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The NAQCC June 2020 Challenge

All challenge info such as rules are now in the hands of Gary K1YAN. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k1yan (1K).

The results on this page are the responsibility of Hap K7HAP. Email him with any questions in that regard at pix_email_k7hap (1K).


OPERATION COLUMBA

pix_pigeonbus.jpg (87K)

PREMISE:
Intelligence gathering is a critical part of any war effort. Getting this intelligence back to those who analyze it and act upon it is usually difficult and dangerous. Of course, timely delivery is important since outdated information is useless. Radio is fast but dangerous because equipment and antennas must be hidden and then deployed when needed. Strings of couriers passing on information take precious time. Enter the homing pigeon, scientific name Columba livia. These birds had been used in WW I for various communications tasks ( the photo above shows a WW I collection bus ) and the practice would continue into WW II.

The National Pigeon Service began in England at the start of WW II. Birds kept by pigeon fanciers, or " the fancy " as they were know, were registered with the government. In 1940 a number of birds were requisitioned and experiments to determine how to drop birds into hostile territory were done. Pigeons were parachuted down in small cages that contained the bird, paper, pencil, a list of questions about enemy activity and a capsule to place the information in and attach to the bird. After some fine tuning, this method was adopted and operation Columba began in September of 1941. A rather obscure department, MI14d, initially consisted of a staff of two, and ran the " Special Continental Pigeon Service." The British department of the Army also had a pigeon service. Turf wars and clashes of ego did little to benefit either service.

Operation Columba initially met with a good measure of skepticism, but the receipt of message number 37 from resistance forces in German occupied Belgium validated the effort. It contained a wealth of detailed and accurate information that made its way as far as Churchill’s desk. The operation ran through September 1944 with more than 16,500 birds dropped during the program. There was a high bird mortality rate due to drops not being found by resistance forces, hungry locals eating the birds, kills by hawks, their natural enemy, and occupying forces finding and killing the birds .

Germany also had a pigeon program and both sides made attempts to disrupt enemy flights or cause disinformation to be passed along. Each side would replace the enemy birds with their own resulting in information being delivered to the opposition. False information helped to expose resistance groups operating in secrecy. Groups were formed to deploy hawks to intercept homing birds but the hawks did not distinguish between friendly and enemy pigeons, so the program was not very successful.

The birds delivered valuable information on enemy troop movements, morale, deployment of weapons and other activities which certainly saved lives and aided the allied victory.



TIME FRAME:
The first day of the month 0000Z through the last day of the month 2400Z


RULES:
Just make ALL these words from calls of stations you work subject to the General Challenge Rules. (Any spaces in the phrases should be ignored. For example the challenge phrase "INVERTED V ANTENNA" should be treated as if it is the single word "INVERTEDVANTENNA.")

COLUMBA LIVIA
SPECIAL CONTINENTAL PIGEON SERVICE
PARACHUTE DROP
MESSAGE 37
THE FANCY
DEPARTMENT MI14D

The 88 total letters and numbers contain these 24 different letters and numbers : A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V Y 1 3 4 7

You can use each letter in a call TWICE. For example you could use K3WWP for 2 K's, 4 W's, and 2 P's.

Subsequent QSO's with the same station cannot be used for additional letters. For example, no matter how many times you work K3WWP, you can only use his call for 8 of the letters in the words.

See General Rule #5 for more details on what callsign letters can be used.

If you need some help with your alphabet challenge record keeping take a look at our Alphabet Tutorial page for everything from some great pencil & paper methods to fully computerized tools.


AWARDS:
A certificate and Participation Point go to everyone making all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.

A Participation Point goes to everyone making at least 1, but not all the words and submitting their report before the deadline.


PRIZES:
A choice of an item made by master woodworker Gregg WB8LZG as shown on our prizes page here goes to someone selected via a random drawing from all who participate and submit a report for this month's challenge. A person can only win once, then they become ineligible for future drawings.


LOGS:
For your report, list the words you made and the station used for each letter in the word. The number of stations listed must be the same as the number of letters in each word, even though you use the same station for more than one letter as in:

WORD - K3WWP N2OD WA8REI N2OD
NEXT - NF8M W8REI N8XMS K9EYT

(Note how N2OD is listed for both the O and D.)

You may also include comments about the challenge. Please preface any comments you want posted with "SOAPBOX:" so we will know what you want posted and what is private.

Send your results as text in the horizontal format shown above to:

E-mail: pix_email_k7hap (1K) (You must type that address into your email program.)
Subject must read: (your call) NAQCC (month) Challenge
For example: K3WWP NAQCC February Challenge

All entries must be RECEIVED before the 10th of the following month at 2400Z.


Results:

 
All the above get a certificate and participation point.

All below get only a participation point.

 
Not eligible for a certificate or participation point for the following reason(s):
@ = Non-member
$ = QRO power

Soapbox: