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Gene Wiggins, W9CWG
QCWA Life Member #6040

Valpo Tech Class of '47

In younger days
Photo courtesy of KF9EX and Lake Co. ARC
(Click for larger image)


April 2009
Photo provided by Stan Vandiver W4SV
(Click for larger image)

Gene is a practically a living legend of amateur radio in Northwest Indiana, and he is currently our only QCWA Century Club Award holder in Chapter 36 (see his QCWA awards below). His long tenure as an instructor at Valparaiso Technical Institute helped to train some of the finest technicians and engineers in the country. Nearly everyone who has been in the Lake and Porter County amateur radio clubs at one time or another has seen Gene's excellent antenna demonstration. In two articles below, Gene gave me some background information on Valpo Tech, their club station W9SAL (for which he was Trustee for about fifty years!), his friendship with Herb Brier, and his long history in amateur radio and with the QCWA.

At our July QCWA meeting, Gene passed around a copy of a signed letter, dated August 10, 1949, from famous electrical engineer Dr. Lee de Forest to Mr. James "Doc" Fry (later W9QHW) declining an ARRL invitation to speak at the Mid-West Convention in Omaha. The letter is on American Television, Inc. letterhead (Chicago) where Dr. de Forest was Director of Research. Gene has the original letter, but here is a scan of the copy he showed us... take a look at the low-res or high-res versions.

On Jan. 19, 2015, a former Valpo Tech student, Mark Thompson, KC9VUL, posted a very nice YouTube tribute to Gene and Valpo Tech. Click here to see it. (If the video doesn't play, then right-click on this link and choose "Save As" or "Save Link As" to download it to your computer.)

Excerpts from these texts below will also be found on the W9SAL page and the Herb Brier page.

Gene's Recollections - Volume I

Gene's Recollections - Volume II

QSL's provided by Gene, W9CWG

Gene's first license

Gene's QCWA 50th Anniversary Award
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Gene's QCWA Fifty Years Continuously Licensed Award
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Gene's QCWA 55th Anniversary Award
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Gene's QCWA 60th Anniversary Award
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Gene's QCWA 65th Anniversary Award
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Gene's QCWA 70th Anniversary Award
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Gene's QCWA Century Club Award
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