W4TA, a Legacy
W4TA was originally issued to Bruce Benjamin Blackburn Jr. in 1981. First licensed in 1936 as W4DWU, “Blackie” as he was known to his friends, was a member of the St. Petersburg Amateur Radio Club and a life member of the American Radio Relay League.An avid CW operator,Blackie also held commercial First Class Radiotelephone and First Class Radiotelegraph licenses.
Born April 12, 1921 in St. Petersburg, FL, Blackie served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was assigned to European operations during WW2. Released from the Army as a First Lieutenant, Bruce resumed his studies at Georgia Tech, where he graduated with a BSEE degree in 1947.
Seeking a career in communications, Blackie signed up with the newly activated Central Intelligence Agency and was assigned tours of duty in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He initiated the agency's co-operative student recruitment program and retired from the agency in 1972, and was subsequently awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit.
Having learned that the country of Jordan in the Middle East was lacking modern communication systems, he was able to become His Majesty King Hussein's personal communications advisor, with a charter to set up His Majesty's Royal Communications detachment, HMRC
Blackie, also known as JY9BB, became good friends with King Hussein, JY1, who was an avid Amateur Radio Operator who ''promoted Amateur Radio to the hilt in Jordan.'' ''He was a wonderful guy, interested in everything and everyone,'' Blackie said.
King Hussein appointed Blackburn Commander of the Jordanian AL-ISTQLAL.
Blackie became a silent key November 1, 2012. His call, W4TA, was subsequently transferred to his local club, the St. Petersburg Amateur Radio Club, and is now operated in his honor.
Please visit us at www.sparc-club.org
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