"old China hand"/fist

Rick Kennerly rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM
Sat May 11 16:11:29 UTC 2002

:Used to be a radioman in the service ( back during the Punic wars it seems,
:if I remember correctly never heard of a sender's hand, it was always a
:"fist"  Am I wrong?

Small world.   I think I remember you.   I was Themistocles' signal officer
at the battle of Salamis Island and then I was a Morse intercept op flying
RDF missions over the trail, Army's 99th RRFS (70-72).   Because we were
intercept ops and not code senders, we never fell in with the Signal Corps
and had a different lingo.

In our unit we talked a lot about hand because one of the tricks of our
trade (absent  regular call signs, freqs, locations or sked times from the
VC) was identifying VC operators by the peculiarities of the operator's
technique, her hand--almost all VC operators were women--and then
associating that operator with a particular supply or combat unit.   The
other trick was calling in an air strike in such a way so as to do some
damage along the trail yet avoid picking off your operator (it sometimes
took weeks to identify the hand of a replacement operator).  Being careful
and trying not to hit my ops, I probably spent a hundred million dollars in
bombs and Thud time making swimming pools for water buffalo.  I've always
had a soft spot for women and buffaloes.

Hand may be more British, but in the Ham world I've heard fist and hand used
more or less interchangeably at times.  Of course, who talks about Morse at
all any more?

Never knew the origins of Lid before, thanks.

Rick NH2F

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