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Author Topic: History of the Elmendorf AFB Radio Club  (Read 2874 times)
KL7YK
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« on: October 31, 2008, 09:42:29 PM »

I recently got word that there has been a "radio club" on Elmendorf since 1956!

The current "club", The Elmendorf Amateur Radio Society (EARS) only dates back to 1996 and the KL7AIR call dates back further I am being told.

I would like to actually verify these tidbits.  If you have any call books from before 1996 please take a look and see what you can find on KL7AIR and it's association with Elmendorf AFB Alaska.  If nothing else maybe you can tell me when the call was first seen as it relates to the base.  Perhaps if there had been any previous Amateur Calls assigned to a Military Amateur Recreation Station on Elmendorf you might pass that along.

If you find you have any QSL Cards from Elmendorf from before 1996 I would really appreciate seeing them.  Get them digitally copied on a scanner and email the club!  If you have a silent keys collection of QSL cards and find one for Elmendorf and can part with it the club will pay for the postage.

I eventually want to create a History of Elmendorf Amateur Radio to pass along to the Military Hams that will join us down the road.

On behalf of the former, present and future Military Hams thank you for your consideration.

Email - Club@KL7AIR.US or KL7YK@ARRL.NET

Ron Keech, KL7YK
Pres. EARS
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KL7AIR
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2008, 10:16:36 AM »

Update.

I now have a copy of a Call Log page from 1960 (NL7BGZ) that shows a contact with KL7AIR.  So I have confirmation that the call dates back to 1960 anyway.

Even have a few QSL Card copies from the 70's as well.  Still looking for information on any club station that has been on Elmendorf as well as any additional documentation of the KL7AIR call.

If you have QSL cards from KL7AIR and can either part with them or copy them for us it would be appreciated.
Look at the old call logs for any contacts prior to the ninties anyway.  If you happen to have a Silent Keys collection stuffed away somewhere, take some time to look through it for possible contact info.

Again, this is a Club Project to document the history of the KL7AIR Call as well as any Military Club Station on Elmendorf AFB.

Thanks,

Ron Keech, KL7YK
EARS, Pres.
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NA0AA
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 06:18:48 PM »

Ah, Elmendorf, the site of one of my favorite projects but one that nearly cost me a good portion of my sanity at the time.

Is the food still good at the Iditarod Dining Hall?  I designed the kitchens when it was originally built.
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KL7YK
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 02:11:31 PM »

Additional information has been found and there is a logged contact with KL7AIR in 1953.  Since KL7AIR was never issued to any function outside of Elmendorf AFB that makes the call and the series of clubs over the years 55 years old at least.

Still looking for more background, thanks to everyone who came forward to fill in the gaps!

Ron Keech, KL7YK
Pres. EARS
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KL7YK
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 10:26:52 AM »

I have been told that the KL7AIR call appears in the 1951 edition of Amateur Call Book.  Pushing our history back another 2 years.  Also have a report that the station was in operation in 1949!

If you have call books from 45-50 please take a look and see what you can find on KL7AIR.  We are getting close to the real start of KL7AIR.  Thanks to everyone who has responded.

Ron Keech, KL7YK
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KL7YK
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 10:19:25 PM »

Finally I have a confirmation.  Winter 1948 Call Book lists KL7AIR on Elmendorf Field (now Elmendorf AFB).
Appears the original Trustee was KL7LG Roland Akre.

Thanks for the information I have been getting from all over!

Still would like to document any OSOs from 1948 or later.  KL7AIR is on EQSL and LotW if that helps.

Ron Keech, KL7YK
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KG4TKC
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2009, 01:50:15 PM »

Very interesting study KL7YK. I do not have any call books or anything else that might help you. I just wanted to say that in May of 1966 my grandfather passed away. My uncle was a civilian with the Air Force and was working at Elmendorf at the time. When my parents tried to contact him with the news they ran into problems getting a telephone call through. My aunt,who had just retired from the federal government,also had problems contacting my uncle by phone. I guess telephone contact from the lower 48 to Elmemdorf was not so easy in 1966.

     One of the jobs my Aunt had held in Washington for years was working with military families. She knew that ham radio operators could sometimes make contact with military personal when it was difficult to get a phone call through. She somehow made a call that got a message to a ham radio operator. She called my dad in Kentucky from California and told him that she was flying home and that a ham radio operator was going to try to get a message to my uncle,and he would call my dad when the message got through. I remember both my Mom and Dad did not think that ham radio would work for such a thing. My uncle called my Dad about three hours after my aunt called Dad and told Dad that a ham radio operator on the base had relayed a message to him to call my Dad right away,and this is the way my uncle found out that his father had passed away.

     I do not know,but I feel like the club at Elmendorf probably had a hand in passing this traffic. Just a bit of personal family history,sorry I cannot add more to your search. Good luck with it. 73 is GL-KG4TKC
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