VOL 8  NO 3












Board of Directors’ Meeting      Page 2

Treasurer’s Report                    Page 6

The Island                                 Page 7

WWII End in Mediterranean      Page 8

Iceberg Incident Remembered   Page 9

Joseph E (autobiography)           Page 10

The Search for Ticken Olsen     Page 10

President & Vice President        Page 11

Region-9 Mini                           Page 11

Flu Season is Here                    Page 12

Paeans for Tom Cruse               Page 12

GIRA Amateur Net                   Page 12

FCC License Renewals             Page 13

From the Editor’s Desktop         Page 14

In the Mail                                Page 15

Silent Keys                               Page 17

Region-7 Mini Planned               Page 17

Florida Mini Class of C-1           Page 18

List of Attendees                       Page 19


by JJ Ward

Gallups Islanders returned to Boston in gratifying numbers for 1997 GIRA reunion at the Tara Hotel in Braintree with 104 room reserved. Others stayed elsewhere or drove from homes within the commuting area. A surprising 217 attended the banquet Friday night looking more like Harvard alumni than ancient mariners. The food, service, and entertainment were excellent, the camaraderie best of all. I thought the band remarkably good, playing real musical notes and tunes we recognized.

Kudos to Ray King and his team for organizing all the infinite details for our return to “home” turf. I’m always torn between participating in as many of the interesting tours as possible and staying put to savor every minute visiting with beloved school mates.

 Special thanks to John Nove, Visitors Park Service supervisor who accompanied our groups visiting Gallups Thursday. A cold front with whipping winds confronted the intrepid group on Thursday who endured conditions reminiscent of a north Atlantic crossing in a Liberty.  Some chose to go only as far as George’s Island. Mr. Nove was back on Friday when the weather had improved but was far from ideal. The weather on Saturday, however, was achingly beautiful. I expected that an hour on the now overgrown island would be too long, but it proved far too short. There was little left recognizable. My quest to put buildings with the foundations proved totally inadequate. But as Tom Cruse pointed out, a number of buildings were added after we left. The parade grounds, slowly giving way to the encroaching underbrush, looked familiar except a stone wall had been added. As we returned to Long Wharf the heights (higher end) of Gallups remained visible behind Long Island all the way in.

Amid some towering neighbors the Customs House, where we sweated out the FCC finals, still stands. The BMTA, missing all the blue and olive drab uniformed youths, unerringly whisk us back to the Quincy Adams station where a Hotel Tara van picked us up.

Bostonians were as gracious and polite as ever, that is, until they got into their automobiles. But then, that’s become a universal character flaw.

R19 led with six members and their wives attending. R72 was second with five former islanders and spouses.  List of attendees inside.



THE ISLAND                         by Jim Goodwin R19

   The history of Gallups Island is, I am certain, familiar to all and needs no amplification from me. What is important is the way the Island affected the majority of the men that completed the course of study and went from the Island to the Sea.

   My platoon, R19, was as typical as any that called the Island home for such a short period of time. We were as diverse as other platoons with men from the West Coast, the Mid West, the Far West, the deep South, and New England. Some were right at home in the dreaded radio theory, while others struggled. Conversely, the platoon had men who found the code so easy to be a bore but others found ten words a minute to be as much as their minds could cope with. Some found the entire effort too much, and  dropped out, but the vast majority found that extra push and although they died a thousand deaths, they rallied and passed with flying colors.

   I am not at all sure if I speak for the majority or a minority, but I am quite certain that I will find fellow travelers who will agree that the Island experience was one they will never forget and neither will I. The fact of the matter is that the period on the Island had a great deal to do with what I was and what I became. I frankly admit that prior to the regime, such as it was on the Island, I was not a very disciplined young man, and had in fact lead a very erratic life with little or no purpose other than a week’s pay and some time with my girl friend, the nurse. I had worked on the railroad first as a laborer and then a mechanic and welder. From there I found myself  in a shipyard working as a welder and burner and anything else I thought I could manage. Those months prior to Pearl Harbor found the activity in the East Coast shipyards to be frantic and wasteful. The damaged ships coming and going brought home to me the fact that the war we weren’t in (as yet) was extremely dangerous and the occasional body we found in the flooded spaces of a merchant ship brought a sense of urgency to our jobs. Early one morning I was burning with a high temperature torch and as a portion of the damaged deck came into view I realized that part of the wreckage was an unexploded torpedo. My exit from the area is still a recognized record for such an event. This occurrence and other unplanned, dangerous activities caused me to have second, and even third thoughts on the safety of old “Jim” as the war became more and more an event that we were not going to be able to avoid for long.

   I was reasonably certain that due to a heart condition I would not be subject to the draft, but by the same token, I felt strongly that I should be able to do something in the event of war.

   As December 1941 drifted into my life I worked an evening shift for the most part and felt at the time that a welding rod was part of my anatomy. On December 7, I was busy welding racks for life rafts on a small tanker when the whistles that usually indicated fire began blowing and from the tanker’s deck I could see men running toward the office of the yard. I left the tanker and joined the general flow of men and soon learned that the Japanese had bombed Pear Harbor.  Some of the workers knew where Pearl Harbor was, and they had some idea of the gravity of the moment, but the vast majority didn’t have a clue, as far as Pearl Harbor was concerned.  My worst fears were realized as one by one the services decided that the war effort could squeak by without any assistance from me. I recall with little effort that on a snowy, icy day one of the seamen on a tanker told me about the radio school that was seeking men to join and become radio officers. So without any problems either with my heart condition or anything else I found myself on Gallups Island and nothing has been quite the same since.

   My first day on the Island brought me an introduction to our platoon leader, fresh from the Army, Jack Kesler, who believed firmly in the awesome responsibility fate had thrust upon him, and in his overwhelming belief in our inability to absorb the slightest tinge of discipline regardless of how many times he told us. In his deep Georgian accent, he said he was only trying to “Help us all to be better men and students.” Jack, an excellent student in theory and code, seemed to thrive on the very conditions that we found so difficult and trying. His constant refrain was “you all should try the Army and then you would find that this life is a breeze.” Jack is content and his love of Georgia and Southern life finds him with little to complain about, but much to consider as he mellows, as we all do.

   I thought of the Island many times, such as when I watched a flight of German planes come relentlessly toward us, or when I saw a fellow traveler in convoy racked by the explosion of a torpedo, or the sight of survivors huddled on a raft or jammed into lifeboats, or those horrible days we were in close proximity to rafts and boats containing unfeeling dead.  This always brought home to me the infinite danger we dealt with daily.

   The welcome we received in England was in contrast with our general reception at home. I was thrilled, once, to find myself in Africa; and a subsequent side trip to Egypt and the wonders of the Pyramids and the Sphinx caused me to examine some of the ideas that had become part of my small school education and the

(continued on next page)

(“The Island” continued)

resultant lack of knowledge of the world other than my personal small section of New England.

