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United States Navy in Old Time Radio

Something for the Girls

When considering large organizations, few can match the United States Navy for size and complexity. The third largest of America's Uniformed Services (after the Army and Air Force, by the number of Active Personnel), the Navy's Battle Space occupies more than three-quarters of the surface of the planet.

Join The NavyThe Navy's Mission requires it to project American Power across the oceans of the World, and this requires ships and equipment. The modern aircraft carrier is one of the most complex and expensive devices ever created by mankind. Its primary purpose is to transport, service, launch, and recover the most technologically advanced and complex aircraft in the world. The Carrier Battle Group is made up of dozens of smaller vessels, each of which carries enough specialized firepower to defeat most other military forces on the planet.

As impressive as the Navy's ships and aircraft are, no Admiral would dispute the notion that the Fleet's most precious and valuable asset is the men and women who operate them. The Naval Service depends upon Sailors who handle the mooring lines, turn the wrenches, and man the weapon systems. The devices aboard a ship are impressive, but they only run because sailors have been trained to operate them.

Going to Sea for one's country has always been one of the most romantic adventures a young person can have. For generations, they have arrived at Basic Training Facilities, "Boot Camp", where their Civilian lives are put behind and they come out as Sailors. Many of these kids may have never seen the Sea, but they are now ready to sail upon it in the service of their country.

The modern Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy of the American Revolution. A relatively rag-tag fleet that harassed British merchant shipping, this force was disbanded after the Revolution. Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794, authorizing the construction of six heavy frigates, which included the USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides".

American Industrialization after the Civil War developed the "Steel Navy" which helped to establish the United States as a true World Power at the turn of the Twentieth Century. During the fight against Fascism in the Second World War, the Navy had become a truly formidable force which was vital to ensure overall Allied Victory.

Join The NavyThe Navy has a long relationship with Radio. Wireless Technology was readily adapted for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication, but one of the most important applications was the use of Commercial Radio for Naval Recruiting. This programming took two different forms; Naval Romance and direct Recruiting Appeals.

The programs we are referring to as Naval Romances demonstrated the Honor and Traditions of Heroism in the Service. Adventurous Romance is not hard to find in Naval History, as demonstrated by shows like Battle Stations and Now Hear This. Don Winslow of the Navy was more of a comic strip hero but his antics still demonstrated the tradition of bravery amongst Naval Officers. Real-life examples of Naval Heroism were popular stories for The Cavalcade of America.

Direct Navy Recruiting programs often used popular music to attract young people to hear the message. Many were far from subtle in spreading the word, like the syndicated Join the Navy which featured the Navy Band playing Swing Music. Your Navy Show was another Dance Music Showcase featuring the talents of Tommy Dorsey and announcer Don Wilson.

An interesting turn came in the Navy's post-War recruiting efforts when the Service embraced Country and Western Music to spread its message. "A hootenanny that's gone to Sea", Hoot'Navy featured big-name acts like Cliffie Stone, Miriam Hall, and the Sons of the Pioneers. A large variety of Country Music Recording Stars hosted episodes of Country Hoedown where they pitched the opportunities presented by the Naval Service.


Join the US Navy
Battle Stations
Battle of the Atlantic Created by the United States Navy during WWII, this old time radio program was created to "report to people of the United States on the progress of its navy in the war being fought in five oceans."

Broadway in review
Broadway in Review
Anchored by the post-War swing tunes of Russ Case and His Orchestra, the Navy Recruiting Service put together a show featuring Broadway singers and swing music.


Tex Williams
Country Hoedown
US Navy Terrific Country and Western Music from the Golden Age. While you're listening, consider a career in the Modern US Navy.

Don Winslow
Don Winslow of the Navy
Kids serials were often built around super heroes like Superman, Blue Beetle or The Green Hornet. Don Winslow's superpowers were the fact that he was in the US Navy, which is enough power to defeat all sorts of enemies!

Eddie Dunchin
The Eddie Duchin Show
One of America's best loved musicians joined the Navy at the height of the U-Boat campaign.


Hoot'Navy Program
A Hoot'Navy is a Hootenanny that has "gone to sea" to recruit Navy sailors which featured the music of Cliffie Stone, Rex Allen, Miriam Hall and The Sons of the Pioneers.

Join the Navy
Join the Navy
Directed by Commander Charles Brendler, this program included 15 minutes of recorded music and song hoping you'd dance your way to the recruiting office and sign your name on an enlistment contract.

James Harry
Land's Best Bands
Whether you were in the radar shack with your eyes glued to a 'scope or you were stuck in the galley peeling spuds for the entire cruise, there were more than enough romance and adventure to go around, the Recruiter just had to get the young men through the door.

Les Brown
Les Brown Show
Les Brown is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the leader of the longest lasting musical organization in the history of pop music. This rare collection of shows was were recorded in Hollywood for the US Navy Recruiting Service from the 1950s.

Eddie Safranski
The Navy Swings
Jazz Greats Perform for Future US Navy and Navy Reservists!

Now Hear This
Now Hear This
This well written 1951 series from the Navy Recruiting Service shows the Navy in its best and most attractive light.

The Search
The Search
A faith based radio show produced by The Navy Chaplain Corp to help Armed Service Members find the right church of their choice and finding strength within.

Something for the Girls
Something for the Girls
In an attempt to recruit women, the Navy introduced WAVES "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service" with this star-studded radio show.

Les Brown
US Navy Shows
If great music was all it took to get young men to the recruiting office, these U.S. Navy Shows would have found more sailors than we have ships. As it was, these great programs from the USN Recruiting Command gave us hours of toe-tapping goodness and dreams of the high seas.

Navy Shows
Your Navy Show with Tommy Dorsey
The most important part of the modern Navy is its Sailors.

See also: Naval Warfare in Old Time Radio and Military Recruiting in Old Time Radio 

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