V - Rufzeichen/Calls

Biografien / Biographies


VK2GA → VK2FV - Wallace → McKenzie, Florence Violet - Australia
McKenzie, nee Wallace, called Mrs Mac, prepared thousands of young men and women to enter the armed services during World War II with skills in radio telegraphy. Mrs Mac was a fully licensed electrician who calmered over and between the rafters installing house wiring. She was the first woman to hold a Diploma in Electrical Engineering as well as being the first woman in Australia to take out an experimental wireless licence, in 1921, and to pass the amateur examination in 1925. With her background she found the theory easy and developed a lifelong love for Morse Code. With her husband she ran a radio shop in the Old Royal Arcade in Sydney before WW II. However it was the advent of the war that led her to foresee the importance communications were going to play in wartime. She set up a 'school' in Clarence Street, Sydney, to teach Morse code to both men and women. Long before any one else, she could see how women could play their part in winning the War. She saw that men could be freed for other duties if women telegraphists were used in their place. When Bully Hughes and the leaders of the Armed Services were slow to understand, she bombareded them with letters and visits. She was responsible for the formation of the WRANS (Womens Royal Australian Navy Servcie) who served, and serve, the Australian nation so well. She was awarded an OBE for her service to Australia and is commemorated by a stained glass window in the Royal Australian Navy's Garden Island Chapel.
(Source: Christine Taylor, VK5CTY, in: "Amateur Radio", February 1996)
SK 1986 - In commemoration of Mrs Mac the play "Electro Diva" was written by Anita Punton for the Arena Theatre Company and performed in 1995.
See: Annex

VK3HM - Hutchings, Elizabeth - Australia
First YL in VK3, first licensed in 1928/29. On Christmas Eve 1929 she exchanged Christmas greetings with at least one station on all continents - she worked WAC in one day! SK in 1943. - „Elizabeth became involved through the interest of her son, Allan, 3HL, later VK3HL. She was the first VK3 YL to transmit. She obtained her licence in 1929 and on Christmas Eve that year she ecxchanged Christmas greetings with at least one station in each continent. She then sat up late into the night to make a contact with an amateur in England, just to put the icing on the cake. She built a receiver and a transmitter in 1930 which were shown at an amateur radio exhibition in Melbourne. The antenna was a Zepp wire aerlial about 50 ft (over 17 meters) high with which she could operate on 80, 40 and 20 meters.
(Source: Christine Taylor, VK5CTY, in: „Amateur Radio“, Nov. 1997)

VK3NS → VK3KS - Stafford ← Coutts, Mavis E. Australia
Licensed in June 1939, operated only briefly before close down of equipment, but still active, mostly in CW. Honorary Life Member of ALARA.
"I had been on the air for only three months when the War broke out and all amateurs in Australia were put off the air. At the time of gaining my licence, I had already complete knowledge of amateur radio operating prodecure as I had often listened to Ivor operating, and in fact had on occasion taken a turn on the key of his transmitter.
I came on the air under my own call sign, VK3NS, on 7 MHz, on the 8th of June 1939, my first contact being with VK3XF (now SK). I was using a little QRP rig consisting of a CL4 Xtal osc. on 3.5 MHz driving a pair of CL4s as bi-push doubler on 7 MHz, the input to these latter being 3 watts from dry B batteries. The antenna was a 40m dipole 40 feet high and fed by home made twisted pair line. The rx was a 2 tube regen.
Three days after coming on the air, I contacted VK5TX who was also a QRP station. It is interesting to mention that we are still keeping skeds with that ham (who is now VK5LU), after 57 years.
With the set-up described, I made contacts with most states of Australia and with New Zealand, a total of 98 contacts before we were closed down on the 2nd of September 1939.
We are now in a Retirement Village. Village regulations prohibit any masts, poles or other obvious contraptions. We have special permission to use a piece of camouflaged wire slung over the roof in our unit. This wire is 12 metres long, end fed, and averages 35cm above the tiles. It is only about 5 metres above actual earth, not a very good transmitting antenna. But so far we have contacted 150 countries on it. Currently, my position on the WIA DXCC Ladder CW is 6th with 301 countries confirmed. I am the only YL on the CW ladder."
(Source: Letter to QSL COLL, 08.09.1996, dated: 1995)
Ivor Stafford, VK3XB: „Mavis and I came back on the air after the war making oure first radio contacts in 1946, using a little battery operated rig running 2,5 watts input. We were out in the country on a mountain where the wind blew a hurricane. I was teaching in a one-teacher school. In 1947 we left the country as i was about to begin a University degree course. We rented two rooms of a house in an inner suburb of Melbourne. We were sharing the house with a retired deaconess who made things very difficult for my wife. But we gained permission from the owner to put a low 40m dipole and fed it from a Type Mark 2 ex-disposals rig. Almost every second ham in Australia was using a Type 3 rig in those days. ... By 1951, with university courses finished, we were in our own house, with a large back yard, at Box Hill. ... In the next year, we put up a V formation of a 132 feet flat top fed by open wire lines. ... And we had a pair of 807s with 85 watts input driven by the Type 3 Mark 2...“
Mavis Stafford: „In February 1991 we shifted to the Cumberland View Retirement Village. Here, no masts or poles or other conspicious contrivances are eprmitted. It was a great change from the TH6DX and many high dipoles and a vertical loop which we had used at box hill.“
(Source: „Reflections in a Rosebowl“ , pp 93-95, incl. photos of Mavis and Ivor, and their trophies)

