KFWB On D-Day

American soldiers land on the French coast in Normandy during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/File)

American soldiers land on the French coast in Normandy during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/File)

KFWB’s Live Recordings on D-Day, June 6, 1944

On this landmark 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, we are pleased to release historic recordings of KFWB on that fateful day. These recordings have not been heard since their original broadcast and they sat untouched for decades in a little-known room at USC’s Hancock Foundation building until a cadre of volunteer audio preservationists restored them using modern technology.

USC had its original radio studio and broadcast production facility in the late 1930s and early 1940s in that building. Captain Allan Hancock donated the funds to create the building, which opened in 1940. It is unknown who made the original transcription disk.  It could have been a student engineer, a professor, a representative of Hancock Foundation, or even Alan Hancock himself.

This file begins with a portion of an audio drama that was on the air at the time that we believe was called, “There They Go.” You’ll hear the KFWB anchor cut in with an announcement that President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be addressing the nation. This is followed by FDR’s famous prayer on the occasion in which he prays for the troops.

According to the online FDR diaries, the President made the speech from the White House at 10:07 p.m. Eastern Time.

This file includes local news men with commentary and bulletins coming over the news wires from France, England, and Washington. There is also an interesting reminder about maintaining security in public discussions!

Credits

Our sincere thanks to the Allan Hancock Foundation Archive, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California and Dr. Ken Hayashida, MD, who made us aware of the audio in the USC archives. Visit the USC Digital Library to hear more historical recordings.

KFWB especially thanks Lance Bowling, owner of Cambria Music, and Luke Horeczko, who did the technical work to recover the sounds of the KFWB broadcast.  When located at USC, the record was unfortunately broken in half. Luke and Lance were able to reassemble it and carefully play back the fragile recording. In order to recover the analog sound, Luke had to carefully lightly hold the stylus on the transcription disk player in order to get a continuous playback on the broken record, otherwise the stylus would jump off the record.

Photo Gallery

This June 6, 1944, file photo shows American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force securing a beachhead during initial landing operations at Normandy, France, June 6, 1944.  From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. (AP Photo/Weston Haynes, File)

This June 6, 1944, file photo shows American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force securing a beachhead during initial landing operations at Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. (AP Photo/Weston Haynes, File)

U.S. reinforcements wade through the surf from a landing craft in the days following D-Day and the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France at Normandy in June 1944 during World War II.  From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. Photographs by Robert Capa who was embedded with U.S. troops on Omaha Beach, took more than an week for his images to reach American news.   (AP Photo/Bert Brandt, File)

U.S. reinforcements wade through the surf from a landing craft in the days following D-Day and the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France at Normandy in June 1944 during World War II. From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. Photographs by Robert Capa who was embedded with U.S. troops on Omaha Beach, took more than an week for his images to reach American news. (AP Photo/Bert Brandt, File)

American troops marching to a port of embarkation where they were embarked in landing craft for the invasion of Nazi ooccupied France, June 1944. (AP Photo)

American troops marching to a port of embarkation where they were embarked in landing craft for the invasion of Nazi ooccupied France, June 1944. (AP Photo)

This June 1944 file map photo shows a blackened area, at centre, on the Normandy beachhead indicating the approximate area captured by the allies at the end of four days of battle after D-Day, as continued Allied aerial bombings struck at objectives in the shaded belt.  From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. Photographs by Robert Capa who was embedded with U.S. troops on Omaha Beach, took more than an week for his images to reach American news.   (AP Photo, FILE)

This June 1944 file map photo shows a blackened area, at centre, on the Normandy beachhead indicating the approximate area captured by the allies at the end of four days of battle after D-Day, as continued Allied aerial bombings struck at objectives in the shaded belt. From the first sketchy German radio broadcast to the distribution of images filmed in color, it has taken decades for the full story of the D-Day invasion to come out. As world leaders and veterans prepare to mark the 70th anniversary of the invasion this week, multiple Twitter hashtags are following the ceremonies minute by minute. At the time, the reporting, filming and taking of photos was neither easy nor straightforward. Photographs by Robert Capa who was embedded with U.S. troops on Omaha Beach, took more than an week for his images to reach American news. (AP Photo, FILE)

