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If I may,  here is the document in it's unedited form as written for us by 
Alan Kaul, W6RCL, who was Roy's colleague at NBC Network News and as presented 
in audio form in ARNewslne (tm) newscast 1358 now on-line at 

Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF
Editor - Producer
Amateur Radio Newsline, Inc.



At the beginning of our newscast, we told you about the passing of a 
member of the Amateur Radio Newsline family.  Roy Neal, K6DUE, died 
August 15th following heart surgery.  One of the people who knew Roy 
best is Alan Kaul, W6RCL.  Roy and Alan worked together at NBC News, and 
on projects benefitting amateur radio.  Alan looks at the life of a man 
who was an institution in American broadcast journalis, as well as a 
driving force in amateur radio's conquest of space:


When Roy Neal, K6DUE, died last week, he was possibly the best-known ham 
in America.  He left an indelible imprint on Amateur Radio.

Roy, more than anyone else, was responsible for getting ham radio aboard 
manned space craft and each new mission is testament to his legacy.  His 
efforts earned Roy awards from the Dayton Hamvention, they designated 
him Ham of the Year and from CQ-Magazine, which this year named Roy to 
the Amateur Radio Hall of Fame.  He also received honors from The 
American Radio Relay League, and other groups and served as chairman of 
two key AMSAT committees. 

Roy was a good guy.  He was my friend and colleague at NBC News.

I met Roy in the 1960's when I was working in Seattle and he came to 
town to report on aerospace giant Boeing.  After I moved to Los Angeles 
and joined NBC News in the 70's, Roy and I collaborated on a lot of news 

As a correspondent Roy was best known for his coverage of the U-S Space 
program _ he was a friend of the original astronauts _ and often 
reported from both the launch site at Cape Canaverral and NASA Mission 
Control in Houston.  

Not many people know this but Roy was also the author of a book about 
America's missile system_. called The Ace In The Hole.  It was written 
at the height of the Cold War.

In the 1970's, Roy teamed with television producer Dave Bell, W6AQ, to 
launch the first of several documentaries about amateur radio.  Number 
One was a 16-minute film, Moving Up to Amateur Radio.  Followed a few 
years later by The World of Amateur Radio.  Dave Bell remembers Roy as 
the ultimate professional:


Dave Bell W6AQ: "Of all the on-camera talent that I have known, Roy was 
the most assured and had the smallest ego of all of them.  

He was a true professional when it came to the news.  Everything was 
always true. Everything was straight from the shoulder and there was no 

Roy was one of the old-school news guy.  He grew up in the television 
business and he understood it better than anybody who is working in it 


In the 1980's Roy helped convince NASA to put ham radio in Space aboard 
a manned flight of the Shuttle.  That first ham-astronaut was Owen 
Garriott, W5LFL, on board STS-9.  Garriott's story of the 1st DX-
pedition in Orbit was told by Roy in the television documentary Amateur 
Radio's Newest Frontier.  


Audio from ARNF:  "This is the story of an expedition.  The story of 
STS-9.  The Columbia.  And these are the explorers:  John Young - the 
commander. Brewster Shaw the shuttle pilot.  And the scientists Dr. Ulf 
Merbold, Byron Lichtenberg, Robert Parker and Dr. Owen Garriott -- an 
Astronaut who is also Amateur Radio operator W5LFL.  This is an 
expedition to probe the outer limits of science and Amateur Radio's 
newest frontier.


Roy's next project was called SAREX - Shuttle Amateur Radio EX-periment, 
followed by the New World of Amateur Radio which profiled a new ham, 
teen-ager Kelly Howard, N6PNY.  She's now all grown up, married and has 
kids of her own.  She fondly remembers working with Roy Neal.


Kelly Lenhert (ne Howard) N6PNY:  It was all so exciting, but it was 
also overwhelming.  But working with Roy made me feel so comfortable.  
He made me feel competent in what I could do.  He took me under his wing 
and he was really supportive and he got me to do what I needed to do to 
make the film and bring out the best in me."


