Hugh Potts 70-71
I am Hugh C. Potts...I was not stationed at Kagnew...however I was stationed at NCS Harold E. Holt in 70-71 and frequently talked to you guys via the tech control orderwire..can't remember any "handles"....Also I read with interest the story of the E-3 who was evacuated from Kagnew in 1977...I was then stationed at the Pentagon Opnav Comm Center (CNO COMMS) and was on duty during the time that the order to evacuate came in..we were monitoring everything via autovon and telephone...someone at Kagnew called the pentagon Navy comm/center autovon switch and left the phone off hook after you guys left...we monitored it for five days before one of the Russians that weren't supposed to be there finally hung it up. We all were greatly relieved when you guys got out safely...we were there with you all the way and our prayers were with you as well. We not only got updates from you guys, we also could follow the US State Departments and Department of the Navy's efforts to get you guys out safely...it was really touch and go for a while as a whole list of options were being considered, Luckily, everything worked out..... Just thought I would drop you a note and let you know what went on over here...good luck...My initials on the orderwire were "HCP" ....
Hugh C. Potts, Virginia Beach, VA....
Stanley Busby 52-56
|I was at Kagnew Station when it was behind the US Embassy. I
think it moved to its current location about 1957. I can't recall the name of
the compound now, but I ran the class II and IV Commissary and Mess Supply
Warehouse there. They set up one of the first Armed Forces Broadcasting
stations the last year I was there.
I loved Asmara, Eritrea, Ethiopia. Eritrea was governed be the British when I arrived there. I can't recall the exact date but I believe it was turned over to Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia sometime in 1956. He once visited Kagnew Station including the Sites and was quite put out because he wasn't allowed into some of the secure sites. He declared the enlisted mess was too good for us and should be restricted to officers. He looked like a little banty rooster and strutted like one too. What an asshole!
I didn't realize Eritrea had gained independence until I read it on your website.
Stanley F. Busby
Gwen Clare 71-73
|Our two children were both born at the Kagnew Station Hospital.
Daniel Hunt Clare, IV rushed into the world two and a half months prematurely.
Although he weighed only 3 pounds, 12 ounces, thanks to the outstanding medical
staff and the volunteer nurses who looked after him at night, Daniel did not
have to leave Ethiopia for treatment in Europe. Born on July 6, 1971, he is an
investment banker in New York City. His sister, Monica, by contrast, just
didn't want to leave the womb. Since my husband's tour at the Consulate General
was winding down, I checked into the hospital one morning to have the delivery
induced. No such luck. Monica Carrie Clare would not budge from her comfortable
spot. She finally appeared about two weeks later on June 29, l973, and we
departed post shortly after that. Monica was born just as Kagnew switched from
Army to Navy control. In fact, my husband had to leave the hospital to attend
the changeover ceremony. Despite our repeated pleas for a bill, neither the
Army nor Navy would claim her. It seems the Army bookkeepers had left town, and
the Navy advised us that she was not born on their watch. So, imagine how
difficult it was to explain her first office visit in the States to our
insurance carrier, since they had no record of her being born. Monica is a
veterinarian, working on her residency at the University of California at
Davis. Dan retired from the Foreign Service in the early 90's. I returned to
work within two years after we left Asmara. I'm still in the Foreign Service,
having just returned to the States after serving as US ambassador to Ecuador.
We just found your website. It brought back many wonderful memories.
All the best, Gwen Clare
Stan Cook 72-73
My daughter was born at Kagnew Station May 3, 1973. Her name is Stephanie Lynn (Cook) Cronin. Her mother's name is Dian S Cook. Stephanie is married to Air Force JAG officer and they are currently stationed in Japan at Yokoda AFB. Being born in Ethiopia has caused more than one eyebrow to rise when she fills out paper work.
