Someone on a hobby broadcaster website recently posted that the FCC does not keep track of old ham licenses.
Subsequently in that thread, he posted that he applied for a "vanity" ham callsign first used by someone that abandoned it about 50 years ago.
That FCC callsign (K8CBZ) first was issued in 1956 to yours truly, proof on request. I didn't renew it because my interests evolved beyond ham radio toward commercial AM/FM/TV broadcast operations and engineering -- a career path I followed until I retired in 1999.
Following the FCC application for vanity callsign K8CBZ reported by this poster on a hobby broadcast website, my original call letters were reassigned to him by the FCC, effective June 12, 2012.
This mystery has two parts:
1. If the FCC doesn't keep track of old ham licences, how did it happen that this poster on a hobby broadcaster website was able to locate my original ham callsign?
2. But regardless, why did he choose to apply for it, no matter the method he used to find it?