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Charles (Chuck) Ritchie (W4BUG)
February 12, 2004
"Who's the Bug?" W 4 B U G
He was referred to as the "BUG" and his handle was "Chuck", Charles Ritchie, who lived in Boca Raton, Florida. He started out from Buffalo, New York, and received his Amateur license in 1947, under the call of K2GRM. Chuck moved to Boca Raton in late 1963, after retiring from the U.S. Army with over twenty years service as a Master Sergeant. While in the service, his tour of duty was most interesting and a lot of Hams have asked: "Just what did Chuck do?" Chuck started coming down to Florida and the Palm Beaches back in the sixties with the White House Army Signal Agency during President Kennedy's Administration. While on the White House staff, Chuck was in charge of the Press Radio and Television section. While still on duty as Chief Studio Engineer for the Armed Forces Radio Network Station at Frankfurt, Germany, he received orders for a White House assignment. This tour started in 1953 under the Eisenhower Administration, and was on special orders from then President Dwight David Eisenhower.
On a previous duty station, Chuck was the Recording Engineer in the Public Information Office of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), in London, England. He set up the microphones for the famous broadcast and recording of General Eisenhower's message announcing the landing of Allied Forces on the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, to the Allied forces, the people of the Continent of Europe, and the World, over the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
Chuck told of many personal experiences he had while serving under two of the most beloved and interesting presidents of our time. His candid comments would always express how personally proud he felt to have served his "Commander-in-Chief".
Through all of this, Chuck enjoyed his hobby of Amateur Radio over and over again. Through Amateur Radio, he passed on the treasures of the many friends that he has met over the Airwaves. Perhaps you have worked Chuck through one of the many Amateur Calls he has held, including: DL4OR, SV0WK/SV5, HV1OR, ZC6UNJ, K0YSL, and KP4AND.
Chuck was the Founder and past President of the Gold Coast Amateur Radio Association, Inc., and was heard on the Boca Raton VHF repeater, which bears his Call sign. He currently completing his eleventh year as the ARES/RACES Emergency Coordinator for South Palm Beach County, Florida, continuing his mission of service to the community.
Chuck will be missed by all who knew him. Rest in peace, old friend.
Contributed by: Sal Ippolito (N4YQU)
Chuck welcomed me to the 22/82 repeater when I was just getting started as a young ham almost 30 years ago. He was a great mentor, friend and true gentleman. He will be missed by all.
Contributed by: Neil Kutchera (K4NJK)
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