KB4OGI in his shack

KB4OGI is my Dad. He was licensed in 1985 about 6 years after me. Although I did not think he had much of an interest in ham radio I think he just wanted to communicate with his son. I was traveling a lot as I was in the US Air Force and had been assigned to Texas, Florida, Philippines and the United Kingdom by the time he got licensed. We made our first CW QSO on 29 Oct 1986 when I was stationed in ND at Minot AFB.

I found out some years later that my Dad, who was a career Marine of 30 years retiring as a SgtMaj in 1971, initially went in the USMC to become a radio operator but failed out of the code school and became an Infantry man. Funny how he was mostly a CW operator as a ham.

My Dad's station changed over the years like many ham shacks. He started with my old Swan 350 then I found a good deal on a Kenwood TS520 and he eventually ended up with a Kenwood TS440SAT. He played with different antennas but used my beam antenna for a few years, he made a few dipoles and he even made his own tower to support a cushcraft vertical.

He was not an awards chaser or contester but just loved to rag chew with whomever was on the band. He did achieve Worked all States although I doubt he ever pursued it seriously.

KB4OGI achieves Worked All States in 1990
While going through his stuff after he became a silent key in 2008 I came across a Worldradio article from the Feb 1990 issue. It is called "Just Another QSO" by Richard Leach, KB6PBR. The article is very good and talks about a QSO he had with my Dad that he may not had been prepared for. The article is below:

KB6PBR is now KJ6TL
I contacted Richard who is now KJ6TL and he was kind enough to send me the article as the one Dad had was in very bad shape. He also sent me the QSL that Dad sent him as it had a nice note attached to it talking about how he got into ham radio.

The top says "CA to NC 15 Meters 1 watt"

 I am very proud of everything my Dad accomplished throughout his life but I was becoming more proud of his short time in Ham Radio and the impact he had on others.

I also came across an interesting certificate:
KN2X Certificate
 It states that "This Certificate is awarded for interesting, spectacular, and friendly QSO's with stations which display patience, versatility, humor, good operating procedure and mastery of the morse code."

I thought that was kind of neat and I noticed that Dad had many QSOs with KN2X. I was sad to read that KN2X had also became a SK just recently.

 Here are a few pictures of my Dad's shack.

Unknown to me, Dad made an audio recording of our first QSO. The band conditions were not that great but it was a special thrill for both of us. I recently found the tape and I scanned some of Dad's DX QSL cards for the background. Here it is:

Below are some more photos in no particular order reflecting parts of my Dad's life. He loved his Marines, fishing, competitive shooting, ham radio and most of all, my Mom and family.

Dad still celebrated the USMC Birthday every 10 Nov by wearing his dress blues.
Once a Marine always a Marine!
KB4OGI visiting the USAF Academy (1993)
Dad and his rifle
At the shooting Range
Fishing (Jacksonville NC)
Korea 1951
Vietnam 1968

Dad at his desk (circa late 60s) 
Mom and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary 1992
I miss my Dad every day. We both drifted away from Ham Radio over the years but I bet he would have had a blast chasing me on summits. Sometimes when I listen hard I can still hear his fist sending my call.

I love and miss you Dad.

My Mom passed away in 2011 followed by my brother in 2013. I miss them dearly.


  1. They don't make em like that no more! 73! KN4SA

  2. wow great write up. I didn't know SgtMaj passed. Great friend. Great times at Camp Lejeune Rest in peace my brother end of Duty. Semper-Fi 73! KD4SLM

  3. I didn't realize our Dads had several things in common. My Dad got his ticket (WA9HGA) about 8 years after me so we could talk when I entered the USAF. My kids grew up talking to Grandpa on SSB, phone calls were expensive. We enjoyed many QSO's while I was in traveling around the US, Guam, Okinawa, Thailand and even while flying in a B-52. He also had a Swan "three drifty" and a Kenwood TS 520. After he died, I learned that he refinanced the house to help me buy a Gonset 6 meter communicator. He was a terrific father and friend. W9FHA