As recalled by Jim Adams WT3O (SK)
The club was formed in the year 1955 by these four ham radio operators W3AGD Charles Slocum, W3AGF Cecil Messinger, W3AGP Richard Williams and W3AHH Quentin McCray. These four people went up to Buffalo, NY to take their exams together at the FCC exam location. They all passed their exams there and as you cam tell by the call signs they were all very close together. That was when they decided to form a club here in Corry.
As time went on others became members of the club. Some had the call signs the are familiar to us as follows W3BZJ Francis McCray, W3CRV Steve Reynalds, W3IAS Wilbur Sorenson, W3DUB Duard May, W3KJE Harry Coulter, W3NFX Gene Gruber, W3YXE Harold Sexton, K3ACF Al Gates, K3AQR Dick Drace and K3KAP Gerry Owens. There were others who became members but these were the pioneers of our club.
Some of the professions of these members was very interesting. W3AGD Charles Slocum, a wheelchair bound person owned and operated Slocum’s Electronics. He had the first mobile telephone business here in Corry. He was the operator for the mobile phone users in the area. He built a tower on Lindsay Hollow Road south of town for the phone service and provided space on the tower for the 147.090 repeater which was the first repeater to go on the air in this area. He also donated a little building out in back of his shop on Main Street for a clubhouse for the RAC. He was a very intelligent man also very generous. He had the first remote controlled T.V. He put a small motor on the channel selector and could change channels from a control button on his wheelchair.
W3AGF Cecil Messinger, worked at Penelec in the office at First Ave (Corry) and was always busy with club projects. He was a very avid tinkerer with radios he would build. He also was very active in Field Day especially making antennas work good.
W3AHH Quintin McCray, is a very important member of our club because he is a Pear Harbor (World War II) survivor. He was a radio operator on the ship. He operated Morse Code messages during the war and he still likes to get on and operate “C.W.”
W3YXE Harald Sexton, was the club secretary of the club for a long time until his health problems kept him from continuing. When he became a silent key the members decided to use his call sign as the club call in his honor.
W3NFX Gene Gruber, was a very avid experimenter. He designed a circuit for the government that had to do with single sideband. No one seems to know much more about this and it is believed it was top secret.
In the early to mid 70’s the 2-meter repeater became very popular. WA3SOQ Guy Williams started working to get one on the air here in Corry. Guy worked at the Smith Meter Systems in Erie and was the first person to design the digital readout for the gas pumps they manufactured. He was given a big promotion and then transferred to Texas. With the help of many club members he got the 147.090 on the air as we know it today. Some of those people that helped him were W3KJE Harry Coulter, WA3WTJ Regis Dombrowski, WA3PGL Larry Barton and many others.
Since then the club has had many other activities. We have helped with the Titusville parade. Many parades in Corry. We have installed a 2-meter rig in the Red Cross as well as a high frequency rig. We are well prepared for any emergency that may occur in the Corry area. We have assisted the local boy scouts with jamboree on the air (JOTA) a yearly activity that we have attended now for 18 years. This project helps the scouts learn about Ham Radio and helps them get points for their merit badges. We hold fundraisers for money to help pay out insurance bills on the repeaters such as the breakfast buffets at the V.F.W. In Corry. At the present time our repeaters are located about 5 miles south of Corry on County Line Road. The main repeater is on 147.090 and the backup repeater is on 444.800. Also we have a repeater on 224.060. All of these repeaters have superb coverage from the location at 1,938 feet above seal level. It took a lot of hard work by many of our members to accomplish what we have up until the present day. It has been a pleasure to work with these people and see how far we have gotten since those early days back in 1955. I am sure those people would be very proud that we have kept the Radio Amateurs of Corry moving forward.
Jim Adams WT3O
Transcribed from Jim’s handwritten notes November 7, 2009
by Dan Fargo KB3EMH
Archived Video Footage
Radio Amateurs of Corry Picnic 2002
First Meeting: January 18, 1955
President: Charles Slocum W3AGD
Vice President: Cecil Messenger W3AGF
Secretary: David Hubertz W4FRK (not original call)
Treasurer: Jay Patton (now lives in California). W3AHH said he was called Jay
Dick Williams W3AGP 1 year
Bob Barto WN3AWV 2 years
Quentin McCray W3AHH 3 years
Code and theory classes were held twice a year at Corry High School, hours 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. First class terminated in June and second in December
Field Day was held in 1958 and possibly in 1955.
M. Harold Sexton W3YXE of Union City died May 19, 1958 and his call sign was applied for by the club on May 21, 1958. Second choice was K3RAC.
MARS affiliation was requested on July 15, 1957. (the club is no longer affiliated)
110 people were present at the Club/MARS picnic on June 4, 1959.
Club Station listed as of June 25, 1958
Club dues were $2.25 May 23, 1961 Treas. balance was $31.04