VK3HQ, Hutchings → Williamson, Marjorie L. - Australia
Fourth YL in VK3. Daughter of VK3HM. She was first licensed in 1932, did not renew her licence after WW" and became SK 1988.
„Young Marjorie thought that two amateurs in the family were enough until one day she was invited into the shack (next door to the living room) to ‚listen to this music from an American station‘. She donned the earphones and started twiddling the knobs. She was hooked! She was so frustrated that she couldn’t understand Morse Code that she set out to learn it. This was followed by the theory and eventually Marjorie sat for and passed her exam in 1932. Mother and daughter shared the rig and made many friendships through amateur radio till they had to seal their equipment in 1939 because of WWII. Unfortunately, her mother Elizabeth, VK3HM, died suddenly in 1943 and, although Marjorie never set up another station, she has never regretted her interest in the hobby and never lost the friends she made.“
(Source: Christine Taylor, VK5CTY, in: „Amateur Radio“, Nov 1997)
"Lived and operated at 'Bryn Avon' in Callawadda ... The family home 'Bryn Avon' was the site of many pre WWII amateur radio gatherings. The whole family were active in Amateur Radio. ... 'At the recent fire which occured in a wheat crop on Mr. H.H. Wettenhall's property at Carr's Plains, amongst the 300 fire fighters who answered the alarm was Miss H. Hutchings, daugther of Mr. J.C. Hutchings*... Displaying all the courage and spirit of a veteran fire fighter, this young woman was one of the first on the scene and with her father's motor truck (with trunk and fire pump), which she drove and assisted her brother in directing the water onto the fence posts and timber.' (In: Northern Gramplans Shire Heritage Study, Stage 2, Volume 4 1, 2004) *VK3HL
(Source: Fred Swainston, VK3DAC/VK4FE; in: "Amateur Radio" (Australia) 03/2018)

VK3YL - Marshall → Henry, Austine - Australia
First licensed in May 1930. She built her own gear using crystals obtained from opticians, and active till SK in 1992. In CB 1937 as Miss Marshall.
"...The third YL in Australia to receive a license and the first to hold a YL call. Prewar she was active on 80, 40 am 20-meter CW and 56M-C phone, but postwar she has been active only on 14 Mc. Her QTH at Murrumbeena, ten miles from Melbourne, she says seems to be a fairly good location for DX work ... Austine tells us that her husband heard of her interest in Ham radio prior to her sitting for the Ham ticket and came along to help her learn the code and theory - and has been helping her ever since - though he himself is not a Ham. Pre-war II she was a member of the Royal Australian Air Force Wireless Reserve and during the war years helped to instruct in the Morse code classes at the Wireless Institute of America while her OM was on active service. Their son, Austin, now 20, has no interest in Ham radio."
(Source: CQ-YL, p 147, photo p 145)

