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Hams help KC5MG get on the air

UPDATE: Bruce became a Silent Key on September 13, 2019. Our condolences go to his family and all who knew him.

The club recently received an email from Mary Alexander about her father, WWII veteran Bruce Husband, KC5MG. Mary explained Bruce’s wife had recently passed away and that he just moved to Carrollton from Pearland. Mary was looking for a ham radio club for her father to join and was very glad to learn about MARS.

On Saturday, November 8, 2014, Bruce, Mary, and her husband, Wiley, joined us for our regular Hams-n-Eggs gathering. It became apparent that Bruce needed a little help setting up his station. Getting an antenna up in the air always presents a challenge, especially when you’re 90. The group decided that we would devote the next Saturday’s Play Day to helping Bruce get his station set up.

So, the next weekend we gathered at Bruce’s QTH. Aided by Mary and Wiley, and Bruce’s granddaughter Abby, our chilled work force set about installing an 80-meter wire around the second story eave line of the house. We also chatted with Bruce and learned more about his experiences as a B-17 radio operator over Europe during WWII.


Mary provided coffee and hot chocolate, and fed us lunch too! Wiley chipped right in with the rest of us. He bought and installed conduit to protect the coax on the ground. He actually drilled a hole through the front wall of his house so we could run the coax into Bruce’s room. Wiley is obviously a ham in the making.


It took most of the day to hang the wire, but we “got ’er done” around 4pm. Respecting Bruce’s wishes, we did not completely set up his station. He has an ICOM 756 ProIII, a 1500-watt linear and a lot of vintage test equipment and radios. Wiley plans to order a new power supply to replace the aging (home brew) model Bruce has had for years. Rest assured we did ‘good work’ for a follow ham and WWII veteran.


Many thanks go to the MARS volunteers who helped with this project: Liz Brown, K5EMB, Mike Brown, W5MDB, Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, Russell Fish, W5SGV, David Gilpin, K5GIL, Van Kozak, AF5HK, Bill Krueger, AE5BK, Dave Lewis, AC5DL, Ron Reeves, NN5R, Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, and Granger Spain, AF5BG. We plan to check with Bruce every so often to see how he is doing and see how many 80 meter contacts he has made. For the record, Mary, Wiley and Abby are not hams... yet.


-- Steve, KD5YPB

Saturday, November 15, 2014

MARS volunteers assess the situation.

The ladder crew takes charge. On the left is Van Kozak, AF5HK, Wiley Alexander on the far end, Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, on the near end while Ron Reeves, NN5R, looks on.

Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, Ron Reeves, NN5R, and Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, carefully move the ladder into position.

Ron Reeves, NN5R, was our key installer.

Ron Reeves, NN5R, attaching a few... no, MANY ties.

Ron Reeves, NN5R, staying well away from his thumb.

Ron Reeves, NN5R, neatly dressing the wire.

The feed point of the 80-meter dipole.

This is KC5MG’s granddaughter Abby.

Mary Alexander chats with Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, about the new feature around her house.

Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, David Gilpin, K5GIL, and Steve Darrah, KD5YPB.

David Gilpin, K5GIL, is extremely happy not to be on the ladder.

Wiley Alexander giving his “support” to the new aerial.

Abby is flipping out.

Jerry Roehrig, K9KBH, is also glad he’s not doing aerial stunts.

This is Melvin the supervising canine. “It’s not done until I say it’s done!"

Bill Krueger, AE5BK, preps a PL-259 for installation.

Bill Krueger, AE5BK, making the right connections.

Dave Lewis, AC5DL, extending the wire.

No puny soldering iron will work here.

Melvin tries his best to keep Steve Darrah, KD5YPB, warm against the chill.

This is Abby with her friend, Emily.

Abby and Melvin.

Bill Krueger, AE5BK, loving the smell of solder in the morning.

Bruce, KC5MG, showing Abby how to send Morse code.

Abby trying her hand at the key.

Abby developing a good “fist.”

Vintage keys in KC5MG’s shack.

A vintage aircraft radio ready for duty in KC5MG’s shack.

KC5MG was a radio operator on the B-17 during WWII.

Bruce Husband, KC5MG

Photos courtesy M D Brown ©2014

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