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 History of of the call sign W3AWU

The call 3AWU was first issued in 1918 by the Department of Commerce to 19-year old Walter L. Holt of Philadelphia, PA. Subsequently, the W prefix was added to the call when the call block was assigned to the United States. In 1939 or 1940, Walter Holt, now W3AWU, moved to Glendora, New Jersey and was assigned the call W2AEW. Walter was not the first holder of this call sign, it being first issued as 2AEW to William Leyh of Brooklyn, New York.

[Photo taken in 1931]

With the advent of the Novice class license in 1953, the FCC started issuing call signs at an accelerated pace. By mid to late 1954 it had gone through the initial W3 alphabetical call sign block and beginning with the W3A assignment started re-issuing vacant call signs.

 On January 5, 1955 then 15-year old Alfred J Cammarata of Pittsburgh, PA was assigned the Novice call WN3AWU. I have held the call W3AWU continuously after upgrading to Technician, General, Advanced and Extra class.

My search for the history of my amateur radio call sign was a long one. By a stroke of luck, on May 31, 2014, while searching the internet I stumbled on a short video presentation on how to research the history of your call sign by the current holder of W2AEW, Alan E. Wolke, of Bound Brook, NJ. While watching Alan's video he held up a QSL card of one of the former holders of W2AEW surmising that the call had been issued around 1940 (the last year in which W3AWU appears in a published call book is 1939) to one Walter L. Holt. This revelation made me almost fall out of my chair. My long search for Walter Holt was now complete.

 I contacted Alan and told him what I knew about Walter L. Holt. And how Amateur Radio has linked the two of us. Alan was able to provide me a few more details about Walter Holt from a photo copy of Walter L. Holt's W2AEW QSL confirming a QSO of 1961 when Walter would have been 62 years old. How old Walter Holt lived is not known. But I hope he lived to a ripe old age enjoying our hobby - and I hope that I have lived up to Walter Holt's standards and produly represented W3AWU and the Radio Amateur Creed.


 Thank you Alan E. Wolke, W2AEW, for completing the circle on my search for the history of my call sign.

1071174 Last modified: 2014-07-02 22:29:14, 2461 bytes

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