K1N team_4

K1N Navassa: Mission Impossible or Mission Possible???

So close, yet so far by Glenn Johnson, WØGJ 

History of Navassa

Before 1997, getting permission to activate Navassa was relatively easy.   Just get a letter from the U.S. Coast Guard (easy) and arrange to get a boat to take you to the infamous “ladder.”   Every few years someone activated Navassa.   When the USCG deactivated the lighthouse in 1997, administration of Navassa was transferred to the United States Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the ladder was removed.   FWS declared Navassa to be a “closed” refuge for the protection of several unique and rare species of plants and animals.   Any request for permission to activate Navassa was declined and for many years, only rare visits were made by FWS biologists.   Navassa is in the Jamaican Channel, 90 miles east of Jamaica, 40 miles west of Haiti, and 100 miles due south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Columbus visited Navassa on his 3rd and 4th visits to the New World, but noted great difficulty getting onto the island and that no fresh water was to be found.

The Guano Act of 1856 set the stage for activity on Navassa.   In 1857 Peter Duncan claimed Navassa for the United States and started mining phosphate.   The ownership/management changed hands several times, but from 1857 until 1901, over one million tons of phosphate was strip-mined and exported, primarily to the United States.   In 1901 the workers (literally slaves) revolted because of abusive conditions and killed several of the supervisors.  Three men were put on trial in Boston, convicted and given death sentences, which were later commuted by President Harrison.


Caribbean Sea

Navassa lay dormant until the Panama Canal opened in 1914.   Navassa Island was in the middle of the shipping lanes to the Canal.   In 1917 the Navy built a 165-foot tall lighthouse and a light keeper’s house.  A light keeper and two assistants tended the lighthouse until 1929 when the lighthouse was automated.

The very first amateur operation from Navassa was in 1929 by the very last lighthouse keeper, Russel Dunaja, K4NI.   He was 24 years old at the time.   He was initially licensed as 3ADY in 1921.   His last callsign was W3BBF.   He passed away in 1989.

The next recorded activity was 25 years later in 1954.   This was KC4AB, a four-day operation by Don Miller, then W4VZQ, Bob Eshleman, now W4DR, and Carl Shenk, WN4HBC.   The last accredited operation was W5IJU/KP1 in 1993.     Between these operations, every couple of years or so, some individual or group obtained permission and Navassa was “irregularly” on the air.   Navassa has been silent until February of 2015, a period of 22 years.

Navassa is claimed by seven countries (United States, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia and the Dominican Republic), but most of the world accepts U.S. control because of the IARU, economic, navigational and refuge management activities and oversight.   In 1981, a group of Haitian amateurs led by HH2JR operated as HHØN, but this operation was not counted for DXCC because appropriate permission was not given.  To say that the HHØN operations caused a rift with Haitian hams and the DXCC administration, would be an understatement.   Regardless, if Navassa was in fact Haitian territory, it would not count for DXCC because of the proximity rule.   I could ignore the “sour grapes” of HHØN, and not even bring it to anyone’s attention, but, as we will see, this played a crucial role in the K1N operation, almost leaving the team and FWS personnel stranded indefinitely without food and water.

Several individuals and groups were seeking permission from FWS to activate Navassa beginning in 1998 or so.  In 2002 we combined forces and formed the KP1-5 Project with the express purpose to activate the closed refuges of Desecheo and Navassa and at the same time assist FWS in their logistics and management of these refuges. Read more »


The MDXC flag waving on Juanfernandez

The flag of the Mediterraneo Dx Club waving in Juanfernandez. The Mediterraneo DX Club was sponsor of 3G0ZC.

Free internal QSL service available for all MDXC Members. More information on the official website.

 Other photo CLICK HERE



Welcome to…

Welcome to our new members: Patrizio Gianelli, Manolo Landri, Massimiliano Presti, Emilio Piccicacchi, Carlo Rosario Coppola, Alessandro Formisano, Filippo Simonetti, Roberto Corgiuolu, Angelo Ferrrentino, Daki Milan, Amateur Radio Association Volunteers A.R.V.O.

IW5DOK – MDXC #428 Patrizio Gianelli from Volterra (Pi), Italy;

IU3BTQ - MDXC #431 Manolo Landri from Spinea (Ve), Italy;

IZ8FQI - MDXC #425 Massimiliano Presti from Castello di Cisterna (Na), Italy;

IK8DYM - MDXC #432 Emilio Piccicacchi from Casapulla (Ce), Italy;

IZ8GNR – MDXC #196 Carlo Rosario Coppola from Alvignano (Ce); Italy;

IW8EHK - MDXC #401 Alessandro Formisano from Angri (Sa), Italy;

IW8EDA - MDXC #418 Filippo Simonetti from Piazzolla Di Nola (Na), Italy;

IK0PRG - MDXC #421 Roberto Corgiuolu from Tivoli (Rm), Italy;

IZ8GEX – MDXC #422 Angelo Ferrentino from Castel San Giorgio (Sa), Italy;

9A2WJ – MDXC #459 Daki Milan Drlic from Croatia;

IQ9UI - MDXC#611 Amateur Radio Association Volunteers from Ragusa, Italy;

C21EU 590x320

Nauru DXpedition 2015: (IOTA OC-031) C21EU

The Mediterraneo DX Club is a sponsor of C21EU

Free internal QSL service available for all MDXC Members is good standing with the share in 2015.

More information on the official website


PA3EWP, DL6JGN, DK2AMM and DL2AWG will be active from Nauru as C21EU between March 25 to April 4, 2015 (IOTA OC-031).

Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. One station running 24/7. Focus on the end of the sunspot cycle is on the high bands.
Subject to a reliable internet connection, they will upload the log to Clublog on a daily basis.

QSL via DL2AWG (OQRS, direct, bureau).



K1N Interview for MDXC by W0GJ

1- The 1st question is “mandatory” Dott. Glenn: it has been 25 years from the last activity in KP1.   This made of Navassa the Most Wanted #1. How did you feel being part of the team?


We have been working on getting permission to operate from Navassa (and Desecheo) since 1998.   It has been a very long and difficult road working to get permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service who has jurisdiction over these entities.   We had two Congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., and several presentations and several appeal hearings (like a court hearing) at various high level USFWS offices.   In 2009 we were granted permission for Desecheo (K5D) and we thought that Navassa would follow within 18-24 months.   However, several key individuals retired and several were re-assigned to other posts and Navassa never happened.   We literally had to start completely over with presentations and hearings. A small team of us (the KP1-5 Project) have spent untold thousands of hours working on this project. Consequently, the pressure to perform and make Navassa a successful operation was enormous.   We carefully selected a team that were not only good operators, but experienced in logistics and other needed skills.   During the entire preparatory time and during the operation there was not one instance of conflict or personality problems.   We were focused to work together as a team and to be as efficient as possible.

Read more »


9Q0HQ 2015

The Mediterraneo DX Club is a sponsor of 9Q0HQ

Free internal QSL service available for all MDXC Members is good standing with the share in 2015.


More information on the official website.

UPDATE – Dates of activity, March 10-25, 2015.

Association of Radio Amateurs, Congo (ARAC) has invited the Italian DX Team to Kinsasha for short stay during March 2015.

The visit will include theoretical & practical training and refresher courses for radio amateurs in the DR of Congo, plus activity as 9Q0HQ.

More info here