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Nikolai Patrick Sander

23 November 2014 | comments (2) | Births & Birthdays | by

Nikolai Patrick Sanders

Adrian and Karen Sanders want to share the news of the birth of their grandson, Nikolai Patrick Sanders. He was born on September 29, 2014 in Daegu, South Korea to Ivan and Schylene Sanders. Nikolai and his sister Edin were both born in Daegu, South Korea where the family will be living until April 2015.

HZ1AB 1966 Saudi Arabia

21 November 2014 | comments (0) | Special Interest | by

HZ1AB 1966 Saudi Arabia

The operators were Victor L. “Vic” Crawford (W1TYQ, HZ3TYQ), Shelby L. “Jim” Barksdale (K3PUS) and Clifford “Cliff” Swann, Jr. (W8GCN, 7Z3AA, later W5SMI). Vic and Cliff were employees of ARAMCO and lived at the ARAMCO compound about 5 miles from the airport. Jim was a contractor and lived at the air base. W5KNE

HZ1AB 1966 Saudi Arabia

One of the operators from this club station was Vic Crawford W1TYQ:

I’m sorry to report that Vic Crawford – W1TYQ passed away on November 8, 2014 at age 94 in Michigan. Vic’s friend for decades Ned – W1RAN provided me with some of the “high points” of Vic’s long ham radio career. Vic was well known as HZ3TYQ in Saudi Arabia (1963 – 1976) and made two DXpeditions each into the Saudi Arabia / Iraqi Neutral Zone HZ3TYQ/8Z4, HZ3TYQ/8Z4, and Kuwait / Saudi Arabia Neutral Zones, HZ3TYQ/8Z5, 9K2TL/NZ. The operation from the Kuwait / Saudi Arabia Neutral Zone as 9K3TL/NZ was with Jack Laub – HB9TL, Roy Fleming – MP4BBD, L.M. “Rundy” Rundlett – W3ZA / K4ZA / OD5CT, and G3OFI in 1961. Vic retired to Torch Lake, Michigan as W1TYQ/8 with particular interest in 80 meters, where he proceeded to rack up almost 300 countries.

A personal observation or two. Vic also operated a good deal from HZ1AB, back in the “Hot Ziggety One American Boy” heyday. Vic was known world-wide for his impeccable CW and top notch operating. I will always remember June 29, 1962, when as a 16 year old with a “rag tag” station in Upper Michigan, I worked Vic from HZ1AB. I know I’m not alone in sharing lifelong respect for Vic, both as a top notch operator, and a world class guy. We have lost one more from America’s Greatest Generation. You just can’t replace guys like Vic.
73, Don Karvonen – K8MFO

Vic was an aviator. He was a key man in the development of aviation at the Arabian American Oil Company. The California Standard men brought the first aircraft to Saudi for commercial use. There had been some military aviation in WW I (T.E. Lawrence, etc.). They also provided guidance to the Saudi government in establishing navigation and air to ground communications. HZ1HZ, Ahmad Zaidan, was to Post, Telephone and Telegraph supervisor in Eastern Saudi and worked on these efforts with Vic. I spoke with Vic on the telephone a few times but never had the pleasure of meeting him.

73 and SK

I remember visiting Vic in his house in Dhahran when I was a kid there, learning Morse code as part of my Boy Scout progress, along with Henry Folkerts / 7Z3AB and Don Homewood who wasn’t licensed in Arabia, he was the chief safety officer at Aramco. Vic’s shack in Dhahran was one of the corner closets in the house they had on the ‘hill’ in Dhahran. He was always gracious with his time and encouraged me to work on getting my ham ticket, which I did when I went away to boarding school in New Hampshire. Regards, Terry / K9TRE

HZ1AB 1966 Saudi Arabia

Vic standing by their modified Westinghouse amplifier, which they drove with a Collins KWS-1!! Now that’s a real amp! In the clip it is said the amp could “melt the snow off the Alps” …

This amp was a pull from the ARAMCO Marine HF comm system. We were told that that blower was very loud, so they cut a hole in the shack wall, put the control side in the shack and the back of the rack outside the room. Kept the shack cooler and quieter for sure.

They also had a BC-610 modified for linear amp service and driven by a 32S1 back in the day. The story on the BC-610 is great. Smitty, W8FZL, (a Battle Creek ham who told me the story) was career Air Force. In 1947-8 he was stationed at Dhahran. In those days they ran an Air Sea Rescue detachment with a modified B-17 and a Communications Detachment. Dhahran was the end point for bombers attacking Soviet Targets in the event WW-III broke loose. It was also an important layover point for aircraft heading to the Pacific from Europe. The shack was a Harvey-Wells TBS-50 160-6 meter TX and an SX-28 in an old shelter from the back of a 2 ½ ton truck. One of the houses at the ARAMCO camp had one of these for a garden shed. I always wondered if that was the HZ1AB shelter’s final resting place. It was between the telephone exchange, building 810, and the old mail center. The CO of the commo detachment was a ham and a LT Col. Smitty came over to the shack and the Col. had a QSO on but had a phone call “Talk to Kurt in Germany while I take this call Smitty” OK Boss. Smitty grabs the mic. When the Col. Gets back to the rig, Smitty is transmitting “ Hey, Kurt, I was up at Rhine Main Air Base a few weeks ago TDY, I saw a whole warehouse full of new BC-610’s. Man, it would be nice to have one of those here” Outside the shack the Col. is frantically making the “cut” sign across his throat. He grabs the mike. “OK Kurt, 73, we have to get back to work”. “Christ Smitty, that was Gen. LeMay. Are you trying to get us court martialed?” Two weeks later Smitty gets a call from the cargo ramp. “Smith, get your ass over here NOW!” He gets over to the ramp to find a huge wooden crate. One the red property tag is a message. “73 de Kurt”. The BC-610 had arrived at HZ1AB and would be in use up in to the 1960’s.

