Local Amateur Radio Operators 48-Hour Buyout from USS Alabama | Mobile County Alabama News
MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – Local amateur radio operators are starting again. This weekend, they are aboard the USS Alabama and the USS Drum to participate in the 48 hour “Ships Across America” amateur radio event.
The objective is to try to get in touch with as many of the more than 70 museum ships participating in the world. We met members of the “Deep South Amateur Radio Club” who are installed with the second deck of the battleship. They tell us that after the cancellation of last year’s event they were ready to go back on the air and explained that there was particular interest in making contact with “Mighty A”.
“We’re trying to talk and get in touch with all these different ships. Who can talk to a battleship anymore – no one anymore. So they’re eager to talk to us… we’ll make a call and identify us and they’ll come back as gangbusters – what we call a stack, ”explained Larry Anderson, Deep South Amateur Radio Club.
They also use the ship’s original antenna to broadcast and have worked in recent months to restore the USS Alabama’s communication room to its former glory – eventually having it operational to communicate.
“Before we came here – all of these radios are WWII radios – these are the radios that were used,” explained Bruce Miller, Deep South Amateur Radio Club.
“The antennas and all have to be reworked, so we spent a lot of time working on it – we spent a lot of time scratching and painting. It was a group effort of a lot of people to make it look like it’s been back then, ”said Ken Bell, Deep South Amateur Radio Club.
For Tim Morgan, retired history professor and adjunct professor, working on the USS Alabama is an opportunity you should not miss.
“It’s actually one of the greatest things in my life… a doctor told me you have to find something other than just sitting at home and waiting to die – and that’s it”, Morgan said.
As they move away, they take turns making contacts throughout the weekend and taking every opportunity to promote USS Alabama.
“Mainly – it’s the battleship communication. All of us who work on the ship – we love this battleship,” Miller said.
“It stirs my soul to be able to talk to someone about our battleship, especially me being a Navy veteran,” Anderson said.
Ships Across America was started by the Battleship New Jersey amateur radio station with the aim of generating interest in both historic warships and continuing the tradition of amateur radio broadcasts. The event ends Sunday at 5 p.m. Every person they come in contact with – they send a card with a photo of the battleship on it (a QSL card) to keep track of their correspondence with the USS Alabama.
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