Thursday, September 8, 2011

AFRTS, the early years

Our friends at www.radioheritage.com have a neat site with a lot of our early history represented.

"Yankee Doodle Went to Sitka'...a line from a 1944 radio tribute to WVCX Sitka [Alaska] and one of the two stations [the other was KODK Kodiak] generally accepted as being the first Armed Forces Radio stations going on the air in 1941.

The Radio Heritage Foundation now has over 30 features celebrating early AFRS stations across Alaska, Asia and the Pacific including KODK Kodiak 1941 [www.radioheritage.net/story65.asp] and a full

1941-1958 guide to the AFRS Alaska stations including all the original known outlets [www.radioheritage.net/story63.asp].

Amongst the main features are AFRS Japan, AFRS China-Burma-India and AFRS Jungle Network which detail many now long forgotten stations in long forgotten theaters of war along with some rare images.

There are features on many individual stations such as WVUS New Caledonia [from the famous Mosquito Network], WVUG Anchorage, KMTH Midway, WXLG Kwajalein [a Pacific Ocean Network outlet], WXLI Guam, WVTK Leyte, WXLE Eniwetok, and KTLG Sangley.

This month, Homer Willess, founder of WVUV American Samoa will be making his first visit back to the islands since 1942, and his inspiring story of island romance and radio can be enjoyed today at www.radioheritage.com.

From Alaska to Antarctica [WASA McMurdo] and all points of the Pacific in between, AFRS radio has entertained servicemen and women and local listeners for 70 years. We're delighted to record just a little of the fascinating heritage of these stations and encourage anyone with memories, photos or audio of AFRS stations to make contact with us.

In the meantime, please let your friends, colleagues and family know of the AFRS Armed Forces Memories features that can be enjoyed right now at www.radioheritage.com.