The Iredell County Amateur Radio Society (ICARS) will feature a presentation by Mr. Lou Dietrich, an Amateur Radio (ham radio) operator from Mooresville, about his recent visit to Wake Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

The event will be Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM, in Room 205 of the Mitchell College Technology and Workforce Development Building at 701 West Front Street, Statesville.

Mr. Dietrich (Amateur Radio call sign – N2TU) was the leader of a group of 12 hams from the U.S. (including another Mooresville resident, Richard (Dick) Williams, W3OA), who visited the atoll in November 2013. There they established a temporary Amateur Radio operation which would enable ham radio operators from all around the world to contact Wake Atoll, which does not have a resident ham radio population. This type of operation is known by ham radio operators as a “DXpedition”. In addition to the 12 who made the trip, there were 12 others from the U.S. and other countries involved in support functions.

The theme of the DXpedition was to raise awareness of, and honor, the civilian contractors who worked on the Atoll during WWII and contributed much to the U.S. war effort, 98 of whom became known as the “Forgotten 98”. Mr. Dietrich will tell of their efforts, and their treatment by their Japanese captors.

This is a fascinating story, and the DXpedition team has received several awards from Amateur Radio organizations around the world. Mr. Dietrich’s presentation, in addition to discussing the “Forgotten 98”, will include the planning, preparation and execution of this huge undertaking, which required not only getting 12 people to a small atoll more than 6500 miles from Mooresville, but also shipping ALL equipment and supplies that would be necessary to operate 14 days, 24 hours a day, and support the crew.

There will be a short introduction to “What is Amateur Radio” for those not familiar with it, as well as a question and answer period.

For more information about the Wake Atoll Commemorative DXpedition presentation, contact Iredell County ARS (ICARS).

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