Page 15

Danni Brillhart (Hart)

Just posted my father on your website [died 4/95 - non-military death]. I was born there in 1951, and also lived there in 1971 with my husband [Gary Haagenson - Army Signal Corp]. My dad went thru some pretty horrible things over there, but when I had the unbelievable opportunity to live where I was born because of Gary's assignment, I couldn't wait. Unfortunately, can't make the June reunion, but perhaps next year. My situation is strange because I was born Brillhart, went back as Haagenson, and am now Hart.

Just checked out more of the website...nice photo gallery [saw yours too]. You have a lot of interesting information.

Maternity ward details: [birth name] Diane Brillhart, born 11/17/51 to Robert W. Brillhart [MP] and Eunice [formerly of the British Royal Air Force statoned in Saudi - they met and married over there. Jerry Pry and James O'Conner knew my dad.]

I was back in Asmara from about March, 1971 to December 1971 [husband got an early out] Dependent of Gary W. Haagenson, SP4, Crypto. He arrived in Asmara from Fort Monmouth, NJ where he was an instructor at the Signal School. Gary established an archery club while we were there.

[fyi, changed my name to 'Danni' in mid 80's since I always hated my birth name. Danni was my dad's nickname for me.]

Many thanks for maintaining the website.
Danni (ggdhart a@t yahoo .dot. com)

Kevin Penner

Hello Rick, and greetings from Canada!

I came across some Eritrea stuff on the Internet yesterday afternoon and the thought occured to me: I wonder if there's anything about the Kagnew Station on the 'Net? Well, sure enough, there it all was and you're having a reunion in a couple of weeks, too! What a lot of memories came flooding back when I saw some of the pictures . . .

My parents were Canadian medical missionaries in Eritrea from 1960 to 1968 with the British-based Middle East General Mission. We started in Tessenei (clinic) from 1960 to 1965, then after a furlough came back to a completed hospital in Haicota (Haykota on some maps). The mission headquarters was in Asmara (Villagio Paradisio was the part of town, I believe) and I also went to boarding school there. Due to my father's health problems we had to return to Canada in December of 1968.

What I recall of Kagnew Station were things like:
- the two very imposing radio receivers (do you have pictures of them? I haven't gone through your entire website) -- I had always thought they were radio telescopes!
- eating hotdogs and icecream cones at what must have been the Oasis Club
- to this day, every time I bite into a cone with vanilla icecream, my mind flashes back to that place!
- going to church on the station
- my Dad remembers a Mr. Whitehouse who taught Sunday school there.
- my double hernia operation at the Kagnew Station hospital in August, 1967. I was just seven years old, but the men in the ward (there were about 10 beds in the room) made me feel quite welcome. I especially remember watching a western-type movie on the TV there, and the nurse on duty kept coming in and turning it down, even though no one had turned it up in the meantime
- December of 1964, a female colonel who assisted in the delivery of my brother & sister (twins, see below) recognized our financial plight ($100 a day for four days used up a month's support) and gave what seemed at the time extravagant Christmas gifts to our whole family (there were six of us kids including the twins). As I recall, I got a TONKA truck -- a treasured toy for years after
- and my very first memory of ANYTHING in my life was when I stood outside the hospital with my Dad and sister, waving to my Mom through the window after the birth of my brother (see below), when I was only one and a half years old

MATERNITY INFORMATION: Reginald Mark Penner born August 10, 1961 to parents Dr. Lorne & Jean Penner Geoffrey Kim Penner and Gretchen Faith Penner (Perez) born December 11, 1964 to parents Dr. Lorne & Jean Penner

My father (Dr. Lorne Penner) would like to pass on greetings to two doctors he met at the hospital there: a Capt. Drennan and a Major Mortrude. Also, (this is a long shot!) if anyone is contact with the female colonel at the hospital who gave those Christmas gifts, let her know that those gifts are still fondly remembered!

