Thomas H. 'Tommy' Judson
Ft Worth, TX

QCWA # 20446
Chapter 67
N5CTC - Thomas H. 'Tommy' Judson
First Call: WN5CXG issued in 1962       Other Call(s): WA5CXG & WR5ARV
Navy 5enior Cryptologic Technician Chief

Thank you for checking in on my complimenting hobbies, Amateur Radio and Naval Reserve.

During the 2nd World War my dad and I would listen to Walter Winchell's newscast that would start with a string of CW. It said in part here is the news of what is happening in North and South America today.

We would listen for T's, which is the first letter of our names. One Christmas a box of parts was under the Christmas tree to make a crystal radio. We put one together and strung a wire from the back of the detached garage to my bedroom window.

I spent hours listening to and searching for different radio stations.

Then in the mid fifties a friend bought a little Hallicrafters short wave radio receiver after our General Science teacher gave us a bird's eye view of radio communications. We would listen and soon found some old discarded military BC-1158 transmitters. A cousin licensed as W5EQE managed to tweak those old transmitters to work on 6 meters.

This cousin was a Navy Radioman during the second World War and told us all sorts of stories of the action he was involved in and around Japan. He had a flag from a Japanese ship and a couple other interesting souvenirs.

Our little group of BC-1158 owners enjoyed talking across the neighborhood on 6 meters until one day one of the group received a letter from the FCC saying we were illegally transmitting without a license. That scared us so we stopped playing with them.

My cousin talked me into getting a Technician Ham License then sometime later my draft notice arrived in the mail. Instead of going into the Army I joined the Naval Reserve and after taking some placement exams was told I could be a Radioman just like my cousin

Soon after joining and taking more placement exams I was transferred to the Reserve Center.s Security Group division where I drilled for over a year while having a background investigation completed to see if I was eligible for a Top Secret security clearance.

As soon as the clearance was satisfactorily certified I left for an active duty .A. school where I learned again to copy Manual Morse communications. Having been a ham for several years gave me an edge over the others in my class and when getting out of school some choice duty stations. For the first six months after the Navy school I was sent around the globe to several different countries and then to Scotland where I stayed until the end of my enlistment. Upon returning home I had to fulfill the remainder of my six-year military obligation in the reserves and finally accumulated enough time to retire. (Little did I know at the time how beneficial this would become later in life.)

When getting back into civilian life I went back into my chosen profession, Structural Engineering, in which I had worked for a couple years after school and before getting that draft notice.

I ended up retiring from that job many years later and can honestly say that just about any bridge in the state of Texas that was built from the mid sixties through the nineties was something that came out of the design group where I diligently worked. It was a most enjoyable work life and would do it all over again given the opportunity.

About my Navy career (See 1970 Photo Above) - no way in hell would I do that again; however, I talk about the Navy more than designing and building large concrete and steel structures costing millions of dollars, providing jobs for thousands of citizens and dumping large quantities of money from the FHWA into the state's economy for 35 years.

So here I am wanting to get back into ham radio for a second re-run.

The first 're-run' was in the seventies when a fellow engineer brought a little Wilson handy-talkie to work one day. I was fascinated with two meter FM and the phone patch the repeater had available for hams to use. I eventually became very engrossed into setting up a club repeater with the call sign assigned to me, WR5ARV.

Little did I know the work involved in being a repeater trustee and chief fixer? That supposedly small endeavor really burned me out and fostered another long vacation from radio communications again.

The present pandemic has caused me to seek something to do while in isolation and remembering the best part of ham radio caused me to buy a little radio at an estate sale of sorts. While searching for info on that radio a ham told me about the LICW Club and suggested that I contact the leaders and ask about membership.

So here I am trying to regain my ham radio manual morse skills and hopefully will assemble a complete station soon. So far the club's Zoom presentations are outstandingly interesting; hope I catch up on the current operation of ham radio sooner than later!

N5CTC - Thomas H. 'Tommy' Judson
N5CTC - Thomas H. 'Tommy' Judson

November 16, 2020