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Who was W4AFC?

Marion Shields, W4AFC
Marion Shields, W4AFC

The Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club call sign of W4AFC was a vanity call sign obtained to honor Marion Shields–one of Tom NY4I’s mentors/elmers when Tom got started in amateur radio (along with Don Pablo Bostrom, KI4FI). According to Tom, “Marion was a Spanish language teacher at Dunedin High School and a great influence upon me to look at things rationally and consider my actions”. He was active in the Dunedin VEC program where many people successfully passed their code test using the great headphones in the Dunedin language lab. You can read more about Marion here. Both Marion and Paul were beyond helpful in making sure the hams in the high school radio club had radios to operate and the antenna party to put them up. Tom also states, “Marion also had a Commodore 64 in his classroom which helped lead me to programing–and we all know how that turned out :).” The call W4AFC became available and Tom was able to secure it to continue amateur radio activities in north Pinellas county.

Ralph Hollis
Ralph Hollis W4AFC (Original Holder)

Thanks to Jeff, WA4AW, Tom found out about the original holder of W4AFC. He was Ralph Hollis. He was on the USS Arizona when it was struck in Pearl Harbor. He, along with his comrades, was lost on that infamous day. More about Mr. Hollis here and here.

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