VK4GK - MacKenzie → Pugh, Madeline - Australia → VK4YL

VK4YL, VK4GK - MacKenzie → Pugh, Madeline - Australia
At 12 years she was the youngest amateur in the British Empire when she gained her license in 1935. Her father was an amateur. She was in top 15 of BERU Award several times, did not reactivate her licence after the war, lives in Western Australia now. (In CB 1937 listed with another, additional callsign VK4GK)
(Source: Uknown)
Was 6th in the 1938 Senior contest. Madeline first entered in 1934 when she was just 11 years old.
(Source: RSGB RadComm 3/97, p 37, plus photo "60 Years of the Commonwealth Contest")
Using her father’s call as second operator before she was granted her own call.
(Source: QSL VK4GK, dated 31.08.1931)
„The most creditable performance in the BERU Contest 1936 was the 7th position of Madeline, VK4YL, surely the youngest amateur ever to hold such a high position. In 1995 Madeline kindly looked out her old scrap-books and writes: My Dad’s Log Book (VK4GK) notes that he was adjudged by the RSGB to be the Best Station in Zone 12 (Australia) in the second BERU Contest. He has not recorded the year but it was probably 1932. He started a 2nd Ops Log Book in 1933, and I have that. This relates that I first entered the BERU Contest in 1934 as VK4KG 2nd Op. Apparently he had intended entering himself, but as Superintendent of the Wynum Fire Station was called to a fire just before the Contest was due to start, and I persuaded him to let me take his place. I was quite pleased to receive the RSGB Certificate dated 25th August 1934. The certificate typing is very faded now, but reads: This certificate was awarded to Madeline MacKenzie, in recognition of her outstanding achievement in scoring 231 points from her Father’s Amateur Radio station VK4GK, during the Junior BERU Transmitting Contest, 1934. At the time of this Contest Miss MacKenzie was eleven years of age. It was signed by Arthur E. Watts, President. -I also entered the BERU Junior test as second op. Of VK4GK in 1935, and was placed in 13th position in VK.
I sat for the AOPC in January 1936 and was notified of my successful pass on 1st February 1935 in a personal letter from the Chief Inspector of Wireless, at the time, Mr. J. Malone. The limitations placed on me were that I was not to use more than 25 watts, must always be supervised (hence Mum or Dad would be up all night plying me with tea, food, etc. during a test), and all wiring etc. had to be safe. This resulted in 4KG being awarded the Best Station in the WIA for many years. My note in the front of the Log Book reads: >Transmitter: 3 state xtal, tubes are 47 osc., TC 04/10 and DET1 last tube with 7 mc xtal, with 25 watts input. Receiver: E C detector, with 1 stage audio.There were no notes on the antenna, but I recall two 80 ft. poles of Oregon pine, with lots of guy wires – all the family were on deck when Dad wanted to raise and lower these! I think it was Zepp fed.
The call VK4YL was assigned to me on the 1st March 1935, and I received a certificate from the RSGB, dated 17th June 1935 to say that I had been elected a Corporate member of the Society. Also I received a personal congratulatory letter from Jack (John) Clarricoates. He was Secretary of the RSGB, and had two daughters, one, Pamela, about my age, and she and I became firm pen-pals. 4GK and I had regular skeds with ‚Uncle Jack‘. I had the pleasure of a brief meeting with him in person, when I went to London for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
In August 1935 my QSO with ZE1JR gave me my WBE. The certificate is dated 3.6.36.
As a result of BERU tests I became very keen on DX and in April 1935 my QSO with FM4AF gave me WAC certificate dated 25.1.36. Just one little incident here that helped me enjoy my hobby was receiving a postcard from FM4AF of a Tunisian native in full costume. I had made contact with the 2nd op. And he had written on the back that this was the 2nd op!
1936 saw me entered in the BERU Junior test. I scored 163 points and was in 7th position. In 1937 I entered the BERU Senior with a grand total of 709 points. I was in 14th position all over. I listed the number of every zone contacted. In 1938 I came 6th position all over in the BERU Senior (2nd in the Australian zone), with a grand total of 784.
In August, 1939 my great achievement before the outbreak of WWII was to be awarded the BERTA by the RSGB.
As you can see I really enjoyed the contests and kept a list of every country I contacted.
On the social side, VK4GK was RSGB rep. For many years, until the outbreak of war, and we kept in touch with as many members as possible. We often had visitors from other states, other cities in Queensland, and sometimes overseas, particularly ZL, always organising a gathering of hams for the visits. We even made contacts with ship’s radio operators, while the were at sea and when their ship was in port in Brisbane. Dad would go down to their ship and bring them home. The local boys had many get-togethers, either at one anothers‘ homes, or at a picnic on the beach.
I recall how terrified I was when asked to visit a cinema and appear on stage. Fox Movietone News related the story of the Child Prodigy. I was really a shy girl who loved to study – be it radio or what was to become my career – Domestic Science. I’d spend hours pouring over The Admiralty Handbook, now, I guess, very obsolete!
My AOPC was gained whilst I was still ar Primary School, and studying for my High School entrance, but my serious efforts in BERU took place while I was at Secondary School studying to become a Domestic Science Teacher. The Monday after a test weekend off I went to college with no homework done, and I often dozed off in class; but thanks to an understanding (and I think proud) Headmistress, I’d be excused with the words: I guess you had another heavy radio weekend, Madeline!
I recall the many friends I made – our Woodman was a German and he was very good at translating many letters from Europe, and then translating the replies to send away. Unfortunately the correspondence all stopped at the outbreak of war. I also had many regular skeds with folk in many different countries – most notably with VE5BI who regularly visited Dad’s sister in Winnipeg and sent us first hand news. To name special mates would be very hard – I enjoyed all my contacts and was always pleased to contact them again. I recall one special QSO with a research worker in Iceland – there would not be too many then who could say they had contacted Iceland.
The war really closed a chapter in my life that had been a great expericene. It also meant that I was transferred thousand km away from home as a Domestic Science teacher. During the war I was married and later returned to teaching for a few years to specialise in teaching mentally and physically disabled folk to care for themselves in the home, resigning in 1968 to care for our own family.
We now have six children, 17 grandchildren, and so far 14½ great grand children; so you can guess where my interests lie.“
(Source: Quoted from: „Reflections in a Rosebown, A History of the Commonwealth Contest 1931 to 1996“, by Bob Whelan G3PJT. 1996: Lambda Research, 36 Green End, Comberton, Cambridge CB3 7DY. – pp 84-86)

