K5JB Memorial

Joseph G. Buswell

September 1939-August 1996


Joe Buswell was a truly remarkable person.  A capable engineer, a musician, a pilot, a radio amateur and a computer expert demonstrate his many facets of interest and expertise.  It was not unusual for Joe to pass a business card which would say “Joe Buswell, Professional Engineer” or “Joe Buswell, “Have Banjo, Will Play”.


Joe was a proficient musician and played piano, guitar and banjo.  He used to attend blue grass festivals and play with some known musicians.  Also, he loved aviation and became a pilot with multi-engine and instrument rating license.  He also obtained his amateur radio license and received the call, WA5TRS, which he retained until receiving his Extra class call of K5JB.


While working at Tinker AFB, he became involved in computer technology and developed a system to track aircraft maintenance bottlenecks and was able to speed up maintenance by several days.  This of course led him into getting involved in the packet radio software development.  He was instrumental in the development of software for bulletin board operation using the Apple computer, at a time when there were no hard drives and the entire BBS was using two floppy drives.


Our dear Joe succumbed to cancer on 29 August 1996.  As per one of Joe’s last requests, a donation from the estate was made to Oklahoma State University to establish a scholarship in the school of engineering.  He has been and will be missed by those who knew this extraordinary individual and dear friend.


PS.  I have had the good fortune and the blessing of having known all of you through Joe Buswell.  He was my mentor and teacher who got me involved in amateur radio hobby.  I am sure that without him, I would not have had the pleasure of making so many dear friends who have enriched my life.  Hoss (WA5ZAI)