Amateur Radio and History for February 2018

History related Amateur Radio special event stations in February 2018 include stations related to an aircraft crash in Ireland (continued from January), King Hussein of Jordan, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the Space Shuttle Columbia, the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, the Civil War submarine Hunley, and a shipwreck in 1918. There will also be special event stations remembering President George Washington, but I thought my readers would be familiar enough with him that I wouldn’t need to write a paragraph about him.

Special event station EI50AOM will operate in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018 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:


A variety of stations will be operating as special event stations during the month of February in memory of King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan. For more information on participating stations, see the JY1 Special Event Memorial Station website. King Hussein ruled Jordan through a tumultuous portion of Jordan’s history from 1952 to 1999. Throughout his reign, King Hussein found himself in an unenviable position, both geographically and policy-wise; he was between Israel and the west on one side and the Palestinians, other Islamic and Arab nations, and the Soviet Bloc on the other. Regardless, his reign was a positive one; Jordan was better off when he passed than when he ascended to the throne. Quality of life and literacy in Jordan, its economy, and its infrastructure all improved throughout his reign. King Hussein was an enthusiastic amateur radio operator, active under the callsign JY1, so an amateur radio special event station in his honor is a fitting way to remember such a historic leader.

JY1 special event stations will be operating on or around 14.250, 14.025, 7.185,  and 7.025. QSL via Ayman J. Azar, 8261 Decatur St, Lake Station, IN 46405.


Special event station K7T will operate in Tucson, AZ on 3 February 2018 to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican American War of 1846-1848. In addition to monetary settlements, the treaty ceded to the United States from Mexico territory that would eventually part of 10 western states. Controversy over whether those territories and states would be free or slave would help lead to the Civil War just over a decade later.

K7T will be operating on or around 14.250, 14.070, 7.200, and 7.070. QSL via Oro Valley ARC, via e-mail only to, for PDF. No paper QSLs, please. Email for PDF certificate.


The Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station K5C on 3 and 4 February 2018 in memory of the astronauts that perished in the shuttle Columbia crash and in honor of the amateur radio operators who assisted in recovery efforts. Columbia was returning from the STS-107 mission when it disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana killing all aboard: Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon. It was determined that the cause of the crash was by hot atmospheric damage penetrating Columbia’s heat shield and damaging its structural integrity through damage caused pieces of foam insulation that came off of the external fuel tank during launch. After the crash, a multitude of volunteers responded to the area to help search for debris, which was spread across a massive area. Among those volunteers were amateur radio operators who provided key communications support for the search.

K5C will be active on or around 21.350, 14.270, and 7.220. QSL via Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club, 167 CR 2093, Nacogdoches, TX 75965.


On 10 February 2018, NI6IW at the USS Midway (CV-41) in San Diego, CA will operate as a special event station in commemoration of the US Marine Corps raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle for Iwo Jima. The invasion of Iwo Jima began on 19 February 1945 with the goal of depriving the Japanese the use of its airfields and utilizing them as emergency landing fields for B-29s that were attacking Japan from the Marianas. Mt. Suribachi was the islands high ground and the Japanese were tunneled into it with firepower that could range the island, so it was an important early target. It was taken on 23 February 1945 and on that day the iconic Joe Rosenthal’s photo of the flag being raised was taken. Rosenthal’s photo, however, was of the second raising; a small flag had been raised first and Rosenthal captured the image of the second group of Marines replacing it with a larger flag.

NI6IW will be active on or around 14.320 and 7.250, on PSK31 on 14.070, and on D-STAR on REF001C. QSL via USS Midway (Cv-41) COMEDTRA, 910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.


The Trident Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station N4HLH from Charleston, SC on 17 February 2018 in commemoration of the submarine Hunley sinking the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor during the Civil War. The Hunley was built in Mobile, AL and transported to Charleston, where she sank twice during testing, killing 13 crew members. On 17 February 1864, the Hunley attacked the USS Housatonic at the entrance of Charleston Harbor in an attempt to break the Union blockade of the city.; it was the first successful attack by a submarine on a surface ship, using her spar torpedo. The Housatonic sank in five minutes, but the Hunley did not survive the attack either, sinking after the torpedo exploded. There is some debate about how the Hunley‘s crew died, but they likely died due to blast injury caused when the spar torpedo exploded (the spar torpedo being too far away from the rest of the submarine to prevent damage).  The Hunley wasn’t located until 1995 and was raised in 2000; she is now on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, SC.

N4HLH will be active on or around 28.462, 14.262, 7.262, and 7.117 as well as the SC Hearts linked repeater system. QSL via Brian Freedman W4BFZ, PO Box 60732, North Charleston, SC 29419. A certificate is $5 and SASE 9X12 envelope. For QSL send card and SASE.


The Society of Newfoundland Amateurs will be operating special event station VO1MZL from St. John’s, Newfoundland on 23 and 24 February 2018 in memory of the sinking of the SS Florizel. Commissioned in 1909, the SS Florizel was a passenger liner specially designed for traveling through icy water and was the flagship of the Red Cross Line. On 23 February 1918, she left port in St. John’s, Newfoundland en route to New York with 78 passengers and 68 crew aboard. The Chief Engineer ignored the Captain’s orders for full speed in order to prolong the voyage enough to result in a layover at Halifax where he could visit family, as a result, the Captain ordered a turn too early and the ship ran into rocks at Horn Head Point. Most of the survivors took shelter in the ship’s Marconi Shack, from which an SOS message was sent. Despite the SOS and subsequent rescue efforts, only 44 survived the crash. The special event callsign, VO1MZL is based on the Florizel‘s callsign MZL.

VO1MZL will be operating on or around 14.200 (hopefully they move up a bit for us General-class hams). QSL via Admiralty House Communications Museum, 365 Old Placentia Road, Mount Pearl, NL A1N0G7, Canada.


It’s also worth mentioning that NASA’s Amateur Radio Clubs will be on the air throughout 2018 as part of a year-long special event “NASA on the Air.” They’ll be commemorating events such as the 60th anniversary of NASA’s founding on 29 July 1958, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element of the International Space Station on 20 November 1998, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the International Space Station’s Node 1 on 4 December 1998, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s launch on 21 December 1968 and splashdown on 27 December 1968. The clubs will also be on the air for other occasions throughout the year. You can keep up with the events and when the clubs will be on the air by checking their website or following NASA Radio Clubs on Twitter.



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:

Categories: Amateur Radio, History, Special Event Station

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