Wednesday, December 12, 2012

23 Names Added to POW Message Relay!

As I am knee-deep in reading, writing, scanning and editing for the 2nd edition of the book, I was overwhelmed to find another list of POW monitors that I had not yet known. This list was found thanks to the copious amount of materials sent to me by T/Sgt. Heer, himself a former POW held by the Japanese who discovered the letters sent to his family. In his research he found a Coshocton Tribune article noting the letters received by the Shurtz family. The article listed each letter and postcard author! Here they are (apologies for formatting chaos, I had to get back to the book!):

Last Name
First Name
Mrs. Olive
Mrs. Carl
Miss. Frann
New York
Lt. B.D.
Mrs. W.
Mrs. Clyde
Mrs. Evelyn
Mrs. Violet
New Mexico
San Francisco
Roy H.
New Mexico
Mrs. Louis
Mrs. R.R.
Dept. Electrical Eng.
Univ. N.M.
New Mexico
Mrs. C.E.
Jesse D.
San Francisco
Mrs. G.L.
Santa Cruz
Mrs. I.J.
Pogosa Springs


Friday, November 16, 2012

We've Added 16 Names!

Thanks to T/Sgt. Robert Heer we have now added 16 names to our master list of men and women who took part in POW Message Relay. T/Sgt Heer was a POW who came home to find the letters written to his family about his capture. He received 18 letters and postcards. Two were from names already on our list: Irwin Bender (Oberlin PA) and Sanford Lowe (NY NY- whom you'll recall sent more than 10,379 letters to POW families).

The new names have been added to my master list. I'm happy to send anyone a copy of it. Email me with your request and please spread the word. We want to see these folks Conressionally Recognized!

The names and states are below. (Full addresses are on the master list.)

Mrs. G.E. Atherton, MA
Nellie Barrow, NY
Mrs. Chloe J. Benge, OR
Muriel Fishburn, NM
Earl Fitzerald (sic), WA
G.P. Glanton, WA
Mrs. D.V. Greenlee, CA
C.J. Hansen, WA
Rev. W.T. Holt, NV
Mrs. L. Keary, CA
Frances Kelsey, CT
Ellen Lacy, MO
Dr. William McKie, CA
Raymond P. Read, MN
Miss Josephine Smola, MI
J.E. Webster, TX

I'm also going to send a book and request for Congressional Recognition to Senator John McCain today. If you are comfortable doing so, send one to him also with your own request to publically thank these heroes for serving those who served us. As a former POW I'm sure he'll fully appreciate their good deeds.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Japanese Friendship Program

I was interested to read this, when passed on to me by Lon Aylsworth:
It is about a Friendship Program whereby the Japanese government invites POWs and their families for a visit.
I'd welcome your comments and dialogue about this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Many Thanks to Jim Pitchford and MCARC

Lisa Spahr of Saint Louis MO traveled up to the Macoupin County Ham-fest in Carlinville Illinois on August 4th  2012 and gave a program about Ham Radio and Shortwave Radio and how it was used during WWII to get critical information out of Germany and other occupied countries under the control of the German forces.  When German or foreign broadcast radio stations release propaganda about which American servicemen were being held in prison camps there were people around the world hearing that information and getting word back to families in the United States to tell them where their loved ones were being held.


Lisa’s book documents the hundreds of stories passed down via word of mouth and historical records and puts family letters and telegrams on display for all of us to enjoy.  Her family was helped by this unpaid group of freedom fighters and she shares their stories.   Our club members all said they enjoyed the presentation and many purchased her books to take home and read the rest of the story. If you ever get a chance to hear Lisa’s story take the time to listen.


Jim Pitchford, Past President of the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association

Secretary of the Macoupin County Amateur Radio Club, N9LQF


Friday, August 31, 2012

Someone stole 18 of my signed WWII books. Keep an eye out!

Thieves! So my shipment of WWII books to ARRL in CT arrived with only 1 book of 20 (another made it but was damaged)! USPS stamped it "received unsealed". That's insane! It BECAME unsealed in your possession AND you'll ask me "did you get insurance?". WHY do I have to get insurance to get you to do your job? If you see 15+ of my SIGNED books for sale anywhere.... let me know. I'd like to have a word with someone.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

September 4, 2012 Raleigh Amateur Radio Society

I hope to see some of you East Coasters at the Raleigh Amateur Radio Society's September 4th meeting. We've been planning this visit for nearly a year and I'm eager to meet all of the people I've been emailing and coordinating with. We'll have the Howard 430 with us and perhaps an update on whether there will be a 2nd edition coming soon.
It will be good to be back East.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sad Goodbye to Lt. Col. Morton Bardfield W1UQ

Very sad to report that Lt. Col. Mort Bardfield has passed, in June, a few days after his 82nd birthday. He was amazing to me while writing WWII Radio Heroes. He'll be missed in the radio community as well. His call was W1UQ and he also held Carribean call signs PJ7UQ & VP2EUQ.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Watch Lisa on Fox2 Morning Show July 31, 2012

No matter where you are, you can watch me on Tuesdsay, July 31st, at 7:40 AM Central Time via Fox2's Streaming Video at
Thanks for tuning in!
Lisa and the rest of the team at World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Will You Give Radio Heroes a Minute of Your Time?

Friends, may I shamelessly ask you to post a review of World War II Radio Heroes on Amazon? We only have 16 reviews and I'd love to have more. Most are wildly favorable, and for that I am very thankful. One person called our book "boring". However gutted I am about that, I suppose I am grateful they gave it a chance. I am optimistic that no one else feels that way and that they get the clear picture of the heroes I try so hard to speak of- and publicly thank.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer, Fall and Winter Bookings Thus Far

Hello dear friends,

As we get settled in to our new home in Manchester MO, I am excited about the new territory and audiences we can reach.
Thus far, we've been invited to the following events for the coming months:

August 4, 2012 Macoupin County Hamfest, Illinois
September 4, 2012 Raleigh Radio Association, North Carolina
September 22-24, 2012 Illinois State Convention, Peoria
December 7, 2012 Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

More to come. Visit for additional events, reviews, television appearances, etc...
As always, thank you very much for your support. This story wouldn't get told without you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Frederick W.C. Dannemann- A Radio Hero

Every few months I receive a letter or email that really moves me. This weekend I received one just like that. Thomas Dannemann wrote:

Dear Ms. Spahr:
I was happy to come across you website that recognizes the contribution of HAM radio operators during WWII. It is a story that my family knows well. My father’s father, Frederick W.C. Dannemann, was one of those HAM operators and is listed in your blog. There is also a unique aspect in that my mother’s brother was a P.O.W. The family received numerous letters and postcards form HAM operators letting them know that he was safe. According to family stories one of the postcards was from F.W.C. Dannemann, my mother’s future father-in-law.
Thank you for telling this great American story.
Tom Dannemann
Thank you Mr. Dannemann for reaching out to me and sharing your unique connection to this story. I am so honored to make connection with yet another of the radio heroes (via their relative) that I feature in the book. It has been an honor to salute your grandfather.

Printed with Mr. Dannemann's permission.