My wife and live in Washington which is across the river from Peoria. I was at the Receiver Site when the base was transferred to the Navy (Spring of 1973). After the transfer, most of the Army officers were transferred back to the States For a period of time I worked for a Navy Chief Petty Officer. During the same period of time the Army Military Police were working for the Navy Shore Patrol. Our Army MPs went Navy and started growing beards. As we went through the main gate, we were greeted by beards both Army and Navy. I supposed something like that could only happened at Kagnew Station. I managed to stay at Kagnew Station for six months after the Navy took over. Finally the Army Brass in Germany passed the edit that all Army Stratcom personal must leave the base.
The day before we were scheduled to leave Kagnew Station, Israel and Arabs decided to have a little war (Sept 1973). Since the Ethiopian plane had a flight plan right through the air war to Athens, Greece, they cancelled the flight. As the war progressed they continued to cancel the flight for the next two weeks. Finally they rerouted the flight plan east to Sudan, north across the Sahara Dessert and then across the Mediterranean Sea to Athens. At that time the Ethiopian Airlines a total of two jetliners (707s) all the rest of the Ethiopian Airlines were piston / propeller DC-3s.
John Pipta 48-50
|Your newly added pictures of Asmara bring back some long lost
memories. I was stationed at Radio Marina in '48-'50 assigned to the 4th Det.
2nd Sig. Svc. Bn. It appears as though nothing has changed. The churches I
remember vividly. I still have them in my old photo album.
John Phipps 66-68
|Hi I used to be on the roster and I think my sister was as well.
We seem to have disappeared. I was in Jr. High and my Freshman year of High
School in Asmara. I sent a copy of the aerial picture of Tract A to my family.
We lived in the last row house near the wall of the American Consulate. The
photo and leather craft hobby shop was near as well. There was a gap between us
and the next row of houses which was Officer family quarters. Then the back
gate of Tract A. We were directly across the street from the T.
These were new houses built around '67. We originally lived in an Italian Villa just down from the front gate of Tract A. About 100 yards to the left as you went in.
Some of my teachers were Wally Waterstreet, Miss Schols, Phil Faborg was our Band teacher, and Mr Kaiser.
My father was at Gura with Bob Stanton. Our neighbors were the Hougham's who we flew over with and who ended up a block down the street when we returned to the states. Tom and Tove Tilford were nearer the front gate at Tract A and were next door neighbors to the Hougham's back in Manassas. Another classmate was Randy Rozanski who lived two blocks away in Manassas. I was amazed to see how many of us ended up in the same area after leaving Kagnew.
My father was at what is now DISA, retired from the military, spent a year as a civilian and went into the DoD as a Civil Servant. He worked at Fort Ritchie mainly, except for a tour with 6th Sig at Fort Schafter in Hawaii. He ended his career back at 7th Sig working for Lt.General Meyer. After my mother died he remarried and moved to Tennessee and now to Williamsburg Va. He sent an e-mail saying Stanton and McCloud (another Kagnew neighbor)said hi.
My sister works for TRADOC at Fort Monroe. My brother lives in Eldersburg MD and works for AT&T.
When I lived at Kagnew I was keen to get back to the states. When I got here I wanted to go back. We returned in '68 and I went through culture shock.
Keep up the good work.
Chuck Hurlbut 69-70
Thanks for adding my name so quickly. Indeed, I remember the drought as though it were yesterday. In addition, I remember water rationing and that we were hauling water up the mountain by semi truck 20 hours a day, seven days a week. I also remember that the post commander ordered thousands of gallons of water drained from a storage tank on post, because we thought it had been contaminated by a local Ethie who was seen lurking in the area of the tank in the middle of the night. We discovered too late that our test equipment was faulty and there was nothing wrong with the water. However, it was too late and all that expensive and precious water was lost. I lived off post where we had to go days without any water. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Asmara, Ethiopia (Now Eritrea once again), I never want to endure the experience of living without water again.
Again, thanks for entering my name and I hope you have a great time at the reunion.
David Kaiser 63-64
I just found your page and found my name mentioned by an old friend, Leo Gascons. Thank you so much for hosting this.
