Person:Donald Greenwood (1)

Donald Ralph 'Don' Greenwood, U.S. Army, N7DG
  1. Donald Ralph 'Don' Greenwood, U.S. Army, N7DG1922 - 2013
Facts and Events
Name Donald Ralph 'Don' Greenwood, U.S. Army, N7DG
Gender Male
Birth? 21 June 1922 San Francisco, San Francisco County, California
Death? 2 June 2013 Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington



N7DG: Don Greenwood signed off the air for the last time on June 2, 2013.

Early Life

Don was born in San Francisco on June 21, 1922, to Ralph Brown Greenwood and Olga Amelia (Sheets) Greenwood.
As a young boy, he took care of his younger brother, Arthur, and younger sister, Patricia, while still finding time to develop the interests that would become his lifelong passions: exploring the outdoors, enjoying nature, pursuing the "elusive rainbow" and steelhead, and tinkering with electronic and mechanical gadgets to learn how they worked - and how to fix them when they didn't. Working with radios was his most favorite thing.

Education/Military Service

Don graduated from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California in 1940. He enlisted in the United States Army after Pearl Harbor and was commended for his distinguished service as a high-speed radio operator, radar crew chief and Sergeant with the 582nd Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion in the Tunisia, Naples Foggia, Rome-Arno, Northern and Southern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns. His records were lost soon after the war, and he spent many years corresponding with the Army to see if he could receive the medals listed on his discharge papers. They arrived in his mailbox four days after his passing.
. Don Greenwood was wounded in 1945, but the silver lining of being wounded was catching the attention of a beautiful red-headed WAC nurse, Hazel Emily Thompson, who became his wife on April 19, 1946.

Family/Professional Life

Don and Hazel started their new post-WWII life together in California, where Don was recruited as a "code operator" into a new organization called the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. During his long tenure with FBIS, Don and Hazel and their daughter, Cheryll, travelled the world. He completed his BSEE (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering) degree (with honors), learned to love golf (he was proud of his hole-in-one), cheered on whatever baseball and football teams were near his home base, made sure his family respected the people and the cultures of the countries where they lived or visited, and tried to be the best husband, father, friend and co-worker he could be. Don became Cheif Engineer of FBIS, supervising many engineers and technicians at more than a dozen locations around the world.

Amateur Radio

Don became an Amateur Radio Operator in 1950, was given the "call sign" N7DG and worked hard to qualify for his "Extra Class" License. He was an active DX'er and enthusiastic entrant into many DX contests, and who attained DXCC Honor Roll status in 1997. Don was particularly proud of his service as Net Control for ham networks set up to provide emergency communications assistance during natural disasters worldwide.

During those days, Ham Radio Operators communicated primarily by using Morse Code (also known as "CW" for "continuous wave"), which Don became proficient with for many years. Demonstrating a proficiency in Morse code was for many years a requirement to obtain an amateur license to transmit on frequencies below 30 MHz. When Ham Radio operators communicate with each other, they send "QSL Cards" to each other to document the date, time and band frequency that the contact took place. Don primarly worked on Mixed Bands and had accumulated a total of 334 Contacts/ Countries on Mixed Bands


Throughout his life, Don Greenwood stayed in close contact with many of his friends till the end of his life, sharing memories of the time they spent together and the good work the did in service to their country. One life-long friend of Don's, E.C. "Bud" Veregge, that went to school with Don, also graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1940, and also was an Amateur Radio Operator, passed away the day before Don on June 1, 2013, several states away in Nevada. Don and Bud were both active DX'rs that talked several times a week over the Amateur Radio frequencies for many years. Don and Bud are no-doubt continuing their friendship in heaven.


Don and Hazel retired to Grants Pass, Oregon in 1973 and for 35 years they thoroughly enjoyed the countless wonders of that beautiful area and developed many deep and lasting friendships there. They fished the Rogue River, drove to the coast to crab, enjoyed plays and concerts, explored and traveled widely with family and friends, counted birds for the Audubon Society, built birdhouses with the Boy Scouts, and served their community as volunteers for many other organizations.


Don Greenwood passed away peacfully on June 2, 2013, surrounded in love by his family. A private family celebration of Don's life was held in the Summer of 2013. Donations in his memory may be made to the Salvation Army, or another charity of your choice.

Image Gallery