Other memories of Asmara and Eritrea:
- the palm tree-lined main street, with all those motor scooter taxicabs, and ever-present small Fiat cars
- the MARVELOUS Italian food at the restaurants (and what about the great zigni with injera . . . ooooh!) - that smooth road to the airport
- boy did we ever go fast! - going to watch "Sound of Music"
- my first ever theatre movie
- picnics at places like the dam
- the paved road to Keren, and the smell of the tomato plantations along the way
- the gravel roads after Keren, through the mountains; and the time an Ethiopian army truck came round a corner in the middle of the road, and we smashed into it head-on with our Land Rover, rather than fall off the edge of the road
- the incredible winding road to Massawa, and the big warm salty waves with schools of fish that made it worth the trip (to this day, if I ever drink cold Fanta orange pop out of a bottle, I remember the beach at Massawa)
- did you ever go down to Senafe and climb the mountain with the cross? Great place. That is one place I would want to go if I ever returned to Eritrea

Uh, okay, I'll stop there. Best wishes for your reunion -- have a good one. Here's also a prayer that Eritrea and Ethiopia can stop that senseless border war.
Kevin Penner

Marge Perry '63-'66, '70-'73

Hi Rick,
Sure you can add me to the roster. My Dads name was SGT.. Vincent Frank,(deceased) he was in ASA. Worked in the finance office, and we (my mother and two other brothers) were stationed at Kagnew from 1963 - 1966.

I went back to Kagnew with my husband SGT.. Edward Perry, ASA, he worked as an MP, (now divorced) 1970 - 1973. After my daughter, my son was also born at Kagnew on 10-27-71. His name is Edward F. Perry III.

I also had a sister who lived at Kagnew with her family in 1959 - 1962. Her name is Dolores Douglas, her husband was SGT.. Daniel Douglas (now deceased) who worked at the hospital and was a medic there. My sister also had children born at Kagnew.

So as you can see I have had some history and good memories with good old Kagnew station. I really do enjoy looking at you web-site I think it is the best!
Marge Perry

Don Taws '50-'52

Dear Rick,

My name is Don Taws, and I served with the ASA (MOS 799) in Asmara at Radio Marina in 1950-52 before it became Kagnew. I forget the number of the unit, (9740?) but we were in the radio interception department. There were only about 100 personnel there at the time. I also served as chaplain's assistant for a time.

I have been in Eritrea many times since my army service, and would like to contact others who have been there. By the way, I just returned from Asmara the end of April. Took lots of video, including a visit to AdiKeyih, where I saw a church bombed by the Ethiopians, and visited children in the hospital wounded by the bombing.
Retired minister.
Married with five children.
Don Taws

Ronn McGuire '68-'69

This is Ronn McGuire. I was a 33F at Track C working NMSD equipment repair in '68 & '69. I was on B Trick (I think, its been thirty years) with Neal Henry Shackelford (NC) as my trick chief, Larry Kruger (??) and some others I don't remember the names. I do remember Allen B Clouse (AB) (KY I think). He was shop foreman or something like that. Ran into AB in1980 when he was a Ft. Devens recruiting for the White House communications team.

I was sent through a special 33F annex with Carl Gard (MI), John Dawkins (SC) and Spencer Graves (TN, like me) before we were shipped over to Asmara. Spencer and I entered the Army together and we stayed together until I left Asmara in the fall of 1969. Spencer and I met up with John in Basic and Carl at Devens, all getting the same training before our first assignment (one per shift in Asmara).

I worked (volunteer) in the lab at the hospital (daze) for a month or two after arrival. The parties and shift work got to me so that tapered off.. also worked with the Sharks swim team for a while during my tour. Remember Col. Taliffero's son (but can't remember name) and daughter (Sheron I think) and Maj. Keefe's son (Joe) and daughter (Sharon) as members of the team.. Had a lot of fun at the pool with the team.

Found some time to help with the Christmas Chorale and a show-music Chorale presentation about mid tour. The Christmas Chorale group got to go the Haile's palace and sing for him.. Something I will always treasure.

I also worked at the AFRTS TV station and earned 84F as a secondary MOS. I carried 84F to my retirement. The group of DJ's at the station changed the format to more closely resemble the stateside radio stations while I worked there. Don Ryan, I believe, was one DJ's name, though not his given name. Ron (Earl the Squirrel) (can't remember last name), the only "US" (not RA) soldier I knew in Asmara, coached me through the requirements of getting the 84F MOS. He also did a mean nutty DJ (Earl the Squirrel) when called upon to help out in the radio station.

Carl Gard and I left on the same plane in the fall of 1969 and over nighted in Beirut, Lebanon before parting ways. He flew straight to the states, I toured Europe a little. Spencer and John ETS'ed from Asmara. Both in TN now I think (working on finding them again).

All in all I think Asmara was the best of all my over seas tours. I know I still have many fond but fading memories of there. Wish and hope I have the money to take my wife an daughters there some day.

