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Carl O. Akers 72-73

Hello Rick,
I was stationed at the Post Telephone Exchange during my time at Kagnew Station. The US Army sent me to Kagnew after my tour in Sinop, Turkey. I worked with allot of Stratcom Soldiers while there but, to this day I haven't seen any of them. They seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. Two of them comes to mind at this time and they are Ralph D. Conley and Jeff MacAulley.

I had only worked at the telephone exchange for a short period of time before, they sent me to Track B. There I performed the duties of the "tape ape". That was a person whom pulled tapes out of the message machines and sent them on to European Head Quarters.

While there I had many different dates with both American and Ethiopian Women. I end up marrying an Ethiopian Woman and had two sons by here. I was called every kind of basket case in the world by my fellow soldiers. They said some awful ugly words to me back then for marrying an Ethiopian Woman. After awhile, I forgave them in my heart for they were ignorant and didn't know what they were talking about.

At the present time, I'm a disabled vet and live on a government pension.

I was only 18 years old at the time I arrived at Kagnew Station in Asmara, Eritrea.

(P.S.) While at Kagnew Station, I did get to me the famous Mr. Shaft in person. He made the movie, "Shaft in Africa" there at a site near Kagnew Station. My wife says it was made in the city of Massawa, Ethiopia.

George Harakles 65-66

This is probely the closure I have been looking for all these years. Would like to hear from anyone who was stationed there.

Donald Strickland 70-71

It seems to me I do remember him (George Allend, AFRTS). I didn't remember when I got to Kagnew when I first found the web site last week. But I found some letters of commendation when I was looking thru some old boxes for pictures I took when I was there. The letters were dated July 1970 and were given to me when I left Ft. Monmouth where I was News Director for the Signal School closed circuit instructional television station, so I must have arrived in Asmara in late July or early August 1970. There was a guy who was a very shorttimer at the time and he did the sports for radio and TV. If it is the same guy, I remember him staying up night and day during the week and taking copy off the TTY and trying to tape sports events from some sort of shortwave radio or some type of similar setup we had that would receive broadcasts from AFN Europe and then he would crash and sleep all weekend. It seems to me I remember him hanging out a lot with Don "Ryan" Brown. I took over as Chief Announcer on radio when Don left and turned the job over to Lou Krieger when I left in May 1971. I found some slides I took when I was there of our TV version of American Bandstand showing some of the dependent teenagers and one of the bands that played at the clubs on post. I am going to try and have them converted to photos and attempt to scan them and send them in if the files don't turn out to be too big when I finish.

Johnny Levatte 65-67,71-73

Worked in Antenna Field at all sites, also worked telephone system on Kagnew Station and Tract A.

Hoyt Couch 66-67

Please, add me to your roster. What a great site! Kagnew Station rises again! I still can't believe it's true. Allan Smith tipped me off to this one. Thanks, Al. You done good. I've already contacted a few folks and going to try some more. You all must get lots of kudos for doing this! I hope it's very rewarding for you!

Barry W. "Butch" Kio 56-59

My father was the station fire chief and we lived in the base quarters kitty cornerd to the station swimmimg pool when it was first built. We transferred in from Ft. Devens where my dad was attached to the ASA unit. we rotated in Dec. 59 back to Ft. Devens.

Fredrick R. Pouche 68-70

Known as "Five-By-Freddy" in the cryptographic/communications world. Was responsible for the remodeling of Co. B's day room facility in late 1969.(known as "Pouche's Parlor") Plaque placed over door at dedication ceremony. Attended U. of Maryland at Kagnew Station. Captured and detained by ELF on archieology trip to St. Mary Zion and Gonder. Volunteered and drove water trucks down the mountain during time of drought and shortage. Have many photos and slides of the area/country.

Bill Kling 53

Thanks, Rick.
On the road this morning in Garrisonville, Virginia, I pulled alongside a guy with a Kagnew Station bumper strip on his car. I yelled, "Hey, Kagnew -- Radio Marina," and gave him the thumbs up. We talked back and forth at a stoplight and he told me about your Web site. I didn't get his name, but he'd been Navy; in Asmara 1959-60. I was a short-timer there. Got transferred to Munich, where I served out the rest of my enlistment.

Ah, memories. The Oasis Club. The "gherry" races. The lousy Miloti (sp?) biere. The CIAO Hotel in Massawa. Swimming and fishing in the Red Sea.

