A well-known member of Nebraska's ham radio community -- John 'Mac' McKinney, WØAP, of Dannebrog, died November 24. He was 83. A New York native and FCC employee from 1945 until 1975, McKinney last served as chief of the monitoring station in Grand Island. He was an ARRL Life Member, Assistant Midwest Division Director, and manager of the Nebraska CW Net. He also belonged to the Society of Wireless Pioneers, the Morse Telegraph Club, the Old Old Timers Club, and the Quarter Century Wireless Association, and once served as a QCWA board member. In 2000, McKinney was selected as co-recipient of the Nebraska Ham of the Year Award. He also was active in local government. A former World War II shipboard radio operator, McKinney was remembered for his stories of wartime radio espionage and monitoring activities. "Mac loved CW -- that was his life," said Nebraska Section Manager Bill McCollum, KE0XQ. "He always encouraged people to be proficient in CW. I will never forget him." His wife, Catherine, died in 1996. Survivors include five daughters. Services were set for November 28 in Dannebrog. -- information provided by Bill McCollum, KEØXQ
First Amateur License - FCC - 1934. W2GTW, Port Jarvis, NY. Member Army Amateur Radio System under Capt. Dave Tally, W2PF(SK). I shipped out as a radio officer on passenger ships at age 18 and spent the next 5 years at sea as shipping was available
I had a spit career with the FCC beginning as radio intercept operator in November, 1941, left in '43 and then returned as engineering aid in 1951. In the interim I hired on as transmitter engineer at Press Washington, flight-line radio trouble-shooter for Douglas Aircraft, Flight Radio Operator for Pan American Airways(TAD) and as radio dispatcher for the Nebraska State Highway Patrol. Sandwiched in between was a year in the US AAF, where my sea experience made me a Navigations Mate on a PT boat used for air-sea rescue work
From 1951 to 1978 I held several positions with the FCC moving from Grand Island, NE to Twin Falls, ID to Tampa, FL to Douglas, AZ and Laurel, MD. Eight years were spent as Engineer-in-Charge TV and FM Enforcement for the Commission. Then I began a broadcast consulting business and built four FM broadcast stations. At age 71 I renewed my Coast Guard papers and went back to sea for two years.
I am a life member of ARRL and SOWP as well as a member of MTC. I am past president and presently a board member with QCWA Chapter 25