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So, Estonians were quite active in all fields of amateur radio known and used during this period.A step forward in the development of the hobby was the foundation of the Estonian Radio Sports Federation in 1960 that was a parallel structure to DOSAAF (a Soviet military-ideological propaganda organization ruling amateur radio also) and was meant to increase the communication and contesting skills of operators.The first evidence about receiving broadcast signals in Estonia is dating back to the early 1920s, but the first Estonian broadcast transmission itself was held on May 11, 1924 from a station located at Haapsalu. Leesment (on photo) completed a short-wave receiver to listen to amateur radio traffic of European hams – and this date is considered as the start for the short-wave ham radio in the country. Suigussaar had his first proven amateur radio contact on air (though there is another opinion, that Leesment managed to have the 1st 2-way amateur radio contact from Estonia already in 1924 - but there is no documented proof to it). On March 1st, 1935 the Estonian Radio Amateurs Union (ERAÜ) was officially registered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs as an organization uniting amateur radio activity of the country.By that time, three schoolboys from Pärnu - Eugen Tumma, Vitali Aleksandrov-Suigussaar and Karl Olof Leesment had already learned something about amateur radio as a hobby. As there was no institution existing at that time in Estonia to regulate such activity, guys invented the call-signs by their own. This fact marks the “official birth” of the organized amateur radio in Estonia The first meeting of the society was held on September 22nd 1935 in Tallinn, where the first board was elected.
Probably the best sports’ achievement of the period was the hat-trick of the Estonian VHF radio sports team at the USSR Team Championships in Klaipeda in 1989 where the three top places were won by Estonians - Toivo Hallikivi (UR2RRR/ES2RR), Toomas Kull (UR2RJ/ES2RJ - at the VHF station on photo) and Toivo Kasonen (UR2RDJ/ES2DJ) won individual medals next to the team champion’s title.In Tartu we should name Karl Kallemaa (UR2BU/ES5D) who became a ham already in 1934 (then ES3YY) and from 1936 up to 1940 was ES5D, also Eino Soomets (UR2DE/ES5DE), Heino Raudsepp (UR2DX) and Ilmo Juksaar (UR2CQ) were active.The beginning of 1950s brought several limitations to the hobby in the Soviet Union.Some also luckily managed to escape to the west and even had a chance to return to ham radio – yet, they were just a few...See the presentation of the period's amateur radio in Estonia here!
The list of ERAÜ members before the WW II After the war it took a few years to restore amateur radio as a hobby and to “return” to the world.