As an Amateur Radio operator and student of History, I enjoy working special event stations that honor, remember, or commemorate historical figures or events. I’ve been looking for a way to get back to writing about Amateur Radio, so I’ve decided to attempt writing a blog post each month about the upcoming month’s history related special event stations.
History-related special event stations during January 2018 include stations related to an aircraft crash in Ireland, the R.L. Drake Company, the American Revolution, the Florida State Constitution, the War of 1812, and the Gulf War. For each station, I’ve included the callsign and time frame, some background on the history of the figure or event, and planned frequency and QSL information. Most of these stations are found in the ARRL’s special event station listings, but I also find some from various amateur radio news stations, so if you have a History related special event station you’d like me to include in one of these posts, please contact me (callsign at gmail.com) with the information on it.
Special event station EI50AOM will operate in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2017 in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the crash of Aer Lingus Flight 712. The callsign combines the aircraft’s registration with the 50th Anniversary of the crash. Aer Lingus Flight 712, a Vickers Viscount 803 with Irish registration EI-AOM crashed on 24 March 2017 near Tuskar Rock, County Wexford, Ireland with 57 passengers and 4 crew aboard; all 61 perished in the crash. The cause of Flight 712’s crash has never been determined. Initial investigations into the crash were not thorough so the crash has been surrounded by controversy. One theory that evolved was that Flight 712 was downed by a missile from a testing facility at RAF Aberporth in Wales; another theory was that it crashed as a result of a collision with an Irish Air Corps training aircraft. A more thorough investigation in 2002 determined that Flight 712 crashed as the result of a mechanical failure stemming from metal fatigue, corrosion, control surface flutter, or a bird strike. Of the 61 fatalities, the remains of only 14 were ever found. EI50AOM will be devoting one day of operations to each person lost in the crash.
EI50AOM will be operating on or around 21.317, 18.127, 14.217, and 7.127. QSL via Tim McKnight, EI2KA, Gortadrohid, Ringarogy Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland. For more information, see: https://www.qrz.com/db/ei50aom
Special event station W2D will operate in Brooklyn, NY from 1-14 January 2018 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the R.L. Drake Company. R.L. Drake is a communications manufacturer founded in Dayton, OH by Robert L. Drake, W8CYE in 1943 and now based in Springboro, OH. Drake began by manufacturing low pass and high pass filters and began to manufacture amateur radio equipment after World War II. Drake was renowned for their quality equipment throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. In addition to amateur equipment, they are also known for their marine and satellite communications equipment. Now owned by Blonder Tongue but still base in Ohio, Drake manufactures equipment used by cable television companies.
W2D will be operating in or around 15.300, 17.135, 14.235, and 7.195. QSL via James Gallo, 159 Marine Avenue, 6F, Brooklyn, NY 11208.
Special event station W2P will operate in Trenton, NJ on 3 January 2018 to commemorate the Revolutionary War Battle of Princeton. The Battle of Princeton, on 3 January 1777, followed up the American victory at Trenton on 26 December 1776, where the Continental Army under General George Washington captured a large force of Hessians during a surprise attack. Washington decided to follow-up the success at Trenton with an attack on the British Army before the Continental Army moved into winter quarters. Having moved back into Pennsylvania after Trenton, the Continental Army moved back into New Jersey and fought with the British at Assunpink Creek; turning back the British there, Washington circled his forces around the British to attack them in Princeton. On 3 January, the battle at Princeton began. Continentals under Brigadier Hugh Mercer were overrun by the British, causing militia forces to break and flee. Washington and Continentals from Virginia arrived on scene and rallied them. The militia rallied, Washington carried the attack to the British, who fell back to Trenton. The Winter New Jersey Campaign, which Trenton and Princeton were part of, led to the British evacuation of southern New Jersey and raised American spirits.
W2P will be operating on or around 14.250 and 7.250. QSL via DVRA – W2P, PO Box 7024, Trenton, NJ 08628. Anniversary of the Battle of Princeton. QSL Card for SASE. If you also work the W2T for the Battle of Trenton on December 26, you can get a certificate of Commission in the Continental Army Signal Corps. See DVRA Website for details. www.w2zq.com
Special event station W4FFC will operate in Port Saint Joe, FL on 13 January 2018 to commemorate the State of Florida Constitutional Convention. The first Florida Constitutional Convention was held in December 1838 and January 1939; a constitution was required for Florida to be admitted to the union as a state. Convening on 3 December 1838, the Convention used the constitutions of several other states as examples and quickly drew up Florida’s first constitution, adjourning on 11 January 1839. Unfortunately, the original 1838 Constitution no longer exists (or at least hasn’t been found), but a “secretary’s copy” is in the Florida State Archives. Interestingly enough, Florida’s secession convention was held in January 1862; convening on 14 January, they adjourned on 27 January, the 1838 Convention negated as Florida left the Union.
W4FFC will be operating on or around 7.177, 14.275, 21.275, and 28.375 as well as digital on 14.075. QSL via Norm Bixler, K4NEB, 2003 Cypress Ave, Port Saint Joe, FL 32456. All stations desiring a QSL Card, please send your card and a #10 size SASE.
Special Event station NI6IW, at the USS Midway (CV-41) museum ship in San Diego, CA, will operate to commemorate the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the 1990-1991 Gulf War. From August 1990 to January 1991, a US-led coalition built up forces in Saudia Arabia to defend the country after Iraq invaded Kuwait. On 29 November 1990, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 678 giving Iraq a deadline of 15 January 1991 to withdraw from Kuwait. Iraq refused to withdraw. On 17 January, coalition air forces began a massive air campaign against Iraq, flying over 10,000 sorties and expending over 88,000 tons of ordnance. Although there were some ground battles before, the ground campaign of Desert Storm began on 24 February 1991. Coalition forces invaded Iraq moving northward at first and then toward Kuwait. Although some Iraqi units fought back, many units put up little resistance, either surrendering to coalition forces or fleeing back into Iraq. Desert Storm ended on 28 February 1991, 100 hours after the ground campaign began. Desert Storm, in order to form and maintain the coalition of countries involved, was a limited campaign. Its scope was the ejection of Iraq from Kuwait, so once that was accomplished it came to an end. Debate has surrounded the end of the Gulf War and there is little doubt that its outcome set the stage for our latest war in Iraq.
NI6IW will be operating on or around 14.320 and 7.250, with PSK31 on 14.070 and D-STAR on REF001C. QSL via USS Midway (CV-41) COMEDTRA, 910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.
Although she was decommissioned in 1992 and is now a museum ship, the USS Midway, CV-41 served in the Gulf War and Desert Storm, operating in the Persian Gulf along with the USS Ranger, CV-61 at the beginning of Desert Storm.
If you’re interested in reading more about the events encompassed by this month’s special event stations, here are some that I’ve read and suggest:
- A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin
- The Struggle for Sea Power, A Naval History of the American Revolution by Sam Willis
- Six Frigates: The Epic Story of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll
- The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict by Donald R. Hickey
- Desert Victory: The War in Kuwait by Norman Friedman