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ARRL Special Bulletin ARLX010 (1999)

ARLX010 VHF-UHF Pioneer Paul M. Wilson, W4HHK, SK

QST de W1AW  
Special Bulletin 10  ARLX010
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 1, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLX010 VHF-UHF Pioneer Paul M. Wilson, W4HHK, SK

VHF-UHF pioneer Paul Wilson, W4HHK, of Collierville, Tennessee, died
November 29. He was 75.

A stalwart in the 144-MHz and Microwave Standings, Wilson remained
active right up until his health deteriorated earlier this year. In
early July, he completed his VUCC on 10 GHz. He celebrated his 75th
birthday in September by making his first contact on 24 GHz.

''Paul's life should inspire every amateur to strive to always try
something new in Amateur Radio, regardless of age or health,'' said
ARRL Vice President Joel Harrison, W5ZN--a friend of Wilson's. ''He
has definitely been an example for me.''

Wilson got his ham ticket in 1941 at the age of 16. While still in
high school, he began experimenting on the old 2-1/2 meter band (112
MHz). After World War II, he rekindled his interest in VHF and UHF,
becoming a major figure on the then-new 2-meter band.

During the 1950s, he got involved in meteor scatter propagation. In
1954, W4HHK and Tommy Thomas, W2UK in New Jersey sent and received
reports via 2-meter meteor scatter over a 950-mile (1520 km) path--a
first! W4HHK and W2UK won the ARRL Technical Merit Award for 1955.

Wilson took on the challenge of Earth-Moon-Earth propagation as
well, and in 1961 he began work on an 18-foot dish. He was among
those making their first 70-cm EME contacts in July 1965. From that
frontier, he moved on to attempt 2304 MHz moonbounce, and he won the
ARRL Technical Merit Award for 1969 for his work on that band. In
1970, W4HHK and W3GKP claimed a new record--the first 2304-MHz EME

In 1972, Wilson used his 18-foot dish to monitor the Apollo X
command module on 2.2 GHz as the astronauts orbited the moon. He
received a NASA confirmation of his reports in the form of a
photograph signed by all the astronauts on the mission.

Noted VHF-UHFer Al Ward, W5LUA, called Wilson ''a true VHF pioneer
and said he would be missed. ''Paul's signal on 2304 EME was like a
beacon station, and his presence will be missed by all who have
worked him in the last 29 years off the moon,'' Ward said.

Wilson retired in 1980 after 30 years as an engineer for TV station
WMC in Memphis. His wife ''DB''--to whom he was married for 54
years--is W4UDQ. His son, Steven, is N4HHK.

A staunch League supporter and ARRL Technical Adviser, Wilson was
frequently in the pages of QST over the years--both as an author and
as a subject. In his December 1999 QST ''It Seems to Us . . .''
editorial, ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, singled
out Wilson as an Amateur Radio hero for his pioneering

The Central States VHF Society awarded Wilson its Chambers Award in
1986 for ''his continuing technical contributions to UHF, especially
EME on 13cm.''

A service will be held December 2 in Collierville.


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