray Hannah

Speaker Photo

He was an Army Signal Corps Officer during WWII on one of four "lighters", shallow draft ships which originally were self-propelled, but which had large diesel operated generators placed in them during the war. They were then pulled by sea-going tug boats throughout the South Pacific to act as transmission and reception platforms for the military sending and recieving signals from Australia (where MacArthur was) to the antenna farms at Bolinas and Point Arena to keep Washington apprised of the progress of the war. I am assuming that all battalions and larger units in the Army, naval vessels and the Army Air Corps also used these unique facilities with HF and UHF transmission and reception capability ( and cryptography as well) to communicate with the other side of the world.

Please come to hear a very sharp gentleman whose story is completely different from all those you have heard.

* Born Nov 12, 1917 in San Francisco
* Lived on a farm in the Sacramento Valley until 1925 when the family returned to San Francisco.
* Grew up in the Sunset District of SF
* Attended grade school and Polytechnic High School, and the very first year of SF City College (then called SF Junior College) in 1935/1936
* Worked a year to earn enough for the Sophomore year at UC Berkeley
* Worked a year at a Division of General Motors to enter the Junior year at UC
* In the Fall of 1939 the Company made provision for him to work half time (20 hours/week) through Junior and half Senior year, during which he took a full course with a math and physics major
* After the first half of the Senior year, in the Fall of 1940, an opportunity opened at GM for a full time job
* The college years had already been so interrupted, he decided he would complete the last semester later. As it turned out, it was much later, after the war in 1946!
* The story of the war's beginning, army career, and involvment with Seaborne Communications, you will hear on July 22nd.