The organizer of the first Amateur Radio DXpedition to Clipperton island was Robert W Denniston, W0NWX. Their attempt to reach Clipperton, during late March 1954, did not happen due to a sextant failure; not having found the islet they returned to Acalpulco, Mexico.

Not giving up, they chartered the schooner “Barco de Oro” and went back to sea on April 10, 1954. Everything was fine until the last minute, when attempting a landing on Clipperton (April 14th) a storm arose and pushed them back 50 miles to the northwest. The fight against the elements, winds and tides lasted eight days, during which they transmitted from the ship with the callsign FO8AJ/MM. It took the help of a Mexican oil tanker who towed them to the vicinity of the island, this time reaching Clipperton on April 22, 1954.

The first QSO took place on April 23. The next day, the generator broke down but the team managed to use the boat generator for the rest of their stay. The departure scheduled for the 25th was also delayed to the 26th.

The team was made up, in addition to Robert Denniston, of Leo Olney W0NUC, Gene O’Leary W0VDO, Vern Hedman and Tom Partridge. They benefited greatly from the help of Bob K2BBZ; who was at Clipperton in 1943 while serving in the military. 1108 contacts were made during their stay on the atoll.



(Thanks to Dany VE2EBK for providing the picture of the FO8AJ team on Clipperton)