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Noted QST Author, DXpeditioner Lee Bergren, W0AR (SK)


Albert "Lee" Bergren, W0AR (ex-W9AIW, W0AIW), of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away May 1 after a brief illness. He was 93. An electronics engineer, author, designer and advisor with special accomplishments in the field of antenna and radio amplifier design, Bergren led or participated in many of the first Amateur Radio DXpeditions.

In 1956, Bergren and a team of five amateurs activated Socorro Island, XE4A, in 1956. Prior to this activation, the island had only seen Amateur Radio activity when a Spanish-speaking radio operator with a temporary Mexican weather station had a limited number of contacts on 40 meters phone. In 1959, Bergren also activated the Seychelles Islands as VQ9AIW in 1959. In 2002, he was inducted into the CQ DX Hall of Fame as Member #41. Other than keeping up with his friends on the air, DX was always Bergren's focus in Amateur Radio. After the bands opened up after World War II, he received DXCC #191 for Mixed Mode and DXCC #124 for voice in 1948. According to the June 1965 issue of QST, Bergren earned DXCC Honor Roll with 313 countries.

In 1963, Bergren developed the multi-element cubical quad antenna, and later that year, QST published his article "The Multielement Quad." The antenna had a driven element, reflector and two directors. Horizontal crossarms were broken by insulators to minimize coupling to the antenna. Continuous wire loops with no stubs were used for each element. In a June 2002 QST article, Bergren recalled "The First Field Day" in 1933, remembering that back then, only portable stations were allowed to participate.

Together with Bill Bishop, W0UF (SK), Bergren owned and served as President of Radio Industries, a company that manufactured the Loudenboomer linear amplifier and antenna rotator in the early 1960s. The company was also known for two-way 30 mc radios used for village communication during the Vietnam War and two-way 160 mc communication radios for railroads and pipeline controls that they designed and manufactured. Bergren and Bishop sold the company to Hallicrafters in the mid-1960s.

ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, knew Bergren well. "Lee was an amazing man with an amazing story," MacLachlan said. "He taught me much in the two years I knew him, and even at 93 he left too soon. Lee spent 78 years in ham radio, dedicating his time, talent and treasure to the hobby. He will be sincerely missed in the Kansas City amateur community, especially among QCWA Chapter 35 and Kansas City DX Club. Lee was the greatest man one could be, and he now belongs to the ether."

Bergren was a Life Member of the ARRL and the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA). He co-founded the Kansas City DX Club in 1952 and the Mid-Continent Chapter 35 of QCWA in 1967. Bergren is survived by his wife Betty. A memorial service is planned for 10:30 AM Tuesday, May 5 at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 9100 Mission Rd, Leawood, Kansas. Donations may be made to the American Heart Association.



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