VK5YL - Geisel, Elizabeth ("Betty") → Wallace - Australia
An early Murray Bridge amateur radio operator was Betty Geisel who, in 1936 at age 16 years, was the first YL (young lady) in South Australia to obtain an amateur radio licence.. Betty also obtained her commercial operator's certificate and she had the distinction of having her certificates on display in the comprehensive radio section of the Adelaide Telecommunications Museum. Betty operated in the CW mode mainly on the 40 and 80 metre bands, with an occasional contact on 20 metres. Betty built her own transmitter and receiver from limited resources. A QSL card, confirming a QSO in May 1937, shows that her transmitter then utilised a valve type 42 electron coupled oscillator, running an input power of 10 watts. Further cards show, that in 1938, her transmitter had been changed to a 38 Tri-tet crystal oscillator driving a pair of 42 final amplifier valves with an input power of 25 watts (refer to Figure 3). Her receiver was a two valve regenerative set, using a type 30 valve RF stage driving a type 19 valve audio stage. (Her final superheterodyne was constructed later after she moved to Adelaide). The receiver and transmitter were initially powered from batteries although later the town DC mains were utilised.
Betty assembled her own high tension batteries to operate her equipment. The series cells, which made up the battery, were constructed by extracting the positive carbon rod and depolariser package from old spent dry cells and fitting them in Marmite jars. The negative electrode was made from a rectangle of zinc amalgamated with mercury. The electrodes were immersed in an electrolyte of sal-ammoniac or common salt solution. The sal-ammoniac was more satisfactory but Betty could not remember which one she used. Her aerial, a half wave dipole on 40 metres, was supported by a 40 foot oregon pole which Frank Miller and Bob Grundy helped her erect. Betty operated at Murray Bridge until 1939 when she left to work at National Radio in Adelaide. Betty, later better known as Mrs Elizabeth Wallace who lived in the Adelaide suburb of Tranmere, went on to become a High School teacher teaching mathematics and science. Betty did not return to the Amateur bands after the war and her call sign VK5YL was later taken over by Denise Robertson.
(Source: The Murray Bridge Story, A History of Amateur Radio in one Saouth Australian Town, by Lloyd Butler, VK5BR - linkext. Link