I was at Kagnew Station from March 63 through September 64. I remember working rotating shifts as a 723 in the Com Center with Leo Gascons (Baton Rouge, LA), Jim Murray (Boston, MA), Loyd Shelton (Tennessee), John McCormack (Boston, MA), Keith Hand (Harrisburg, PA), Jim Quattro (Philadelphia, PA), John Griffin (Arkansas). and Bill Schofield (no known address).
A year or so ago I was asked to write a brief memoir of my time at Kagnew Station for "Eritrea Horizons," the magazine of Eritrea's tourist industry, but I think the magazine folded or was put on hold due to the war with Ethiopia. At any rate, my article was never published. I'd be happy to share it if you are interested. And, I'd love to hear from my former Com Center buddies.
Bill Foley 63-65
Just found the Kagnew Station web site. What a great thing it is. It sure brings back memories. My name is Bill Foley and I served at Kagnew Station from Dec, 1963 till June, 1965. I made Spec. 4 while I was there.
I statred out as a ditty catcher 0-58, but I got moved over the tha auto section. I worked with a great bunch of guys but unfortunately lost contact with all of them: Don Snow, Sgt. Eugene Wiltanger, Jim Shamberger and Bill Abrams just to name a few. When I left Asmara I spent the last 10 months out at Fort Hauchuca, Arizona. As much as I used to complain about it, It was some of the most memorable years of my life.
God bless all those who serve.
Added April 25th
Add me to the list of Kagnew Station Vets. I left Boston's Logan Airport in a snow storm on the night after Christmas, 1964. I'll never forget it. They wouldn't even let me go home for Christmas. I was asleep when we landed at Asmara International Airport and when I opened my eyes and looked out the window of the 707, which was facing away from the terminal, all I saw was flat nothing, and I said "we must be in Africa".
I was attached to Operations Company and worked with Don Snow, the ATC and SSGT Eugene Wiltanger our Trick Chief. I forget who the CO was at that time. I managed to make SP4 and became the ATC after Don left for the states.
I was there at the time when the Oasis Club was remodled and spent alot of time there.
I answered a notice posted by our public relations officer asking for volunteers to teach at the some of the local schools. I was interviewed by the principal of Comboni College and was accepted to teach biology to the ninth grade. I had 65 students and was able to spend the entire school year with them. I had to push up the final exams a couple of days because my tour was coming to an end and I had to leave.
I, like so many others would wake up in the morning and utter the phrase "I hate this place", but looking back, that 18 months were probably some of the most memorable of my life. I only wish I would have taken advantage of more of the country while I was there.
Thanks for the web site and all the memories.
Jack Rockwell 54-57
My name is Jack Rockwell, I was a sergeant at Kagnew Station from late 1954 to 1957 with the military police and courier duties down the mountain. since my retirement i have been searching the web for personnel i worked with in asmara.You are sure doing some good work. I just wish there were more personnel listed in the years i was the there. I would like to get in contact with some of the guys I worked with, listing a few, Stanley E Barr, Russell Studley, Donald Greek, Gorden Meyers, Firmen Sowers, Kenneth Kluska, Pete Reynolds, Robert Bush, Joe Kane, John Murphy, would like to hear from anyone that remembers me. hopefully be at the 2002 reunion. Rick Please list me on a page.
Louise Shay 65-66
| Our names are Delbert Gary and Louise Shay. We were in Addis
1965 through December 1966. My husband was on a MAAG assigment in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia. Our son Patrick Kelly Shay was born at Kagnew on June 6,
When our son was born we were given a couple line letter stating that we had a son born on June 6, l966 and when we returned to the States he became a naturalized citizen and he has no official birth certificate, just the naturalized document. He has had to opporunity to be born in Africa and graduated from high school in Nuernberg, Germany. Definitely interesting conversation when discussing lifes accomplishments. We had a great assignment in Ethiopia and when Patrick was just a few days old we flew back to Addis on Ethiopian Airlines. Before he was born I flew from Addis to Kagnew Station on a C54. I think it would be great for children born in Kagnew to be able to have a reunion, since they definitely are special, spoken by a mother.