   Regarding the danger of sailing on merchant ships, well-meaning people often ask, “Weren’t you afraid when you and your ship were far from home and in imminent danger?” The obvious answer: “Of course we were afraid, of course we worried, and of course we would have preferred a trip with little danger, but regardless of the fear and worry we returned to the sea,  notwithstanding the unspoken fear that if not this trip then perhaps the next, the fates that we continued to elude, would catch up with us.”

   The American Merchant Marine as an entity, thanks to congressional neglect, has virtually ceased to exist, and should there ever be need for such an organization the job will be filled by the Navy with results that would be comical if not for the serious situation bringing it about. We, the last remnants of the once plentiful Merchant Service will long be remembered not only for our deeds but for the ideal that we represented as we sailed the world’s oceans.


WWII End in the Mediterranean

by Phil Mione R77

   On 1 May 1945 after refueling at the Soviet Black Sea port of Poti, we began our homeward journey of 5500 miles. Before Poti we spent a long month in Novorossiysk unloading general cargo (vehicles, food, medicine, etc). The stevedores were primarily women who were also in abundance wearing military garb,  carrying automatic weapons in neighboring villages. As the SS Rheinhold Richter, a ten-knot Liberty traversed the landlocked sea, our Navy gunners resumed their task of machine-gunning the floating mines confronting us as we plotted toward the Sea of Marmara, Turkey.

   By 5 May we were beyond the Aegean Sea to a point south of Sicily enjoying the balmy spring weather permitting us to use the flying bridge for navigational purposes.

   Although we still followed wartime procedures, we sensed a growing air of languor and tranquillity. The feeling began days earlier when we slowly steamed through the Bosporus from the Black Sea passing the peaceful looking city of Istanbul. Land scents from the Greek islands brought back high school memories of the area’s history: The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) with Sparta challenging Athens. Also Homer’s Illiad and the Odyssey.

   One important impending order, still unknown to the ship’s staff, was a  message from Admiral Doenitz to his U-boat fleet:  Cease hostilities. No German warship

was to engage in any hostile act from that moment on However, I was to learn later, one final U-boat action did occur thousands of miles away,  off the American East Coast in the Rhode Island Sound. On May 5 the submarine U-853 sank the American coal carrier SS Black Point killing twelve of its crew. On May 6 American naval ships destroyed U-853 and its entire 55 man crew. The war with Germany was over. On the evening of May 7, my earphones crackled with news from NSS in Washington, DC that the war in Europe had ended along with ship blackouts in the Atlantic Ocean.  The next day we learned that the German High Command was ordered by the Allies to instruct its U-boat fleet  to remain on the surface flying blue or black flags by day and full navigation lights by night. This indicated they were surrendering and that they were en route to the nearest Allied port. American ships sighting a surfaced sub were to inform allied radio stations and providing the craft’s position and course. All allied merchant ships should avoid contact of any kind with German craft.

On the afternoon of May 8 the Captain instructed me to report to the bridge where I beheld a sight to be fixed in my mind forever. There it was, a surrendering U-boat off our starboard bow traveling in the opposite direction. The Captain handed me a carefully printed message for relay to the Allied radio station in Gibraltar known fondly as GIB.  We sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar continuing our voyage to Baltimore, now necessary to be vigilant only for inclement weather and hazards to navigation.








by Norbert Kucala R22

   This is in response to your article in the Spark Gap concerning that trip to Thule (Greenland )on the USNS Sappa Creek. That trip is still vivid to me and many details remain fresh and perhaps an issue or two I remember differently from you.

   We left Newport News in July 1951 just after a short trip to southwestern Greenland stopping on the way at St. Johns and Argentia, Newfoundland. We delivered Avgas & Mogas there and had the same cargo for Thule AFB. The first stop was Harman AFB in SW NFLD which we found without charts as I recall. Couldn’t go ashore but had good fishing for flounders over the side.

Heading up the western coast of NFLD we saw our first icebergs. Initially the 200-ft plus bergs looked mighty big to us, but then we got to seeing island-size floes becoming ever thicker. Soon afterwards we picked up the Navy escort to Thule. We had fog that day. I was on the bridge, the captain was on the radar and the Navy Lt manned the radiofone. We were that other ship, the USNS Mission Santa Cruz/NCFC. Our captain saw this berg (on the radar) ahead of you, tried to warn the escort via our Lt on the fone, and their response (after you hit) was, “we must have had a dead spot.”

   After you said, “We’ve hit it!” your skipper (Capt. Allen) came on with some language that was not exactly in the dictionary and finishing with, “Don’t you know what the hell you are doing?”

   I forgot to mention that before the incident your radar had gone out, and we (your skipper and ours) suggested that you get in the middle with the escort ahead and we behind. But the escort said you should bring up the rear.  For some time after you hit we were prepared to launch lifeboats, and I was glad we didn’t have to. With the dense fog and our being inexperienced with that business, using lifeboats there didn’t suit me. I was supposed to take an emergency transmitter which was heavy and awkward.

   Finding out you had no leaks, we continued on to Thule. We made a phone schedule and that evening I remember asking you if your skipper had heard anything about his language yet. You replied negative. We stayed there four or five days but had to get out by August 25 or so. We were assigned to escort you back to the States at half speed, leaving you at Brooklyn.

   That’s about it with that story. When I get the ambition I will try to tell my sea stories from 1943 to 1959 when I joined Pan Am in radio and maintenance where I spent 25 years, most of which (22.5 years) in the shop.

It was a real treat hearing from Norbert after all these years. I thought we were in the center of the mini-convoy and that our escort was a Coast Guard icebreaker but am not sure. I certainly wish that I’d kept a journal in those days as I’ve done since college. We had spotted that huge berg (ten times bigger than the one that sunk the Titanic) 18 hours before when the visibility was forever. But Professor Murphy’s law was working classically that day. As we approached it a dense fog set in and our radar picked that time to fail. The bow lookout spotted the berg first, yelled, pointed, rang the bell then sprinted aft. It looked like the white chalk cliffs of Dover. We were going full astern for a minute before we hit. What saved us was the waves striking the berg continuously had formed a layer of mush ice along the surface. Our bow collapsed as if made out of cardboard. The fore deck had recently been painted with red lead and as it was being thrust upward looked like fire. Good thing we didn’t catch fire. It took the escort almost an hour to find us even with regular blasts from the whistle. There were hundreds of radar targets, the ship indistinguishable from the bergs. When the escort pulled up its skipper remarked “you’re lucky.”  This set Capt. Allen off again, “If we were lucky we’d have gotten a competent escort!” he yelled.

Capt. Allen was about five feet two inches tall, usually soft spoken, but had a fiery temper. He skippered an aircraft carrier (small one, I think) during WWII.

