Person:Elwood Veregge (1)

Capt. Elwood Claude 'Bud' Veregge, USMC/W6PBI
m. 6 JUL 1920
  1. June Alberta Veregge1921 - 1990
  2. Capt. Elwood Claude 'Bud' Veregge, USMC/W6PBI1922 - 2013
m. 1944
  • HCapt. Elwood Claude 'Bud' Veregge, USMC/W6PBI1922 - 2013
  • W.  Rachel Smith (add)
m. 31 December 1955
Facts and Events
Name Capt. Elwood Claude 'Bud' Veregge, USMC/W6PBI
Gender Male
Birth? 31 July 1922 Stockton, San Joaquin County, California
Marriage 1944 to Mildred Harriet 'Millie' Irwin
Marriage 31 December 1955 Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevadato Rachel Smith (add)
Divorce 22 December 1983 Orange County, Californiafrom Rachel Smith (add)
Death? 1 June 2013 Gardnerville, Douglas County, Nevada



Elwood C. Veregge was born 31 July 1922 in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, the son of Roy Scott Veregge and his wife Grace Zeralda (Zent) Veregge. At an early age, Elwood became known as "Bud", a nick-name which he would use the rest of his life. He had one older sibling, his sister June Alberta Veregge, who was born just 16 months before him and pre-deceased him in 1990. Bud spent much of his childhood in nearby Pittsburg, Contra Costa County, California, where his father owned and operated the Pittsburg Sheet Metal Shop for many years.


After graduating from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California in 1940, he attended San Jose State College, receiving his B.A. Degree in Radio Engineering. While at San Jose State, Bud was elected Captain of the Spartan Track Team, excelling in relays and in the high and low-hurdles. Bud’s love for track continued later in life, as he was a volunteer AAU Track Official for many years in Southern California during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Bud also attended graduate school at
the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Electrical Engineering (Communications), and successfully completed management courses or programs at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Business, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Business Management, the National Management Association, the American Management Association and Harbridge House. Bud also worked for Hewlett-Packard Company for a short while, likely either as a summer job or coming out of High School before he entered the United States Marine Corps Reserves in September 1944. Bud was also on the 1943 Varsity basketball team at Cal Berkeley

Amateur Radio

At an early age, Bud became very interested in electronics and radio equipment. When Bud was about 13 years old, started toying with amateur radio equipment and two years later, on 3 August 1937, just after his 15th birthday, he was issued his first Amateur Radio Operator's License from the Federal Communications Commission (shown in picture at right).
Bud received the call sign letters "W6PBI", which he would use during his entire life, except during and just after World War II, when (due to security concerns) Amateur Radio transmissions were banned, and when he operated his Amateur Radio when he was stationed in Tsingtao, China. Amateur Radio Operators became known as "Ham" Operators, a moniker which Bud enjoyed and relished.
Throughout its history, amateur radio enthusiasts have made significant contributions to science, engineering, industry, and social services. Research by amateur radio operators has founded new industries, built economies, empowered nations, and saved lives in times of emergency when other communications systems (telephones, television, etc.) have been disabled. [Source: Wikipedia].

During those days, Ham Radio Operators communicated primarily by using Morse Code (also known as "CW" for "continuous wave"), which Bud 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. These QSL Cards are typically collected and kept to prove these contacts and help to document the number of countries that each Ham Radio Operator has "worked" or communicated with. Bud's first two QSL cards are shown in the photo on the left. He worked hard for several years to achieve his "Extra Class" License and achieved DXCC "Honor Roll" status early in his Amateur Radio work. Over the years, Bud worked many different communications frequencies (or "Bands"), and worked many different contries/contacts on several bands: (209 Countries on 160 meters, 373 Countries on Mixed Bands and 335 Contries on CW).

During his service with the Marines, in 1946 when Bud was stationed in San Diego, California, he was one of the original founding members of the San Diego DX Club, one of the oldest and best known DX clubs in the United States. At the time of Bud's passing in June, 2013, he was the last surviving original founding member of the club.

