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DXpedition Leader, Elite Contester, Ham Radio Mentor David Collingham, K3LP, SK


Well-known DXpedition leader and contester David Collingham, K3LP, of Mt Airy, Maryland, died on January 6 after falling through the ice on a pond near his home the previous evening while trying to rescue his stranded dog. He was 59. Collingham was co-leader, with Paul Ewing, N6PSE, of the 2016 VP8STI/VP8SGI DXpedition to South Sandwich and South Georgia islands, and he was president of the Intrepid-DX Group.


Licensed at age 15 as WN6KTF in his home state of California, Collingham went on to take part in more than 70 DXpeditions and served as leader or co-leader of 14 major DXpeditions. Collingham had several Top 5 finishes in international competitions to his credit. He also had written articles for QST, CQ, and other publications.


Collingham was a 2014 inductee to the CQ DX Hall of Fame, credited with focusing on using Amateur Radio as an educational tool at home and abroad. With the support of Collingham’s long-distance coaching, teacher Bev Matheson, KJ6RSX, a Fontana, California, elementary school teacher, was encouraged to start a ham radio club for 4th and 5th graders at Dorothy Grant Elementary School. A Fontana High School graduate, Collingham provided a complete station for the school. He also promoted and taught Amateur Radio to young people in Iraq, Ethiopia, and Rotuma.


Professionally, Collingham was president and CEO of International Quality Registrars Corporation, a global ISO 9001 certification firm. He was a graduate of University of Maryland University College (MS in operations management), National Louis University (MS in applied behavioral sciences), and DeVry Institute of Technology (AA in electronics technology).


NCJ Editor Scott Wright, K0MD, recalled hearing Collingham speak at a Dayton DX Dinner. “He challenged those in attendance to always think of others, especially DXers who are generally less fortunate,” Wright recounted. Collingham noted that he’d left behind some of the ham radio gear he’d brought to a DXpedition or operation to another country as a donation to help keep ham radio going there. Wright said Collingham also challenged those in attendance to help school clubs and start one, and to realize that ham radio would die, were a new generation not mentored and fostered.


Collingham was a member of ARRL, Southwest Ohio DX Association, Potomac Valley Radio Club, and the National Capital DX Association.


“David lived his life bold, courageous, and heroically, and he died trying to save his beloved dog,” Ewing wrote in announcing Collingham’s death. “He will always be a hero in our hearts.”