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Raytheon Company
Executive Offices
141 Spring Street
Lexington MA 02173

617 862 6600



Mr. W. Leon Weeks, President
Museum of Our Industrial Heritage
77 Petty Plain Road
Greenfield, MA 01301

Dear Mr. Weeks:

Lucien Theriault, a Raytheon retiree recalls we started a small manufacturing plant in Greenfield in about 1943 or 1944 to produce subassemblies for secret proximity fuze tubes which were being used in WWII. The proximity fuze was the third most important secret weapon which helped the Allies win WWII. The proximity fuze was in the front of anti artillery shells and mortar shells. It housed a tiny radio transmitter which sent our radio signals to enemy airplanes. These were reflected back to a tiny radio receiver also in the head of the shell. These reflected radio signals would cause the shell to explode when it was near the target, hence the name "proximity fuze". It could be set so that when near the target it would detonate. This secret invention would destroy 90% of the enemy airplanes versus 10% before. This secret invention helped turn the battle of the South Pacific in 1943, 1944 in our favor by destroying Japanese planes which were then sinking our ships and it is also credited with wining the "Battle of the Bulge" in late 1944 in Europe because of more precise mortar fire. The Japanese nor the German's had the proximity fuze.

Norm Krim,
Norman B. Krim, Archivist

Copy Lucien Theriault, Archive Volunteer, joined Raytheon in 1933

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In a letter to Leon Weeks, past President of the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, the importance of the proximity fuze is described. The radio transmitter component of the fuse was produced in Greenfield, Massachusetts, in a secretive plant owned by the Raytheon Company. The fuse was used in shells to down enemy planes during WWII. The fuze and the manufacture of its components were well kept secrets that helped win the war.


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Letter to Leon Weeks from Raytheon Company

creator   Raytheon Manufacturing Company
date   Dec 30, 1999
location   Lexington, Massachusetts
height   11.0"
width   8.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Letter
accession #   #L06.030

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See Also...

Identification Badge of a Raytheon Manufacturing Company worker during WWII

Components of a Proximity Fuze made by Raytheon Manufacturing Company during WWII

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