Published in The Coast Star on April 12, 2001

Page 19

By Fred Carl

     The first pitch has been thrown on a historic day when years of planning and effort by scores of volunteers have become reality. Families are excited about the new North Wall Little League fields. Young players practice to do well for their team and perfect their skills to defeat the opposing team. These excellent new fields were not just some empty lot or farm field. These fields were once known to a select few as Area G.
     The two contests played in part on these fields decided the fate of nations and the course of modern history.
     During the first contest, the last four innings were played in north Wall: 1942, 1943, 1944 and 1945. The opposing players were the radar experts of the Imperial Empire of Japan teamed with the competent radar experts of Nazi occupied Europe. The home team was the U.S. Army Signal Corps Radar Laboratory experts working with radar experts from England, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory. The contest was for radar supremacy. Sir Winston Churchill characterized the contest as the “Wizard War”.
     The team captains were Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring on the Nazi side and General Rodger B. Colton on our side. On each team were thousands of “Wizards” engineers, physicists, chemists and project workers. Developing new equipment or a new technique, which would jam the other teams equipment, or made your teams equipment work better scored runs. Secret equipment with names like “Eureka,” George,” “Mary, ” and model numbers like SCR-268, SCR-584, AN/TP3 and many others were tested and perfected in Area G. Even some of the other teams’ equipment was captured and analyzed, like Wurzburg radar, radios, and V-2 rockets.
In the end our team would win and names like Armstrong, Marchetti, Slattery, Watson and Zahl would be listed on the Camp Evans All-Star Team. Radar won the Second World War and the atomic bomb ended it.
The next contest was played over 50 years. It was a more sophisticated game. Sir Winston Churchill characterized the other side as being behind an “Iron Curtain.” The contest was the Cold War. In Area G special radar devices and computer integrated systems would be tested to detect enemy equipment and personnel, to find enemy targets in any weather and to bring more and more information about battle conditions to command. Projects with names like “Firefinder,” “Rembas,” and “J-Stars” would test equipment in Area G.
Special equipment could also detect Soviet atomic bomb test detonations and collect data for analysis to report to the Pentagon. Most of this equipment was developed for use in a potential war with the Soviet Union. The equipment would see use in Desert Storm and contribute to another Allied victory.
From 1942 to 1998 thousands of projects would test equipment in Area G, many secret. Most we will never learn about.
Now a new and better time is ahead for Area G. Thanks are due to Township Administrator Joseph Verruni, the Township Committee, the Marconi Park Reuse Committee led by Michael Fitzgerald, John Boss and the “Field of Dreams Committee” who in spite of lots of Army “Red Tape” have prevailed. Now it remains to the players of North wall to play like Wizards and add their names to the Camp Evans All-Stars.
page created August 6, 2002