Monday, November 6, 2017

Boca Raton's secret weapon during World War II


During World War II, thousands of US pilots trained in a small air base in Boca Raton to learn the basics of flying with a portable radar device.

That story is being told in a new WLRN documentary that looks at the role that small town Boca played in helping win World War II.  I wrote an article about the one-hour film for the Sun Sentinel.

The film looks at how Winston Churchill dispatched England's top scientists to the US during the war.

Physicists and engineers at MIT in Cambridge developed a radar "the size of a fist" that could be installed in military planes to detect German submarines off the coast.

But the military needed a location that had consistent good weather and access to the open ocean. And that's where Boca Raton came into play.

It's a fascinating story, one that has been, ahem, under the radar because the training was a top secret at the time.

WLRN is broadcasting the documentary 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Nov. 6 and again 11 p.m. Nov. 8 and 7 p.m. Nov. 19.

For more details, visit WLRN's page on the documentary.