The following is taken from the official newsletter of the Crawford Amateur Radio Society dated February, 1992 and was written by Hank Vernier, WA3RFF.
By March (1972) some of the local hams decided to organize a new amateur radio club. Bob Myers, K3HWL and Mike Caputo, K3YAK spearhead this effort and all area amateurs were invited to an organizational meeting to be held on the evening of March 21, 1972 at the local American Legion Hall on Arch Street ( in Meadville, PA.)
About a dozen local operators turned out for this first meeting along with several from out of the county. After considerable discussion it was agreed to form a new county-wide amateur radio club to be called “Crawford Amateur Radio Society.” A charter was also approved and officers elected. The new officers were: President, Bob Myers, K3HWL, Vice President, Chuck Griggs, K3UIM, Secretary Treasurer, Hank Vernier, WA3RFF, Director, Mike Caputo, K3YAK and Director, Joe Hoegerl, WA3MPV ( now KB3EX.)
Within a short time the Vice President resigned and Rolfe (Rick) Reynolds, WA3PKC was elected to complete the term. Meeting continued to be held at the American Legion Hall during 1972. Besides the officers, other early club members included: “Doc” Mehnert, K3ZOB, Oran Craggs, WA3FBQ (now KC3DX), Roger Galbraith, WA3TCO, Dick Morvay, WA3PRJ, Dave Woolstrum, K3ASI, Ken Yoder, K3ISA, Don Ridgeway, K3GGS, Tom Dillon, K3GDV, John Cianchetti, K3SYP, Ray Sine, W3JIW, Ray Graham, W3VXV, Chuck Garrigus, W3NRU, & Gene Waclawik, K3ASF
Club activities got off to a good start with a used equipment auction in May and the very first Field Day in June. Field Day was set up at Rick Reynolds QTH on “Goat Milk Hill”. Unfortunately, Hurricane Agnes struck Pennsylvania right in the middle of Field Day, and while our area was spared the worst, the site was washed out and all activities took shelter in Rick’s garage. Ray Sine’s hot stew helped everybody get through the evening , but Joe’s truck was buried at the site for days.
During the Summer, planning proceeded on installing a repeater. An application was submitted by Mike (Caputo) K3YAK for a license and work progressed on building a home-brew repeater. Permission was granted to attach an antenna to the county’s tower at the Crawford County Fairgrounds, and Fred Craggs, WA3FBQ bravely volunteered to do the work. Antenna work was completed by November. In the meantime, Chuck Bliley, K3NAU of Erie (PA) generously offered to let the club use his repeater and it went on the air from the fairgrounds during November using the frequency 146.04/146.64.
Mid year of 1973, Mike Caputo, K3YAK received the license to be used for the club repeater and the repeater itself was ready about the same time. Mike’s repeater call (WR3ABN) was used by the club until 1977 when the club was issued its own license ( WR3AJO.) This remained in use until 1980 when the club’s operating call (W3MIE) also became the repeater call. The operating frequency was also later changed to 145.130.