|i am from eritrea. i saw a picture that reminded me of my
childhood in decamere. this picture touched me so much that i decided to say
thank you so much. the picture is, the water well made of cement looks like a
little house on the highway from decamere to nefasit. me and my friends used to
go in that area to play. i remember very vividly seeing americans going toward
mssawa or toward asmara from decamere. there was a fine italian restaurant in
decamere by the name of bar centrale do you rememberit? lots of americans from
kagnew station used to come there. i have been away from eritrea for almost
half of my life. the very picture i saw really took me back home. reminded me
of almost all my friends that i have not seen or heard from since i left in
1981. again thank you and GOD bless.
your new eritrean friend from decamere
Darrell Large '56-'59
Have learned of you site and applaud you for this wonderful service you provide. My wife Rheta and I arrived at the old Track A (they were still building the the "new post") in November 1956 and left in May, 1959. I arrived at Kagnew as a brand new 2nd. Lt. and after about 3 months in Operations, I was assigned as Special Services officer. After a year or so of that, I became Executive Officer of the Guard Company under then Captain Larry Roshto, one of the finest commanders I ever served under. Our second daughter, Linda, was the last baby born in the old hospital. After 24 years active duty (5 of which was enlisted), I retired here in Hawaii in 1976. Colonel Ray Tabbi and Rose Lum (widow of CWO Nick) are the only others from that era now living in Hawaii that I know about. We are in touch with retired Colonel Jack and Maggie Dodds, LTC Pat and Rags Conners, Lt. Charles (Chuck) and Maria Donavan, LTC Bob Caetano, and LTC Lawerence (Larry) and Jerry Roshto. Let me know if anyone needs to contact them. I served with CSGT Ice, deceased, with the 313th ASA Bn. at Fort Bragg and ran into him in Vietnam as well as other locations before his passing. We have lost contact with his widow Sharron, in case anyone has her address. She was still in Johnson City Tennessee last we knew. We look forward to attending the Kagnew Guard Company plus anyone else who ever served at Kagnew, May 19-21 in Atlanta and hope to see some of you there.
Darrell and Rheta Large
Would love to hear from Kagnew Station Vets. anytime.
Much Aloha, Darrell
PS: We served with an SFC Lovell or Loval (can't recall his first name either) in the Guard Company in 1958 but cannot locate him.? Can anyone help?
Andrew D. Barber, Jr. '62-'64
I was happy to find the Kagnew page. It brought back a lot of memories of my days there. I see some familiar names on the lists and in the emails. Some of those are Bob Graler, John "Ozzie" Osboure, Bob Simons, Don Tipton, and Ronnie Ruffner. Some of them probably remember Ssgt. George Boylan (T/C) "B" Trick, James Wilder (former USAF) who became T/C later, Roger "Mac" McEntyre(?), Roger "Turkey" Flietman, and myself, Andrew (Andy) Barber (SP5, A/T/C "B" Trick). I was there from April '62 until January '64.
I enjoy reading about things that happened at Kagnew. Some were quite humorous and others a bit serious. I have contacted some of the individuals I knew over there but have not had any responses. Here are some of the people I remember from my time over there.: Bob Flanagan, Ssgt George Boylan, Major Bogle, Lt. Ball, Tip Tipton, Ronnie Ruffner, Bob Graler, John Osbourne, Roger McEntire, "Bosch" Barrett, Whit Whitmire, "Digger" O'Dell, James Wilder (T/C "B" Trick '63), Ron Grefke, Roger Fleitman, Captain Crouch, Gene & Bonnie Peckinpaugh, and many other faces that I can't fit names to.
Andrew D. Barber, Jr.
Ron Dolecki '64-'66
|I'm Ron Dolecki, and I sporadically stayed at Kagnew Station
between 1964-66. I was with the U.S. Army's 64th Engineer Battalion (Special
Foreign Activity) Headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Most of my tour of
duty was spent in mobile field camps, living in tents and/or out of the back of
an army truck, eating C-rations, and mapping the country. We had several field
camps in Ethiopia, all designated by the letter "D" (our camp had the
appropriate radio call sign "Drifter"). I was an SP/5. We moved our camp around
the country periodically as required by our job, so I got to visit many wild
and remote regions, such as the Danakil Depression, many sections of the Blue
Nile River and its tributaries, Lake Tana, Axum, Massawa, Assab, Tendaho,
several Crater Lakes, etc.
We also had UH-1B helicopters that we used to reach areas truly inaccessible by army trucks. During one of my helicopter trips somewhere north of Keren, the pilot, myself, and an interpreter were ambushed by the ELF while on the ground collecting data for a mapping project. Our helicopter was destroyed, and we were force-marched about 150 miles into the Sudan. I escaped, and found my way to Kassala, Sudan. Eventually (it's a long story) all three of us ended up at the Kagnew hospital for medical care. Then I was sent back to the field. I think Agordat was my next stop.
