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Oldest Known US Ham Receives ARRL Centurion Award


The oldest known US radio amateur, Cliff Kayhart, W4KKP, received his ARRL Centurion Award plaque in November. The award recognizes hams who have achieved centenarian status. Kayhart, who lives in White Rock, South Carolina, is 108. The ARRL Board of Directors conferred the award on Kayhart at its July 2019 meeting.

At the November meeting of the Dutch Fork Amateur Radio Group in Little Mountain, South Carolina, ARRL Roanoke Division Director Bud Hippisley, W2RU, headed an ARRL delegation that presented the Centurion Award plaque to Kayhart, who was first licensed as W2LFE in 1937 (he’s also held W9GNQ). With Hippisley were Roanoke Division Vice Director Bill Morine, N2COP, and South Carolina Section Manager Marc Tarplee, N4UFP.

Kayhart served on Iwo Jima during World War II, shortly after the US victory there, setting up long-range radio communication from the island to Tokyo to arrange for the eventual surrender by Japan.

Kayhart remains active, checking into several nets from his assisted living facility. Centurion Award recipients have their annual ARRL membership fees waived while continuing to receive QST and other ARRL member benefits. Kayhart was profiled in the June 2018 issue of QST.