On November 11, 2008 the Eastern Panhandle Amateur Radio Club, in association with the Distinguished American Tribute Radio Club, sponsored what was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. In recognition of the 90th anniversary of the armistice of World War I, a special event station was operated from the home of the last surviving American veteran of that war: Frank Woodruff Buckles of Charles Town, West Virginia. With the assistance of the Honorable Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senate (D-WV) in September 2008, then the longest-serving member of any U.S. Senate, and the cooperation of the Federal Communications Commission, the call sign WW1FWB was issued for this very special event.
It is with tremendous gratitude that the members of EPARC thank all of those involved in making this event a success. In particular we thank Mr. Buckles and his family for allowing us the privilege to honor this day with them.
Operating Times and Frequencies
WW1FWB began operation at 0600 Eastern Standard Time (1100 UTC) on Tuesday, November 11, 2008. This corresponds to the exact time 90 years ago that hostilities in the Great War ceased, Monday, November 11, 1918 at 11 A.M. in Paris, France. (See the AP story below.) Operation concluded at 2300 Eastern Standard Time (0400 UTC, Nov. 12).
WW1FWB operated in the General Class phone bands of 20 meters (14.290 MHz +/- 5 kHz) and 40 meters (7.190 MHz +/-5 kHz) and 80 meters.
The operating schedule was published in the November 2008 QST and on the Special Even page of the ARRL web site.
The Associated Press Announcement (November 11, 1918)
War Ends at 6 O’clock This Morning
The State Department in Washington Made the Announcement at 2:45 o’Clock
ARMISTICE WAS SIGNED IN FRANCE AT MIDNIGHT
Terms Include Withdrawal from Alsace-Lorraine, Disarming and Demobilization of Army and Navy, and Occupation of Strategic Naval and Military Points
By The Associated Press
Special to The New York Times
Washington, Monday, Nov. 11, 2:48 A.M.–The armistice between Germany, on the one hand, and the allied Governments and the United States, on the other, has been signed.
The State Department announced at 2:45 o’clock this morning that Germany had signed.
The department’s announcement simply said: “The armistice has been signed.”
The world war will end this morning at 6 o’clock, Washington time, 11 o’clock Paris time.
The armistice was signed by the German representatives at midnight.
This announcement was made by the State Department at 2:50 o’clock this morning.
The announcement was made verbally by an official of the State Department in this form:
“The armistice has been signed. It was signed at 5 o’clock A.M., Paris time, [midnight, New York time,] and hostilities will cease at 11 o’clock this morning, Paris time, [6 o’clock, New York time.]”
QSL / Certificate Information
In accordance with ARRL Special Event Station policy, to obtain a personalized WW1FWB certificate like the one shown here (printing courtesy of HBP, Inc.), send your QSO information along with a 9 X 12 inch self-addressed, stamped envelope to WW1FWB address on QRZ.com. QSL cards will not be issued and we will not fold these certificates to fit envelopes of smaller size. We cannot honor certificate requests unless a 9 X 12 inch SASE was received and your contact is recorded in our log. Certificates were mailed on November 2, 2009. We regret the delays in distributing certificates but hope you will enjoy and cherish this momento from this very special event.
About Mr. Buckles
Born in Harrison County, Missouri on February 1, 1901, Mr. Buckles was aged 107 years at the time of the WW1FWB Special Event station operation. He passed away quietly at his home in Charles Town, WV on February 27, 2011 at the age of 110 and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on March 15, 2011. Godspeed to the last American doughboy.
Below are several links to information about this noteworthy American and gentleman.
Frank Woodruff Buckles on the Library of Congress Veterans History Project
Wikipedia Article about Mr. Buckles
About the Great War
FirstWorldWar.com An extensive, well-done site about The Great War. An obvious labor of love.
The National World War I Museum, officially designated by the U.S. Congress, is the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history, and personal experiences of The Great War.
The 48-star flag was flown by the United States during The Great War. Here’s more information about the U.S. Flag.