On the dock back in Brooklyn I tried several phones none of which seemed to work. Then I read the instructions. While we were in the arctic, the cost of a telephone call had gone up from a nickel to a dime.

A few trips later in a snit, Capt Allen fired me. I said, “you can’t do that!” He asked, “why can’t I?” “Because I quit.” A short time later the company’s port captain called asking me to come back. The Korean war was at its apex, and there were no other operators available. The following summer on a different tanker (USNS Tamalpais) we were slated  to resupply Thule with Avgas, and I warned the staff about the horrors ahead. The company ordered foul weather gear for us. This trip we had no icebreaker escort and Baffin Bay was then as smooth and tranquil as a tropical lagoon. Never say never. JJ


Joeseph E. Graber R72 Autobiography

(Joe Graber R72 is director of Third District, comprising the states of Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.)

   My parents decided to name me Joseph E. Graber, Joseph for my father the E for Emil (I hate it) was for a heavy drinking uncle. I always thought he was rich because he gave me his second-hand silk underwear, but when he died, I paid for the funeral. Life’s full of surprises.

   The name Graber has always created problems for me. When I have to give my name, I always spell it: GRAB (B as in boy) ER.

   I arrived at Gallups Island via Sheepshead Bay, the New Haven RR and a slow boat  named Calvert but not as slow as a large convoy I was in heading for Tunis and Bizerte. It took 24 sea sick days to arrive in Gibraltar subsisting on crackers with ketchup. When the doctor demands “lose weight” I still try it . Right now I’m down to a trim 211.

   Les Rauber and Bud Gunther, 1997 GIRA President and VP respectively, were some of the other guys.  On the first day of school we learned about wires and vacuum tubes so we decided to disconnect the wires leading to the PA system in a quest to silence the 6 am bugle and get an extra half hour sleep.

   The evening movies were inviting but I missed most as a steady patron for “compulsory typing.”  Code was a snap and a good thing. On my first ship (a Kaiser built liberty) the chief would wake me to help him copy messages. I then decided that I would be the chief on my next ship.

I was recruited for the maritime service in Philadelphia with another fellow whose relative was an undertaker who supplied a limo with a chauffeur. Arriving at the station in grand style I got out of the posh vehicle with only a paper bag containing a comb and razor.

   While at Gallups, four of us from Philly used to commute on weekends. From the plodding Calvert at noon on Saturday to Philadelphia  and back to Gallups by Monday morning took some doing. Avoiding the open window ancient railroad cars for the scarce more modern air conditioned one, required extensive subterfuge.

   I graduated on a Friday and by Tuesday was on a Liberty ship full of coal dust that covered my brand new uniform. My first meal on a real ship was chili. The trip down the Delaware River from Philadelphia to Norfolk was pleasant but the next day on a 150-ship convoy, I didn’t feel so good. Within hours I got deathly seasick, a malady that lasted for 24 days. But I copied all the BAMS. Remember?



by John JJ Ward

   Ticken Olsen was the only Alaskan (his hometown was Skagway) in R19 at Gallups Island. With blond, curly hair, an infectious smile, and an easy going demeanor, he was popular with classmates and even more so with the girls. We were on several double or multiple dates with Ticken, hoping some of his charisma might rub off on us. Regrettably, it didn’t.

   About midway through the course, Ticken, along with a couple of others, inexplicably resigned. Apparently all were doing well enough, scholastically. After working briefly in a Boston shipyard, he joined the Marine Corps and for a time we kept in loose touch via the U.S. mails.  I had no idea if he survived the bloody pacific campaigns of WWII.

   The second week of September, Carol and I took a long-time planned  Alaskan inland passage cruise which provided a day long stop at Skagway. Most of the time was used-up on a bus trip on the recently constructed Klondike Highway into the Yukon Territory. From the border we boarded the narrow-gauge White Pass & Yukon Railway making its way back through a maze of tunnels and bridges to Skagway. The old time cars, now pulled by diesel engines, have no electric lights and were pitch dark inside the tunnels. Narrow gauge rails are 36 inches apart permitting sharper turns and providing for more compact roadbeds. Standard gauge measures four feet, five and a half inches which was the width of ruts made by English carriages.

   After the 1898-99 Klondike gold rush, when Skagway was Alaska’s biggest city with more than 20,000, the population dropped to about 700 where it has remained ever since. While Carol was looking at gold nuggets—she bought one for me shaped like bleeding heart blossom—I stopped in a tiny telephone office and inquired about Ticken. There was a Scott Olsen listed, but the lady said he was about her age—fortyish, while Ticken would be a septuagenarian like the rest of us. She suggested that a Barbara Kalen who owned the Dedman Photo Art Gallery would know him if anybody did. But Ms Kalen had left for the day, and sailing time was only an hour away. Just time for a short stop in the Red Onion Saloon that has been there since gold rush days.

Back home in Arizona I wrote Ms. Kalen for any information she may have on Ticken Olsen. Her reply came remarkably fast:

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(“Search” continued from page 10)

Dear John,

   Yes I’m sorry they didn’t send you over to my house to visit (They are very dumb about directing my friends to find me).

   Tick moved to Kodiak after the war and is still there.  I spoke with a man from Kodiak this summer, and got a current phone number from our mutual classmate, Emmit Saldin, in Anchorage. Tick is at the Kodiak Pioneers Home; his phone number is 907-486-2797.  Sincerely, Barbara D. Kalen

   So one more former Gallups Islander located. We will call him and send along the upcoming issue of the Spark Gap. While Tick Olsen didn’t make it through the Gallups regimen, he certainly would have given a good account of himself with the Marines.

   We absolutely didn’t get enough of Alaska on our brief, week-long foray. On our next journey north we’ll try to swing by Kodiak Island and see old (both in the affectionate and actual sense) Ticken.

   If you go North to Alaska either via a cruise liner or drive—there’s now an excellent road from the Alcan highway at White Horse to Skagway—drop by Dedman’s (in center of town on Broadway) and say hello to Barbara Kalen, and of course, if possible pop over to see Tick Olsen on Kodiak.


Region-9 Mini-Reunion

by Bob Clough

   Ed Wilder put on a luncheon for Region-9 members in San Diego on April 22.  There was a nice turn-out, and many old memories were uncovered.

   The picture below is of Junn Wing Troy and Jim Jolly.  These fellows both graduated with class R-7 in July of 1942.  They had not seen each other since that time, almost 55 years.



            Junn Wing Troy  and  Jim Jolly





Urban A.“Bud” Guntner and Raymond “Ray” King were chosen as GIRA President and Vice-president with terms beginning January 1998. Both men have served our organization long and well. Since Les Rauber’s health problems, current vice-president Guntner has handled the duties of President with efficiency and finesse.  Ray King and team organized the remarkably successful and nostalgic 1997 “return to Boston” convention. King, a Boston attorney, provides GIRA with legal assistance. Guntner, who graduated with the Gallups platoon R-72, lives in Baltimore, MD.

