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Norm Harden 63-66

I can't believe the memories this brings back. I was stationed in Asmara 63-66. Worked for Jim Wilder, Harvey Wells and with Joel Whiting, Dave Morrison, Don Davies and so many more I can't remember. Spent 33 months there, 30 military and 3 civilian. I remember Denny Dourehty, the best poker player on post and Lou Ahn who held the record for most times with the clap. 11 at last count. I lived downtown for my last two years but still spent paydays at the Oasis club and Top 5 playing poker. Would love to hear from anyone that was there when I was.
Norm Harden

Charles Allen Martin 62-64

Hi Rick:
My name is Charles Allen Martin, and I spent two years at Kagnew. This was from Oct 62 to Oct 64. Finding this web site and seeing the E-mail listed there brought back 40 year old memories. I looked for names of friends of mine from back then. Three of them were Andy Barber, Jerry Kirk, and Charlie Webster. I found at least one, Andy Barber. Thanks for posting these E-mails for they wake up old memories.
Thanks again
Charles Allen Martin

Tom Whittle 62-63

I can’t tell you what a treat it is to spend time on the site. If you ever wonder whether what you are doing is worth it, let me say that this is something very special to a lot of us old fogies out there. More later. tw

Jack O'Connell 71-72

Thanks for having this page...It is great!!!!...My name is Jack O'Connell, I was at Kagnew from June 71 to December 72 and I served in the Navy.
Thanks again,

Kyle Goodnight

Hi, My name is Kyle Goodnight and I was at Kagnew from 1961-1963(ASA-723) E-4. I just happened on your site by searching for Asmara in Google and saw the listing. It was a great trip down memory lane!!

Over the years and several moves, a lot of my pictures of Kagnew and the surrounding area were lost, but I still have some photos. Mostly of the sub pits in Massawa and some pics of the trip down the mountain and across the flats.

I remember great times there, being only 19 at the time. I had some friends in the MAG group that taught at the dependant's school. One was a teacher of the 9-12 grade... name was Frank Batt or Blatt not sure anymore.

It would be great to have my name listed so that any of my ole' buddies may visit and remember me. From Kagnew, I went to Ft Meade Md then to Sinop Turkey, the finally to Chitose Japan where I ended my almost 10 years with ASA.

I used to go downtown to a little shop called PhotoCelli, where this gorgeous Italian young lady worked and after 7 months of visits, I finally got her to agree to go on a date. I was ecstatic! We agreed to meet at the local movie house. When I arrived there, she was there, with her WHOLE family..all 14 of them. I had to buy all the tickets!!! What a trip that was. I sat at one end of a row and she sat on the other side. All we could do was look at each other!! I never saw her again after the movie, she was never at the shop at any time I went there. The shop owner did not speak English and I was never able to find out what happened to her.

One of the many stories of ole' Kagnew.

Thanks for the memories....great job!!
Kyle Goodnight

LTC (Ret) Joseph A. Schaake

OH My God, I can't believe you have a web site.

I was a Captain, fresh out of Finance Officer Advanced Couse, Ft Benjamin Harrison, IN in 1971 and was assigned to the HHC USASAFS, Asmara, APO NY 09843. further assigned to the Comptroller's Office as Deputy Comptroller, Kagnew Station and The F&AO as a Deputy F&AO, w/ a copy of my original orders dated 24 May 1971 with a report date of 1 July 1971. This was the time period when the Army changed to "JUMPS" and all our pay changes had to go thru Italy for retransmission to Ft Ben.

Unfortunately, I was one of many caught in the RIF after Vietnam and returned to the States in 1972.

I just recently resitired from the LUXOR Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas where we had a number of Ethiopians employed from dealers to porters to whatever. I have ONLY 2 unit patches: The Red Gazelle, surrounded by Blue horns on a White shield patch. One patch is mounted in my retirement display, if anyone needs/wants the 2nd, contact me at (click name link above).
Lovely area, great people.
LTC (Ret) Joseph A. Schaake

Dave McKee 69-70

Hi, I’m Dave McKee.
I was stationed at Kagnew in 69 and 70. Endured the drought, 26 months of no rain I believe. I recall the locals sheltering themselves from the rain when it finally came. Never understood that! I was also there when the Italian Pizza parlor was shot up. I can still recall how good the Bar-B-Que shrimp was at that place, and I can’t say I’ve had any better pizza since I left. The owner cooked the pizza in brick ovens, and had six foot spatulas to retrieve them with when done. They sure were good.

Beverly (my wife at the time) and I lived off base. Our first place had a court yard that separated the bedroom and bath area from the kitchen and den area. We really enjoyed it and even had a small garden out in the court yard. Since it never rained, we watered the garden with bath and dish water. Later we moved to a more modern house (actually brand new) that had all the rooms connected with walls and doors. We partook of the usual road trips to Massawa and Karen, and even did the run up to where the dried up camel was hanging on the blown up railroad trestle.

We all enjoyed trips to Massawa. I remember the “lady that lived under the tree” out at North Shore. I actually had some photos of her at one time, but haven’t the slightest what happened to them. She got very annoyed at having her picture taken and would disperse of us pesky GIs at the sight of a camera. Trips out to Green Island were pleasurable, and if you look up the Massawa web site on the net, there are several good pictures of how Massawa looks today. It’s actually been restored closely to what it looked like when we were all there.

