G5WQ 1925 England
Shack of Reg Witty G5WQ 1929
Photos from 1929 were taken next to Sydney Harbour bridge (not finished at this time) and is of Reg Witty G5WQ standing on board ship next to the beacon transmitter he built and used to assist navigation across the Pacific Ocean during the GRAF ZEPPELIN LZ-127 airships worlds first continuous round the world flight record that it made in August 1929.
Another thing that G5WQ can lay claim to is hearing the SOS distress messages of the crashed airship ITALIA in June 1928. The airship was full of Italian scientists and crashed on the north pole. They sent distress messages for 4 days before they were heard. Both G5WQ and PA0APX heard the distress calls and alerted the authorities. PA0APX was an SWL then so he couldn't transmit. I have a letter dated 1971 from PA0APX to G5WQ which asks if Reg was the same person who he had heard in QSO with EB4KD relating to the distress messages. A newspaper clipping from then says that radio hams heard the distress calls and assisted the ill fated airship and survivors. A Russian is officially credited with having heard the distress calls first. I am told that G5WQ and PA0APX heard them quite some time (days) before this. The Italian scientists were taken home by train, in darkened goods wagons, and they were NOT given a welcome home. They were hushed into the country and were almost treated as if they had disgraced Italy.
Reg was also involved in the starting of the Jodrell Bank. Reg worked for the marconi company until about 1932, and then worked for the BBC from 1932. He ended up as head of outside broadcasting for BBC north.
Reg was the brother of Barbara Dunn G6YL, 1st licensed YL in the UK. See info on G6YL here!
Glenside is where G5WQ ended his days in 1975.
I am not a relative of Reg Witty G5WQ but a long time family friend. Regs son Peter asked if I would reactivate his fathers callsign. His father wanted him to take it on when he died but Peter didn't do so. A few years ago, Peter asked if I would like to take the callsign on. It took almost 3 years until the authorities finally released and reissued the callsign to me. My call was M0BCG.
QSL from the G4DHF Collection
Photos courtesy of Ian Williams, current holder of G5WQ (ex M0BCG)