Raymond King, a member of graduating class (platoon) R103 lives and practices law in North Weymouth, MA, one of the numerous communities of the Boston metropolitan area.




                                Urban Guntner




                        Raymond King

The Flu Season is upon us                                                                                                     by John JJ Ward

   In the spring we have income taxes, and autumn begins another taxing season—influenza. Unlike most infectious diseases wherein enduring (surviving) it or being inoculated provides long-lasting or permanent immunity, flu mutates endlessly presenting different types almost annually.  Particularly virulent strains appeared in 1957 (Asian flu) and 1968 (Hong Kong flu) sweeping the globe and killing tens of thousands. But by far the most horrific variety emerged as America entered the World War I. The first known cases were in Kansas, but with the accelerated movement of troops it quickly spread to Europe. Entering Spain from Portugal it lingered along the border of Spain and  France, and was dubbed the “Spanish” flu.

   While flu usually strikes hardest at the very young, old, and infirm, the Spanish flu was especially deadly to the youthful and strong. Far more American soldiers succumbed to the Spanish flu than from enemy bullets. Police, public officials and many of the general population wore gauze masks on  their appointed rounds but to little effect as it became pandemic. (Epidemic affects a large group but in a limited area. Pandemic is worldwide.)

   With the likelihood of a recurrence of a strain as bad or worse than the Spanish flu, scientists now seek to know what hit us in 1918. A thorough worldwide search got a hint but incomplete data from the army’s medical archives. Then investigators learned of a group of young men arriving on the last ship of the season to work in the coal mines on the Norwegian island of Svalbard  (on voyages to Murmansk and Arkhangelsk you passed southeast of Svalbard) above the Arctic Circle (78 degrees north latitude). Seven of the husky young miners between the ages of 18 and 28 died of the Spanish Flu and are buried in the church yard at Spitsbergan apparently below the permafrost. Bodies buried above the permafrost tend to be spit out by the annual freezing and thawing.

   A team of scientists will do autopsies on the bodies from portable morgues set up over the graves. Opponents object to disturbing the bodies, worrying about the possibility of loosing upon the world this dreadful virus again. Proponents claim there is virtually no chance of this happening, and that we need to know what this virus was that proved  so devastating.

   Flu viruses come from an unlikely source indeed. Among any dozen ducks swimming on a tranquil pond, three or four will be affected with a flu virus at any given time. Because of the vast genetic difference, ducks can’t pass it directly to humans. The vector is through more genetic similar creatures-- pigs (does that figure?).  Scientists develop vaccine antibodies in egg embryos—millions are used. That’s why  nurses and medics wielding the needles ask if you’re allergic to eggs. Since it requires months to select and develop a vaccine, scientists must decide in late winter or early spring what type of virus they’ll be faced with in the coming autumn. During the past several years they have been remarkably accurate.

   Many people complain that the vaccination immediately caused them to be inflicted with the flu.  Scientists respond that this is impossible since the injected virus is dead, that their flu was incubating from other sources. While shots aren’t much fun, but flu is far worse. I’ll take mine in the left arm.





Kudos to Spark Gap editor Tom Cruse for his diligent service in publishing our house magazine for upward of eight years. Tom hung in there with ever worsening eye sight, never faltering. Regrettably his vision problems are untreatable even with the remarkable techniques available today.


Tom worked for years repairing X-ray machines then had a long career with the Army at a nuclear-power generating facility.


To borrow a line from William (the Bard) “the only answer we can make is thanks, thanks, and again, thanks.”

GIRA Amateur Radio Net Schedules

                   All Eastern Time


75 meters…3920…MTWTFS…0700…K2LOT


75 meters…3920…Sunday…0800…K2LOT


80 meters…3550…Monday…2000…K1CK (cw)


20 meters…14308…Monday…1500…W6MMG


20 meters…14059…Tuesday…1100…W6MMG (cw)


20 meters…14308…Wednesday…1500…N5MPL


20 meters…14308…Friday…1500…W6MMG

                       Pacific Time


40 meters…7272…Thursday…1300…W6MMG

FCC License Renewal Procedures

By Kent Slabotsky N5MPL OKC

Direct submissions to: FCC, 1270 Fairfield Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325-7245 (888)225-5322.

*Forms 610 mailed to the FCC require 2 to 4 weeks for processing before the new license can be issued.

*Effective 8/8/96, the ARRL can process and electronically submit Forms 610 data as a free service for ARRL members only. The processing turnaround will be 2 to 3 business days before the new license data appears in the FCC’s data base. Non-members may forward their Forms 610 directly to the FCC without charge.

*Currently, the form 610V is the only form available to individual licensed amateurs for on-line filing with the FCC.

Note: more than one request (or any combination of requests) may be dealt with on the same FCC Form 610 Application.


License renewal/Reinstatement (if expired less than 2 years. After 2 years applicants must retake the exams).

Amateur Radio Licenses are valid for a 10 year term. License holders should request renewal of their license with the FCC Form 610 application. The 610 form may be sent to the FCC (or participating VECs) up to 90 days before the expiration date of license. Submissions received at the FCC greater than 90 days will be returned to the license holder.

--Complete the 610 form by filling in Section 1, numbers 1 through 9.

--Check Box 4F for renewal/reinstatement.

--Remember to attach a photocopy of the license to the back of the 610.


License Address Change/Call Change/Name Change

A license holder can request these changes at any time with the FCC For 610 Application.

Complete the 610 for by filling in Section 1, numbers 1 through 9.

--Check Box 4D for an Address change.

--Check Box 4C for a name change, filling in your former name on the line provided.

--Check Box 4E and initial the form as directed, for a systematic call sign change.

--Remember to attach a photocopy of the license to the back of the 610.

Note: Vanity call sign changes require a different FCC for (form 610-V), plus different procedures and they go to a different address than for systematic call sign changes.


License Lost/Destroyed  ----  License verification Letter

Write a letter to the FCC requesting a replacement or duplicate license. If you have no changes, and just need a duplicate license, you can FAX your letter to the FCC at 717-337-1541.

Complete a Form 610 Application only if any of your name or address information has changed by filling in Section 1, numbers 1 through 9. Attach the letter to the 610 form. Keep a copy of your letter to the FCC; it will allow you to operate while your request is being processed.  If you need the license to upgrade, you can ask the FCC to send you a License Verification Letter. This document will arrive within 2 weeks and legally verifies that you are licensed and may be used as a license until the replacement arrives.




To obtain such credit, you must present to the VE Testing Team a copy of a Technician license that shows a license effective date before 3/21/87 (or if the test date was near the date, the original CSCE dated before 3/21/87). If you have since renewed your license or obtained an address change, which will cause you to have a current Technician license dated on or after 3/21/87, you may still obtain the verification you will need by writing the FCC and requesting a Letter of Verification of Technician License held prior to 3/21/87.  You may fax this request to the FCC at 717-337-1541. You may specify that the FCC reply to you via fax as well.

