Battleship Radio Exam Location

The ARRL-affiliated Emergency Amateur Radio Club (EARC) in Honolulu held the first-ever Amateur Radio licensing classes and test session aboard the battleship USS Missouri, now a World War II memorial berthed in Pearl Harbor. The October 2016 test session culminated 5 weeks of classes and a tour of KH6BB, the ship’s club station. The club reported that eight applicants passed the Technician exam, and two of them went on to pass the General class test as well.

Applicants included a couple that lives aboard a sailing vessel and are part of the cruising community. They wanted to be able to stay in touch while under way. Four military personnel wanted to get ham tickets, “so they would be better at their jobs,” the club said. One military dependant always wanted to get licensed and “thought it would be fun,” according to the EARC. A teen who had worked on a project in Alaska involving satellites also was among the successful applicants. A team of four volunteer examiners from the EARC administered the tests.

The USS Missouri — also known as “Big Mo” or “Mighty Mo” — was the last battleship that the US commissioned, and it was where the Empire of Japan surrendered in September of 1945, ending World War II. After seeing service as recently as the early 1990s, the vessel was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association in 1998 and now is a museum ship. 

The battleship’s radio room now is home to KH6BB, operated by the Battleship Missouri Amateur Radio Club.