Jim Leist, KB5W, a longtime leader of the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS
), passed away after a long illness on June 22. He was 74. Leist, who lived in Gautier, Mississippi, was Chair of the NTS Central Area Staff, as well as a longtime ARRL Net Manager; he also served as the Mississippi Section Traffic Manager (STM
) from 1987 to 1998. "Jim was an elite CW op and Manager of Region Net 5, Cycle 4, for most of the last 20 years and probably longer," said Phil Sager, WB4FDT, Manager of the NTS Third Region Net, Cycle 4. "I worked him several times each week for the six years I lived in Louisiana, and have enjoyed working him again the past five or so years on my Alpha TCC sked." A US Marine, Leist served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars; he was awarded the Silver Star
for gallantry in action during the Vietnam War. "He led reconnaissance missions during the Vietnam War, and he never lost a man," Sam Sitton, W5CU, told the ARRL. "Jim won the Star by single handedly taking out a machine gun nest while his patrol was occupied elsewhere. He was a true American hero." Leist was interred in the National Cemetery at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia with full military honors.