People applying for Society of Wireless Pioneers membership were asked to fill out a form specifying how long they had been in commercial radio, what ship or land stations they had served at, etc. In many cases they added handwritten or typewritten pages about their experiences (equipment used, SOS calls, etc.) These fascinating details help fill out the history as well as the genealogy of the wireless era.
William Breniman 1-P – The founder of the Society of Wireless Pioneers
Richard Johnstone 2-SGP – The first President of the Society of Wireless Pioneers
Henry Dickow 3-SGP – Legendary San Francisco pioneer who chronicled early wireless history
Frank Geisel 5-P – SoWP President whose career included more than 40 years at KPH
Goodspeed Corpe 29-SGP – G.S. “Old Sam” Corpe worked the ether waves as far back as 1909!
Gordon Pascoe 33-P – Replacing a radio operator shot by Pancho Villa, subduing a mutiny at sea, and more historical reminiscences
Ed Raser 35-P – Starting with spark and coherer at the age of 9, installing an early Simon Radio airplane spark transmitter, becoming ARRL ember #381 and much more
Lee Fassett 37-SGP – Surviving the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, hamming as “DQ” in 1909, sailing with the US Navy in WWI, and more
Bill Vetter 40-SGP– Built wireless equipment for United Wireless, American Marconi, and RCA
George Hubbard 41-SGP – Worked for Federal in Palo Alto, survived Pearl Harbor, shipwreck, and more
Arthur Johnson 44-P – Worked for Federal, survived USS Manley collision in WWI, served at USN Transatlantic Radio in Washington and more
Ray Newby 49-SGP – Assisted broadcast pioneer “Doc” Herrold, owned and operated Lyric Theater in San Jose, and more
Howard S Pyle 50-P – Old-time wireless operator and later electronics writer Howard S. Pyle served on many a ship. See his story here.
Robert Palmer 61-P – From Marconi manager and wireless ship installer to wireless inspector to noted experimenter in gyrodynamics.
Don deNeuf 117-P – SoWP President, well-known ham radio operator, writer, and fixture at Press Wireless
Leslie Grogan 118-SGP – Served on 46 ships, including the SS Lurline in early December, 1941 where he heard the Japanese fleet approaching Pearl Harbor (more on this later)
Karl Baarslag 175-P – Author of the book “SOS to the Rescue” and Lt. Cmdr. in Naval Intelligence
Arthur Enderlin 183-P – Captain Arthur Enderlin, USN, on duty at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, later Head of Communications for the NSA, and SoWP member
Stuart Davis 208-P – A codebreaker, telegrapher, and personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt who lived at the White House for a time
John Waters 221-SGP – Captain John E. Waters, his Certificate of Skill, and his early brush with death
Philip Leigh 239-P – First licensed in 1917, he worked from Alaska to Hawaii before becoming a Captain in the US Navy in World War II
Thomas Appleby 251-SGP – Old Appleby tells us what it was like to be so early on the amateur scene (1899) that the only QSL he could get was from his own station (separate receiving QTH)!
Robert Wahlstrom 331-P – Being swindled by a Marconi supervisor in Chicago, cruising the Great Lakes at the spark gap set and more
Norman Sykes 332-P – From “Sparks” aboard Cunard ships to working with “Q” in the British Navy and engineering with GCHQ, Lt. Commander Sykes was the first SoWP member in Great Britain. More about him here…
William Shaw 371-SGP – His first call sign was “WS” and he worked as a radiotelegrapher for Marconi starting in 1910. A resident of Cape May, NJ, Mr. Shaw relates his historical experiences and has bad news about Ed Raser, 35-P (above).
Bernard Linden 400-SGP – One of the earliest West Coast wireless operators, Bay Counties Wireless Telegraph Association member, nearly appointed head of the Federal Radio Commission, and much more.
Oliver Wyckoff 401-SGP – This DeForest Pioneer took up wireless telegraphy before the Audion was invented (1906)!
EJ Quinby 402-SGP – Author of the book “Ida was a Tramp” (a tramp steamer), his first ship, the SS New Jersey, sank in 1914. Did that stop him?
Clifton Watson 403-SGP – Cofounder of shipboard wireless manufacturer Hallock & Watson, in wireless since early times
Arthur Van Dyck 405-SGP – On the ether waves since 1906, his application contains a copy of a letter from FDR!
Paul Means 408-V – Has an account of a fire aboard the SS President Lincoln in 1934, and one of how he “drove an operator out of KFS”!
Lloyd Espenschied 462-SSGP – One of the earliest of the early, Espenschied had a long and storied career that you can read about here.
Cecil Fuller 480-P – From “stable police” duty in Hawaii to “running down Pancho Villa” in the Southwest to an executive position at CAA, member Cecil S. Fuller, 480-P lived an eventful life in radiotelegraphy. His member application, with photos, gives a humorous account of it.
Earl Korf 613-P – A ship radio operator whose first assignment was in 1926 and last on a ship going to Vietnam in 1968. Bringing Jimmy Doolittle home from his Tokyo raid, at Casablanca with Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, a rescue at sea thanks to a dog… How much could fit in one lifetime?
Ken Botte 620-P – Canadian Ken Botte recalls the days of melting down lead fishing weights with sulfur to make detector crystals, and calls for more brass-pounding and less yakking to make a better world
Don Wallace 659-SSGP – The man whose “ant farm” extended for acres and who likely had more QSLs than anyone else, amateur or professional.
Charles Lindh 676-SGP – The Pioneer in our July 2018 Featured section
Brenneman Quereau 717-PA – How many times was he confused with Bill Breniman, do you think?
Leroy Watson 884-P – Was with the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor on the “day of infamy”
Geoff Lloyd 988-SGP – Spark gap pioneer who worked at KU and KHK in Hawaii tells a story of bubonic plague, useless Marconi “experts” and how John Balch finally got the Inter Island Radio system up and running.
Irwin Cohen 1017-PA – WWII merchant marine service and a long and distinguished career
Marlo Abernathy 1610-P – Radioman, photographer and source of many historical SoWP photos
RHG Mathews 1847-SGP – Co-founder of Chicago Radio Labs (later Zenith Radio) from his days of retirement in Mexico
Henry Poy 2351-SGP – First Chinese-American radio operator in the US Navy, Henry J. Poy
Hans Buehler 3028-M – Hans was a maritime radio operator who became a SK in July 2018