K4JM - December 7, 2007

Thomas S. Jones
Richmond, VA
QCWA # 31400

Tom was first licensed in Richmond, Virginia in 1932 at the age of 14, with the callsign of W3BZE. For 75 years he was an active CW operator and was particularly interested in public service communications. Prior to WWII, he was active receiving and relaying traffic on the ARRL Trunkline "D". During WWII he was a CW operator aboard B-17 bombers. Returning to Richmond after the war he found employment at the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone company, where he rose to the position of Engineer, and worked there for 42 years before retiring.

When Virginia moved into the fourth call area in 1947, he received the call W4BZE which he kept until 1970 when he became K4JM. In 1947 Tom was one of the founders of the Virginia CW Net (VN), and was one of its first Managers. Tom remained active on the VN until a few months before his death. He was also President of the Richmond Amateur Radio Club from 1954-56. In the mid-1950's Tom became interested in Contesting and W4BZE/ K4JM were heard in many CW contests over the next 50 years. He was also an active DX'er and interested in QRP.

The QCWA awarded Tom a 75-year plaque last year. He was very proud of that plaque and hung it next to his Life Membership plaque of the ARRL. Tom died from heart failure at age 89 on December 7, 2007, an appropriate day for a WWII veteran. He was probably the longest continuously licensed ham in Virginia. He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Francis, two daughters and several grandchildren.

"Pip" Sager WB4FDT