Military Career

At the outbreak of World War II, in 1942, Bud volunteered to join the United States Marine Corps Reserve and continued his studies while attending the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Electrical Engineering (Communications). Bud served in the Marines for 10 years and 7 months, moving up in rank from Private to Captain, and was stationed during his military career at Camp Pendleton,in Oceanside, California (First Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion); Ft. Bliss, Texas/New Mexico (Officers Guided Missile/Antiaircraft Artillery School); U.S. Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California; and Tsingtao, China.

Significant events in his military career include:

  • September 13, 1944 - Bud was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserves and was ordered to active duty as he entered the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia.
  • November 1944 - 2nd Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received orders to report for duty to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. He served there for about 10 months.
  • September 10, 1945 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received his Honorable Discharge letter as a temporary officer from the Marine Corps Reserve. Bud re-upped for service in the reserves and was transferred to the Marine Base in Tsingtao, China.
  • October 25, 1945 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge as a member of the 6th Tank Battallion, was on hand to witness the surrender ceremonies of the 10,000 man Japanese garrison around Tsingtao, China on October 25th, 1945, and the signing of the surrender documents by Major General Eiji Nagano on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and Major General Lemuel Shepherd on behalf of the Allied forces.
[In an interesting side-note, due to the hostilities from the Communist Chinese forces (Peoples Liberation Army - "PLA") in the area around Tsingtao, Major General Nagano requested that his soldiers be allowed to keep their weapons to defend themselves against the communists, and General Shepherd, without consulting the chain of command, agreed to Nagano's request. Just after the surrender signing ceremony, Nagano asked Shepherd if his forces could re-gain their artillery to help keep the railway clear (that carried the Marine's supplies and troops), and Shepherd (again without consulting the chain of command), again agreed to Nagano's request, thereby uniting two former enemies against the Communist Chinese forces, before the Japanese forces could withdraw and return to Japan]. [Source: "Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine", by Robert Coram].
  • While stationed in Tsingtao, China from October 1945 to July 1946,
    Bud was among the first group of amateur radio operators serving in the military to receive special permission from the military to begin communicating on amateur radio bands at the end of World War II. While serving in China, Bud operated under the call sign “XU1YO”.
  • September 6, 1946 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received his letter of permanent appointment to the officer ranks of the Marine Corps Reserve.
  • January 1947 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received orders to report to the Marine’s Armored School in Fort Knox,
    Kentucky to attend a course in the operation and maintenance of the M-26 "Pershing" Medium Tank.
  • August 12, 1947 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received his letter of Assigment to active duty and transfer to the regular Marine Corps.
  • June 28, 1948 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received orders to proceed to Ft. Bliss (in Texas and New Mexico) for duty and instruction in the Officer’s Guided Missiles Course. He served at Ft. Bliss until February 1949
  • 1949 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood C. Veregge received orders from the Commandant of the Marine Corps for re-assignment from Artillery School at Ft. Bliss to work at the Colsolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation in San Diego, California on
    the "Bumblebee Program" in the development of surface to air missiles (SAMs) to provide a mid-range layer of anti-aircraft defence, between anti-aircraft guns in the short range and fighter aircraft operating at long range.
  • February 1, 1950 - 1st Lieutenant Elwood Veregge received orders for his transfer to the China Lake Naval Weapons Station and played a key role in the guidance missile testing of the Bumblebee Missile System until March 1953. He frequently was transferred back and forth between China Lake, where the Missile’s were developed and San Diego, where they were being assembled during his assignment with the Guided Missile Training Unit.
  • April 1953 - Captain Elwood Veregge received orders for duty as Umpire for exercise PACPHIBEX II, which took place at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. Exercise PACPHIBEX II involved two full Marine Divisions, numerous helicopters, the U.S.S. Volador (SS-490), a tench-class submarine, the U.S.S. Estes (AGC-12), an amphibious force flagship, and was the first amphibious exercise to use simulated tactical nuclear weapons on both sides, and a rehearsal landing on the Silver Strand at Coronado Island off San Diego, which ran through May 10th of that year.
  • December 22, 1953 - Captain Elwood Veregge (Serial No. 041389) resigned from the United States Marines, and received his letter of acknowledgement from the office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps on March 17, 1954. The letter thanked him for his “commendable performance” in carrying out the mission of the Corps. On April 1, 1954, while stationed at the U.S. Naval Station at Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, he was released from active duty and received his “Honorable Discharge” shortly thereafter.
  • During his military career with the United States Marines, Elwood Veregge was awarded the following service medals:
The Korean Service Medal
The U.N. Service Medal for Korea
The National Defense Service Medal