Data courtesy ARRL/VEC, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111 Tel: 860-594-0300.


The Editor’s Desktop

***A desktop, I learned in a recent Windows 95 class, is the computer screen. Whatever its name, it beats the old “mills” six ways to Sunday. Keys of early versions of the typewriter, developed more than a century ago, had a propensity to jam. The QWERT, keyboard was designed, not for speed, but to slow the typist down thus cutting incidents on frequent jamming. The touch system was developed for blind people, then when teachers discovered that the blind could type faster than the sighted, they knew they were on to something. Far more efficient keyboards have been developed, but typists who learned the QWERT system are reluctant to learn a new one, and beginners are afraid they’re become proficient in a questionable system that may never be used. So we still have the old basic keyboard designed to be slow for anti-jamming purposes.

***Just back from the Boston reunion with fresh recollections of the delightful event,  I wrote and polished many pleasant, if poignant, memories hoping for something worthy of a Pulitzer nomination. Feeling neglected, Bonnie, our border collie, came in and nosed my elbow resulting in my hitting one or more keys and/or the mouse thus sending  the reunion “masterpiece” into oblivion. Carol assures me it’s in there somewhere, perhaps on Mars but we have no Martians to help retrieve it.

***It was indeed great getting back to Boston again, rehashing so many memorable events with a half dozen classmates and more than two hundred school chums. I don’t think there was a more hospitable town anywhere on the planet than Boston. The Island, with distractions miles away ashore, proved a perfect place for concentrating on studies. As Jim Goodwin, R19,  says so succinctly  in his article, Gallups transformed us all. Graduating from high school in 1941 I didn’t have bus fare to the nearest college. For many of us, Gallups helped level the playing field.

While CW came easy for me, and electronic theory only slightly less so—at one point I had every license the FCC issued—my technician skills were modest at best, but I somehow managed to muddle through. I sailed completely around the world twice, once in either direction. (Around the world and back, so to speak). The first trip required not 80, but 92 days. I transited both (Panama & Suez) canals uncountable times. Each trip was going to be the last, but then I always wanted to do just “one more.” You know the feeling.  But alas, the profession of radio officer lasted barely a hundred years which was arguably the best century of all, and I’ll wager, better than anything in the future. I wouldn’t trade it for any other period. Happy to have been there, and done that.

***All ex-Panagra FROs note. The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum now has on display a Pan American-Grace Fairchild (NC5853) the aircraft with which Panagra implemented its South American service. The Fairchild was a tail-dragger with a radial engine and wooden, single blade prop that couldn’t have carried more than a half dozen. I flew with a TWA captain, an early Panagra pilot, who told of having to land one on a northern Peruvian beach and walk 20 miles for help.

***October 14 had real bonus when Jim “Scotty” Ferguson, R19, and Evelyn, touring Arizona for a week called, and we met them in Phoenix for nostalgic dinner.

***November comes from nove (nine in Latin) which was the ninth month in the Roman Calendar. The full moon on the 13th is called by Indian tribes the “Beaver moon.” November 3 (first Tuesday after the first Monday) is election day. November 4 is Will Rogers day in Oklahoma and JJ’s birthday. November 11 is Veterans Day and Admission Day (Wash), November 17 considered the median or average day of beginning of Indian Summer, November 19 is Discovery Day (Puerto Rico), and November 26 is Thanksgiving.

***We’ve had birthing problems galore with Professor Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) in attendance constantly. The new PC equipment from Dell had no printer, the one we got highly recommended by local “experts” failed miserably. After frustrating calls to company reps and replacing ink jets, it worked or seemed to. Then we got a Hewlett Packard scanner that sent beautiful picture reproductions to the computer screen but then only printed out only squiggles. With the help from factory experts patiently talking us through the problems, things will certainly begin to function properly. I can’t help from thinking, however, wouldn’t it be refreshing to buy something that worked like it should.

***Bud Guntner submitted a very interesting piece on a simple design of a portable radio antenna for the amateur bands ideal for use in hotel/motel rooms and equally well suited for use in residences that prohibit external constructions. Reprints of copyrighted material for non-profit organizations such as ours is often granted. But corporate mergers creating huge conglomerates simply don’t permit time for overworked editors to respond. It’s unlikely any publisher would come down on us for unauthorized use, but I prefer to stick to the rules. Excerpting and rewriting is perfectly permissible. We may be able to do it better.

***Everybody has a good story (likely a number of them) so keep those cards and letters coming in with them. Don’t think your experiences are mundane. Everybody likes a good story. Tell us yours.

In the Mail


Editor: 29 May 1997. Imagine my surprise on Monday of this week to receive the Spring Spark Gap. Not only did I receive my copy but also three identical copies with proper address and membership status. As one copy is enough you might want to make a correction on the mailing list.

Personal history: I was born in Vancouver, WA 10-20-20. Usual schooling. Was working on an Alaska construction project when I saw a magazine article about Gallups. Went to Portland for a Physical and was given a rail ticket to Boston. Ended up in R20. First of April 1943 or so was asked if I would accept a TLT and leave immediately for New York and the training ship American Mariner to fill an operator slot. Seemed worth while to get out of school.

Two weeks of that and I then went to ESSO Shipping seeking a job. They signed me up immediately and I shipped with full officer complement plus bosun and pumpman to San Pedro, CA. Met SS W.H. Libby, Panama registry. First trip was to Sydney, Australia then Abadan , Iran, with a long time shuttling to East Africa and the Med. Eventually got back to New York for vacation, got married and was off again on (another) Panamanian ship.

After leaving the sea I worked for Standard of California on their marine plant in Portland, OR. At 0500 one morning when I helped tie up a tanker, a line broke and the recoil shattered my right wrist and elbow joints. While my arm mended I worked as a claim adjuster. Stayed at that a few years then in 1960 I bought a small insurance agency in Ridgefield, WA (population 1000). Stayed 26 years then sold out. Ridgefield subsequently grew by 3 or 4 people.

Traveled in our vacation trailer for three years covering most of US and Canada. Saw Ed and Pat Hayden (R20) along with Carroll and Virginia Pouncey (R20) in Halifax one nice summer day.

Deciding on a living style change, we bought a mobile home on the beach nine years ago. Liked it so well, we sold the Ridgefield home with its view of what’s left of Mt. St. Helens 40 miles NE. We now live three miles north of California and 1000 miles from the Ocean. 

C.Walter Baty

15505 Oceanview Drive #32

Brookings, OR 97415

Charter Member 095

WB7VOP Advanced


Dear JJ & Carol Ann:

Photography isn’t my strong suit—I haven’t any—but I do pick good subjects. This one is cropable and enlargeable.  Enjoyed seeing you at the survival demonstration. Overall a good affair except for the loud music during dinner which impacted conversation. Perhaps a Forties tape after dinner would have sufficed.