What a strange feeling I had in 1968 when, as a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, I covered Emporer Haile Selassie's White House visit with President Lyndon Johnson.

Larry Sullivan 60-63

Hi, Rick
I find myself reading your website every day and enjoying it more. I was in Guard company from 9/60 until 11/60 as a company clerk but my typing wasn't good enough so I was transfered to S-1. After getting Maj. Whalen p.o.'d at me, he sent me to Massawa as punishment (huh???) . It was the best duty ever. Maj. Whalern's last official act at Kagnew was to have me sent back to post about 12/61(He found out I was enjoying Massawa too much) and I wound up in Hdqtrs Co. Supply room working for Sgt Bill Shane, one great guy. I went home 1/63 and was separated 90 days prior. I've gotten in touch with Tom Mueller and Bill Bush and would love to find some others, i.e Bob Cullen, Charlie Price, Jerry Fritchman, Al Mancuso, John Tripoli, and anyone else who remembers me from this era. One note on your memorial wall, you list Sp4 Fritz Astreicker but no date of death. He died in 1961 while driving to Keren. He had one to many so he asked another fellow who hadn't been there a week to drive and they ran into a civilian truck ( the new guy instinctively veered right while the truck driver instinctively veered left, causing a head on collision).

Bob Burgan 67-68


Alan Manning 71

I would like to contact any of the LDS members that were serving at Kagnew Station at the time, the Coxes, the Carters, Larry H., the Andersons and the others.

Robert Ellis Cahill 58-59

Would love to hear from anyone that served at the same time, especially members of the old "Red Sea Savages" Dive Team.

Paul W. Struck 65-68

I rented the Special Services Jeeps and trailers. Also had a son Brian born on the station. Wife Elaine worked at Oasis Club.

I'd like to get someone to email me that did remember the jeep rental service back in 65-6-7-8. i. m sure there must be a couple of orderly clerks that remember. i remember col malone and maj moon. but...the crazyest thig is: i have a complete blank on the name of my special service lt. well after is a few years back to those middle sixtys. and now this toothless old sarge is still trying to remember names back then. almost 68 years old, i....still have some sembalence of a memory on things that interested me at kagnew station. i think i have more thoughts of kagnew , than...of the 7th rrfs in thailand.

Mike Stramiello 73-74

If anyone from Kagnew/NAVCOMMSTA Asmara, that has worked with me is ever in the Tampa, Florida area, I would like to hear from 813 994-9775.

Ken Sholes 70-71

I just finished reading the history of Kagnew Station. Quite interesting to me. Found out some new things that I didn't know.

I thought the airstrip at Gura was of British origin, but it appears that it was Italian taken over by the Brits and Americans. Although they dismantled the base, you could still see the foundations of the buildings when you passed them on the road to Asmara. We also use to take a short cut across the airstrip.

I remember when Gura provided the water that Kagnew used during the drought. I must have been there at roughly the same time you were at Kagnew. I can remember the water trucks pulling in to Gura to load up with water during my time there.

I was stationed at Gura, but I also had a room at Kagnew as Gura got to be quite suffocating for things to do during my tour.

I was a Navy cook and perhaps we ate better than the Army as we never had powdered eggs at the mess in Gura. We did have some guys with gargutuan appetites who'd eat six or eight eggs for breakfast.

I also didn't know that our Long Branch Saloon was build from materials that the Army supplied after losing a bet. I remember that the Army guys from the Army Gura base use to come over and play cards with us. Also, we went to their base and made long distance phone calls that they routed through Germany and Fort Dix. For reasons unknown, our own base could not do this.

And going through the Scrapbook section was a trip to the past as a found photos of just about everything that I had seen or been at through the 18 months spend at Gura. There was even a photo of some one playing the slot machines at the Oasis.

I still remember the first week when we had a party for an outgoing Chief. We had roasted suckling pig with sweet and sour sauce and watched "MASH" on the outside wall of someone's house at Tract A.

As for the records, the Navy's PX sold them for $2.35 but it was rare that there was anything worth buying.

And I remember hearing about the ELF which wasn't a comforting thought to this Navy boy who had just thought he'd left war behind in South Vietnam. (I was stationed at the naval hospital just outside of Da Nang.)

I was up in Asmara at Kagnew when we had our one "red alert" at Gura which I would have probably thought laughable after having served in Vietnam.

Now, in St. Paul, where I live, there is a huge Hmong population, quite a few Vietnamese restaurants; and even an Ethiopian restaurant which I have yet to visit. I even saw a car about a year ago that had a bumper sticker that said "Come Back to Independant Eritrea."

