Press Release

Radio historian to speak at Castine Historical Society

Courtesy photo

This photo of Don Mix will be among many radio historian John Dilks will use to illustrate his talk,  “Wireless North Pole: Don Mix and the Schooner Bowdoin,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, in Castine.


CASTINE, Maine – Radio historian and journalist John Dilks will speak on the topic, “Wireless North Pole: Don Mix and the Schooner Bowdoin,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at the society’s Abbott School, 17 School St. on Castine Town Common. The talk is sponsored by the Castine Historical Society and the Castine Yacht Club,  The presentation is free of charge and open to the public.

The 2012 seasonal exhibit at the Castine Historical Society, Schooner Bowdoin on the Greenland Patrol, co-sponsored with Maine Maritime Academy, highlights the service of the historic sailing vessel during

World War II. Since her launch in 1921, the schooner Bowdoin’s 28 Arctic voyages have enriched her history

with stories of adventure and exploration. One such story – not told in the exhibit – is that of Don Mix,

who served as radio operator for the Bowdoin’s 1923 expedition to the North Pole with Admiral Donald

MacMillan. Bowdoin sent the first shortwave communication from the Arctic region in 1923 while wintering

in Refuge Harbor, Greenland.

John Dilks is a long-time licensed ham radio operator with an interest in history whose collection of radio

artifacts and historical documents led him to start a small radio museum. Since 1999, he has written a

monthly radio history column for QST magazine, the most widely read amateur radio magazine in the U.S.

After meeting a descendent of Don Mix, who is well-known to ham radio buffs, at a radio event, Dilks

was granted access to Mix’s personal diary of the Bowdoin’s 1923 expedition and more than 200 photographic

images from that time.

Dilks’ presentation on Don Mix and the schooner Bowdoin will include approximately 100 original photos of the 1923 expedition and the fascinating story taken from radio operator Don Mix’s personal diary. Also

included in the presentation is a 12-minute MacMillan film of the Bowdoin sailing home from Labrador,

racing other schooners and passing the cod fishing fleet, finally arriving at Wiscasset, Maine.

For information on the Bowdoin exhibit, the lecture or the full schedule of events for summer 2012, visit, email or call 207-326-4118.


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