Ham Radio Editor and Noted DXer Joe Schroeder, W9JUV (SK)
Joseph J. Schroeder Jr, W9JUV, of Glenview, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, April 30. He was 83. An ARRL Life Member, Schroeder was on the editorial staff for Ham Radio magazine from August 1974-July 1990, penning almost 400 articles that ran the gamut from FCC actions to Field Day to licensing issues. Schroeder was also the founding editor of HR Report, a newsletter published by Ham Radio.
Schroeder was one of only three radio amateurs who had 394 confirmed DXCC entities, placing the trio at the top of the DXCC standings. Schroeder had missed only seven entities, all of which are now deleted: Tibet (AC4), Damao and Diu (CR8), French Indo-China (FI8), French India (FN), Java (PK1-3), Netherlands Borneo (PK5) and Celebe and Molucca (PK6). Schroeder made Top of Honor Roll in 1993. Along with his 394 Mixed DXCC entities, Schroeder also held DXCC on Phone (238 entities), CW (165 entities) and 6 meters (108 entities), as well as VUCC on 50 MHz.
In the May issue of QST, “How’s DX?” Conductor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, profiled Schroeder, along with Robert Boulle, W2OKM, and Ami Shami, 4X4DK, the other two hams who also have 394 confirmed entities. McClenny told the story of how Schroeder became interested in Amateur Radio: “Upon entering high school [during World War II] in 1944, a neighbor who was a radio operator in the Merchant Marine advised him: ‘Take the school’s course in radio code and you’ll never carry a rifle!’ He did, and after seeing all the fascinating equipment and the QSLs on the wall in the New Trier High School radio club shack (W9EDC), Joe was convinced. Joe passed the code class and took his Amateur Radio exam, receiving W9JUV on May 2, 1946 at the age of 16.” Schroeder soon found that DX was his thing. According to McClenny, Schroeder had some 50 confirmed entities by the fall of 1946, just a few months after he got his license. [Editor’s note: You must be an ARRL member and logged in to the ARRL website to view this article.]
In August 1947, Schroeder began to run phone patches “for GI friends like J2ACS (Japan), J9AAS (Okinawa) and others overseas who had families in the Chicago area,” McClenny said. “Running patches for lonely GIs and their families probably cost him a few rare ones, but he says it was well worth it.” In 1952, Schroeder received his DXCC (Mixed) Award, and was the youngest ham in the ninth call area at the time to do so.
In addition to his ham radio publications, Schroeder was also the Managing Editor of Electronic Instrument Digest magazine. An authority on firearms history and gun collecting, he owned Handgun Press Publishing, where he wrote and edited books and articles on firearms. Schroeder was the co-author of System Mauser: A Pictorial History of the Model 1896 Self-Loading Pistol and editor of all five editions of the Gun Collectors Digest.
Schroeder was a member of the Old Old Timers Club (OOTC), serving as its Vice President and Director of Region 9. He was also a Life Member of AMSAT and the Quarter Century Wireless Club (QCWA), and a Fellow of the Radio Club of America (RCA). He was also a member of the Northern Illinois DX Association (NIDXA) and the Caribbean Contesting Consortium (CCC). He was a pilot and a member of the Civil Air Patrol, and served in the US Navy Reserves for 11 years.
Schroeder is survived by his wife Janet, N9LGI, two children and three grandchildren. Visitation will take place 3-7 PM on Saturday, May 4 at N.H. Scott & Hanekamp Funeral Home in Glenview, Illinois. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or Cal’s Angels.