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The Original DXpeditioners
Compiled by Les Hamilton GM3ITN

Gus Browning W4BPD

The first DXer elected to the Dx Hall of Fame was Gus M. Browning, one of the greatest of the DXpedition operators, who received this honour in 1967. Gus, a former Midwestern TV technician, was one of those DXers who would go anywhere to start a pile up, as long as he had a good supply of Coca-Cola! Gus operated from over 100 countries and many times one could not find the place on any map.
He also came up with some very strange call signs.

Gus on Bouvet Island.

To listen to Gus operating was to listen at the feet of a master of DX operating. I shall always remember him saying; "Ok, ok, ok chaps, all stations up ten, up ten - all stations up ten!" The BIG GUNS moved up ten and called and called!!! ”That will take care of the lids!” Gus would mutter to himself and he proceeded to pick off stations at 4-5 a minute – anywhere except ten up. He told us once: "I have to QRT now and get back in the boat - my feet are getting wet!" Gus never seemed to get upset during the pileups and always kept cool. I never heard him get ruffled or cross – always even-tempered, smooth, and efficient but controlled the pile up. He was also a good technician and was able to make repairs to his equipment at remote locations. He also taught himself to write with his left hand so he could operate two-handed on CW. We had many contacts on the air, and he gave me a lots of new countries. In his spare time, Gus was editor of The Dxers Magazine. Gus passed away on August 21, 1990 at the age of 82. He will remain in my memory as a great pile up technician.

Don Miller W9WNV

During the 1960's, Don Miller operated from many of the rarest DX locations around the world. While everyone in the DX community admired his enthusiasm and operating skills, some of his practices generated controversy.
Actually it was simpler back in those golden years when all DXers were considered gentlemen and honest beyond question. Why that was ever changed is a hard thing to understand or accept.

Don on Parece Vela (Okino Torishima..Deleted)

To really understand some of the claims for DX counters made by Don Miller and possibly a few others some decades back, one may need long memories to look back, think things out in the light of latter day knowledge, and, perhaps, to start to wonder. Wonder what really might have been the truth of some of the reported operations back then and if the report and claims given were made up of the whole truth. Was it in some cases actually as claimed, in others maybe not always as claimed, believed or reported. And even then one should not be too sure one way or another. Don Miller had a lot of talents, one obvious one was a strong tone of reality in telling of his exploits and adventures. He could be convincing. He worked hard at it. Some may think that he was not the first, he definitely was the end of the easy going approach that existed for many years.
One of the Old Timer's sayings of long ago often has been used to neatly cap the DXer's dilemma in placing their trust and beliefs in a claimed operation. The Old Timer said: "Work 'em now, worry later". Years back it was said that when the Old Timer spoke it was like his words were graved in stone. It is easy to understand why.

Danny Weil VP2VB

Danny Weil of San Antonio, TX was born January 14, 1918 in a suburb of London England. He was descended from many generations of watchmakers and was apprenticed in the trade of watchmaking. Later he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Navigation. His father, Jack Weil, was killed during World War II in the London Blitz. Danny joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and in the 10 years he served, he was stationed in Ceylon, India, Norway and Stalingrad. Danny left England in 1954 in a boat he made by himself in order to travel the world alone after being inspired when he read the book “Kon Tiki” in 1947. Weil completed his first solo crossing of the Atlantic in 1954, landing in Antigua. In 1963, after 9 years, 3 boats and travels to the Atlantic, the Carribean and the Pacific Islands, Danny completed his around the world voyage. Needing a means of communication, he taught himself Morse Code, radio theory and obtained a Amateur radio license in Brit. Virgin Is.. Sailing single handedly around the world was a trip he volunteered to undertake on behalf of ham radio operators.

One of Danny's QSL's

His voyage was integral in setting up ham radio stations on remote islands and made contact with over 100, 000 amateur radio enthusiasts around the world. He is remembered by most “hams” as “the first DXpeditioner.” Danny was known as an adventurer and was one of the original inductees into the CQ DX Hall of Fame. He eventually gave up Ham Radio.

Lloyd and Iris Colvin

Lloyd Colvin, first licensed in 1929, and his wife Iris, licensed in 1945, became avid DXers in the postwar years while stationed in Japan, and subsequently operated from a number of other overseas postings. Upon Lloyd's retirement from the Army, he and Iris established a highly successful construction company, and began to travel in the 60s, 70s, and 80s with the express purpose of operating as DX from various foreign countries. They were successful in visiting over 200 countries and actually qualified for DXCC from over a hundred different DXCC locations, becoming along the way celebrities known for their presentations at various hamfests and amateur radio conventions as well as for their operating exploits.

Lloyd and Iris on Abu Ail(deleted)

Few hams active during this period don't have at least one contact with a Colvin operation. Although they largely financed their trips themselves, the Colvins were instrumental in reviving the Yasme Foundation to serve as a sponsoring organization and fundraising organ for their own and other DX operations. The Yasme Foundation, continues its work today, based in Castro Valley, California.