I enjoyed my motor home trip from Atlanta with Harry Rea, a high school classmate as well as Gallups Islander He sailed for 37 years and did have stories to tell.

Spokane? Jacksonville? Cheers!

Chet Klingensmith




Dear JJ:

Just recently, I received a copy of the Naval Armed Guard report for the SS Edwin T. Meredith, on which I sailed from June 1944 to April 1945. This report is from “Record Group 38, Naval Operations.” Any GIRA member wishing to obtain a copy of the report for his ship may write to:

National Archives

8601 Adelphi Road

College Park, MD 20740-6001

This is a log kept by the Armed Guard officer aboard ship which contains dates, ports of call, convoys, cargoes, and incidental events aboard ship. Regards.

George A. Person R56


Hi JJ:

Here is a news bit for a future SPARKS GAP concerning an R-1 graduate. While speaking to friends at a local club meeting about our reunion in Braintree during our pot-luck dinner, the fellow sitting across from me said, “Did you say Gallups Island? I Graduated from A-one, the first class.” He had not heard of GIRA for two reasons. Although he sailed on Army Transport ships, he just received his honorable discharge. The second reason is that he actually sailed as a deck officer (Second Mate), so he was out of touch with radio operators more or less. In any event for those from A-1 who may remember Steve Burchik, he is alive and well, living in Crestline, CA.

73’s, Ed Wilder.


Once again the GIRA sent a copy of your very interesting “Spark Gap” periodical to Thomas B. DeMeis. Unfortunately, our good friend and shipmate, Tom, died more than two years ago. His widow still gets upset when reminders arrive in the mail. She asks that his name be removed from your mailing list.

Enclosed is a copy of his death certificate and copies of labels from Spring 97 issue and the 1997 roster. Hope this helps to get things squared away so as to save the widow from receiving quarterly reminders.

Although I had not been a ship’s radio operator, I was a merchant seaman and am an amateur radio operator. So Tom would drag me along to some of the local get togethers with the old salt radio operators. It was always interesting.

I read the Spring 97 Spark Gap. It was right on the mark with the article about recognition of the US Merchant Marine’s contributions to the nation’s war effort and the failure/refusal of the VFW to accept us for membership. I went into the Army after WWII (long story as to why) went to Korea in 1951, received a battlefield commission in the infantry, stayed in the Army after Korea, served in Vietnam where I received my second Combat Infantryman’s Badge and later retired after 23 years of service. With that background, I feel fully qualified to state that the hardships and constant immediate threat to life experienced by members of the US Merchant Marine were certainly the equivalent of what our combat troops went through. I have always wondered where all that baloney about “exorbitant pay” and “refusal to off-load cargo in combat areas” came from. I can’t imagine anyone refusing the Captain’s orders! As a commander of troops in the US Army, I quickly learned that the soldiers had more rights in disciplinary matters than did the Merchant Seaman! (I’m quite familiar with the differences, having been logged once for returning to ship late in port and missing my watch. No one said anything to me about “rights” and there was not the faintest idea in my mind or anyone else’s that the “Skipper” was not the absolute master of the vessel, and of me). If the Captain passed the word to work cargo, under any conditions, it would have been off-loaded. I still get those irrational, untrue stories when I am with my fellow Armed Forces veterans and retirees and happen to mention my seagoing days. Needless to say, none has any first hand knowledge of, or if such knowledge is claimed, they cannot give names, dates, and places. It is too bad that after all those years of mutual sacrifices and splendid service to our Nation, the myths of the past keep us apart.

Incidentally, although qualified by virtue of my service

in three separate combat expeditions, each meeting the VFW criteria, I am NOT a member of the VFW.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get carried away.

We miss Tom.

Sincerely, Jack

John D. Imhof

3 Seeley Drive

Mount Holly, NJ

Thanks Jack for pointing out our faux pas concerning Tom DeMeis. Also we appreciate your comments on the unsubstantiated rumors such as MM deck hands refusing to unload vital cargo in a war zone that inevitably made their rounds. While the armed services and government bureaus had some of the best PR people available polishing their image and spin doctors to cover up the brass’s blunders, our mariners had none. All organizations have some bad apples and agitators. It’s like some of the nonsense written by James Mitchner who certainly should have known better. In what purported to be his memoirs, he claimed to have had passage on a “Cape” class freighter wherein the entire crew were obnoxious bums averaging $800 per month while the “Marine” gunners (honest) got $21, they ate swill while the crew had fillet mignon, the Captain and troop commander were drunk continuously. That as a student during the depression he had made an Atlantic crossing on a British freighter and hence knew more about navigation than the “Cape” freighter’s officers. I spare you from the worse. His “job” in the Air Corps was “teaching  men not to walk into spinning aircraft propellers.” No wonder he had time to write. These and other calumnies are unworthy of refutation.  Mitchner died in October at age 90 from kidney failure or possibly “long nose’ syndrome.

Dear John Ward,

I had meant to write you before this congratulating you on your assuming the editorship of the SPARK GAP. Someone, I think it was Armand Lemma, sent me a copy of the very first issue of the SPARK GAP which was published the very week we left the island in March 1943. The most surprising thing to me was the fact that my name was listed as the editor! I remember zero

about it but only that there had been some vague talk

about producing such a paper. Well anyway, R19 was heard from then and once again 54 years later. I’ve enjoyed your stuff in past issues.

I’ve done a few pieces and am now working on another aspect of life at Gallups and aboard ship which I’ll be sending along one of these days. After the war I spent my life in the book publishing business, traveling the


world establishing American books in every corner of the world. For instance, I introduced the PEANUTS BOOKS in Japan! They became very popular and were ultimately available in Japanese language editions which are still selling well there.

All the best, John. Hope to see you in Braintree in August. (We had a great reunion) Jim Goodwin (R19 assistant platoon leader) and I had big plan, but his health didn’t permit his attendance.

Hank Clark (I used Howard after joining the real world in 1946).

Howard Clark R19.


Dear Tom:

Sorry to hear of your vision problems. My hearing is down to about 50 percent so I guess we all are getting up there. This article is about crystal sets. I’m pleased to see Bill Poteet is active. I remember him quite well in R-8.

I think it was in Glasgow, Scotland, February 1943, that I encountered my old friend from R-8, Julian (Mike) Mikel who helped me pass the math part in our studies at Gallups. My ship, the liberty John Marshall, was anchored in a remote section of Gare Lock, near Port Patrick. The forward hold contained gas shells (yellow stripe) and this hold was flooded from the collision so they put us out there hoping we would sink…but we didn’t.  Wanting to listen to the BBC that relieved the monotony spent in an isolated loch. Eventually we left for the states in March 1943 far north in iceberg territory but evaded the major U-boat battles. In one well documented book CONVOY three wolf packs hit three eastbound convoys with how many Gallups Islanders aboard. Forty-two U-boats sank  22 allied ships. The U.S. ship, Harry Luckenback was sunk with the entire crew lost.

