2013 marks my 40th year as an amateur radio operator. I passed my Novice exam when I was 13, and received my ticket (WN2QHN) on my 14th birthday. At that time, my station was a Hallicrafters HT-40 75 watt “Novice” transmitter, a Heathkit SW-717 receiver that I built myself, a Dow Key tube TR Switch and a dipole.
Way back in 1974 (when dinosaurs still roamed the earth), I worked Ted, KZ5VV in the Canal Zone. Its one of the few QSL cards I either never received or lost over the years. I wasn’t a DX-er back then – I was a CW “traffic man”, and if I worked DX it was only because I called CQ for a rag chew QSO and DX came back to my call. I was inactive from 1977 until 2001 – when I jumped back in as a DX-er.
After doing some sleuthing, I found Ted, and have asked him to send a signed letter to act as a QSL card. I will update this blog if this happens. It will put me at 336 / 331 in the DXCC Standings. Now I really understand why Deleted’s do count and are important!
Canal Zone was added to the DXCC list in 1938 (it was added along with all of the US Possessions that at that time the FCC had just issued prefixes for these possessions / territories) and became a Deleted entity in 1979. The DXCC List had 319 entities on it with 47 Deleted at that time. The Canal Zone was a US Territory from 1903 – 1979.
It was a major engineering project and a very critical shipping route for the US – and still is today.
I couldn’t find a reference to any DX-peditions to the Canal Zone, probably because there were quite a few people stationed there – either due to civilian work or in the military. If you do a Google search for Canal Zone QSL card and click on images, you will find quite a few pages of these old QSL cards. K8CX has a great gallery:
For now, I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get #336 confirmed.