Radio: Ham's Reward

On Jan. 22, 1937, some 1,500 residents of Shawneetown, Ill., sheltered behind their 60-foot flood wall, lost contact with Harrisburg, Ill., 23 miles away. The great Ohio Basin flood had cut them off from their nearest municipal neighbors and the world. As the flood waters rose, a Harrisburg ham (amateur short-wave operator), Robert Tompkins Anderson, volunteered to set up an observation post as near as he could get to Shawneetown and establish two-way radio communication with relief agencies that were trying to bring help.

By truck and boat (equipped with only one paddle), Amateur...

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