I’m sure we remember friends losing their lives in the U-boat war. I’m not really concerned whether the VFW accepts us or not. I wouldn’t join even if they did. I think they’re 40 years too late.

Best wishes to all Gallups Islanders out there and to our magnificent instructors. It seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for code and theory tests and sweating  out making our code speed for the week.

Carl Davis R-8

201 East West Street

Georgetown, IL 61846



Silent Keys, the Sad Messages

*Most of us already know that GIRA number one member Ed Hayden became a silent key 21 June 1997. Brother Hayden (R74), who was a spark plug in beginning our organization, will be missed immensely. RIP.

*In the spring of ’97 SPARK GAP I regret that George Bercos became a silent key. George’s wife revealed he died suddenly on 18 October 1996. George Bercos M-210, R79 was taken October 18, 1996. RIP.

*Lt. Thomas J. Carroll,  R12, Arlington, was among nine firefighters lost in the Hotel Vendome conflagration June 17, 1972.  Bud Rines, R12, sent newspaper clipping of a recent ceremony honoring the Vendrome 9 of which Lt. Gov Cellucci said, “The Vendome firefighters belong in such illustrious company” as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Leif Ericsson and other historic people among whose statues their memorial stands.

*Archie H. Carpenter, R119, Born 1 December 1926 in Wooster, Ohio, died  May 1997 after an extended illness. Following service in the Merchant Marine in WWII, Carpenter worked in the lumber industry retiring as chairman of the board at Semac Industries.


Region 7 mini-reunion Planned

Verne D. Hegge, Region 7 director, and the Sierra Vista trio tentatively  plan the second annual reunion in February (spring in Arizona) probably at the same location as last year. The Embassy Suites on the Tucson International Airport worked out so well last February that he sees no reason to change the venue. About 40 GIRA members with spouses and friends attended the last one in idealistic weather and setting.

Tucson offers many interesting attractions including the Air Museum, Sabino Canyon, missile silos, and magnificent mountain ranges. Good restaurants abound. Mexico is only an hour’s drive away.

Or just relax in pleasant climatic conditions at the Embassy Suites which, itself, offers most amenities.

More information upcoming in the next issue of the SPARK GAP.


Florida Mini-Reunion of Class C-1 aka R06

By Arthur A. Sheddan, W4LJL

During the big GIRA reunion at Braintree, MA, last August, our class platoon leader, Sam Notaro, W2IBU (Extra) suggested to me that our class should hold a gathering soon. Upon returning to Florida I talked with Bill Brewer, who had organized our last group meeting in Meterie, LA, a few years ago. Bill agreed it was a good idea, and we began to put it together.

The happy result was that seven members of our graduating class of 32 were healthy, hardy, and enthusiastic enough to answer roll call in St. Augustine, FL, on Sunday, October 20, 1997.  Most of us had already celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversaries. Attending were: Sam and Bea Notaro, William L. and Pauline Brewer, James W. and Mae Smart, Coleman H. and Adele Barber, Spurgeon and Bea Campbell, Arthur and Inez Sheddan, and CW Rampy. We were saddened that CW’s wife was unable to come because of health problems.

We spent many hours recalling happy events, showing off albums of pictures, and sharing tales of adventures before, during, and after school days on Gallups and, of course, war stories. We did take breaks to eat often and well.

Everyone loved the nostalgic confab, and we look forward to the next one, praying that even more class members can make it.


                                                 “Spud” Campbell recounts

                                                 fascinating tales of his career.


   James Smart re-lives

   memories as he peruses

   a collection of photos.


From Left:  Arthur Sheddan, W4LJL;  Hud Barber, W50LP;  Bill Brewer;  James Smart, N4NBT; Platoon Leader Sam Notaro, W2IBU; C.W. Rampy; and Spurgeon “Spud” Campbell, W4MAE



James Smart, CW Rampy, Hud Barber, Bill Brewer, and Sam Notaro




                Coleman Hudson “Hud” Barber,

                the brain of  C-1.  His tutoring

                saved more than one classmate

                from flunking.



Reunion ‘97 Attendees:

