The brightest star in the Swiss 6 meter sky is now dark

HB9QQ, Pierre Charles Pasteur

Pierre was born in Dübendorf on February 6, 1931, and on June 11, 2011, he succumbed to cancer after a short but serious illness. Even so, in February 2011 Pierre was still able to celebrate his 80th birthday with his family. His mother made it the ripe age of 104.

Pierre’s family lived for many years in Dübendorf. As a young boy, he attended a youth radio class. At the end of WWII, more than 100 US bomber planes that were shot at while over Germany ended up in Dübendorf. These planes were, of course, equipped with radios. This must have made Pierre’s heart beat a bit faster. He and other radio enthusiasts let neither the fences that were erected nor the patrol guards on their bicycles do much to stop them, and they became small entrepreneurs…among items much in demand were bombardier jackets and radio equipment, both of which were flown to here…

Even as a small boy, the world of radio had fascinated Pierre. He completed his apprenticeship as a bicycle mechanic. This served him well in later years because he always designed and built his own antennas. Unfortunately, he was not able to see his last antenna, for 50 MHz, be erected on the high mast in Sternenberg. In those days, Pierre worked at Zellweger Uster doing antenna construction.

Pierre was a friend of many hams around the world. He was “a real gentleman”, as he was remembered by one British OM in one of many condolence e-mails. In contrast to many of today’s contesters, Pierre was always interested in more than just exchanging a signal report (“5 plus 9”), and instead he always inquired about the other op’s weather, antennas and rig. Pierre was involved in a number of clubs and committees. He joined USKA in 1955 and became an honorary member in 1999. Pierre joined the RAOTC (Radio Amateurs Old Timers Club) in 1995, and he always enjoyed the interesting discussions at the regular meetings and the annual meeting, which was always very well attended. He also wrote a number of reports for the UKSMG (United Kingdom Six Meter Group). In the last 20 years, Pierre was often active on the Maldives using the call 8Q7QQ. One of the most interesting reports in this regard appeared in Issue 103 dated May 2010, starting on page 47 (also see the website from HB9ZCW, link at the end of this article).

In 1952 he earned his marine radio license in London. After that, this globetrotter voyaged on all of the world’s oceans while working as a maritime radio operator on Swiss ships. That’s primarily also why Pierre mastered CW like few others. One of the ships was named the “Allobrogia” and was registered in Basel. Another was the “Anunciada”. This was before 1957, because on February 12, 1958, Pierre and Inge exchanged their wedding vows. From then on, Pierre was “somewhat” more settled. As he returned from the Seven Seas, he returned to Zellweger and was once again responsible for antennas. His children André and Denise were born in 1961 und 1965.
From 1960 to 1974, Pierre worked as an IFR (instrument flight rules) instructor at Swissair. Mr. Zünd, a general agent and private pilot of the former Patria Insurance Company, enticed Pierre away as an insurance agent. Whenever Pierre decided to do something, he did it right. So it was no surprise that he later managed the general agent’s office on Stampfenbachstrasse in Zurich. In the evenings, Pierre trained aspiring pilots on simulators.

With his dog Angelina, Pierre spent a great deal of time in Dübendorf and in Sternenberg, no matter what the weather. At Sternenberg, an exceptionally well situated location in the Zurich Oberland region, Pierre was able to make some meteor scatter and VHF contacts. And when it came to EME contacts, Pierre was often involved, as well. Besides VHF, the magic 6 meter band and 18 MHz had a special attraction for Pierre.

With the call V5/HB9QQ, Pierre made contacts around the world from Namibia on several occasions. Each time, he started out from the city of Windhoek. Operating from neighboring Principality of Liechtenstein with the call HBØ/HB9QQ, Pierre could be heard, even in winter, from the Sareiserjoch (just over 2’000 m ASL) along with some of his colleagues such as Res, HB9MFH.

In 1982, Pierre wrote a book entitled VHF/UHF Funkverfahren und Betriebstechnik (VHF/UHF Radio Communications and Operating), which was issued by the Aerolitverlag Publishing Company (Hans G. Auer). Here a few words from the book’s forward: Experience collected over the last ten years in UHF have made it possible to make this book a reality. In this connection, Pierre thanked the Building Office of Sternenberg for permission to set up a transmitting tower, which was erected in 1970.

On a personal note:
I got to know Pierre in 1992 during a QSO on 144.300 MHz. Soon after, I visited him and his wife in Sternenberg and we spent many pleasant hours together. I had the opportunity to support Pierre several times in IT matters, and for his part he showed me how I could build a delta loop antenna for my ski tours. I describe Pierre as a man of the world, and it can’t be said any better than these words from the OM from Britain: “a real gentleman” who was more than happy to pass along his experience to other ham radio colleagues. Additional information about Pierre can be found on the Internet at


Inge Pasteur, Marco,  HB9ZCW (translation: Paul Schreier HB9DST )