Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AFVN Billy Williams - 1972


“Here's part one, Thom. I started in Vietnam as a Signal Corps bench technician at AVEL Central (Avionics/Aviation Electronics) in 1971. While on the bench repairing helicopter radios at AVEL, most of us also had a radio tuned to AFVN 540 KHz in Saigon. 10 hour shifts--sometimes days and sometimes nights if the backlog justified double shifts. I heard a "cattle call" on AFVN 540 one day. A few weeks later, I arrived at AFVN Saigon and trained on the "backboard" in AFVN television master control for a week or two. Then up country to Qui Nhon AFVN on Vung Chua Mountain to run the TV station mounted in a van. Qui Nhon detachment closed after Tet 1972 when Vung Chua Mtn signal site (where AFVN was co-located) came close to being overrun. Then on to Da Nang AFVN on Monkey Mountain to work TV master control. Also did TV news/sports there and the C&W afternoon show--they must have been very short-handed. When Capt. Webb went to Saigon, I filled in on DDB. Then he came back as Army Spec. Brett Webb and DEROSed not long after. They were daring me to send out "One Monkey" to a General at the bottom of the hill--but no thanks. A few weeks later...on to Saigon. Did Nightbeat and then Orient Express overnight show until returning to U.S. in late Sept. 1972. More on the historical web site that I maintain for the local Amateur "ham" Radio group.