Harry Abramoff R80, Worchester, MA

Al Adams R68, Ft. worth, TX

Ralph Albers R9, Falls Church, VA

Robert Anderson R51, Baldwin Place, NY

William Anderson R72, E. Kingston, NH

Theo. W. Bakula R-1, Huntsville, AL

Jack Bandazian R69, West Milford, NJ

Wilfred J. Beaulieu R15, Waltham, MA

John S. Berst R51, West Bend, WI

Robert R. Black R39, Lake Worth, FL

Robert A. Bouchard A-7, Watertown, NY

Robert K. Brainard R110, Homewood, IL

John A. Brennan R110, Miami FL

Donald E. Brunswick R97, Middletown, OH

C. Nelson Buckles R-7, Independence, KS

David L. Calderwood r1 (A1) Beaumont, TX

Franklin H. Carlsen R37, Lakehurst, NJ

Lawrence Choiniere R57, N. Grosvenordale, CT

Arnold Y. Claman R16, Westfield, NJ

Howard Clark R19, Clinton Corners, NY

Lester A. Clark R23, Stony Point, NY

Robert F. Clough R-7, Thousnd Oaks, CA

William Corcoran R40, Tucson, AZ

Stanley R. Cross, Jr. R63, Worcester, MA

George W. Cushman R15, Kennebunkport, ME

Delmar D. Davis R105, Macks Creek, MO

Angelo F. DeMattei R97, Belmont, CA

Francis J. Derwin, Friend, Quincy, MA

W.    Rion Dixon R17, Hartsville, SC

John J. Dolan R54, Rye, NY

Bernard Dorsey R61, Albany, NY

John Dziekan R108, Bayonne, NJ

William Evans R113, Trumbull, CA

Wesley Farnum R17, South Berwick, ME

Joe Favaca R70, Brocton, MA

James R. Ferguson R19, Windham, ME

Robert J. Garrison R99/102, Port Angeles, WA

Chauncey G. Gercken R71, Kansas City, MO

Homer N. Gibson R51, Hermitage, PA

Thomas R. Gibson R17, Joppa, MD

Joe Gilmaker R95, Villa Park, CA

Joseph E. Graber R72, Treasure Island, FL

Urban A. Guntner R72, Baltimore, MD

Alexander S. Hadad R13, San Jose, CA

John K. Halloran R26, San Antonio, TX

Nazaret H. Haronian R29, Jacksonville, FL

Eugene Harp R91, Eugene, OR

Charles Haven R77, Belle Mead, NJ

John Heffernan R14, Falls Church, VA

Joe Heidt R54, Philadelphia, PA

Robert Heim R42, Hamburg, NY

John Helwic R41, Ft. Collins, CO

Jim A. Hester R88, Hesperia, CA

Charles Heiken R88, Boston, MA

Floyd W. Hill R62, Northport, NY

Leon Holster R13, Yellow Springs, OH

Samuel T. Hucke R15, Fayettville, AR

Sam Issokson R-9, Vineyard Haven, MA

Stan Jennings R58, Silver Spring, MD

Bill F. Jaworksi R99, Nokomis, FL

Jay L. Johnson R87, Titusville, FL

James Jolly R7/8, Sacramento, CA

John Kay R39, Shrewsbury, MA

Ovid Keene R77, Portsmouth, VA

Charles C. Kelley R-7, Westminster, VT

Jack Kilgore R63, Decatur, GA

Raymond E. King, R103, Weymouth, MA

Jim Kinkel R103, Corrales, NM

Chet L. Klingensmith R88, Jacksonville, FL

Harry S. Kuzyk R16, Bethel, ME

Philip Layeux R47, Minneapolis, MN

James G. Layman R99, Yakima, WA

Armand Lemma R19, Northvale, NJ

Gareth C. Linder R23, Braintree, MA

Benjamin Lodwick R97, Brookfield, WI

James L. Logsdon R70, Santa Rosa, CA

Charles Masi R78, Woonsocket, RI

Roscoe C. Maricle R5/B2, Rolla, MD

Clarke F. Martin R105, Cleveland, OH

Dan McElhinney R54, Dedham, MA

James D. McIver R105, N. Easton, MA

Hugh J. McPhee R110, Bradenton, FL

John Mezey R22, Edison, NJ

Patrick C. Mineo R18, Stratford, CT

Philip A. Mione R77, Staten Island, NY

Bruce G. Mitchell R69, Estherville, IA

Alvin S. Mullen, Jr. Instructor Walpole, MA

Charles R. Munyan A-3, Everett, WA

Milton W. Nelson R17, Mineral Point, WI

Charles G. Newbold R31, Clearwater, FL

Sam Nataro R6(C1), Southold, NY

Joseph O’Hearn R96, Glastonbury, CT

William  Opalka R50, New Port Richey, FL

 John T. Osikowicz R15, Deer Park, NY

Paul D. Ozbun R65, Kansas City, MO

George Parker R93, Attleboro, MA

Kenneth Palmer R98, East Aurora, NY

Chester Perez R15, Sunrise, FL

Edward A. Peterson R77, McKeesport, PA

John A. Pino, Ship’s Co, East Falmouth, MA

Edward F. Pleuler, Jr. R-3, Fords, NJ

Bob Pollitt R14, Block Island, RI

Bobby Pouncey R-2(A2), Solomons, MD

Rosario S. Puleo R08, Lynbrook, NY

Morton Raphelson R16, Cinnaminson, NJ

Harry E. Rea R56, Woodstock, GA

Barnie L. Reynolds R56, Westbrock, ME

Donald V. Rider R48, Wayland, MA

Frank J. Rines, Jr R12, Quincy, MA

Ben Roeshman R16 Wynnewood, PA

Walter Rudat R49, Sun City West, AZ

Don Runmark R13, Goden Valley, MN

Leland Schultz R15, New Brighton, MN



Arthur A. Sheddan C1(R6), Lawtey, FL

John W. Sloan R19, Barnsville, MN

Arnold J. Smith R51, Arlington, MA

Edward St. Andre R21, Braintree, MA

Raymond P. Starke R62, Melbourne, FL

Glen A. Stephen R34, Cedarburg, WI

John J. Surina R-7, Cinnaminson, NJ

Raymond Sutcliffe R48, Quartz Hill, CA

Robert E. Thornton R57, Houston, TX

Joseph M. Wagner R37, Wichita, KS

Keith E. Wallace R119, Spokane, WA

John J. Ward R19, New River, AZ

Jack Warner R8(A2) Grand Rapids, MI

Richard L. Watson R61, Medford, MA

Rick Webb A-2, Robert, LA

Norris Craig Weeks R08, Drake, CO

Arthur White R29, Dedham, MA

Leonard Williams R93, Richardson, TX

Edward Wilder R19, Crestline, CA





Harry Rea, Lia Hester, Jim Hester, Chet Klingensmith




      The Band played 40’s tunes



     Jim and Lia Hester




     Jay and Pat Johnson



     Walt and Jan Rudat



   Armand and Rosina Lemma




  Barbara and Eugene Harp




    Ed and Dolores Wilder



Scotty Ferguson and

Evelyn Ventola




  Hank and Diana Clark




Non Profit Org.

U.S. Postage


Newington, VA

Permit # 66




      Post Office Box 42036-357

      Phoenix, Arizona 85080-2036


      John JJ Ward, Editor

      49220 North 26 Avenue

      New River, AZ 85027-8080

       (602) 465-9256



      Urban A Guntner, President

      (410) 377-5316


      Raymond E. King, Vice-President

       (617) 331-6154


       Homer  N. Gibson, Sec-Treasurer

        (412) 962-4213


      The Spark Gap is published quarterly by The Gallups Island Radio Association. Basic circulation is confined to    

       Association members and Gallups Island Radio School graduates, instructors, and administrative personnel during World

       War II. This alumni newsletter is dedicated to the men who went to sea as Merchant Marine Radio Officers, school

        instructors and support people assigned to Gallups Island. Opinions expressed herein are those of contributors or the

        editor, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Organization, Officers, Directors, or Association members.





Hotel accommodations have been contracted with the DOUBLETREE INN in downtown Spokane adjacent to the Riverfront Park site of the 1974 World’s Fair. The hotel guarantees single and double rooms for $76.00 per day with free shuttle service from the airport.  There is no cost for parking, including RVs; however, no hookups are available. RV parks with complete services are available within three to five miles.

The multitude of  available activities include Silver Valley (Kellogg and Wallace, Idaho) with gondola ride on Silver Mountain  claimed to be the longest in the World; Grand Coulee Dam and laser light show; Palouse farming area; formal gardens and historic sites in Spokane; dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene; and dinner dance with live band from Fairchild Air Force Base. The Interstate Fair will also be in progress.

Spokane is a transitional area with mountains to the east and farms & range land to the west. September weather is delightful.

For those driving, there are many attractions en route: Calgary or Glacier National Park are only an eight hour drive, and just five hours to Mount Rainier National Park. Rainfall averages 19 inches per year near the Idaho border and a mere three inches just east of the Cascade Range.

Spokane has non-stop air service from Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

For more information contact Keith E. Wallace, 1223 South Blake Road, Spokane, WA 99216. Phone (509) 926-8334.