K4JBI - June 30, 1992|
Director 1953 - 1961
Robert E. 'Bob' Hertzberg
QCWA # 145
Col. Robert Edward Hertzberg -W2DJJ - K4JBI *1905-1992*
Bob began in wireless as 2ABK in 1919, at the age of 15 joining the Stuyvesant High School radio club in NYC. Robert at that early age, wrote and illustrated articles on how to build shortwave radio for local newspapers.
Mr. Hertzberg was best known for his contributions to Pilot Radio, literary accomplishments & service to his country. In the late 20's, Robert joined Pilot Radio Corp. and helped design one of the most successful radios of the day, "Super Wasp". In addition, he worked on the very earliest television equipment developed in this country. I have wanted input from Bob's son Paul, with this tribute. Paul obliged in fine style.
Here are some fascinating things we learned. First, Mr. Hertzberg's involvement in pioneer Television, his life long family friendship with Pilot Associate John Geloso I1PT, (developer of the great Italian electronic manufacturing) - His admiration of Hugo Gernsback, Publisher and being a managing editor for Hugo's 'Radio News' in 1928. When Paul K2DUX (Bob's son) was born, Mr. Gernsback was Paul's Godfather. Finally Bob's mission in U.S. Army - World War II.
In early 1942 Bob served as Radio Officer for General Omar Bradley in England and was involved in planning the Allied invasion of Europe. Serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, his duties included operating a large training school for radio operators. One memorable recollection was escorting Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt around the Signal Corps facilities in England. He was also instrumental in helping establish communication systems that would mislead the Germans regarding allied troop movements. QST April 1945 Journal, has Col. Robert Hertzberg returning home after 3 years in the ETO. (European Theater of Operations)
After the war, Bob became an author-editor and freelance writer of technical books and magazines. There were a large influx of ham operators in the period of the 50's which our subject nurtured. Bob joined the staff of Fawcett Publications and became Editor-in-Chief of Mechanix Illustrated. He also developed another popular magazine, Electronics Illustrated and contributed articles to many of the radio magazines of his day.
In 1955 Howard W. Sams and Co. Published the popular W2DJJ 'So You Want To Be a Ham', which continued to be updated and published well into the 1960's, introducing thousands of prospects to amateur radio ranks. He wrote some 40 books and numerous articles. (Our right a K2DUX foto, (L) I1PT John Geloso and (rt) Robert E. Hertzberg W2DJJ while employed with Pilot Radio.)
Bob reminds me of the dedicated family man, as he appeared in those classic, How To Books and magazines! Complete with cap, but neatly dressed in photo shots. Many stated Bob made a superior editor & for his knowledge and presentation in photography, wood working, firearms & electrical projects. He held K4JBI and Florida was home in retirement.
Many comments are still found on the Internet praising Col Hertzberg such as; 'A book printed by Thomas Y. Crowell Company, The Radio Amateurs Handbook'. In it Bob Hertzberg, with his wonderfully clear, amusing and personable voice introduced me, as he had so many others, to ham radio. 'I learned the basic principles of electronics, as well as elementary receiver, transmitter and antenna theory. I never got the opportunity to thank Mr. Hertzberg and always wanted to write him, thanking him for the wonderful work he did nurturing so many thousands of new hams'. I am happy to say his son Paul is still active in amateur radio and I have expressed these sentiments to him.
Above Electronics Illustrated column header 'The Ham Shack' a generation radio hams enjoyed learning Bob's communications expertise monthly.
We rest with these last few remarks. W2DJJ was a member of many amateur radio groups including Quarter Century Wireless Association.
In 1983, Robert was honored by the 'Radio Club of America', an organization founded in 1909 and was made a 'Fellow' for his contributions in the field of radio!
Bob expired, age 87 at Veterans Administration Hospital in Brooklyn June 30 1992, after a brief illness. He is survived by wife Beatrice WA2RST, his son Paul K2DUX; grandchildren, Toni, Warren, Randi and Ilene.
Your author didn't have the opportunity to meet Bob W2DJJ, but I ask, how could a guy with the word 'Hertz' in his last name miss in the electronics realm? Bob surely hit the mark and today I appreciate our friendship with Paul Hertzberg. If you look closely in those articles Paul's dad wrote, you will see Paul in many photographs. Paul has fond memories of those days including evaluating Heath Kit equipment and making suggestions in Heath construction manuals with his dad. Like father, like son, Paul Hertzberg also served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Korean Campaign. Paul became K2DUX in 1953. I appreciate his assistance with this article.
W 8 S U 2008
Our right a K2DUX foto, (L) I1PT John Geloso and (rt) Robert E. Hertzberg W2DJJ while employed with Pilot Radio.