Charles “Charlie” Hellman, W2RP, of Hastings on Hudson, New York, died on January 25. He was 106 and may have not only been the oldest surviving radio amateur in the US but, at 92 years, also may have been the longest licensed. By 8 days, Hellman outlived Harry Wolf, W6NKT, of Morro Bay, California, who had been considered the oldest US ham when he died on January 17, just a couple of weeks shy of his 108th birthday.
In 2015, the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) honored Hellman with a “90 Year Continuous Licensed Certificate Award” (No 1). At the time, the QCWA had thought Hellman was the oldest living radio amateur, but announcement of his QCWA honor served to flush out Wolf, who, while not licensed as long as Hellman, was 1 year older. No formal records are kept regarding the oldest or youngest US hams. Hellman joined QCWA in 1975 and was a member of QCWA Chapter 181 in New York’s Hudson Valley. He had been regularly active on the air until a few years before his death, when his backyard tower fell victim to Hurricane Sandy.
First licensed as W2AMK in 1925 when he was 15, Hellman, who had been an ARRL member, went on to become an educator. After working his way through the City College of New York, he taught physics on the secondary level. During World War II, Hellman was tapped by the Department of War to write a textbook for training radio operators, Elements of Radio. Two of Hellman’s siblings also held ham tickets. His brother Robert, now deceased, was W2JAN. His brother Benjamin, 96, is W2VB.
QCWA came upon the information regarding Hellman’s age and Amateur Radio tenure when QCWA Webmaster Bob Roske, N0UF, was updating member files. Roske discovered that Hellman was still living in New York and appeared to be the oldest living QCWA member. — Thanks to Pete Varounis, NL7XM, and Charles Tropp, N2SO
Stunning 2015 design from G0KSC: ten meter Moxon mated with a 3 element six meter Yagi on one boom with a common feedline. Look at the pattern and ban... Read more
In this video we run through setting up a bluetooth CAT control for the Yaesu FT-817, using an Android Tablet, bluetooth interface, and Yaesus... Read more
Get Your Ham Radio License You are only 35 questions away from getting your Ham radio license. The questions come from a pool of questions publ... Read more
Part one of our look at the Digital Modes. Read more
“Hello Operators. I’ve received so many questions about the solar powered Field Station, I thought It would be a good time to publish an u... Read more