Lloyd and Iris Colvin showed me an HZ1AB QSL from 1946 when they were stationed in Japan. I did not get a copy of it, but that is the earliest evidence of an operation from the station I ever found.

73 de Bob WA8MOA HZ1AB 80-86.

Courtesy of

Original Saudi-Themed Gift that Supports International Charities

21 November 2014 | comments (1) | Special Interest | by

Looking for a unique, one of a kind gift that is guaranteed to bring back fond memories of time spent in Saudi Arabia? A gift that would help support a worthy charity?  All proceeds go directly to well researched groups. Perhaps for the holiday season, an up coming anniversary, marriage or graduation. Look no further!

Tricia FranckTricia Franck with Saudi Throw gift for charity

The Preceptor Alpha chapter of Beta Sigma Phi in Dhahran, now Sadeeqa, designed this cotton throw/blanket in 1998 specifically to generate funds for charity.  The final product was, and continues to be, masterfully woven in North Carolina. The richness of colors, depth of details and pictures chosen are exquisite.  Included are the Little Blue Mosque by the entrance gate in Dhahran, the clock tower on the campus of KFUPM, Wendy Cocker’s photo of camels crossing a highway overpass, a central design of dates, basket and palm trees, in addition to a Saudi coffee pot, dhow, falcon, carpet, Mada’in Saleh, and a kanjar (curved Arab dagger).

Since the first order was received sixteen years ago, sales have been impressive and generally demand outweighs supply. The increased revenue has allowed us to generously support a much wider variety of charities.  Through their purchase, not only do people get a wonderful memoir of their time in Saudi Arabia, but they are also helping others around the world.  Outreach has been extended to charities in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Central America and America.  Funds have been sent to help those affected by world disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, and wars. Supporting women and children has been a focus.  Some charities have meant something personally to our own members such as hospice care or research for cures of childhood illnesses.

A limited number of these throws are available for purchase and are ready to be mailed to any US address. The cost for the throw remains $80.00 with an additional $10.00 for postage within the US. They are 100% cotton, machine washable, and measure 51” x 70”. All profits are given to charity.

Please contact Tricia Franck if you have any questions or would like to purchase one.

We are indebted to Aramco Expats for donating their time and effort to market our throw on their site.  Through this generous act, we will be able to widen the circle of charities to which we donate and even more people will benefit.

Tricia Franck

Maxing Out 401k

13 November 2014 | comments (0) | Special Interest | by

Reilly Financial Advisors

Are you truly maxing out savings opportunities within the Aramco Savings Plan? A Recent IRS ruling allows a tax free transfer of after-tax Savings Plan contributions to a Roth IRA, thus permitting that balance to grow tax-free (as opposed to tax-deferred)! This has been a controversial topic for many years, however this recent ruling appears to have settled the issue. Reilly Financial Advisors has written an easy to understand 4 point plan to take advantage of this opportunity. However, for those employed overseas there are additional hurdles (to which we have the answers for as well). Learn more about how this could save you tens of thousands in taxes during retirement. Click here to receive this free report. Please note that in order to receive this document, you’ll need to provide us with an email address that can accept pdf documents (as you know, Aramco email addresses tend to block any emails that include attachments).

Stephanie Ward takes 2nd place for Lady Tigers

13 November 2014 | comments (2) | Brats | by

Darlington’s girls placed three runners in the top 10 to grab a third-place team finish, and Model’s girls used a solid run from a freshman to help them finish eighth overall at the Class AA State Meet on Saturday afternoon.

Stephanie Ward - Darlington School

The pre-meet hype about Darlington’s Ward possibly winning a state title and the Tigers competing for a team title proved true as both Ward and the Tigers were in the thick of the state title race.

Ward led the Tigers’ attack and shadowed eventual state champion Serena Tripodi for almost two miles before dropping back a few seconds.

“I tried to stay with her as much as possible to see how far I could go with her,” Ward said. “She had a good race. Since she was up ahead of me, I just decided to just go for it and try the best I can.”

Ward, who finished ninth last year in Class A, powered through the final mile and crossed the finish line in second place overall.

Ward’s teammates, Lauren Hooper and Kinslee Clevenger who had each grabbed a top-10 state finish before, closed out their senior seasons with another one. Hooper finished seventh overall, while Clevenger finished ninth.

“I had to go out fast just to stay with Stephanie. It got hot though the race, and I was so tired that I fell back a little. I was hoping to keep my spot at third place, but as long as I got in the top 10 I was good with that,” Hooper said. “Kinslee had a great race. I was proud of her and everybody. Annaliese (Clevenger) ran junior varsity at region and she ran well today.”

At the midway point of the race, Darlington and Lovett were neck and neck and it looked as if the team race might come down to the final hill, but the Lions were able to move up enough to grab first.

Normally a team placing three runners in the top 10 of a state meet is enough to capture the overall title, but Lovett placed four runners in the top 10 and Wesleyan mounted a spirited charge from runner four through seven, edging Darlington by one point.

“They ran their hearts out. They really did their best, and that’s all I can ask of them. I’m super pleased with how they performed,” Darlington coach Katie Ellis said. “Lovett and Wesleyan had great races as well. It’s great to be in a classification that has such tough competition, and we look forward to competing against them again in track.”

Darlington School

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