Steel, William Arthur

William Arthur Steel, radio pioneer (b 3 Nov 1890; d at Ottawa 28 Nov 1968). Steel was chief wireless officer in the Canadian Corps in France at the end of WWI and chief radio engineer of the Canadian Army Signals Corps throughout the 1920s, when he organized the Northwest Territories radio system and, together with A.G.L. MCNAUGHTON, invented the Cathode Ray Direction Finder, an early form of RADAR. He organized the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL's radio laboratory 1931-32 and was commissioner in charge of engineering operations of the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission 1933-36. He retired from the army with the rank of lt-col in 1936 and had a brief excursion in politics, in W.D. HERRIDGE'S New Democracy Party. He thereafter worked in Ottawa as a consulting engineer in radio and radar, notably aircraft navigation aids and the construction of the DEW Line radar system.