QSL, the Final Courtesy

As the saying goes, ‘the final courtesy of a QSO is the QSL card. I QSL’ed for new states or countries I needed as I do today, I always QSL, that is, if a card is received I send one in return. Of course, back then, postage was just a few pennies. Nowadays, I use several online QSL web sites.

Imagine my surprise when I found one of my old Wake Island KW6DG QSL cards on a German auction site. They have bid it up to 5 Euros. Maybe some of my QSLs are worth something?

After going through my whole lot, some 10,000 cards, and setting aside cards that seemed interesting and possibly worth something, I share a few observations. Ninety percent of cards contain Ham’s Faces or family, their rigs and antennas, of their country map. Add to that an assortment of planes, trains, autos, ships, windmills, buildings, animals and awards. Kinda boring stuff, if I say so myself! But there are some cards with interesting stories behind them that I present here:

QSL Card 507 K5UYF operated portable 507, the only spot in the USA was one common boundary is shared by 4 states: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Most of the Four Corners region belongs to semi-autonomous Native American nations, the largest being the Navajo Nations followed by Hopi, Use, and Zuni tribal reserves. If you are ever in the area, it is worth driving over to the monument.

QSL Card - K4USA

The Air Force and Army MARS headquarters stations were housed on the concourse of the Pentagon during the 1950s and 1960s. Each KW station had Collins 75A4 receivers, master consoles and operating booths. The Air Force MARS call sign was AIR, with an amateur radio callsign of K4AF. The military call sign of the Army MARS station was WAR is its FCC call sign was K4USA.

QSL Card - K7UGA

Senator Barry M. Goldwater was born in Phoenix, then Arizona Territory, on New Year’s Day 1909. Goldwater, a Major General in the USAF Reserve, was very active in Air Force MARS, and during the Vietnam conflict his Phoenix station, K7UGA, was used to provide may thousands of phone patches. Needless to say he had top equipment and antennas atop his hillside QTH.

QSL Card - Nashua Mike & Key Club W1TA

From K0SLD, when I was living in Colorado, in October 1963, I worked K1RKA operating as W1TA/1, the Nashua Mike and Key Club, portable in Wolfboro. My research produces almost nothing about this club except that were active in the 1960s and before. An archived Nashua Telegraph article explained how after the Pearl Harbor Attack, the Club set up an emergency station just in care something happened.

The Nashua Mike and Key Club was the predecessor to today’s Nashua Area Radio Club. At one time they has a club station and has meetings on what is now the Rivier University Campus.

Layne AE1N

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Follow or Contact Us: