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Amateur Radio : History2

1946 - 1965

1946-1947: The club was still recovering from its suspension during the war. Much time this year was spent in preparing unlicensed members to become qualified amateur radio operators and in building their own rigs. The club put four transmitters on the air and spent hours talking to hams around the world. Occasionally they would even contact a femme via ham radio to make arrangements for a weekend drag. The cadets also enjoyed watching sports matches on the vintage RCA television set maintained by the club. The club received national and international recognition of W2KGY, the "amateur voice of West Point," in QST - the national amateur association magazine. Below is the QST article and a picture of the ham club in 1947. From Albert Geraci, Class of '47, W5TCA, "LTC Obenchain set up code practice sessions for me whenever I was on the tennis court or the demerit walking area.  I received my first official license in early 1948 at Ft Riley/Kansas City FCC office, W2WWU, and maintained my operation over the years.  I am on the new mode PSK-31 now. I picked up a Japanese call, JA4AF, in Japan 1948-50 and early MARS member call, AD1AF. Later on, in Korea 1962-63 I obtained HL9KY and MARS AB4CF. In Germany, 1965-68, I was DL5BA and AE1AUG in Augsburg and AE1BAB in Heidelberg. I retained my A2WWU MARS call all along until settling in Lubbock, TX in 1971 with my W5TCA call and MARS A5TCA and Club Station K5WAT and MARS AA5WAT (HQ San Antonio) and then personal MARS ADN2BAV and AAR6UB in 1980.

1947hamx.jpg (6880 bytes)

Front Row: Cadets Mitchell, Weaver, McClaflin,
Hutchinson (President). Rear Row: Cadets Robertson,
Schlosser, Enderle, and Shebat.

QST, May 1947, p. 78: "The Cadet Radio Club, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, has a membership of 107. Shown here in the club's station, W2KGY, are, left to right, front, S. A. Meyerhoff and B. Shebat; standing, W. L. Schlosser, W9SYA, W. O. Enderle, vice-president, Lieut. Col. I. R. Obenchain, W2SMA (officer in charge of the club), P. J. Mueller, and F. L. McClaflin, treasurer. W2KGY is well equipped with two BC-610-Bs, a 300-watt dual-channel 75-meter transmitter, Collins 260-Watt 7-Mc. c.w. rig, two 50-watt all-band transmitters, three Super-Pros, a Sky Buddy, two SCR-211 frequency meters, and Army panadapter."

Club Officers
CIC: Richard M. Hutchinson
ACIC: Wallace Owens Enderle, W7IZR
S4: F. L. McClaflin
OIC: I. R. Obenchain, W2SMA

1947-1948: From COL (Ret.) Wallace Owens Enderle, Class of '48, W7IZR, "I spent a great many hours in the club, building and repairing things - not all amateur related, and although I obtained a 4th Class Commercial Radiotelephone License on one club trip to NYC, and a 1st Class Commercial License the next year, my minimal transmitting from W2KGY was bootleg, not being licensed until returning from the Korean War in 1951." Also this year, "The Military Amateur Radio System established, later renamed the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS). Forerunners of this system existed such as the Army Amateur Radio System (AARS) organized in November, 1925. MARS is a Department of Defense sponsored program, established as a separately managed and operated program by the Army , Navy, and Air Force. The program consists of licensed amateur radio operators who are interested in military communications on a local, national, and international basis as an adjunct to normal communications. For MARS callsigns see MARS CALLS. For the History of MARS."1

1948leftx.jpg (6880 bytes)
Matt Lampell (Treas), Ray Hansen (Secretary), and WO Enderle (Pres) observing JD Mitchell (V.Pres) at the microphone. The 10 meter operating position shown consisted of a Hammarlund Super-Pro receiver, Hallicrafters BC-610 AM-CW transmitter, and misc. supplemental equipment.
 1948rightx.jpg (6880 bytes)
This picture shows additional members behind the seated club officers. The tallest pictured cadet, Joe Kiernan, was the #1 graduate in 1948. The rack on the left contained a second Super-Pro receiver, Pan-Adapter, and the control panel for a remote 75 meter transmitter. The sign was eventually placed on the door of the remote site.
Remote transmitter station towers
The repair and testing of the surplus dual channel remote controlled 75 meter transmitter, later moved and installed into the empty brick building between two tall steel towers south of Michie stadium, was one of the more interesting accomplishments this year. The towers are pictured on page 98 of the 1945 Howitzer, and a partial copy of said picture is shown above.