VK6JC - Chinnery, Jess - Australia
“It was not until 1939, just before the outbreak of World War 2, that the first YLs in WA appeared in a list of Callsigns. They were: VK6JC Chinnery, Miss, Charlie’s Creek, via Donnybrook … Jess Chinnery (previously of John St. Welshpool) would have gained her AOPC some time befor July 1937. Originally working on the 7-MHz-band, she later graduated to 14MHz CW. In 1939, Harry Atkinson, VK6WZ, then VK6 correspondent to “Amateur Radio” reported that “She had found the Creek, but of Charlie there was no sign.” … Of Jess Chinnery, nothing more was recorded … The Callsign has since been allocated several times: by 1957 to B. J. Coles of Perth and later to J. McCluskey, to name but two.”
(Source: Dane Handscomb, VK6ATE in “Amateur Radio”, June 2000)

VK6YL - Longley, Ruth Victoria - Australia
“In April 1936, Ruth Victoria Longley was accepted as a Student Member of the Institute, and at the Annual General Meeting (June 11th) of 1936, was appointed Bulletin Editor. This didn’t last long. Four months later “it was decided with regret to accept her resignation as Bulletin Editoress, and an appreciation of her service be recorded in the minutes.” But her interest in Radio was to remain, as did her membership of the Institute. At the General Meeting of April 12. 1938 with the Callsign VK6YL Miss Longley volunteered as a Morse Instructor for the Institute. She was the first YL to attend an Annual Dinner of the Institute (1938 and ’39) … Like all other Amateurs the YL’s radio activities were to be halted during WW2, and when at last licences were re-issued, Ruth Longley’s name appeared in the Post-War Callbook, but only once. She gave up her licence. The Callsign VK6YL was later taken by Mrs. A. Cowles of Suviaco, later by Gill Weaver.”
(Source: Dane Handscomb, VK6ATE, in: “Amateur Radio”, June 2000)

VK7YL - Crowder, Joyce Isabel → Crowder – Australia
Photo and article, in: „The Mercury“, Hobart, Tasmania, 03.06.1936: TASMANIAN GIRL RADIO OPERATOR. Miss Joy Crowder, first woman to be licensed for amateur wireless transmission in Tasmania, is seen surrounded by apparatus in station VKYL at her Sandy Bay home. - Reproduced at: linkext. Link
"Joy first became interested in amateur radio in 1934 when a distant cousin and former neighbour, Roy, now VK7RK, enthused about the hoby. She joined an AOCP class in February 1935, one girl in a class of 15 boys, but she passed. First she built a superhet receiver followed by a three stage bread-borded transmitter which put her on air at last with 25 watts of power. Her aerial masts were lengths of 4x4 Oregon spliceds together to make two 95 foot masts. A centre fed Zeppelin aerial was strung between the two masts. In the next three years before WW II broke out Joy contacted 87 (and before WW" closure 93) countries - and later married her AOCP instructor, Jack, and in 1995 still lives in VK7."
(Source: Sally Grattidge VK4SHE, in "Amateur Radio", November 1994)
"Joy became silent key on February 15, 2015, at the age of 99. Joy was Tasmania's first VK7 female amateur radio operator. ... Joy got her licence in April 1938 - after talking with a girlfriend who said her uncle was a ham and he broadcasts on 200 m - this is when 7ZL closed down at 2 o'clock on a Sunday and then Jack Batchler, VK7JB, would take over and broadcast music. They trekekd off from Sandy Bay to Quarry Stret in North Hobart and spent most of the night with Jack talking radio. They missed the midnight train home and had to walk back home! Joy went off to the Tech College where Jack was a Morse trainer and Joy got her Radio Mechanics AOCP ticket in 1935. ... Joy was ateacher at Kindergarten and Fahan School for many years, and Jack and Joy married in 1940. ... Jack bcame Silent Key in 1979, and Joy lost interest in amateur radio. Joy's favourite equipment was her first modulated transmitter with 205 valves and her favourite band was 20m with both phone and CW. ... Joy held an amateur radio licence from 1935 through to 1980 for 45 years and was a teacher, a wife, a mother and a radio pioneer in VK7.
(Source: Justin, VK7TW, in: "Amateur Radio", June 2015)

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