Rat Patrol Radio was born from a discussion of period music on the forums for the game WWII Online, in the summer of 2000.  Realizing that the mostly younger audience of prospective players had never heard WWII music, my friend Robert and I wondered how we could introduce them to Big Band and Swing music.

I had one Andrews Sisters and one Glenn Miller CD, which was the extent of my collection. I used to watch Abbott and Costello war movies on WTBS as a kid, which is where I discovered swing music. I’d heard about this new thing called “internet radio,” so started exploring the Net to learn more. In the fall of 2000, I finally found a new service called Live 365, which would rent prospective internet DJs server space and bandwith.

There was a catch, however; you had to abide by RIAA rules, which stipulated that no more than four songs from any one artist, album or box set could be broadcast in any rolling three hour period. Working it out using an average of 3 minutes per song, this meant I needed 15 CDs from different artists! That collection has grown to over 150 CDs, and several gigabytes of public domain Old Time Radio and WWII news shows.

Rob was invaluable while assembling this collection, as we only wanted music that was from 1945 or earlier. Rob’s mom sang with a big band on war bond tours in WWII, and he met many noted sidemen as a child when they would come visit his mom.  He could listen to a song, and say “That’s so-and-so on the trumpet solo, and he was only with this band between this year and that.”

Rat Patrol Radio evolved from a quick idea into a living tribute to the men and women of the Greatest Generation. The emails I receive from all over the world relating the stories of parents and grandparents who served in World War II, and how this music touched them are my greatest inspiration. They reaffirm my efforts to keep RPR on the air.

We hope you enjoy the music, and maybe learn some things about what our parents and grandparents went through in their battle to save the world from Fascism.

Thanks for listening!


  1. We have EAA’s B-17 in town and the person that was going to do music backed out.
    I needed to find Big Band music and came up with you in a search.
    We have three B-17 Vets showing up for a party tomorrow (7/2).
    Can’t think of a better way to get the music they will remember.

  2. I love to listen to music my parents listened to during WWII. My Father’s Marine Corp nickname was “Whirlaway”, that’s why I have taken it as my Online name here at Rat Patrol Radio. My Father was on board the USS Missouri during WWII and was present at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender on board the Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
    I also listen to Rat Patrol Radio while I play WWII Online, there my call sign is “Carolina”. Great game, you are invited to check the game out anytime.

  3. Please don’t apologize! We fully understand. Hope to get you a donation this year. We love the station year round but we especially love the Christmas music you play! Thank you very much!!

  4. Hidee ho, fellows and friends! New listener here. Call me Pat (real name) or Irish. I’m just getting into WWII Online and was looking for a radio station for between missions. I’m an eight year veteran of the City of Heroes superhero MMORPG. We had a LOT of players with “legacy” characters…traditional heroes (like Captain America) with connections to WWII. Every year we had our “Golden Age Festival” ingame, with our internet radio station playing WWII music. I’ve been a wargamer (tabletop simulations) for many years and have done some WWII flight simming. It looks like I’ve found a new internet music “home.” 🙂

    BTW…DJ Torgen Magnusson, I see you’re in Tampa. Me too! I owe you lunch sometime, for this great radio station. I’d like to make some connections in WWII Online as well. I’ll be on there as ODonovan1. Just doing basic training, at the moment.

  5. By the way, the instructions aren’t showin up for the captcha images below the posting. Sometimes you can guess what they want, but other times it’s impossible. Can someone tell sweetCaptcha to put their instructions back, please? Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.