VQ9RH - Robert Hansen
Sent: Jul 27, 2006 9:00 PM
Subject: VQ9 Ops
OK Robert Hansen this is David Olsen,
Hi again. Well, you almost
told me what I was seeking. I assume then you were a young
19-year old sailor who spent some spare time in the club-station ham
shack. I don't suppose there were pre positioned ships in Diego
Garcia those days. But such is the case since "The Mother of all
The sleepy lagoon as you
remember has now changed to a common anchoring basin for a dozen or
more merchant vessels loaded with all the goods necessary to fight a
mid east war. Everything from tanks, hummers, ammo, food, fuel
all in ready to be moved wherever dispatched. Thus the name
"Prepositioned Fleet." The British licensing
agreement allows merchant hams to use VQ9 only within the lagoon.
Were you USN or USMC. I was a career Navy Radioman but long before my short stay (7 months) at VQ9. Then some 18 years after naval service I served 5-years in the ARA Union with my first assignment aboard that very old tanker SS Potomac. She was a USNS vessel contracted to a New York merchant shipping company for the purpose of supporting the prepositioned fleet. My position was Radio Officer. Period 7/91 - 2/92.
Interesting place and loads of DX without even trying. Most of ham contacts were on AM with Sri Lanka and India & some Indonesia. Didn't care for DX having burnt out while KR6EB, KG6AAY, KA2ON and KG4AV in Okinawa, Guam, Japan and Guantanamo Bay Cuba. Even now, I'll take AM over any other options we have. Maybe old age - hi!
Keep those sweep tubes smok'en. Look fwd qsoing u soon.
Sent: Aug 24, 2006 10:00 AM
Please excuse me.
In getting ready to send a note I finally stumbled across your message below in my inbox.
I was wanting to send a message of thanks for the kind words on the AMI net last night about the photos on Jim's Arizona-AM web site.
My stay in VQ9 land was in the Seychelles Is., then a Britsh Crown Colony. I was there from April through August of 1966 and held the call VQ9RH. It was my first assignment out of the country as a co-op student/employee for the Physical Science Lab at New Mexico State University. We lived at the US Air Force tracking station on the island of Mahe. The USAF tracking station itself was atop a high hill, probably 1200 feet above the ocean and the housing / mess hall / club / laundry area was about 2/3s of the way down toward the beach. We student operators worked in a PSL built tracking van that was located on another hilltop adjacent to the main tracking station. There was no club ham station, but another ham, VQ9EF at the time, had a TR3 and a beam on a small tower next to his trailer that he let me use.
The French, British, African and Indian cultural mix and history of the Seychelles people is fascinating. Since we were there before the airport (transport 1000 mi. from Kenya was by HU-16 with pontoons) and before the big tourist trade, we saw the real thing and met many interesting people.
Other than the weekly Air Force contract plane, the Seychelles Is. were pretty isolated since two weeks could go by without a commercial ship carrying passengers or mail.
73 for now,
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