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Amelia Earhart radio transmissions

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Amelia Earhart radio transmissions

Old 20th Mar 2024, 19:41
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Amelia Earhart radio transmissions

Hi,

Question if I may about how Amelia Earhart’s aircraft KHAQQ may have been referred to on radio transmissions before the current phonetic alphabet era. Would she have used different phonics or even the letters simply spelt out?

There are transcripts of the final radio calls from the aircraft but they all refer to “KHAQQ” without reference to any phonetic alphabet use if it was used at all.

Looking for advice for a project I’m working on. Thanks.
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Old 21st Mar 2024, 08:32
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I'm not sure that there would have been a real standard in those days, but from the British perspective:
By 1921, the RAF "Telephony Spelling Alphabet" had been adopted by all three armed services, and was then made mandatory for UK civil aviation, as announced in Notice to Airmen Number 107.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied...lling_alphabet

The question is whether there was a similar convention on the other side of the Atlantic. This was the first I could think of.
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Old 21st Mar 2024, 09:14
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I started with the Able, Baker version and went through the confused transition in 56. There still remains the 'hangover' from pre 21, with Ack (as in Ack-Ack) and Toc (as in Toc H)
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Old 21st Mar 2024, 13:01
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From the late '60s flying training, I still recall some aged QFIs referring to the Queenie Nan How.......
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Old 21st Mar 2024, 22:26
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I’m far too young to answer the question but https://www.otrcat.com/think-it-is-p...arhart-mystery provides some context to LAM3A’s quest.
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Old 21st Mar 2024, 22:48
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Originally Posted by teeteringhead
From the late '60s flying training, I still recall some aged QFIs referring to the Queenie Nan How.......

That reminded me of the rather formidable Mrs Pascoe!
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 01:35
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I think this is the definitive of what went wrong on Amelia Airheart's round the world flight. No answer to your question on phonetic codes,

Amelia Didn’t Know Radio | Naval History Magazine

Almon Gray’s “Amelia Didn’t Know Radio,” Part II

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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 03:15
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Here is one reference to USA phonetics with transition dates -

https://www.history.navy.mil/researc...nal-flags.html

I learned the still current NATO/ICAO standard back in my late teens in the UK CCF. I do still remember the first radio amateur I heard on my crystal set. He was "george two fox queen pacific". I tracked him down and he helped me on my way to my unresticted G3 call.
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 03:55
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Originally Posted by tonytales
I think this is the definitive of what went wrong on Amelia Airheart's round the world flight. No answer to your question on phonetic codes,

Amelia Didn’t Know Radio | Naval History Magazine

Almon Gray’s “Amelia Didn’t Know Radio,” Part II

Please excuse thread drift - The narrative described in the above link implies (very plausibly) that Earhart and Noonan survived a ditching close to shore. Her voice was heard and recognised, but the experienced operator could not make out her words.

Also this:

She was heard by the Nauru operator long after the plane would have run out of gas.

• Noonan survived. A man’s voice was distinctly heard on the “peculiar signal” by Midway. It was unintelligible.

• Either Earhart or Noonan, or both, were alive and with the plane at least until 0948 5 July 5 1937 (GMT). The peculiar signals were last heard then.

• The peculiar signals probably were coming from the eastern or southeastern part of the Marshall Islands.

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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 07:11
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Watch the movie ''Amelia'' - I am sure she refers in her frantic radio calls in some sort of ''alphabet'' and Queen Queen rings a bell....
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 08:06
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Lots to consider! I’ll check out the movie that sounds very promising. Thanks all.
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 13:39
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"King Harry Ace Queen Queen" seems to be correct for 1937. However, Able and How were formally introduced in 1941 and could have been in use in 1937. That would result in "King How Able Queen Queen".
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 17:54
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"Queen Nan How" has stuck in my memory from reading something I guess - I know a Nevil Shute book - A Town Like Alice? - had similar phonetic alphabet renditions for the daily outback radio comms which was part of the plot.

(A is for 'orses, B for mutton...)
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Old 22nd Mar 2024, 19:52
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Transmissions to/from Earhart were possible on both voice and Key (morse),weather info was always via Key - not sure if weather also on voice ?
It was an HF radio (High Frequency) so reception and transmission distances could vary enormously with weather and (say) altitude.
The full (?) transcripts are available online at......

https://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/dig...arhart/id/3052

Gets interesting at page 041 but there is some important info on pages prior to that.

Edit - I forgot to say that one of the important infos was that Earhart apparently was not informed that the Navy had an HF 'Homer' Beacon on Howland specifically for her to use for navigation.

I have just skimmed through a few pages and appears that 'Tare','Victor' and 'Queen' used as phonetics

Last edited by longer ron; 22nd Mar 2024 at 22:44.
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Old 23rd Mar 2024, 16:06
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Looks like “King How Able Queen Queen” might have been the phonetics used. They are used in the movie and look to tie in with the common use at the time. Thanks for all your input!
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Old 24th Mar 2024, 07:03
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AMELIA stars two-time Academy Award®-winner Hilary Swank as Amelia Earhart, the legendary aviatrix.
Also featuring Richard Gere (George Putnam) Ewan McGregor (Gene Vidal) and Christopher Eccleston as the Pan American Navigator, Fred Noonan.
Directed by Mira Nair, for Fox Searchlight Pictures 2009.

On June 1, 1937, aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, start their attempt to circumnavigate the globe.





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Old 24th Mar 2024, 09:36
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Oh... I thought it would be Pat Thrasher as Amelia and Rick Gillespie as Noonan/Putnam/Johnson/Et Al...
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Old 24th Mar 2024, 09:47
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I watched the movie Amelia early last year on Disney.
Monitoring the background on scenes which were meant to depict Miami - there appears to be an Antonov An-24 or 26 behind the front action.
Part of the movie was filmed in South Africa - would an Antonov have been seen there regularly?
See what you think...





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Old 24th Mar 2024, 10:19
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Bernard Chabbert flew (presumably) his Electra in the film - presumably ferried it down to Cape Town which must have been a fun trip. Certainly plenty of Antonov twins visible at airfields all over Africa on Google Earth, they seem to have replaced antique Western types as tramp freighters.
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Old 24th Mar 2024, 10:45
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Good spot there re the modern Antonov....
I had never noticed that...

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Hilary Swank was a great choice to play Amelia. The photography was splendid with some pretty cinematography moments, the clothing represented the period beautifully and I learned that Amelia took Eleanor Roosevelt up in a plane and gave her a thrill and let Eleanor handle the controls.

Numerous period aircraft were obtained to provide authenticity, including the use of two replica aircraft, a Lockheed Vega and Fokker F.VIIb/3m Tri-motor Friendship (with limited ability to run up engines and taxi).
The Lockheed 12A Electra Junior (F-AZLL) used alongside another Electra Junior, that filled in for the much rarer Lockheed Electra 10E that Earhart used.
Despite efforts to faithfully replicate the period, numerous historical inaccuracies were noted in some reviews.

After filming, the two replica aircraft featured in the Earhart transatlantic flights were donated to museums. The Lockheed Vega is now in the collection of the San Diego Air & Space Museum, while the Fokker F. VIIB/3M tri-motor is now housed at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where it was unveiled in 2009 with a local Amelia Earhart reenactor Kathie Brosemer recounting the story of Earhart's flight in 1928.

So, in the end I really liked this Movie, but it was not received with much critical acclaim, and there were a few notable historical inaccuracies of which you have spotted this one.

Its a very pleasant watch however, on a winter's afternoon in front of the Tele...LOL



Last edited by rog747; 24th Mar 2024 at 11:44.
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