"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.
Wavescan 383, April 28, 2002
The Mystery of the Disappearing Islands - Pacific Callsigns
In this, our final presentation in the mini-series on "Disappearing Islands", we take a look at the callsign changes in several of the Pacific Islands. It is the old callsigns that are disappearing, not the islands themselves. We look first at the island of:
Palau. Back during the era of the Pacific War, the Japanese established a 10 kW shortwave station on Palau which relayed the programming from Radio Tokyo in English to Australia and New Zealand. Then, in December 1944, the Americans established an AFRTS station on Peleliu in the Palau islands under the American callsign WVTW. This 250 watt mediumwave station was often logged in Australia and New Zealand.
Then, in more recent years, the shortwave station KHBN was established in Palau. However, a year or two after these islands were granted independence, the American callsign KHBN was changed to the international callsign T8BZ.
Tonga. Back many years ago, the callsign for the radio station at Nuku'alofa on the island of Tonga was ZCO. Subsequently, however, the callsign was changed from ZCO to A3Z. It is interesting to make a comparison between the two QSL cards showing the different callsigns. The design of these two QSL cards is quite identical, the only difference being the two callsigns printed in very large letters.
Marshall Islands. Another callsign change in recent years was made in the Marshall Islands. The old original callsign was in the American "W" series, as WSZO at Majuro. These days, this same station identifies on air as V7AD.
Micronesia. Similar callsigns in the American "WSZ" series were also in use previously for the radio stations in Micronesia, such as, for example, WSZA and WSZB. Nowadays these stations are identified in the V6A series, such as, for example, V6AH and V6AK.