Kagnew Station as I recall was a Mecca for my unit. The messhalls had the best food we ever had in-country; the Oasis Club was phenomenal; and the weather was pleasant. In contrast, the average daily temperature at our field camp in Tendaho was 120 degrees, the nearby Awash River was full of large crocodiles so we couldn't cool off there, and our camp was visited nightly by prowling hyenas. During one of my lengthier visits to Kagnew, my unit worked at one of the AST-4 (Aerial Survey Team 4) buildings at the airport. I remember one time there was no room for us in the barracks (or so we were told), and we had to build part of our camp on base, only to tear it down a few weeks later because we were going back to the field. I have hundreds of color slides of my adventures throughout Ethiopia and Eritrea; fortunately, one of my hobbies at the time was photography.
Ron Dolecki 1430 Abbey Lane
Jerry & Graziella Lambert (see below)
Add me to the list.
E-5 MOS 72B (Tape Ape)
ASA: Company B TractT C & Stonehouse
Feb. 69 - July 71
Sep 72 - Mar 73
STRATCOM Mar 73 - Nov 74
Now in Springfield, Illinois. Married Graziella Maria Oppia, Ethiopian National in March 1972. Yes, Still married...
Graziella attended our '99 reunion--Rick.
Glenn Logan '62-'66
I got lost on the page last time I was here, had a different ISP and computer crashed. Joe Phillips contacted me and turned me on to the page. For anyone interested, Rosalie and I stopped in Lake Charles, LA and visited with Elvis John Trahan (left in 65, a Det 10 05D type) and his family (he will not use a computer, but is ok with phone calls and visits). I was a 98G, 62-66, came W/4 boys and we had two daughters while there. I retired e-8 98Z in 74, advanced to 02E in 53 on Retired List, and 04 in USAR. Worked 13 yrs as ceo of DoD contractor, then became Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Senior Chemical Addictions Counselor (nearly 13 years sober, now). Am currently in PsyD program, working one day a week as Psychiatric Evaluator in all the hospitals in Colorado Springs
Love to hear from old friends.
Bob Moorman '64
I have enjoyed rambling through your site since I discovered it. In 1964, I was in the US Marine Corps (2nd Radio Batallion, Electronic Warfare Company) and we had a temporary ASA assignment at Kagnew during the Fall of that same year. We of course stayed on the Army base and met some great folks. I was only there for a month or so but never forgot my African experience.
Aubrey Wood '66-'67
|t is interesting going through things at night. I got out of the
Army in September, 1967. I was station at Kagnew station from August 1966 until
While in Asmara I was assigned to AFRTS. I also started the first military band there. When I arrived there, there was an Ethiopian band that played - or tried - to play for all military functions. I got the powers to be to allow me to start a band with military people. We had a good group.
I was also there when the Ethiopia navy had their first big graduation. I shot several hundred feet of 16mm film on a Russian ship that was also there for the graduation. I have a daughter that was born at Kagnew Station.
Please add me to the list. I was a SP-5 and made SSG while there.
Diana Braun '63
|What a wonderful website! I wanted to let you know that I am one
of the dependents. Parents: Ronnie G. Ruffner (Father) ASA Marisa Chibra
(Mother) DOB: 4/20/63
Recently, I made contact with Reggie Young. He was a good friend of my father and since then the two of them have been in touch with each other. Dad is learning to surf the net and will evently get to this site.
My Uncle Richard Adams was also stationed there and only lives 50 minutes away. I will let my cousin Susie know about this site too. She too was born there.
Thank you for all of the work you are doing to keep us all connected.
|Let me first congratulate you for maintaining such a living site,
full of realities and memories - a real mine for a searcher. As a modern
Ethiopian music fan & historian, I am a quite frequent user of Kagnew
website - mainly the veterans mail for it brings undirectly informations about
the musical scene in Eritrea - through AFRTS, the clubs, etc.
It's obvious to me that the radio in particular had a strong influence on many Eritrean musicians among the most modernists (and many of them were used to perform in the Kagnew's clubs too). Then it happened they bring the new thing to Addis... Specially concerning saxophonists, Soul music of the 60's fitted well with the strong tradition of horn sections in institutional Ethiopian orchestras like Imperial Body Guard Band or Army Band... Maybe you understand a little more the purpose of my mail...
I wrote to many veterans whom I presumed they were concerned by Radio, TV, Theater, Oasis Club, Top Five or Mocambo - generally speaking by music ambiance of Asmara, be it completely American or involving Ethiopian / Eritrean artists - or Italian.
I have received really nice answers with extremely interesting historical and autobiographical details - including from the great guitarist Reggie Young Jr. (at Kagnew Station in 1960-62). There are still some musicians (mainly amateurs) from which I am expecting remembrances.