Our son is interested in finding out other people who were born at the same period of time.
Yeah, I did go back when I was old enough to appreciate it. We lived on Airport road, not far from the back gate of Kagnew. Our block was all dark gray stone walls and gates, gravel drives, and beautiful gardens. Mostly Italian and Americans lived in our community.
It now blows my mind to think that we had a maid, a cook, a houseboy, a gardner, and a night watchman... I had a horse I kept for a while at the Consulate stables, and also at the Bar M. I remember riding in the wide drainage ditches out near there, and also across the cracked dry earth. I also remember getting in big trouble the day my friend and I rode our bikes out there by ourselves during the ELF stuff. Curfews had been initiated by then...
I was there for 4th and 5th grade. We spent a week of school in Massawa when I was in 5th. We also had to go three Saturdays because of the early base closing...if you can count launching model rockets a school activity!
I also remember spending a quarter to go see 'The Love Bug' at the base movie theater! A far cry from the $8.50 I just spent to see a flick. I haven't thought of these things in years...
Boyd Outz 54-56
Thanks for your getting me on the roster. I do appreciate it. This has really made my week. Still haven't found anyone I remember. Bob Howard was there 54-56. I am just trying to place him??? Well I'll continue to keep watch. If I can send pics, etc please let me know!! I have a book on Ethiopia and Emperor Haille Sellassi circa early 1950s. Some shiftas murdered several Roman Catholic nuns when we were there.They were captured & executed publically. Do u remember that incident? Let me hear from u !!
(Pronounciation is Roots but remove the r thus ootz original in Germany was Utz).
John M. Sabato 72-73
|SSG, Crypto Maintenance & Operations Supervisor. Was detailed to NAVCOMMSTA from July 1 to Nov 6 1973 because the Navy couldn't come up with a replacement.|
Katherine J. Bennett 67-69
I just wanted to say thank you and comment on what an impressive job you've done. I had no idea this web site was out here until yesterday and I spent most of yesterday afternoon and then again this morning looking at all the pages and sections. I just got through reading Gazelle pages from the years we were there and I'm in tears. It's so weird to have all these memories come flooding back. I can't believe all the wonderful history you've collected, but it is really fantastic.
(As an "Army brat," we moved around so much that it's hard to remember places, but there was something about Kagnew Station and Ethiopia/Eritrea that has always been in my mind and heart. I know how sorry I felt when we had to leave - even though we high school kids pretended to envy the short-timers - and I always wanted to go back)
Were you looking for Pam Forrest? Did her father run the Tumpane (?) Power Company? If so, I worked for him for a summer - my first job!
Anyway, I can't say enough about what an amazing job you've done. I know people must be really grateful to you - I am for sure.
Thank you - Kathy Bennett
Jesse Booth 67-69
Thanks for adding me to the roster. I'm sending you this update to be added to the emails when you get time. I'm still poking around the Kagnew site and finding all the pictures, stories, and information on Asmara and the folks who were there. You've done a fantastic job with this project! It the best web site of it's kind I've seen.
I dug out an old copy of my personnel file to check the dates and found that I was in Asmara from December of 1967 to January of 1970. I was one of several people who were reassigned to Asmara from Ankara, Turkey when that facility closed down. Some of the people who came to Asmara from Turkey were SSG George Carr, and a PFC Ziemba both Tech Controllers. There was another PFC or SP4 named George something or the other who was also a Controller, I just can't remember his last name now. This other George and PFC Frank Carroll, a Receiver Repairman, were motorcycle riding buddies and both came over to the house from time to time while we were there. There were others from Turkey, but names escape me now.
