XW8CAL 1968 Laos

It was in December 1968. I had the Heath SB101, SB200 and a 2 element quad at 70'. I was on 20 CW. The band was open very well to UA0 and I was making short QSOs with several. I was then called by W8CAL. I said to myself that I surely don't want to work another W8 with the band open to Asia but I went back out of courtesy. He then said, NO it is XW8CAL. Was I being called by Laos? I broke out in a cold sweat as I then thought is this one on the banned country list? It would be my 1st Laos. I went back and we exchanged a report. He then asked for a favor. He said he was at the American Embassy in Laos and wanted me to make a phone call to Wash DC for him. I then thought I just violated the banned country list and now asked to do illegal 3rd party traffic. I was 19 years old and reluctently said OK. The message didn't seem very important. It was about some fishing trip. I called the guy in DC and passed it on. He thanked me. Could this msg have been coded? Im sure they had better communications than to use 20 CW to pass an important message. Several years later, he sent me a QSL. The card was printed for XW8CS. He wrote the CAL suffex above the CS on the card. The name on the XW8CS card was Dick Price. What do you think? K8CX

I remember XW8CAL well (bug fist) .. had some QSOs, but never went after a QSL at the time. In 1979 I got a letter from Doug Wooley (just found it) and he told me that XW8CAL was a club call, but the CW operator was most likely Dick Price W3DBT, who later had a 2 letter call in Potomac, MD. Doug Wooley is of course ZP6CW now, but also pumped the key from CN8FW, EP2VW, XW8CR, and some other places. K8MFO

Your XW8CAL was probably Dick Price, W3DBT later K3RS. I operated from his XW8CS station along with Don Riebhoff and others in the 1969 CQWW Phone contest, and Dick later operated with me from my HS5ABD station in the 1970 CQ WPX SSB Contest. I believe the XW8CAL was a club station of the Embassy's which was obtained before the Lao Gov't agreed to issue calls to individuals. Dick was a prominent member of PVRC and NCDXA. Dick is now a SK. K3ZO

I was in Laos during the time mentioned. I also operated as XW8CAL. I was there between November 1968 through February 1970. I made several 20M contacts on CW. The card I used was a postcard with Dymo Labels. Pretty tacky for sure. I have long misplaced my paper log. Sure wish I could relocate it. Interesting times. I was using my HW100 into a “Collins” inverted Vee on the back fence. By the way, XW8CAL is/was a Club Amateur du Lao call sign, thus the letters. WB6GKH / KB7GP

QSL K8CX Collection
Info courtesy of K8CX, K8MFO, K3ZO, KB7GP