Monday, December 12, 2016

William Wintersole, a Soldier's Story

William Wintersole, a soldiers story

Actor William Wintersole checked in and shared his memories of AFRTS:

I was assigned to the Fort Ord Army Hospital's Bedside Network immediately after 8 week basic training in Nov 1953 with PFC Marshall Garrett and PFC Ben DaMotto. The closed circuit system provided captured radio entertainment as well as one channel of AFRTS recordings with some programing of our own invention...such as in-the-field interviews with celebrities and pro golfers at the Bing Crosby Invitational at Pebble Beach, CA in Feb 1954. We used the first portable tape recorders I'd ever seen...the Ampex 15 inch reel unit...weighing about 30 lbs.

We got a ton of stuff including Bob Hope, Phil Harris, Gen Omar Bradley, etc., etc. I understand it was stored at AFRTS, Hollywood, CA. In July 1954 I was sent to South Korea and assigned to AFKN HQ at station KILROY in Taegu, Korea. In addition to doing the midnight to 2am trick, I was also the Producer-Director of network programs for the 10 station operation. A few months later HQs was shifted to VAGABOND on the hill in the
8th Army compound, Seoul and I was assigned network Program Director by Lt Col Stewart who told me when I suggested we look into adding TV facilities to AFKN...."Look, Private...the only thing I know about radio or TV is where to turn it on and where to turn it off....and I want to get full bird by the time I leave here do you understand?" Actually I was Specialist, as I recall. Some of my broadcast buddies were Earl Clayton, Dan Chamberlin, Alan Hirschfield, Edson Foster, Frank Fagan, Jerry Terhune, Rice Paddy Ranger Army Sgt Dick Curless, John Orloff and a bunch of  others. I met Roger Carroll somewhere in there but can't recall where. He got a job at KMPC...I went to KPOL and then to KTLA in '57 but decided on a career as an actor/director and have had a wonderful career working all over the world rather than behind a mike and turntables.

Bill Wintersole