From early childhood Shep was intrigued with Radio and he began as a ham radio operator when he was about 13 years old according to his stories.
According to the October 22, 1999 ARRL Letter, Vol 18, No 42. he was issued call sign W9QWN in 1938. This is confirmed by the callsign's first appearance in the Summer 1938 Amateur Radio Callbook, which would have made Shep 16 and not 13. The last listing for W9QWN was in the Summer 1947 Callbook.
From 1947 to 1955 as he moved around Kentucky, Ohio, and PA he was issued several other call signs as was the practice at the time when moving to another radio district.
In 1955 he received his fifth call sign, K2ORS, which is the one listeners became familiar with in his stories. Accordig to the Amateur Radio Callbook for Fall 1955, the first listing for K2ORS, he was living in New Milford, NJ. He continued to use ham all through his career and was still active on the air until he died in 1999 and K2ORS* became silent.
*When the K2ORS call sign became available Shep fan Warren Ziegler quickly picked it up to insure that the call sign would continue it's connection to Shep.
Thanks to: Pete "The Greek," NL7XM, Radio Amateur Callsign Historian and Steve Glazer
Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, the Contributing Editor for Surfin', which is a weekly on-line column that appears on the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Web page, has dedicated this weeks column to his own memories of the man who inspired so many of us.
ARRL - "Oscar and the Ham" Video
In 1975 Shep hosted a 30 minute video for the ARRL about Oscar - the Amateur Radio Satellite