Sunday, March 31, 2013

AFRTS Guam 1965

"Would you like some tape from the Guam station?"  AFRS Guam was there in 1944.  Radioman Cousin Mike held down the fort on the "Night Beat".  It sounds like they're calling it Radio Finnegan,  Was it some non-AFRTS station run by the command?

It's a pretty good hour..

AFRTS Guam - Cousin Mike 1965

Update from John: I believe that's from the Naval Communication Station at Finegayan, Guam.

Friday, March 29, 2013


It's come up again, I welcome your comments after any post.  Due to the spammers I have to manually approve them.  If it's not spam, it'll be approved.  Just may take a couple of hours to show up.  Thank for visiting!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

AFVN Quang Tri 1970

Here's some silent film of AFVN Quang Tri

Seems to take forever to buffer

Doug Jennings had some more information: "That is SFC Jim Psak editing the film, pulling the slides and later in the TV Studio.  The TV Van was brought from Hue to Quang Tri. From the biography of Vic Sage on the MACOI site, it says, "When he arrived in Saigon as a SP5, he was met by the network OIC, LTC Ray Nash, who explained that he was to be a part of the rebuilding of Detachment 5, which had been relocated following its destruction by Communist troops during 1968's Tet Offensive from Hue to Quang Tri. Victor left immediately, and once the TV van was hauled to its new location he was part of the crew that patched and refitted the equipment. Although damaged, the van was found to be serviceable. There were three bullet holes in the electronics bay and another in the studio section, where an announcer would sit."
  • Rick Fredericksen  "I wonder if the bullet holes were caused by the attackers, or, maybe the AFVN engineers damaged it so a workable TV station would not fall into enemy hands???"

  • Today is March 23, 2013.  The 40th anniversary of AFVN shutting down,

    AFRS Iceland Karl Phillips 1971

    Karl Phillips sent in more airchecks from Kevlevik.
    "Before I joined the Navy in 1970 I was a part time gofer at WQXI 790 in Atlanta where I learned ratio from some of the greats...Skinny Bobby Harper...Randy Robins (who is still a close friend here in the Atlanta area) ..Bob Bolton, Barry Chase. Went into Navy and went to Iceland as first duty station. Found my way to the quanset hut where AFRTS was and got them to let me go on air all nights on my time off from my regular job as a CT (communications technician) on the base. Loved it and yes we did have fans. The board was old - big cumbersome and what I would call a boat anchor. Found out later DJ Bob Kingsley was there when he was in the service and saw where he had actually carved his name in the control board...."
    The jury's almost in in the Lieutenant Calley case...

    Spread the Word!

    Thanks for stopping by, most people that visit heard about this from a friend.  Thank you for sharing it.  Some of us worked at the stations, some were military that were listeners overseas, some were residents of the countries we were in and some worked at AFRTS-LA or AFRTS-BC.  We were all an important part of the story.

    Did you save any tapes?  transcriptions? pictures?  memorabilia?  A lot of us would like to see or hear it!

    Thanks to Linda and Erkan for their support!

    Thanks for listening!

    Thom Whetston
    AFKN 1976-77
    SCN 1980-83
    (612) 356-2377

    AFN Larry Rideout 1973

    Larry Rideout used to do the Dufflebag Show from Hamburg.  In 1973 from Bremerhaven Larry featured Country music on The American Music Hall.
    AFN Larry Rideout 1973

    Thanks to Phil from Switzerland to taping, saving and sharing this:

    American Music Hall Country from AFN Bremerhaven, also August 1973. It has a cut at 18 minutes, I guess because of a big static I stopped the recording at that time.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Mark White 1995 from Berlin

    Every three weeks or so Mark White, Rik De Lisle, Peter Dolle, Stan Green and Bill Gaylord get together for lunch at the Europa to look back at the good old days of AFN Berlin and to catch up with what's going on now. Its great fun and the food is good as well.

    Robert Barker was in Germany in the early 70s, taped many nice things that we've heard here.  HE wrote a letter to Mark White.  Mark sent him this, a 1995 Big Band show that he did for JFK radio in Berlin.  Happy listening!

    Radio JFK - Mark White 1995

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Chris Noel 1968 interview

    In 1968 Chris Noel was visiting the troops.  She stopped at Johnston Atoll and it was a big moment to get an interview.

    My name is John Rodman and I was a sailor on Johnston Atoll from 1967-1968.
    Sometime in 1968 Chris Noel's plane stopped in for fuel and she did an interview for our AFRTS station which I was able to record to reel to reel tape.  The tape and player are old and noisy but I converted it to MP3 just to save it for posterity?  Anyhow it is attached to this email and you're welcome to it.  Maybe a pro like you can clean up the hiss and uneven volume levels.  Some one might get a kick out of it, I know it was a big deal at the time.  There were no woman on the Island in the sixties!

    Wonderful!  Thanks for sharing the memories.

