Scientists Tested 'Sonar' System in Hemenway GYM

160 Persons, Operating Under U. S. Research office, Helped Develop Anti-Sub Weapon

From an underwater sound laboratory located in Hemingway Gymnassium during the war, scientists helped fight the successful battle against the German U-bout. University officials revealed this week, as the Navy took the wraps off another of its secret weapons "sonar," which stands for sound, navigation, and ranging.

Operating under a contract with the officer of Scientific Research and Development the local laboratory marshalled a staff of 460 persons. including 125 college-trained scientists recruited from all over the united States to play a part in devising instruments for the Navy to detect and sink enemy submarines.

Although the Germans developed a defense against many of the detecting devices used by the Navy. Admiral Karl Doenitz said his U-boats were beaten by "Allied superiority in the field of science."

An important phase of work done here was development of the bearing, deviation indicator, which enabled sonar operators to train their sound projectors on submarines with greater speed and accuracy. Also designed were sound gear monitors, which were portable test units used to keep BDI gear in operation condition.

Another development of the laboratory was a system of controlling reverberations received over the BDI from enemy submarines. Still another accomplishment by the local scientists was the invention of electronic gadgets to assist in spotting evidences of maneuvers of an clusive target.


Activities of the local scientists have required operation of a small fleet of laboratory vessels and three field stations at which sound measurements could be made. As the war drew to a close, the experiments were transferred from the gymnasium basketball floor and squash courts to the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory at New London, Connecticut.