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MARC Motorcycling Amateur Radio Club - Since 1992 -
 Dedicated to Providing Safe, Reliable Two-Way, Two-Wheel Charity Event Communications
 
Member Profile / Biography 
  
Billy C. Hall, N6EDY 
MARC Board Member



I was born in Oklahoma in the early months of 1926.  My parents moved to the Panhandle of Texas when I was 2 months old, and I lived on a farm till I was 10 yrs old.   We moved into the town of Hereford  where I first became interested in "radio".  I hung around the only radio repair shop in town, built a radio from "scratch"  (wound the coil on a Quaker oat meal box) for my Boy Scout merit badge, and "played" with anything electronic.  Hereford is where  I first acquired  the taste for  bicycles, motorbikes, motor scooters, and dreamed of owning a motorcycle.  

I "fibbed" about my age and  joined the USMC in 1941 and was possibly the youngest Marine to ever attend "Boot Camp".  Even then my goal was to become a "radio man", and after recruit training I attended  Aviation Radio School and became an air crewman operating  radios  and machine guns.   I did a short tour as an instructor in the Naval Aviation Radio School  teaching code (mostly to Canadian pilots).  Then came the "call for volunteers"  for the invasion of Guadalcanal to take place in the summer of 1942.    Being "gung ho" I volunteered, and flew in the Solomon Islands as a radio / gunner in a "dive bomber", and later as a radio, radar, bombardier gunner in  "torpedo bombers".     While on Guadalcanal I "acquired" an old three wheel  Motorcycle that had been "left" when the Japanese departed.  After a lot of work and "dumb luck" we got the "thing" to "kinda work" and had a ball playing with it.  

I returned to the States in 1944 and served as an instructor in a torpedo bomber training unit, first at Santa Barbara and then south to Orange County where they had just constructed the El Toro Marine Base.  I helped form and train  a new squadron here  and then returned to the South Pacific in 1945.  While training at El Toro,  I had married a girl from Santa Ana, California and established a claim on Orange County as my future home. I had no desire to return to the horrible weather conditions I had experienced in the Panhandle of Texas.  

This second overseas tour of duty was mostly flying "Submarine Patrol" in the Palau Islands, with occasional "bombing runs" on the "bypassed" islands still occupied by the Japanese.  The stay there was greatly enhanced by me being able to trade a bottle of whiskey for a "liberated" Japanese motorcycle.  It had originally been equipped with a side car (which was no longer usable)  but it sure made life in the islands a lot more fun.  Even when the roads were all  made of gravel --  gravel made out of live coral.  

When the war was over I  had enough "points' for immediate discharge, and returned  to  Santa Ana.  I initially worked in an auto parts house and  went to Business College.  I also worked as a Newspaper Distributor, accountant, bartender, etc. while trying to find my "niche" in life.  Since there was no Marine Reserve unit nearby I later joined a rifle company in the California National Guard  and became a "weekend warrior".  Since I had communications experience and training, I was soon moved up the line and became the Battalion Communications Sergeant.  Eventually I attended Officer's Candidate School (OCS),  was given a commission, and became the Communications Officer.  My Infantry Division was mobilized for the Korean War in 1952 and I became an Officer in the US Army.  I attended the Infantry Officer Communication School, and returned to my unit.  We trained in Japan and did a tour of combat duty in Korea where I advanced up the line to become the Regimental Communications Officer.  When they demobilized the Guard, I requested and  was granted an indefinite extension of active duty.  

Here is where the fun begins, I was selected to attend Army Flight School and became an Army Aviator.  I did a tour with an Armored Division in Texas,  and then was sent to Alaska flying aircraft equipped with floats, skis, and tandem gear.  Returning to the states I attended the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, and then served with a squadron of light transport aircraft in Oklahoma.  I finally got the opportunity to receive rotorary wing (helicopter) training and was then able to fly both kinds of aircraft. 

I  became the  Commander of an Aviation Operating Detachment -- whose mission was to establish airfields, air routes, and control towers.  Kind of like civilian Air Traffic Control (ATC) for combat situations.  I later moved my unit to Hawaii and established an active Army Airfield at an inactive Air Force Base.  I later served as the Army Aviation Officer on the General's staff for the Hawaii Islands.  

Most of my military career has  involved  electronics  and communications to some degree   ...   Especially communicating by radio.  It was while I was  in the Hawaiian Islands during 1962 that I finally got busy and got a novice ham radio license, upgrading to a General License the following year.    I operated as  WB6CQR / KH6. and played with 2 meter  AM,  as well as AM and Side band on the HF Bands.   I also worked with the Army MARS Volunteer program,  and eventually served as the District Coordinator for the Islands.  

During the  "buildup" for the Viet Nam War,  I returned to the States and helped form a Helicopter Unit to be deployed in "Nam".  I did a tour of combat  duty in the Pleiku Central Mountains flying  "Huey" helicopters.  

I  had finally been in long enough to meet the requirement,  so after returning from  Viet Nam, fighting in my "Third War",  I retired  as a Major in 1967.    I had started as a $21 a month Private,  worked thru the enlisted ranks,  and then thru the commissioned ranks.  I settled in Orange County and went to college, graduating from Rancho Santiago   --   Kinda backwards career wise but fun.  

After I retired I served with the Civil Air Patrol for a while doing search and rescue, and later served as the Commander of the Orange County  Senior Squadron .    I became the President of The Orange County Amateur Radio Club, and then later served as  the President of the Council of Orange County Amateur Radio Clubs.    I served as the VHF coordinator, and then later as the Section Emergency Coordinator for the Orange Section of the ARRL  Amateur Emergency Radio Corps serving Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Kern Counties.  

I then took to the "Road" and traveled as a "full time" RV'er from 1979 till 1991.   I utilized 2 meter FM while traveling and communicated with a lot of local hams as I went from area to area.     I have always had a motorcycle or motor scooter just about all my life, and even carried a small one with me while traveling.    We would park the RV and take off on the cycle.    It's the best way to "See the USA", and I had a ball traveling around.   While RV'ing, we  stopped at the various military bases   and Air Force bases across the US , and where possible we  took side trips via Air Force "Space Available" flights to Germany, Holland, France, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Panama Canal, and Alaska.  

I settled back in Orange County in 1992 .  While traveling I kept seeing people on a real neat motorcycle   --  The Honda Gold Wing. They had been  just  too large to be able to take with me while I was still traveling but when  I settled down,  I obtained a 1986 "Wing" and soon graduated to a 1990 SE 1500.    I started riding with a chapter of GWRRA and  started helping out on some of the Charity events.  

It was then that a small group of us determined that CB radio was just not good enough to provide the desirable communications necessary to adequately serve these charitable events.  We started talking about putting "Ham" radios on the bikes.     I had just about lost interest in Ham Radio, as such; However,  this idea revived my interest and  MARC was "born".   I have served as a member of the Board of Directors since then,  and  I can truthfully say that MARC is one of the best "clubs" that I have ever belonged to. 

I ride a 1990 SE Gold Wing , equipped with a Kenwood 741 tri-bander, and feel that providing communications for Charity and Public Service is an excellent way to "give something back to our community" for the privilege of being a "Ham".

Billy N6EDY  
   

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