But I don't expect souvenirs only from musicians. Any Kagnew Vet sensible enough to music and fun is able to remember the great musical moments, live or recorded, American or Ethiopian, Jazz or R n' B, at the base, downtown or in Massawa... The 60's, specially, was extremely hot musically speaking.
I have been once in Asmara to meet and interview musicians of that golden age (and twenty times in Addis Ababa). Many of them mentionned how influential was Kagnew on modern Eritrean and Ethiopian music. Now I have possibly the chance to interview American veterans, with full credit to your site.
Would you mind? Feel free to use this letter and my e-mail address. I would be extremely pleased to get an answer from you ('69-'70 - two very good musical years).
Best regards ff
PS: I should also mention that I am editor of a CD series named "ethiopiques".
Jack Creamer '70-'71
|I arrived at Kagnew Station as a Spec/5 in January, '70 after
spending a year in beautiful Sinop, Turkey. I was a 98J at Stonehouse and left
Asmara for the civilian life as a Spec/6 in October, '71. Needless to say, I
was one of those ASA guys from Company A.
I played a little tennis while I was in Asmara. Trust me, there's nothing like chasing and hitting a tennis ball at 8,000 feet. I was on the post team in both '70 and '71 and went to the USAFE Championships in Garmish in '71.
After leaving the army, I married Kay Lancaster and we live in Edgemoor, SC.
Larry Edwards (see above) said that he was looking for me, but the e-mail that I sent to him was returned. LKE - are you out there?
Johnny "Bill" Hewitt '68-'69
|I was stationed at Kagnew from June,1968 to November, 1969. I was
assigned to the S-1 office and was responsible for the Command Mail and
Distribution. I compiled the daily reading folder for COL Hammer, LTC Shearer
and Major Shoe.
The highlight of my tour was in September when I won the Post Beer Chugging Contest and won a Canon 35MM camera. The same month the CO asked me to substitute for his regular driver when Gen Maxwell Taylor toured Kagnew. Later in the fall I made the post flag football team and traveled to play in Turkey.
I really look back at those times as most extraordinary and rewarding. I met and enjoyed the company of so many friends.
Johnny W.(Bill) Hewitt,Jr.
Peg Patch (Grzelkowski) '55-'59
|Dear Rick Fortney,
I logged on to Kagnew Station Homepage last night and had a wonderful time. I would like to be added to your roster of Kagnew dependents. My name is Peg Grzelkowski, formerly Patch. My family was at Kagnew from 1955-59. My father was then a Lt. in the Signal Corps, Edgar M. Patch, Jr. My mother's name is Lillian. My younger brother accompanied us and my sister Frances was born January 11, 1957 at the hospital at the Asmara Barracks. I remember the common term being "Old Post" to designate from the "New Post." While my memories are vivid I was only 4 when we arrived at Kagnew, so places and events stand out but names and exact dates are a little vague. I've always dreamed of going back to Eritrea. Would love to talk to folks who were there about the same time and if anyone has a picture of the Robert E. Lee School I'm sure a lot of us "brats" would like to see it. Also, if you still have bumper stickers would you reserve two for me. I'd like to have one myself and give the other to my sis.
Vince Rondenelli '71-'74
My name is Vince Rondenelli and I was stationed at Kagnew from late 71 till May 74 when I was dischaged from the Navy. I worked in Tech Control across the hall from the message center and later we moved over to the Army site. I really don't remember which tract was which as it never really seemed important to me at the time. I met, and for a time roomed with a guy stationed at Guru named Brian Fahey. He became and remains my best friend. I'm from New York and I visit him in Penn. whenever I have the opportunity. I have a lot of slides, mostly of Asmara and the surrounding area. I had two of the slides turned into photos so I could scan them and are including them with this e-mail. One is of the main gate taken July 73, and the other is the Fiat/Shell station on the bottom of the hill. I hope the quality and file size of the photos are acceptable since I am not very knowledgeable about these things. Please let me know if they are not or if you have any problems with them. If I can obtain acceptable images from some of the other slides I have I will be more than happy to send them along to you in the future. Is there anything in particular that you are looking for? The Kagnew site is great and keep up the good work.
Don Simpson '69-'71
Thanks for the e-mail. Please list us on the Kagnew web site.
I was a Staff Sergeant while stationed at Kagnew and worked at STRATCOM Tr. B, National Command Authority (NCA) and the Transmitter Site. Originally from Pineland (Lee County) Florida, I retired from the US Army in Oct 84 at Ft Huachuca, AZ. We then moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Nancy and I work for Rockwell-Collins (the old Collins Radio Company).
Arthur A. Collins started Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids in 1933. He moved the HQ to Dallas in the mid-50's. Although we still have a Comm Systems group in Dallas, the HQ is now back in Cedar Rapids. I've been here 15 years.
