Club History

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ARRL affiliation certificate, 1930, thumbnail image
ARRL affiliation certificate signed in 1930 by ARRL founder Hiram Percy Maxim. See a larger version.

The Fort Wayne Radio Club traces its origin and roots through several predecessor clubs back to 1916 but the club as we know it today was founded in 1920. The club was named “Fort Wayne Radio Club” in 1930, which was when American Radio Relay League Founding President Hiram Percy Maxim (W1AW) signed a certificate of affiliation with that national organization.  Predecessor clubs included Fort Wayne Radio Association of Indiana (1916), YMCA Radio Club (1919), Old Fort Spark Gang (1920), G.E. Fort Wayne Radio Club (1922), Knights of Midnight Key (1924) and Radio Traffic Association of Fort Wayne (1928).

In 1986, The Fort Wayne Repeater Association was merged with the Fort Wayne Radio Club.

The first ARRL Indiana Convention was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana on July 17-19 1924. This was six years before the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (D.A.R.A. - Dayton, Ohio) held their first convention in 1930. On April 3, 1928 Wade Pitcher 9AAI was authorized to contact the city about procuring radio equipment for protection of the community in times of disaster. Pitcher was attributed as having built and installed the first police radio system.

In 1947, the Naval Reserve made their transmitter available to FWRC members for the operation as club station W9RJY. In 1948, the club provided emergency communications for local communities cut off by an ice storm / wind storm. The emergency situation lasted for about a week.

In 1951, the mobile group (10 meters) assisted in two disasters. On April 28, a United Airlines (UA) plane crashed near Baer Field. UA later presented FWRC with a Check for $100 (remember this is 1951!). A Wabash passenger train collided with a Nickel Plate freight train at the New Haven cross-over later on in the summer. The club was granted space in the Red Cross building for meetings and a station.

Articles of Incorporation thumbnailIn 1952, FWRC filed articles of incorporation with the office if the Indiana Secretary of State. See a scanned copy of the filing.