When I got there. Jim Underwood was the NCOIC of Carrier Section, I think Tony Stowe was NCOIC of Receivers (I could be wrong about this). Lee Ruebush was there along with a large MSG or SMG (I can't recall his rank for sure) everyone called Tiny. He was a giant and his wife was totally the opposite. There was an SFC Sunny Vogle, or "Sunny Go Go" as he was usually called. Sunny was my sponsor when I arrived in country. The I&M Branch consisted of myself and SP4 Riley when I first got there. I vaguely remember Ollie Mueller (?) and we eventually picked up Ed Prince and Don Sprague. I did a couple of snorkeling trips to Massawa with Riley and Jim Underwood and later with Don Sprague and Ed Prince. Others around the station at that time included Joe Wilder, Lt. (then) Joe Ewing, Cliff Burns, Mike Dennis, Bill Hardin, and Col Irwin Higgs. I also remember the arrival of Ted Cummings and MSG Cooper (Satellite folks at Gura). I saw Ted and his wife Joan a few times later around Fort Monmouth. Ted retired in that area.
While I was there I had, at various times, a red Corvair convertible, an old Ford Falcon (which regularly caught on fire), a VW Beetle, a Vespa scooter and a Suzuki 250 Scrambler. I played music in the clubs with a couple of different bands. I started playing with the "Chosen Few" and then we eventually reformed to become the "Mark VI". I've always thought the 'Mark VI" was the best I had ever been a part of. This included a really talented guy named Mike Adams who worked there in Receivers. We also had two local Italians guys, Franco and Angelo. Just before I left, I played bass with the country band, the Shifty Kickers, for a couple of months.
After Asmara, I spent time at Fort Ritchie, MD (two tours); Fort Monmouth, NJ; a couple of tours of Korea, and three years in Neu Ulm, Germany where I made MSG. At 22 years, I decided that the time was right to go civilian and subsequently retired in November of 1981. We lived in Winter Park Florida for about two years and in 1983 I accepted a job with the Veteran's Administration and moved back to the Maryland area. Between 1983 and 1994, I worked for VA, the General Services Administration and the Justice Department, managing Telecommunications programs and projects. In 1994 I retired once again with about 35 years of combined federal service. That's enough!
I continue to motorcycle and have taken trips all around the US and parts of Canada on the bike. I've been coast to coast on my trusty BMW touring bike a few times and am a member of the Iron Butt Association. Yes, there really is such a thing! I've also taught rider education classes for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for the past few years. I still enjoy camping (on my motorcycle trips), working out, a little hiking, and generally being in the woods. We're currently building a cabin in West Virginia.
I continue to play guitar but limit it to my own personal entertainment. Besides, at this point in my life, I could never stay awake late enough to play in the clubs.
I would love to hear from any of the folks who passed through Asmara in the 1967-70 timeframe!
Derrell M. Reynolds 61-64
|Arrived in Asmara in 61 as 05H and left as trick chief on D
trick. Hope to hear from anyone from this period of time.
Nothing but admiration at your excellent work on all of your WEB CITES. Must take up much of your time. Please add my name and information to this EMAIL location. Reading through the pages and pages of information i came across many names i knew while in Asmara from May 61 through Aug 63. One name in particular was a Charlie and Louise Roberts. They resided in the apartment next to us during our stay in Asmara. I could spend many hours going through all the EMAIL notes and have spent much time at this passtime. After leaving Asmara-went to Devens and with Ed Human trained many new folks for the work in the Asmara area. Remained in Devens for five years and did fully retire from the military in Nov 75.
Will be more than happy to hear from any of my old friends-associates. Have talked to several persons including Mike Adcock - Pat Perkins. Have a good day and thanks for all your efforts Rick.
John Hirsh 66-70
I guess Kagnew Station is working. I just received a note from someone who was at the University of Asmara between 1966-70. I spent a little time teaching there. I guess some people saw those photos at www.jhirsh.com/kagnew2001 ...
I have been spending some time in the hospital. If people want to contact me, they should email my wife at email@example.com.
C U Later,
John Hirsh in Milwaukee