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2007 Convention Presentation

How RCA's WWII Military Television Development Shaped Modern Warfare

By: Maurice Schechter
Date: 4-6 May 2007
Place: Early television Convention, Hilliard, Ohio

Modern warfare using remote transmission of images as a means of weapons guidance and aerial reconnaissance has its roots before WWII, to an inventor who saw the possibilities of an emerging technology and his boss who supported its successful innovation. The men: Vladimir Zworykin and David Sarnoff of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The technology: television.

Maurice Schechter's well illustrated presentation will trace the development of military television from a memo Zworykin wrote in 1934 to the end of the war, where practical TV-guided weapons were used in combat. Military technology that made post war television possible.

Mr. Schechter's presentation will include a demonstration of the very rare restored WWII television equipment used to guide these weapons. The complete system from iconoscope camera to the bombardier's monitor with its green image will be making pictures over the air as if it was 1944

Among his many images, he will be showing archival footage of the developmental TV bombs, filmed recordings / kinescopes from actual bombing runs and an interview with the developer of Army Air Forces GB-4 television guided bomb used in the European theatre.

Early Television

Examples of WWII Television Guided Weapons

About the Speaker: Mr. Schechter is chief engineer for DuArt Film and Video in New York City and has spent nearly 20 years researching this subject from the proving grounds of Nevada to the National Archives.

Early Television

WWII Block III Television equipment to be shown at the Convention