VQ3HGE 1948 Tanganyika (now Tanzania)

The famous Gatti-Halicrafters DXpedition to the mountains of the moon!
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Bob Leo W6PBV, now W7LR, Operator of VQ3HGE said that only 1 QSO was made from the summit of Kilimanjaro.

This is a beautiful double sided QSL. W7LR had 2 left and sent one to K8CX. Thank you for that!


Their logo "To The Mountains of the Moon".


Some of the expedition well on their way. Hallicrafters was their sponsor of radio equipment. Another sponsor was International Trucks.


The expedition itinerary legend.


This was during a contact between Charles Hamilton Jr. of Oyster Bay N.Y. (call sign unknown) along with Judy Beach (age 12).


Bob Leo W6PBV, now W7LR and Commander Attilio Gatti


Bob Leo W6PBV, now W7LR


The narrow road with more deep ruts and huge stones than road would climb up as if reaching for the sky, curve like a pretzel while hugging two or three tentacles of the mountain, plunge downward toward a deep gully, then start all over again.


Kilimanjaro's highest peak, the 19,860' Kibo, with its perennial cap of ice and snow, was the peak from which we decided to make short-wave radio transmissions. We were in communication with our shack-on-wheels, which relayed broadcasts to hams everywhere. W6PBV in the photo.


It sure was interesting, operating, travelling, and interesting places to see. Gatti and Bill W0LHS are SK. I meant to drive over to Fargo and visit Bill but I waited too long. We did go to Springfield, MO in 1994 to visit Weldon King the other photographer. He had a big pipe organ so we had music and visits for three days. He is SK too. I'm the sole survivor unless Norm Wakeford the camp manager is still with us - I never heard.

I did have a few adventures on this trip. I ran a pair of long nose pliers into one eye and a big cut, but it all healed up perfectly and no after effects. Then I got dysentary and went from the Navy 184 pounds to 148 pounds, one way to lose weight. The natives in our camp were raising a big antenna pole like a power pole, and dropped it, missed my ear by less than an inch, or I wouldn't be here today.

We had great times! We visiting Zanzibar with cloves factories, narrow alleys with spiked doors against elephants, British office with records of African explorers in early days (Stanley and Livingston). Also experienced the Serengetti Plains, trucking thru Uganda, and so on. W7LR

QSL K8CX Collection
QSL courtesy of W7LR, Operator of VQ3HGE
1st photo with both hands on mic from Patrick Rigg Collection
Next four photos from a special expedition magazine published by International Trucks
Last 3 photos from Harvester World Magazine, August-September 1949
Both magazines courtesy of operator W6PBV, now W7LR