You've done a great job putting together this website. Thanks a lot for providing us with a great wealth of information that rekindles the old memories of days gone by.

Thomas Stephen Lewis 71-72


Herb & Diane Heberling 60-62

We have been in contact with others that were stationed in Kagnew Station. Some from back in the fifties and sixties. We attended a reunion in Mississippi 3 years ago. There were about 30 attended. We have the web site (I think) if you want it. It is a very good chance that we will go next june to the Las Vegas reunion. Is there any way to get a roster from Kagnew Station? Thanks for the e-mail. There are several that I would like to get in touch with if I knew where they were.

Harry Wagner 73

I served as a shore patrolman at Kagnew Station in the early 70's and just receintly came across this homepage by accident,(glad I did)!

My first question is this : Is Kagnew Station still active ?, they were talking about closure about the time I left,I've scanned over the links on the homepage but could find nothing definite about its status.

Second:, Are there any Christian Kagnewite's that you know of that might be interested in corresponding with me.

When I got my orders to ship Asmara I couldn't believe it,I thought (at the time) this is going to be the worst duty station ever,and as things go,it turned out to be one of the best experences in my life! It wasn't long after I arrived that I purchased a motorcycle and saw as much of Ethiopia in 7 months as possible,taking photo's all the way from Keren,Massawa, Addis Ababa,and everything in betweeen.

I'm hoping that I can share some of my photo's online with all interested,please let me know how. Well I've rattled on enough and I have to work tommorow, hope to hear from you soon.

John Stone 65-67

Stationed Kagnew 12/65-06/67 when 19 yrs old(56 now). Good memories of enlisted men's club and miniature golf Loved those trips to the Reb Sea as well as horse riding. Made many friends, American and Ethiopian.

Steve Landrum 66-68

Would like to correspond with people I was stationed with.

Dwight C. Gibson, Jr. 64-67

I brought my wife over on a temporary visa, 12/64 and we left with two children 5/67. Was the drummer in "The Group". We played at the Oasis, and the Officers, Clubs. Visited Addis, and SGT Ron Dill and I visited Nairobi, Kenya for three days. WOW Rick, what a website!...... There are a few that I remember, such as Wayne Ritter, John Dixon, Jerry Degarmo, Mike Skiba, Dannie Taylor, Joe Gillam, Wyman(?) Roten, and others that I will have to research my archives and retrieve their names. Contact me and I will get back to you. Thanks

Jack Hill 57-60

Played in several bands at all the clubs, starting at the old Oasis Club down town. Just discovered this site. Its great. I have found some friends through "" They have quite a few Kagnew alumni registered. Thanks to who ever is doing this.

Harold L. Hesterly 53-54

I remember gasping for air as I walked from the barracks to the mess hall only 100 feet away and the base of the antenna between filling up so quickly during my first monsoon downpour. Oh, I also remember racing the little horse drawn carts (frowned on by HQ) from the bars downtown back to the gate.

Vince Bowler 58-59

Thanks for your prompt response. I am quite impressed with your web page.

I spent a couple years at sea on the USS Shangri-La (aircraft carrier) just prior to going to Asmara. I have visited the web page for the ship and it is not remotely close to being as good as your web site. And they must have 50 or 100 times more alumni as Asmara (don't even have a registry). When ship was on a Far East cruise she carried aboard a crew of over 3,500 men and almost 100 aircraft.

You are doing a great job, keep up the good work.
Best Regards, Vince Bowler
P.S. I have made two direct contacts with old navy buddies already.

Chuck Cramer 67-69

I was an 05H at Ops. Looking for Travis Hood and Billy Farmer. Like to hear from Squirrel also. Like to hear from anyone there during that time..caio

Lawrence J. Leone 66

We were headquartered at the Asmara Airport, and lived in town in hotels and apartments. Late in 1966 I think it was, we were moved into military barracks at Kagnew Station. I remember my favorite place at Kagnew was the Oasis Club.

Tom Garey 71-72

My name is Tom Garey and I was at Kagnew from 71-72. Worked at Tract C. Lived on Tract E. Officiated flag and youth football. Played golf and bowled. Coached kids baseball. 1Sgt was Gene Burris (wife Shirley); looking for Pete and Jane Richards (he worked at AFRN) and they lived downtown. Joined the Anglican church while there and donated a pew. Would like to hear from anyone from that time frame or knows me from Karamursel, Tori Starion, 303rd RR Co at Ben Hua, or Devens. Retired in 75 from Devens. Many good memories from Kagnew. Alternate email is I'm still with the military after 49 years, currently GS11 at the family Support Ctr at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX.

