Mighty Mo Radio Operator Back at the Controls

Eddie Miller
Eddie Miller

Long before the internet, satellite communications, and cell phones, there was short wave radio.

Over the weekend, there's was a worldwide marathon going on that takes us back in time and also features a celebrity ham radio operator, who calls Hawaii home.

Each year museum ships from around the world including the Battleship Missouri communicate using morse code just as they did before modern technology.

And this year all ears are a Big Island man who is operating onboard the U-S-S Missouri Memorial.

If Eddie Miller looks comfortable at the controls of the Battleship Missouri's radio room, he is.

Eddie was a radio operator on the Missouri in August, 1945, training for the invasion of the Japanese homelands.

Eddie Miller had a top secret perch, "I had a special radio room for urgent and priority messages."

Eddie's been communicating by ham radio for 70 years. So talented, he was handpicked as the Missouri's radio operator.

That gave him a front row seat as history was being made. Miller explains, "About 20 minutes after the bombing of Hiroshima he let us know it had been dropped."

He describes Japan's surrender, "20 minutes later I looked down from the radio room up there and saw the 16 inch guns came down to the water level and I wondered what that meant then I learned the war was over."

He joined the Navy in 1940 served for five years. And his lightening fast fingers helped him get promoted.

" I got certified 55 words a minute and made chief instantly. Admiral Halsey made a chief out of me. "

Museum ships from around the world are eager to try to reach Eddie and other operators on board the U-S-S Missouri.

But Eddie's talents went beyond his radio work. He says he was among the first Navy seals and was among only a handful of sailors who survived a Japanese attack while stationed in the Aleutian Islands.

Eddie is still an active ham radio operator. During the museum ships weekend members of the Missouri's radio club will communicate with more than 60 carriers, submarines, battleships and mine sweepers.