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KV4FZ US Virgin Islands flag US Virgin Islands

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In the above photo, KV4FZ is shown here speaking to the Republican National Committee at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, MN. Herb was a member of the prestigious RNC Platfom Committee and his speeches were televised on C-Span and are archived on the C-Span website.

KV4FZ has been an active amateur radio operator since 1954 when first licensed in the Midwest as W0VXO. While working his way through college (1960-64), he spent summers teaching at several camps for the physically handicapped. He was highly successful in teaching seriously disabled campers about the potential of amateur radio. Many of these campers went on to fully qualify for their amateur radio licenses.

His father, W.B. Schoenbohm, was the founder of Courage Center in Minneapolis. Herb was a major force in pushing for the initiation of the Handi-Ham program, which is now widely recognized as the premier service organization for disabled radio amateurs. After college, Herb worked as a international sales representative for Gates Radio, Harris Corp, and Collins Radio. He sold and distributed broadcast equipment to the international market, primarily Latin America.

In 1968, he moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands with the intent of better serving his customers. His wife Monika at that time, was a service representative for Pan American Airways. KV4FZ was very active in DX work and, as a frequent traveler, put many new countries on 160 meters. He was instrumental in getting Stew Perry, W1BB, the necessary countries to be the first ham ever to get DXCC on 160 meters. He also gave G3IOR the last country he need (VP2EFZ, Anguilla) for the first ever DXCC via satellite (Oscar 7) During the 1970's, KV4FZ was able to set CQ World Wide records 160 -10 in almost ever category except 40 meters. Below is a picture of the KV4FZ QTH from 1973 to 1984 which was the remains of an old French Fort which guarded the harbor and was almost totally surrounded by sea water. Monobanders, quads, delta loops and a 300 foot self supporting tower performed especially well at that location. Herb even experimented with large insulated end fed wires running out to the water and terminated with stainless steel plates with pre-amps to try and achieve low noise low band reception since Beverages were not feasible at this location.

Herb was also very active in supporting the IARU Intruder Watch after encountering frequent yachts in the area that had acquired licenses of convenience for cash. At that time, FCC Commissioner Margita White appointed KV4FZ as the Virgin Islands SECC. The SECC has responsibility to plan and manage the operation of radio communications resources during island emergencies. Herb authored the Emergency Activation system Plan for the Virgin Islands and serves as the Co-Chairman of the V.I. EAS system.

Herb fulfilled that role magnificently and was named a Virgin Island "Hero" after Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of St. Croix in 1989. Herb received this award for keeping vital communications circuits open. Herb also took a detailed interest how most of these "pirates" have a close association with the so-called "service nets" on the top end of 20 meters.

In 1990 he received the Governor's Medal and was declared a "Hero of Hurricane Hugo" for maintaining communications circuits open after the "killer" storm destroyed all working communications circuits.

In 1994 Herb worked for several years as a staff aid for Congressman Victor Frazer (Ind-VI) in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been chosen to represent the Virgin Islands at every Republican National Convention since 1980 and presently is an elected member of the Republican State Committee. During the day Herb works as Coordinator of Transportation in the V.I. Government Department of Property and Procurement. He is active on 160 meter CW.

In April of 2002 Herb was selected as the State Chairman of the VI Republican Party and was re-elected in 2006, 2008, and 2010. He is currently a member of the prestigious RNC COA (Committee on Arrangements) for the GOP 2012 Convention to be held in Tampa in August of that year.

 

 

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