Eight days after D-Day these American fighter pilots landed at one of the first U. S. air bases to be established in France in June 1944. Standing in the rear, left to right: Lt. Frank Ptacek, Jr., Cicero, Ill.; Lt. John O’Reilly, Camillus, N. Y.; Lt. Elmer Hays, Duquesne, Pa.; Lt. Lamar Tullos, Livingston, Tex.; Maj. John Pease, Boise, Idaho, a squadron commander. Front row, left to right: Lt. William Grounds, Kimberly, W. Va.; Lt. Billy Vincent, National City, Calif.; Lt. Eley Gaar, Monroe, La.; Capt. Harold Cobb, Clinton, S.C. Several of the fliers are holding articles captured by the Germans. (AP Photo)

Eight days after D-Day these American fighter pilots landed at one of the first U. S. air bases to be established in France in June 1944. Standing in the rear, left to right: Lt. Frank Ptacek, Jr., Cicero, Ill.; Lt. John O’Reilly, Camillus, N. Y.; Lt. Elmer Hays, Duquesne, Pa.; Lt. Lamar Tullos, Livingston, Tex.; Maj. John Pease, Boise, Idaho, a squadron commander. Front row, left to right: Lt. William Grounds, Kimberly, W. Va.; Lt. Billy Vincent, National City, Calif.; Lt. Eley Gaar, Monroe, La.; Capt. Harold Cobb, Clinton, S.C. Several of the fliers are holding articles captured by the Germans. (AP Photo)

U.S. assault troops, laden with equipment, wade through the surf to a Normandy beach from landing craft in June 1944 to support those who had gone before in the D-Day assault. (AP Photo)

U.S. assault troops, laden with equipment, wade through the surf to a Normandy beach from landing craft in June 1944 to support those who had gone before in the D-Day assault. (AP Photo)

Barrage balloons float overhead as protection against dive-bombers attacks in June 1944, part of a giant allied task force moves across the English Channel in France, to hit the French coast on D-Day. (AP Photo)

Barrage balloons float overhead as protection against dive-bombers attacks in June 1944, part of a giant allied task force moves across the English Channel in France, to hit the French coast on D-Day. (AP Photo)

The Colonel (unidentified) gives last minute instructions to some of the men in 1944. British Commandos on the way to France. (AP Photo)

The Colonel (unidentified) gives last minute instructions to some of the men in 1944. British Commandos on the way to France. (AP Photo)

This June 6, 1944 photo released by Nathan Kline, shows a B-26 Marauder flying toward France during the D-Day invasion.  (AP Photo/ Courtesy of Nathan Kline)

This June 6, 1944 photo released by Nathan Kline, shows a B-26 Marauder flying toward France during the D-Day invasion. (AP Photo/ Courtesy of Nathan Kline)

This photo dated Dec. 1944, provided by Dargols' family shows Bernard Dargols near Aachen in Germany. When he left Paris at age 18, the plan was to go to New York for a year and learn his father’s sewing machine trade. Six years later, Bernard Dargols found himself crossing the Channel in a U.S. Army uniform, sloshing ashore on Omaha Beach to a homeland that had persecuted his Jewish family. (AP Photo/Courtesy Bernard Dargols' family)

This photo dated Dec. 1944, provided by Dargols’ family shows Bernard Dargols near Aachen in Germany. When he left Paris at age 18, the plan was to go to New York for a year and learn his father’s sewing machine trade. Six years later, Bernard Dargols found himself crossing the Channel in a U.S. Army uniform, sloshing ashore on Omaha Beach to a homeland that had persecuted his Jewish family. (AP Photo/Courtesy Bernard Dargols’ family)

This photo provided by collector Rodney Hilton Brown shows a tattered 48-star American flag that flew aboard the U.S.-built LST 493 on D-Day that is being auctioned by Bonhams in New York on Thursday, June 5, 2014. The flag is among the hundreds of D-Day and other World War II artifacts being auctioned a day before the 70th anniversary of the history-changing invasion. The auction also features rare print-outs of the original series of hourly Dow Jones news bulletins with some of the first reports of the fighting on France’s north coast on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Rodney Hilton Brown)

This photo provided by collector Rodney Hilton Brown shows a tattered 48-star American flag that flew aboard the U.S.-built LST 493 on D-Day that is being auctioned by Bonhams in New York on Thursday, June 5, 2014. The flag is among the hundreds of D-Day and other World War II artifacts being auctioned a day before the 70th anniversary of the history-changing invasion. The auction also features rare print-outs of the original series of hourly Dow Jones news bulletins with some of the first reports of the fighting on France’s north coast on June 6, 1944. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Rodney Hilton Brown)