Professional Career

After his military service, Bud went onto a successful career in Aerospace Engineering/Missile and Satellite systems with Lockheed Missile and Space Company, Litton Industries Guidance and Control Division, Electronic Specialty Company and Interstate Electronics Corporation, where he worked in several key program management roles for each company during his Aerospace career.

At Litton Industries Guidance and Control Division, Bud served as LN-12C (RF-4B) Program Manager and was assigned full responsibility for a multi-million dollar fixed price development/production program involving the delivery of inertial navigation systems with carrier alignment capability. He received customer and Litton general management commendations for management and product performance.

While at Lockheed, Bud served as Engineering Department Laboratory Manager. His department was responsible for the successful design, fabrication and development phase for the Satellite and Polaris Missile Systems programs. He also directed technical activities of 250 engineering personal in the research and development department and received many commendations for product design, quality and "on-schedule" deliveries from his Program Directors.

Bud served as the ALM-60 Program Manager at Electronic Specialty Company and had management responsibility over the ECM/AGE program which before his tenure was in excess of a year behind schedule. The entire product was redesigned and put into total production within six months. Sixty fully qualified (Mil-T-21200) production units were delivered "on schedule" to negotiated contract schedules and final costs came in under the projected management budget.

At Interstate Electronics Corporation, Bud served as the Assistant to the General Manager and was the Program Manager of a computerized automatic test equipment program and also Program Manager of C-5A MADAR products program during the qualification test and early production phases being produced for Lockheed's Southern Star Division in Georgia.

During the Aerospace decline in the 1970’s, Bud formed his own consulting company, "Performance Consultants" and later obtained his Real Estate Broker’s License and started his own Commercial Real Estate Company, “Business Specialists”, selling commercial property and small businesses in Southern California. He later re-joined the Aerospace Industry, working his last 8 years in Hughes Aircraft Company’s Missile Systems Division, in Hawthorne, California, where he retired in 1987. Afterwards, he re-located to Gardnerville, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe, where he always wanted to live.

Political Affiliation

Bud Veregge was a life-long member of the Republican Party. He believed in smaller and limited government, less government intervention and regulation, free-enterprise, lower taxes and the right to own legal firearms. He frequently wrote legislators in state and national government regarding his opinion on key issues and received responses from many current and former politicians, thanking him for expressing his views. Bud frequently contributed financial support to the organizations that he aligned with, as well as many charitable causes throughout his life. He was also a contributor of political editorials to the local Nevada newspapers after retiring and moving to Gardnerville, Nevada.


Bud was married twice; first, to Mildred Harriet Irwin in 1944; and second to Rachel Carolyn Smith, in 1955; both ended in amicable divorce.
He had two children from each of his marriages: Frederick Veregge of Bangkok, Thailand, Pamela Frederick of Brentwood, NH, from his first marriage; and James Veregge of Norwalk, CA and Jon Veregge of Laguna Hills, CA, from the second. At the time of his death, he left four grandchildren and one great-grandson. During his last 11 years, Bud found companionship with Mrs. Helen Hall, a widow in Gardnerville, and Bud and Helen looked after and cared for each other the last years of their lives, attending services at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church, and were regular members of the Carson Valley Senior's Center. In 2007, Bud and Helen had a joint-birthday celebration at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church for Bud's 85th and Helen's 80th birthdays, with many of their friends and relatives in attendance, including Bud's two sons, Jim and Jon. After suffering from a prolonged bout with emphysema for several years, Helen predeceased Bud late in 2012. In late May, 2013, Bud was taken to the Carson Valley Medical Center in critical condition. His condition worsened and on June 1, 2013, Bud Veregge passed away peacefully with his son Jim by his side. Bud cherished his independence (he lived alone and was still driving up until the last few weeks of his life), was a proud American, a proud Marine, a proud Republican, was proud of his children, and lived life in the way that he wanted to the very end.