Club Officers:
CIC: Wallace Owens Enderle, W7IZR
ACIC: JD Mitchell
S1: Ray S. Hansen
S4: Matt Lampell
OIC: I. R. Obenchain, W2SMA

1948-1949:  This was a memorable year for the Cadet Radio Club. Many refinements gave the club a new look. Under energetic direction of Bill Schlosser, and with the capable assistance of the Post Engineers, the members raised a new tower on the 49th Division, (located on the north end of the Cadet Area) acoustically paneled the club ceilings, installed a new television set, held contests in code and DX, set an all-time high in licensed operators, and accomplished many other scientific advancements. Individual projects include everything imaginable dealing with electronics. Below is a picture of the ham club in 1949 and pictures of the tower on the 49th Division.

1949ham.jpg (9053 bytes)
1st Row: Cadets Ross JA (Secretary), Hansen RS (Vice President), Schlosser (President), Thompson FE (Treasurer). 2nd Row: Cadets Mitchell JD, Shebat, Ivy, Dickinson DB, Kurtz, Sencay, Scholtz JC, Milliken, Lamar, Corley.

A group of visiting parents standing between Cadet Bill Schlosser, '49, on the left and Cadet Ray Hansen, '50, on the right, near the door to the club workshop. The new steel tower and Yagi antennas are visible on the attic roof.

Cadet Ray Hansen, '50, working near the prop pitch rotator on the new tower.

Two cadets "rag chewing."

Club Officers:
CIC: William L. Schlosser
ACIC: Ray S. Hansen
S1: J. A. Ross
S4: F. E. Thompson
OIC: I. R. Obenchain, W2SMA

post-1949:  Although this tower was originally on the 49th division, it is no longer there. The reason for putting it on this particular division was because it is one floor higher than any division at the academy.

1954:  From Dale Cockle, K5JIC, "During Plebe Year, Roger Root helped me get my Novice License followed by my General License. Captains Friend and Enderle were very supportive of the Radio Club and good friends/mentors. I remember that BC-610 (Hallicrafters HT-4) so well, and the Meissner Signal Shifter (Drifter actually) we used as its VFO. During my time, the Club acquired Collins R-390s receivers from Fort Monmouth, we built a Heathkit DX-100, and purchased a Viking Valiant. The Club was located at that time in the 49th Division (tower)."


1956 W2KGY
1st Row: Cadets Conckle, Lang, Kilhishek, Childs and Capt. Pankowski.
2nd Row: Lt. Col. Reinzi, Cadets Hammond, Root, Campbell and Thompson.

Club Officers:


1957 W2KGY
1st Row: Cadets Hammond, Schumacher, Walton
and Zabriskie.  2nd Row: Cadets Bradley, Salzman and Jenkins.

Claude Hammond, President of the Radio Club, takes a turn at the transmitter in the Club room.

Club Officers:
CIC: Claude Hammond


Club Officers:
CIC: Dale Cockle, K5JIC
OIC: Clint Friend, W4CLV


Club Officers:
OIC: Clint Friend, W4CLV


1960 W2KGY
1st Row: Richard Van Riper, Maj. HC Friend, George Smith.
2nd Row: Roger Franke, William Born.

Club Officers:
CIC: George Smith
OIC: Clint Friend, W4CLV

1962: From Clark Ballard, Jr., M.D., N7UH, "I can recall when Jim Hannigan and I (President and Vice President respectively from 1962-1963) during one of our underclass years helped other members move the equipment and antennas from the upper floor of the division in the North Area that also housed the administrative offices of the 2nd Regiment Tactical Department to the small room at the top of the center of the building that was being renovated from the West Academic Building to barracks at the east side of Central Area. Jim Hannigan was the key officer in the late 1960's and early 1970's who began the development of the first USMA computer center."

Club Officers:
CIC: Jim Hannigan, W1HVV
ACIC: Clark Ballard, Jr., M.D., N7UH

Data on the years 1943-49 was graciously provided by COL (Ret.) Wallace Owens Enderle, Class of '48, W7IZR.


Beginning - 1945
1946 - 1965
1966 - 1985
1986 - 2005
2006 - Present




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