I now live in GA not to far west of Augusta with my wife and two daughters. Come visit the annual Oliver Hardy Festival (of Laurel and Hardy fame) and enjoy a good old southern country street fair the first Saturday in Oct. Leave me email and I will help you find you way.

Keep up the good work with the WEB page and I plan to visit often.

Barry (KJ) Kjelland '68-'70

Stumbled upon website. Great. Was at Kagnew Dec68-May70. Co.B 72B20. Worked Tract C behind "The (Green) Door". Site commander was WO3? Antuna (sp). CO Kagnew LTC R.B. Moser who left during my tour. Acting CO, LTC George T. Shearin. Know a bunch of names, have a bunch of photos. Tell me how to put it together for you. I am new at this computer stuff and am still www.confused/novice. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Michael Roesch '69-'71

My name is Michael Roesch, and I was a Spec 4 at Kagnew from August 1969--February 1971. I was an O5K and was at Company A. My current address is 1934 College Avenue, Weed, CA 96094. My phone number is 530-938-2938. By the way, as I was looking around for a DD214 or something that would remind me of my exact time in Asmara, I found an old paper you might be interested in. It was distributed to all personal at Kagnew in April 1970, and it required a signature at the bottom of the "Statement of Non-Involvement." I kept the paper because it caused quite a stir when I refused to sign it. I refused to sign it because it stated that "the policy of the United States Government and this command is non-involvement in the political affairs of Ethiopia..(and a few paragraphs later)....I will promptly report to my unit commander any attempted contacts by dissident elements such as the ELF...." Anyway, if interested, I have a scanner and could send it to you.

Mike's statement is now on the documents page-Rick.

Edward A. Musal '69-'71

Rick--Sorry, I don't remember you at all. I was in control (32D20). One guy I remember in receivers was Rick Rineer. Maybe you knew him. He stayed in and eventually made warrant officer. One day about 10 years ago while at work I got an unexpected call from the White House. He was on the communication staff of President Reagan and used the facilities available to him to track me down.

I knew Jerry Niemeier very well. I remember when he came to Asmara. I was one of those to welcome him (he came with Greg Hanzelik). They were also 32D20.

Anyway, I got kind of excited after discovering the Kagnew web site. I went into the closet and dusted off the box of letters I sent to my father when I was in the army. According to a letter I wrote my father on 15 Jan 1971 Ricardo Echendia was killed on 11 Jan 1971. It was definitely not in May (I was in Europe then taking the grand tour before my separation). After I sent that E-mail I looked a bit further into the web site & scanned the history of Kagnew Station. The murder was noted there as occurring in January 1971 which is correct.

Yes, I do remember Pete now that you bring him to mind. Also remember Dale Higgs (the colonel's son). I have several of the Kagnew Gazelle's tucked away somewhere. Will report when I find them. In front of me now are the January 9 & 16, 1970 issues which I sent to my father. They report on the Service Club tour to Axum & Gondar organized by Phyllis Sanderson which I participated in. That was a real adventure with multiple breakdowns and one stop in a village after dark with multiple locals pointing rifles at us.

Many thanks to you and whoever else in creating this web site. Hope to meet old friends here, and perhaps make some new ones. I still have that durable stuff I bought at the Olive Wood Shop.--Ed Musal

Harold S Gillespie '68-'69

Hello to all
Harold S Gillespie ETN2 also Known as Steve Gillespie or Wimpy to the members of the "Rat Patrol" At USNAVCOMSTA ASMARA. I was stationed in Asmara from Jan.1968 to Oct 1969. Twentyone of the longest months of my life. I would like to here from any of my old navy buddies. I have already sent an email to Ed Davis an old Tech buddy. By the way his email address would not work in the state listing. I found his original email to the kagnew site and tried that address hope it works. I probably still have some old pictures if any body is interested. I saw a kagnew license plate in town (Chatrleston.WV) Thought I was deaming. I almost followed them home to see who it was. Any ideas? Guess thats all for now.
Steve Gillespie

Donn Kuse '58-'60, '69-'72

Hi Rick,
Thought I'd email you at least the year's I was at Kagnew Station. First time was Apr 21, 1958-Dec 14, 1960 and the second time Oct 22, 1969-Jun 11, 1972. First tour of duty was as an Information Specialist (editor of the daily KAGNEWS and the monthly (Kagnew Gazelle), and then became NCOIC of the Photo Facility.

