University Radio Club Donates Vintage J-37 Key to B-29 Radio Position Restoration


The Amateur Radio Club of the University of Arkansas (W5YM), which celebrates its centennial this year, has donated a J-37 telegraph key to be used in a radio position under restoration onboard “Fifi,” a World War II vintage B29 Superfortress. Members of the Rockwell-Collins Amateur Radio Club have been recreating a radio operator’s position on the aircraft.

“It’s a grand addition to ‘Fifi’s’ restored radio operating position,” the restoration team noted on its website. “Many thanks to the 100-year-young University of Arkansas Amateur Radio Club W5YM and Dan Puckett, K5FXB, for facilitating this most thoughtful, generous and historic commemorative donation.”

The J-37 was nicknamed the “Mae West” key after the 1930s-1940s comic actress for its unusual base with its curvy indentations, designed for wrapping the key’s lead for storage. The J-37 will be a component of the Smith-Erwin Memorial Radio Operator Position onboard the still-flying B-29 aircraft.