Gary Schad 67-68

My name is Gary Schad. I was stationed at Kagnew 1967-68. I was recently told by a friend (Val Zibung) how to get info from Kagnew. I have been e-mailing a few people that I could remember from the time I was there. I would enjoy hearing from anyone that remembers me.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Jim Tostrud 62-64

I just started to read the Kagnew "site" since coming across an old issue of the Legion magazine that mentioned the reunion in LV. I was unable to attend but I have found it very interesting reading about Kagnew. I have already contacted Roy Conrad thru the site....I have remained in contact with about 7 other men that served during the time I was there.

My name is Jim Tostrud.(SP5) I was stationed from Mar.62-Aug64. My wife Judy joined me(I had to pay her way over since I was only a PFC)after I was there 3 months.I worked in HQ. processing in and out military personnell..I played on the Hq. Co. softball and basketball teams..I also worked as MA at the Oasis Club..We had a great time while we were there and made many friends..Our first son,James, was born (17Jun64), nine weeks before I returned to the US for separation.

We live in River Falls , Wisconsin. I worked at 3M company for 35 years and retired 7 yrs ago..We have run a Bed and Breakfast on our 117 yr old farm for the past 15 yrs.. We are in the process of selling the whole farm and will do some more traveling..Our son,Jim, would like to return to Ethiopia with us someday to see the country in which he was born but because of all the "world trouble" it looks like that may have to wait. I would appreciate if you would enter my e-mail address so that I may get in contact with others that were there during my time of service..I am trying to contact some of the names of others I have see on "the web site" but I am having trouble finding their e=,mail address. I guess I will have to have my sons(who are much more proficent) help me.
Thank you
Jim Tostrud

Bob Young 62-63

Thankyou for all your efforts and work on this site. The other day I had a call from Chuck Keeton. Chuck was at Guard Company when I arrived, and had been a helicopter mechanic who was assigned to Kagnew and didn't have a helicopter to work on. (There is a story behind that, but it would be best to hear it from Chuck.) Since they didn't know what to do with him, they stuck him in Guard Company, you know, anybody can be a cop! So him and Frank Barrens took this little town kid from kowtow Arizona, and led him into all kinds of debauchery and vice, and a whole lot of fun. Chuck was injured and lost an eye and was sent back to Walter Reed and I lost track of him. He found the website, and finally got my right area code, (the phone company changed it, and I forgot to), and gave me a call. That makes Chuck and Don Tomasek I've been able to talk to from those days, without the website, I'd never have found either one. I thank you sir, keep up the great work.
Bob Young

Teri Adams 68-69

Hi Rick, I was 8 and 9 when we were at Kagnew Station. I was in the 2nd grade and remember walking to the Officer's Club with our chits for lunch. I remember weekends at the TTU and skiing in the Red Sea. Lots of great memories from my fathers career in the Army and now I have a son in the Air Force and hope he gets to travel and see some of the world like we did. Our entire family hope to come to Las Vegas in June for the reunion. The web site it great and the picture of the main gate in the 60's is how it looked when we were there. I am sure a lot has changed over the years. Keep us posted on the reunion. Teri Adams

Don Papouschek 53-55

"Ka men da la ha"

I have a video of the Kagnew Station dedication in 1953 made from home movies I took at the time. Prior to that it was "Radio Marino".

I had some copies made for a couple of the fellows after our get together in Hersey Pennsylvania 3 years ago so you may already have this.

In memory of Nate Todaro, Asmara 1953 - 1955, and his life time work with youth as the Director of the Boston YMCA''s Norht Woods Camp. A dream of his is being worked on. They have named it the "Nathan Todaro Leadership Center" and it will be a year-round program and conference center located on the camp in Pleasant Valley on Lake Winnipesaukee.

When we met in Hershey we put together a few hundred dollars in the name of the Kagnew Asmara Vets and I would hope you would consider the endorsement of this project as a worhwhile endevor for the Kagnew group. If you think it has merit please let me know and I will get in touch with Nate's daughter Diana Todaro Getmen. She is one of the movers behind this progject and has just informed me that they are half way to their goal of $1,300,000.
Looking forward to Las Vegas.
Don Papouschek