My second tour of duty was as an analyst working out at one of the Tracts. Can't remember which one, but it was out beyond Stonehouse. Off duty I spent time with the boy and girl scouts and was a co-leader of a Junior Girl Scout troop. These girl scouts were the first girl scouts to ever see the crown jewels of Ethiopia. Took them on a 3-day camping trip.

My wife, Barbara, spent her last tour working as a volunteer dental assistant. I retired from ASA in June 1975 after spending my last few months as a Reserve Advisor attached to Fort Dix, NJ. I also spent time in Okinawa, Korea and Vietnam overseas, as well as Ft Devens, Two Rock Ranch Station, Vint Hill Farms Station and Ft Dix.

As a "civilian" I spent the next 10 years as a Recreation Superintendent (local Parks and Recreation Dept), 10 years as a Purchasing Agent (with local Savings and Loan Assoc) and currently working part time in a medical records department in the local hospital. (other jobs at the hospital included technician, ER registrar, and now in medical records). Guess that should do it for my background.
Donn Kuse

Barry Sammons '52-'53

Dear Rick,
We were dependents of Master Sergeant Eugene Sammons who worked at the transmitter site. Our mother, Mary Sammons, was one of the teachers at the school. I was in the 4th through 6th grades and Ann was in 3rd through 5th grades during our 2.5 years in Asmara. We both had one of the best teachers either of us ever had, Marshall Benjamin. He taught 4th through 6th grades in one class room, his wife, Nancy, taught 2nd and 3rd grades. There was a first grade teacher and a teacher for the hand full of 7th and 8th graders. The school was near the motor pool and the parade/football/softball field.

I (Barry) have many memorable times (Asmara is a great place to go through puberty) but of special importance to me was the fastpitch softball. The American kids had our own team, but it was tough finding somebody to play against. We finally arranged a game with the "native guards" but generally, we just practiced all the time in case we ever found somebody to play. I was the first kid to become a bat boy for one of the GI teams. I have played fastpitch since those days (with 7 years off to play baseball) and I recently had a book published on how to pitch which is the top selling softball book in the US.

My worst experience occured when a disgruntled girl friend told the movie theater that I was over 12 and I had to pay 25 cents rather than 15 cents. The only time I got in trouble was when a friend and I built a wonderful tree house on the base in a tree over looking the basketball courts. It seems this violated some rule (non-conforming tree house or some such thing?) and the commanding officer invited us into his office to discuss the matter. He was very tactful and we agreed it would come down and an area just next to the basketball courts could be used by our Boy Scout troop for camping out.

I, Ann, can especially remember good times spent at the movie theater on Saturdays, eating gobs of Necco Wafers, chewing Bazooka Bubble Gum, and watching Ma and Pa Kettle movies. We collected the plastic animals out of our Cracker Jack boxes and played with them at recess time on the playground beside the kickball field. We had great kickball games ! I adored the Benjamins who were an inspiriation to me to become a schoolteacher. I have tried to teach world geography in much the same way he taught us. I'd like to think that Mr. B's tradition has been passed along in some small way.

Billie Rehm '71-'73

I love your web site on Kagnew Station. I was in Ethiopia from Sept. 1971 - July 1973 and even though we were civilian, I attended school on base and made lots of friends. We meet a family who were stationed on the main base and they had a baby boy born to them on May 5th 1972 named Michael Wall. The father's name is Louis Wall, U.S. Army, I don't know his rank, his wife is from Vietnam named May-Li.

Thank you for your web site, I enjoy it tremendously. It brings back many happy and vivid memeories.

Paul A. Wheeler '60-'65

Dear Rick,
Found your site while surfing the is absolutely wonderful !! My family was stationed in Asmara from '60-'65. We lived off-post next to the Olive Wood Shop for a time then moved onto Tract A for our remaining time in country. My father is Sgt.Joseph Rosenberg, USA RET...he was stationed with ASA...SATCOM. My sister Bunny graduated from Asmara American High School in 1965. My brother Terry and myself (Bette Rae) attended elementary and junior high school there as well. My mother Alpha "Nelle" Rosenberg taught in the British School system and was infamous for always wearing Hawaiian muu-muu's and cooking for the masses...any occasion would do!!

I'm hoping someone will remember my family and want to say hello....please add us to your e-mail list.
Bette Rae (BR) Rosenberg Wheeler
Bunny Rosenberg Capps
Sgt.Joseph Rosenberg, USA RET