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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX005 (1998)

ARLX005 Fred Link, ex-W2ALU, SK

Special Bulletin 5  ARLX005
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  June 26, 1998
To all radio amateurs

ARLX005 Fred Link, ex-W2ALU, SK

Two-way radio pioneer Fred M. Link, ex-W2ALU, of Pittstown, New
Jersey, died June 18. He was 93. Link was best known for his role as
a maker of two-way radio gear used extensively by police departments
and public service agencies and by the armed forces during World War
II. He founded the Fred M. Link Company (later Link Radio
Corporation) in 1931 and became a fixture in the industry. Beyond
that, he was a man of wide-ranging interests, from running a horse
farm to being involved in local government, once serving as mayor of
Westwood, New Jersey.

Link served as president of the Radio Club of America from 1968 until
1992. Among other honors, the club awarded him its Sarnoff Citation
in 1976 and its President's Award in 1996. Link was a fellow of the
IEEE and a founding member of its Vehicular Technology Society. He
had served as a member of its board of governors since 1975. The IEEE
honored Link with its Centennial Medal in 1984. Early in his career,
Link worked for the De Forest Radio Company as assistant chief
engineer for the manufacture of transmitting tubes.

Link has said that his early experiences with ham radio helped him to
become the leading manufacturer of police radio gear in the 1930s and
40s. He learned Morse code for a Boy Scout merit badge and, during
World War I, worked as a relief railroad Morse operator while only
14. He was first licensed as 3BVA and later became 2ALU and finally
W2ALU. As 2ALU, he and his friend Johnny Knight, 4DX, were in contact
with the Byrd expedition to the South Pole and helped to relay news
of the expedition. The pair also shared other ham radio adventures,
including a notorious episode where they managed to get themselves
evicted from a New York YMCA while operating a station from there for
the 1927 ARRL DX Contest because they were interfering with local
radio reception.

Link's wife, Mildred, and a daughter, are among his survivors.
Contributions to the Fred M. Link Scholarship Fund are welcome to The
Radio Club of America, 3 Caro Ct, Red Bank, NJ 07701. (Our thanks to
Don Bishop, W0WO, for this information.)


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