My brother; Randy "Tiny" Simpson was also stationed at Kagnew, 58-59. I'll forward him your web site address and see if he wants to sign-up on the active roster. He now lives in Cherry Hill, NJ. You did a great job with the web site. I didn't know it existed, until Mike Dennis told me about it last Saturday.
Sam Thorn '68-'70
Nice site Rick. I have read much of the Email and have seen many pictures which take me way back about 30 years. I was in the Navy and stationed at Kagnew from October of 68 to April of 70. My name is Sam Thorn but for some idiot reason I was called Fat Eyes most of the time. I have been able to contact a few old friends through your and can't thank you enough. Well good luck in running the site.
Stewart Evans '67-'68
My name is Stewart Evans. My Stepfather is Phil Scherck who was CPBO Mar 67 until he retired in 68, then he managed the golf course until we left in May 69.
While looking through your web site I noticed somebody was looking for a family named Greenawalt. I currently serve with the Calif Air Natl Guard Counterdrug Hq staff in Sacramento Calif. The NCOIC of the 2 shop is MSgt Danny Greenawalt. His dad married an Ethiopian woman, she now lives in Monterey, Ca. Danny said his dad had died some years ago. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm looking for a man named Kevin Manchester. His father, Owen Manchester, worked for the YMCA in Asmara. Kevin is about 46 years now, last known address was Asmara. Kevin also served in the Air Force, if I remember correctly. He has an older brother, Scott, who spent some time in Korea in the Peace Corp. If you can provide any information, it would be great.
Are there any other Kagnew people in this area. It would be fun to find out. One more thing about Danny and me, his dad and my dad served together in the 50's, now we are serving together in the 90's, small world after all. By the way, his dad and my dad were good friends. I did my Sophomore and Jounior years at the Hi School. Asmara will always be special to me, and if possible, I'd go back tomorrow.
SSgt, CA Air National Guard.
Steve Stuckey '72-'73
I was a USA SP5 stationed at the USAH at Kagnew from Aug 72-Jul 73. I was the night nurse for most of my time at Kagnew. My wife was on the computer last night and I just, out of the blue asked her to check Asmara in the search engine. Low and behold, a piece of my past had surfaced. There were pictures of old friends and patients that had been a big part of my life in a foreign land. I have since e-mailed 2 of the people I recognized.
I have many great memories of motorcycle racing and travel to Masawa and the Red Sea. The parties with the squids and the Italian girls. I'm going to try and find some of my old pictures and see if they might be good enough for use on your sight. Keep up the good work, It is great to find someone out there that has shared the same places and times.
Don Kirkpatrick '60-'61
|Is this weird or what? I did a websearch of my own name and came
across your "looking for' page.
I was at Kagnew Station in Asmara from March 1960 to March 1961. I was a broadcast specialist at KANU Radio and TV, doing the 6 p.m. news on radio and TV. I was on the Board at the EM club (what was the name of it??).
Lots of people there who are fading from memory -- 40 years is a long time. Let me hear from you.
Sp4 E-4 (1st Lt, USAR)
Jerry Razowsky '53-'55
I served in the ASA at Kagnew from about November of '53 to January of '55. Some names of friends were Fred Loewy, Al Salt , Roger Holt and Ralph (Flip) Dominick. If anyone knows of their whereabouts email me.
If anyone can tell me where I can get (buy) a Kagnew engraved Zippo lighter, please let me know. I'll try to find some photos for you. Great work on this site.
Paul "Skip" Heimsath '63-'65
|I was at Kagnew (4th USASA Field Station) From mid 63-Nov 65 in
the ASA site. I don't remember the Co., but I worked in the Comm Center on B
Trick. Made E-4. From there I went to the 3rd RRU Saigon. Then got out,
remember great times and people but the military life not for me. (I clean that
up in translation). My nicknames were the "Rabbit" or "Heimy." I now live in
Fairbanks, AK, (907) 488-6784. Self-employed entrepeneur.
With a little digging I have lots of pics from my tour, but no scanner at this time. Names I remember are: Frank Sharkey (NJ), Joe Bohn (MA I THINK), Keepers (MD), George Terrant (MD OR VA), Tom Brosnan (NY, NY), Ray Alley (CA), Ron Fuylmer. With time I can come up with more.
Robert J. Campbell, Jr. '60-'61
|I would love to hear from anyone who knew and worked with my
Father, LTC Robert J. Campbell, Sr., late 50's to 61. Served as Provost
Marshall, drove a green Chevrolet Station Wagon. He passed away a few years ago
and is survived by his Wife of 50 years, Connie Campbell.
I was born at Kagnew Station 12/15/1960 and delivered by Dr. Glen Bert (Burt?) I cannot tell you how surprised I was to find your homepage.