W5RST was tweeting today about speaking with 2 people who knew the original holder of his vanity callsign which made me think about mine. I grabbed W0EA from the pool after its former holder, Lloyd Kelley passed away. I did not know Lloyd, but I did a little research on the FCC ULS server and found that he was granted the W0EA call because he was a close relative of the former holder. Interesting! Unfortunately, that is as far back as the ULS goes. Lloyd was issued the call in 1996. I guess I'll have to see if I can find an old printed call book from the early 90's. Luckily, QRZ offers a lookup from their 1993 callbook CD which has callsigns that go back into the late 80's. Unfortunately, it did not have a record for W0EA. Is it possible that the call sat not issued for the first half of the 90's? That seems unlikely.
One of the many hams in the area pulled out his old callbooks and found some great info:
1956 - W0EA not issued
1965 - W0EA not issued
1972 - W0EA, Luther J. Jensen, 8545 High Dr., Leawood, KS (suburb of Kansas City)
1985 - W0EA, Luther J. Jensen, 9520 Mission Road, Overland Park, KS
Apparently the rules for 1x2 calls back in the day were pretty tough so its likely that the 1972 issuing was the first time. The question is, what was the status of the call between 1985 and 1996? Ancestry.com lead me to a burial plot in Overland Park for a Luther J. Jensen who died in 1981. It is probably safe to assume this is the same Luther Jensen and his call was never cancelled after his death, which is often the case.
The next thing I wanted to find was the link between Jensen and Kelley. I went searching for Kelley's obituary and found it here. It turns out he had a son named TJ! It was meant to be! I thought about the dates some more and since Jensen was born in 1900 and Kelley in 1925, it didn't make sense that Kelley would be a grandson so I think he was probably Jensen's nephew, which means the next step is to track down Jensen's sister who might have married a Kelley.
If any of my readers has a subscription to Ancestry.com, maybe you could help find the link. Of course all this assumes there actually was a link and Kelley didn't falsify his vanity application. Hopefully we'll be able to find out!