Gus Browning ~ W4BPD
The first DXer elected to the Dx Hall of Fame was Gus M. Browning, one of the greatest of the DXpedition operators, who received this honour in 1967. Gus, a former Midwestern TV technician, was one of those DXers who would go anywhere to start a pile up, as long as he had a good supply of Coca-Cola! Gus operated from over 100 countries and many times one could not find the place on any map. He also came up with some very strange call signs.
To listen to Gus operating was to listen at the feet of a master of DX operating. I shall always remember him saying; “Ok, ok, ok chaps, all stations up ten, up ten – all stations up ten!” The heavy metal brigade moved up ten and called long and loud and I heard Gus mutter; ”That will take care of the lids!” and he proceeded to pick off stations at 4-5 a minute – anywhere except ten up. Work it out! I was trying to work Gus, but I collapsed in laughter as soon as I worked it out. Yes, he had a great sense of humor. Also remember the time he told us: “I have to QRT now and get back in the boat – my feet are getting wet!”
Gus never seemed to get upset during the pileups and always kept cool. I never heard him get ruffled or cross – always even-tempered, smooth, and efficient but controlled the pile up. He was also a good technician and was able to make repairs to his equipment at remote locations. He also taught himself to write with his left hand so he could operate two-handed on CW.
Although I only met this very fine Gentleman tête-à-tête once; we had several contacts on the air and did correspond by letters for many years. In his spare time, Gus was editor of The Dxers Magazine.
Gus passed away on August 21, 1990 at the age of 82. He will remain in my memory as a great pile up technician.