It’s All in the Cards! QSL Cards from the Glorioso Islands

Glorioso Islands QRV in May/June

Have you had any luck contacting Marek, FH4VVK, who is operating from Grande Glorioso Island as FT4GL? We hope you’ve been able to add this rare one to your DXCC list. If not, you’ve still got plenty of time. FH4VVK is scheduled to be active from Glorioso Islands—a 1.9-square-mile French overseas territory about 120 miles northwest of Madagascar—until June 19, 2024 on 160-6M in SSB, RTTY, and FT4/FT8.

While the Glorioso Islands’ DXCC ranking is certain to change by the end of FT4GL’s run, it is currently ranked #7 globally, #3 in South America, #6 in Asia, #15 in Europe, #17 in Africa, #4 in Oceania, and #2 on North America’s West Coast per Clublog. Glorioso Islands was last officially on the air in September/October 2009 during the five-operator, 23-day FT5GA DXpedition (see QSL card below), which netted 50,000-plus CW, SSB, and digital QSOs.

DX Engineering has provided FT4GL with VA6AM 150W PEP HF Band Pass Filters for 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10M to help make more QSOs possible. These high-quality, multi-stage inline passive band pass filters are specifically designed to limit the transmitting and receiving RF passband to a single amateur band. Find more VA6AM products at, including a range of VA6AM band pass filters, diplexers, and triplexers.

Need to upgrade your setup for better performance on ARRL Field Day (June 22 to 23, 2024)? Here’s something to consider: If VA6AM Band Pass Filters are the equipment of choice for an extremely rare activation, imagine how they will work for your temporary stations in the field!

VA6AM Band Pass Filter
(Image/DX Engineering)


Quick Facts About the Glorioso Islands

  • The islands are geographically part of the Comoros Islands between the French overseas region of Mayotte Island and Madagascar (click links for QSL cards from each entity).
  • The islands are controlled by France as part of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. They are also claimed by Comoros and Madagascar.
  • To protect the Islands’ endangered flora and fauna, France founded a 17,000-square-mile marine protected area known as Glorioso Islands Marine Natural Park. Due to its isolation, the park is particularly useful for the study of climate change and the area’s marine biodiversity.


QSL Cards from the Glorioso Islands

While infrequently activated, the Glorioso Islands have been reached by several of the hams at DX Engineering over the years. Here are a few of the QSL cards from their collections, from the oldest to the most recent.

Wayne, K8FF, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, received the card below from the FR7ZP DXpedition in November 1966—one of the earliest amateur radio ventures to the Glorioso Islands. The DXpedition was sponsored by the World Radio Propagation Study Association (WRPSA), an organization that served as a hub for collecting and disbursing donations to fund these seminal activations. The association also analyzed the logs of DXpeditioners (Gus Browning, W4BPD; Don Miller, W9WNV; et. al.) to provide insight on propagation conditions of previously unstudied locations for the benefit of hams everywhere.

FR7ZP’s operator was W9WNV, one of the most famous and influential DXpeditioners of all time. K8FF made an SSB QSO with W9WNV using his old call, K8WOT.

“I worked him (W9WNV) from a number of places over his career of DXpeditions,” K8FF said. “My first QSO with him was when he was stationed in Korea. His call at that time was HL9KH. He was an excellent CW operator and during operations would frequently answer three or four stations at a time causing much confusion for those that couldn’t figure it out! For a while he joined up with Chuck (Swain), K7LMU, going to various places. Unfortunately, Chuck was lost at sea returning from a DXpedition.*

“There are probably 25 or 30 QSLs in my file from Gus Browning, W4BPD, another great CW operator. Those were good times for us just starting in DXing back in the 1960s.”

* Editor’s note: K7LMU and Ted Thorpe, ZL2AWJ, were never seen again after they set out to sea following the 1966 FW8ZZ DXpedition from Wallis Island.

FR7ZP Glorioso Island QSL Card
(Image/DX Engineering)

Scotty, KG9Z, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, received this card from the January 1987 FR/G/FH4ED Glorioso Island DXpedition.

FH4ED Mayotte Island Ham Radio QSL Card
(Image/DX Engineering)

Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, received the card below from the September/October 2009 FT5GA activation from Grande Glorioso Island.

Dave, K8DV, DX Engineering customer/technical support specialist, also reached FT5GA’s team of French military operators (30/15M CW; 20M SSB).

FT5GA Grande Glorioso Island ham radio QSL Card, front
(Image/DX Engineering)
FT5GA Grande Glorioso Island ham radio QSL Card, military operators
(Image/DX Engineering)
FT5GA Grande Glorioso Island ham radio QSL Card, back
(Image/DX Engineering)
FT5GA Grande Glorioso Island ham radio QSL Card, back 2
(Image/DX Engineering)

Want to upgrade your DXing capabilities? Find everything you need at DX Engineering, including transceivers, amplifiers, antennas, headsets, and more.


Editor’s Note: Every month, DX Engineering features QSL cards from our team members’ personal collections. To highlight upcoming DXpeditions, we’ll be displaying a few of our favorite cards along with details about what it took to make these contacts. We’re excited to share some of the special cards pulled from the thousands we’ve received over the years. We look forward to seeing your cards as well!


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