Longtime Friends

During his life, Bud had friendships that he cherished in life. One of his good friends and co-workers at Lockheed Missile and Space Division, Lawrence "Larry" Daley passed away in 1990, and his passing had a profound impact on Bud's life. Another life-long friend of Bud's was Donald "Don" Greenwood (1922-2013), who went to school and graduated with Bud in 1940 from Pittsburg High School in Pittsburgh, California. They also shared the passion for electronics and amateur radio; they both achieved "expert" ratings in the operation of their Amateur Radios, and kept in touch with each other regularly, frequently communicating via their radios during several evenings during the week. Don was born just 5 weeks before Bud, and in an eerie coincidence, passed away suddently on June 2, 2013, the day after, or several hours after Bud's passing. Bud and Don are no-doubt continuing their friendship in heaven.

Another co-worker that Bud became good friends with during his life was Robert A. "Bob" Westlund (1919-1989). Bud and Bob worked together at Lockheed Missle and Space Division in the Aerospace Industry and Bob helped Bud get hired and was a true and loyal friend.

Memorial Service

A memorial service was held for Bud at the Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville, Nevada on Saturday, July 20, 2013 attended by friends and family, officiated by Pastor Pete Nelson. It included a traditional Marine color-guard, 21-gun salute, flag-folding ceremony and was concluded by the playing of "taps" in a fitting military send-off. In addition, a slide-show presentation of Bud's life was given by Bud's son Jim, detailing many of the key highlights of Bud's life, his ancestry, childhood and college life, military career, aerospace and real estate careers, family details and life in Gardnerville, Nevada after his retirement were included. After the memorial service, Bud's ashes were spread on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, per his wishes.

Image Gallery
  1.   United States. 1940 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T627).

    1940 Federal Census
    Elwood Veregge
    Age 17, born abt 1923
    Birthplace California
    Gender Male
    Race White
    Home in 1940 113 West 10th
    Contra Costa, California
    Household Members Age
    Head Roy S Veregge 40
    Wife Grace Veregge 40
    Son Elwood Veregge 17
    Son-in-law David B Olson 22
    Daughter June Olson 19

  2.   United States. 1930 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication T626).

    1930 United States Federal Census
    Name: Ellwood C Verregge
    [Ellwood C Verreggs]
    Gender: Male
    Birth Year: abt 1923
    Birthplace: California
    Race: White
    Home in 1930: Pittsburg, Contra Costa, California
    Marital Status: Single
    Relation to Head of House: Son
    Father's Name: Roy S Verregge
    Father's Birthplace: Indiana
    Mother's Name: Grace Z Verregge
    Mother's Birthplace: California

    Household Members: Name Age
    Roy S Verregge 30
    Grace Z Verregge 30
    June A Verregge 9
    Ellwood C Verregge 7

  3.   U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls 1798-1958.

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Jan 1950
    Rank: 1Stlt
    Station: Casual Company H and Sbn Mcrdep, San Diego Calif

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Apr 1950
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: Casual Company H S Bn Mcrd San Diego

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Jul 1950
    Rank: 1T
    Station: Casual Company H S Bn Mcro San Diego

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Oct 1950
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: Casual Company H S Bn Mcrd San Diego Calif

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Jan 1951
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: Casual Company H S Bn Mcrd San Diego Cali, San Francisco

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Apr 1951
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: Casual Company H S Bn Mcrd San Diego Cali, San Francisco

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Oct 1951
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: 1st Provisional margmbn Nots, Inyokern China Lake Calif

    U.S. Marine Corps Muster Rolls, 1798-1958
    Name: Elwood C Veregge
    Muster Date: Jan 1952
    Rank: First Lieutenant
    Station: 1St Prov Mgm Bn Inyokern Calif