    "Really enjoyed the interview with Chris Noel. I remember well stopping at Johnson Island in 1951 on the way to Manila. There was nothing there but an old airstrip and gooney birds!"
    Jim Gough
    AFRS Sangley Point 1951 

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    AFVN Manny Harper 1972

    Manny was born 5 February 1931, and he joined the Army out of high school just in time for Korea. "I was one of the old timers," he said, "who served in Korea as a member of a special warfare team from 1950 to 1952. I was one of the airborne troopers who was wounded twice, but made it through it all and came out in one piece." Manny may have been technically correct, but it must have taken a major effort to ignore the steel plate he carried in his head for the rest of his life.
    He went on to serve two tours in Vietnam. The first was with JUSPAO, as, he explained, "chief of an information liaison team, then headquartered in the American Embassy, Saigon. My team traveled throughout the country by air, land, river, and any other means available. There were many close calls."
    His second tour in Vietnam was a bit quieter, but with a new set of responsibilities appropriate for a senior noncom. By this time the war was winding down and Manny was a Master Sergeant. He spent 1972-73 as News Director and NCOIC of AFVN. Because the American music scene had drastically changed over the last several years, one of his functions was to carefully monitor the playlist. Manny took this job seriously and worked to make sure AFVN's programming reflected American values. "When the music came in," said Manny, "we'd look at it, and if the message was 'war stinks,' well we already knew that. So we weren't going to play it on the radio. You had to keep it positive," he continued. "People were dying over there."
    After Vietnam, and a promotion to the highest rank an NCO may achieve, Manny assumed the prestigious post of Sergeant Major of the Defense Information School, where he bore major responsibility for the training of public affairs officers and enlisted personnel of all branches of service.
    The Sergeant Major retired to Indianapolis after 27 years of service in the U.S. Army. He died 16 May 2007 at the age of 76, survived by his wife of 50 years, Evelyn, 2 sons, four grandsons, a great-grandson, a brother and two sisters.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    AFN Livorno Italy 1982-2013

    AFN Livorno has shut down.  Jim Johnson was there for the beginning:

    I arrived at Camp Darby, Italy during Thanksgiving week 1981 from an assignment at AFKN Korea. Southern European Broadcasting Service (SEB) Commander, Major Mike Kehoe and SEB Chief Engineer John Knowles, had worked hard to secure a location at Camp Darby to house the new station as requested by the 8th  Support Group Commander Colonel Joseph Laposata.

    The station building was connected to the Riviera Recreation Center and still undergoing renovation for our operations when I arrived.  There were no personnel, broadcast equipment (except a microwave receiver), telephones or furniture, and several structural problems were obvious, the most serious of which was that there was no plan to sound proof the two radio studios so that outside noises would not interfere with live radio programs.  Since the station sat in the landing pattern for the Pisa Airport this was a major issue.  Our 40 meter tower was still pending approval from Italian Aviation authorities.

    When I arrived, community and SEB HQ engineers had already installed the microwave receiver and dish in order to receive SEB programming from Vicenza.  There were several mountain top relays between Vicenza and Camp Darby, the closest of which was Monte Serra just Southeast of PIsa.  That site became my responsibility in case there were problems at that location.  By January of 1982 we were able to receive the television programming from SEB Vicenza and distribute it via a post cable system with a main gathering room at the Darby Community Club.  Needless to say, the community was elated about being able to watch American TV even though they had to come to Camp Darby to do so.  The biggest night was Super Bowl night when the room was packed and the game was viewed live.  I think game time at Camp Darby was around 1:00 a.m., but the DCC was jumping with excitement as the crowd saw the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 26 to 21.  Great game and an extremely great night for soldiers and family members at Camp Darby.  Shuttle buses ran extra runs so that people could return home after the game.  The next day we saw some pretty tired people, but happy they were and SEB was the hero!

    Later in 1982 broadcast staff started arriving from the states and were directly assigned to Camp Darby.  The first of which was SP5 John Thurston followed soon by SP4 Rick Sloot.  Both were extremely talented and we all looked forwarded to the day that live shows could come from our studios.  After receiving approval to hire two local national personnel, we were able to add a secretary, Patricia Salutij, and an engineer, Rinaldo Giambastiani.  Turned out that there were excellent hires and we were set with a lot of talent to begin operations.  

    While waiting on our studios to be installed, we started sending spots in late 1982 for Camp Darby community organizations to be aired during the SEB Vicenza live shows.  Rick Sloot hosted a very popular rock show that was aired on the entire network, and I hosted a daily network show called "Country Gold."  Suddenly SEB Livorno was on the map and the Morale and Welfare office began receiving more requests for hotel reservations because of the spots and programs.  

    Finally, by mid year 1983 everything was installed and we received approval from the SEB commander to go on the air.  On August 3, 1983, a "sign-on Party" took place on the Riviera Recreation Center patio located just outside the back door to the station which was attended by many community members.  When SEB Commander, LTC Mike Kehoe, gave the order to sign on, SP5 John Thurston started the turntables rolling with the first song to air on the new station, "We Are the Champions" by Queen.  SEB Livorno was live and running!  Other personnel would soon arrive including broadcasters SSG Steve Lucas and SP4 Cheryl Chilcott and technician SSG Ken Johnson.  They were all very talented additions to the staff.

    I stayed on as station manager until November 1984 when I was sent to replace SFC Mike Pervel as the station manager of AFN Wuerzburg.  SFC Max Sedow was my replacement at Camp Darby.

    Of my three tours with AFN in Germany, one with AFKN, and four years as a DINFOS instructor, my assignment to help get SEB Livorno on the air was by far the most enjoyable.  An experience I will never forget.
    John Queen was there for the end.  He did an official writeup for the Army:

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    The Whistler

    The Whistler went on the network during World War II more or less continuously.  We were still running it 40 years later.

    This is a 1962 rebroadcast of a 1950 show. An architect who kills his wife but then sees her face in a photograph. More murders must follow.

    Saturday, March 2, 2013


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