Roy's last documentary was called Ham Radio in Space.  Roy's interest 
was a natural fit with AMSAT.  Roy's close friend AMSAT Vice President 
Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thinks of K6DUE as his mentor.

Frank Bauer KA3HDO:  "One of the things that Roy taught me was how to 
distill information into basically sound bites, if you will.  I remember 
one time where we had to give a presentation - at Dayton - and we had  
20 minutes.  I told him that I did no know how he could so that, and he 
said: `Frank, if I can do the whole world on the news in 30 seconds, you 
can do this in 20 minutes.'  So Roy taught me a whole lot from an 
executive perspective because he was a true executive."

Another AMSAT officer who worked closely with Roy is Robin Haighton, 
VE3FRH, the President of AMSAT North America.


Robin Haighton VE3FRH:  "The space program itself is in good hands, but 
there is no doubt about it that we will miss that leveling confidence 
that Roy always brought to the meetings and the discussions.  He made 
friends with everybody.  The moment you met him you felt that here was a 
man you could trust."


Other comments have come in from all over the world  From New Zealand, 
the past president of NZART, Jim Meechen ZL2BHF sent his condolences.  
As have numerous other Newsline listeners.  Another of Roy's friends, 
Bob Heil, K9EID, had this to say.


Bob Heil K9EID:   "I'm going to miss his spirit.  He had a spirit about 
him that when you heard him on the air, you stopped tuning.  This was 
something special you were listening to.  And it wasn't always the tone 
of his great broadcast voice.  It was his spirit.  He was always in an 
up-mode about this hobby." 


Roy was in the first generation of television newsmen who began their 
craft after World War Two.  He started in Philadelphia and then moved to 
the West Coast where he helped found the NBC News bureau in Los Angeles. 
That was  during the days of the old John Cameron Swayzee Camel News 

Roy was at ease in front of a microphone _ and could talk to millions of 
television viewers as easily as he could talk to the ham across town.  
On camera, he had the uncanny ability to read to time, precisely to 
time.  When I produced updates for NBC Nightly News and Roy was the on-
camera talent, I would time the newscast and tell Roy how long he would 
have to report the story.  

I'd say something like this:  "Roy, can you do it in 19 seconds?"  

And Roy would always reply, "You know I can old buddy."  

Roy liked that phrase "old buddy."  He used the phrase to address 
friends and co-workers for some time.  As for the updates - Roy always 
got them right.  He would stop talking just an instant before we'd have 
to switch back to the network.  

By the time he retired in 1986, Roy had worked out of the Los Angeles 
news bureau for almost 35-years.  He'd probably written millions of 
words, and brought his audience uncountable hours of news and 

But even in retirement, Roy Neal didn't stop doing what he did best.  He 
was no stranger to listeners of Amateur Radio Newsline who knew him as a 
tireless volunteer giving freely of his own time to report the latest 
information -- always signing off in his own stylized way.


"This is Roy Neal, K6DUE.  Thanks for listening and 73."


73, Old Buddy _ I really hate to see you go.  

I'm Alan Kaul, W6RCL, reporting for Amateur Radio Newsline.


Roy leaves his wife Pat, and sons Mark and David.  Services were held 
August 19th at the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church
in High Point, North Carolina.  

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations in Roy's mame be 
made to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation at the Astronaut Hall of 
Fame.  The mailing address is 6225 Vectorspace Blvd, Titusville, 
Florida, 32780.  Please mark your envelope to the attention of Linn Le 

And this final thought.  Yes, we at Newsline have lost a very dear 
friend.  More important -- so has all of Amateur Radio.

73, Roy.  None of us will ever forget you.  (ARNewsline, W6RCL)

Additional on-line reading: 

The Roy Neal Story: 
ARRL: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2003/08/18/101/?nc=1
ARISS: http://www.rac.ca/ariss/
CNN:  http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/space/08/19/neal.obit 
JSC Amateur Radio Club: http://www.w5rrr.org/sta-pix.html



For now, with Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, at the editors desk, I'm Don 
Wilbanks, AE5DW.  Amateur Radio Newsline(tm) is Copyright  2003.  All 
rights reserved.

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