Trips to Karen were also a lot of fun. I think the guy’s name that managed the place was Dave Pierce, but I’m not real sure about the last name. I do recall his story about almost losing his finger to the ELF over a ring he was wearing. I also remember the courtyard, the pool, and Dave’s old dog. You didn’t want to sit a drink down and leave it while that dog was on the prowl. There’s a picture on the “wheels” site, submitted by Terry Hicks, of me and that dog standing by the “Taxi”. I can’t remember the dog’s name, but he could drink most of us under the table.

After much ado about my hair, I did my ETS in Asmara and traveled around through Europe before returning home. I probably should have stayed longer while I had the opportunity, but “homesickness” got the best of us. I did however; find time to look up some ancestors while in Scotland. That turned out to be a very unique experience.

There were a lot of good people stationed at Kagnew, and there were a lot of good friendships developed. Ed Turley and I have remained close since Kagnew days and talk with one another very often. Ed was the day manager of the Oasis Club, part time, and we shared many an adventure in that old Jeep that the club owned. I also stayed in contact with Don “Kahuna H” Whang for a couple of years after ETS, but lost contact and haven’t heard from him since. I’ve recently been contacted by another good friend, Terry Hicks. Terry and I lost contact with one another about thirty years ago, and thanks to this site, we’ve reunited. Tom and Carol Rose were good friends that lived off base as Beverly and I did. We did Thanksgiving dinner at their house one year and I’ll never forget what the turkey carcass looked like afterward. You’d have just had to have been there to understand. I ran across Ron Baggett not too long ago, but have since lost contact with him as well. It’s unique how the ties that were established at Kagnew Station seem to endure. Thanks for developing this site and keep up the good work.

I understand that there may be an ASA/Kagnew reunion in New Orleans next year. If that develops, me, Ed Turley, and Terry Hicks, are planning on trying to attend. I hope it develops, and I hope we get to come. Thanks again for the site.
Dave McKee

Mike Barile

I entered my Dad's name (Tony Barile 64-65) on the roster... forgot to list "Stonehouse" as his assignment at Kagnew. He's still attending reunions in the Melbourne area as we all did in the years following the assignment. The Hennesey, Lovejoy, Kurth and other families still see each other regularly. My Mom, Diane Barile taught swimming at the Kagnew pool and also volunteered at the base school.

Although I was conceived in Asmara, I missed being born there by four months. For 38 years I've heard the Kagnew Station stories... thanks to your site I've been able to understand better what life was like there.

Thank you for the excellent site, I have been relaying information to my Dad and getting him to share more of the old stories.

Mike Barile (almost a Kagnewite)
Jacksonville, Florida

Tom Herrgott 70-72

My name is Tom Herrgott. I was at Kagnew from 1970 to 1972. I ETS there at the start of the move to Germany. My wife, Linda, and I were married there January 15, 1972. [Yep, I conned her into coming over there!] My best man was suppose to be Mike Durbin but he went back to the states on an emerfency. His wife, Jenny was the maiden of honor and Troy McComas was the best man.

I was assigned at Tract C and did Non-morse search and development. [05k]

I am now a retired Phoenix Police Officer [28 years] and now do some Private Investigations [] as my wife wants me out of the house [she thinks I shouldn't be left to my own devices, I guess!]

I don't really know what made me look for Kagnew but I'm glad I did!

Ron Thompson 61-62

GREAT JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was absolutely floored when I accidentally came upon the Kagnew Station website URL while searching for information on Asmara. I couldn't believe my eyes. You have done an absolutely stupendous job. Keep up the good work.

My name is Ronald O. Thompson and I was stationed at Kagnew Station from April of 1961 to October of 1962 assigned to USAMESA, Receiver site, MOS 342.1 Crypto and Teletype Repair. I worked in the Cryto room most of the time with slack time working in the Teletype Repair area.

Some of the names I remember were, of course my roommates, Cecil Wilson, and Lamb. At the receiver site the names I remember are, John Bartosik, Leonard Ritchie, Matino in crypto, Charlie Dyer,Tty repair, James Lockwood, TTY repair, Sgt Horton, shift supervisor, Sgt Edmondson, my supervisor, Fujioka TTY repair and, at the moment thats all I can remember. There are others that will come to me.

If you know of any of these fellows and how to contact them please let me know. I have sent emails to some of the names on the list but they come back undeliverable. Hope this one gets noticed.
Ron Thompson

Don Stambaugh 69-71

I stumbled across this website while browsing the net. Very interesting. My name is Don Stambaugh. I was stationed at Kagnew Station from September, 1969 through May, 1971. I was in the Army and was the mail clerk for Hq Co. I left Kagnew in route to Viet Nam and was later reassigned to Ft Monroe, Va. where I eventually gave up my military career. Most would remember me as a member of the "Shifty Kickers" country band during this timeframe. The band played all the clubs and some special events. I sang and played rythm guitar. I also assisted Eddie Gains on a country music radio show on AFRS. I haven't been in contact with anyone since I left Kagnew and would very much like to do so. My email address is dstambaugh8 'at' (click name above) if anyone remembers me and wishes to make contact. I am also interested in any reunions in the Washington, DC area.

Denise Lyden (Hodges) 59-63

G'Day Sam & Rick~
What a great homecoming-web site............ I was thrilled to find it and you.

I have just been reading about your research for KANU ------- my dad was Sgt. Joseph Lyden (shown incorrectly as Liden) and I remember visiting the station often as a little girl - I was the blond toe-head 6 year old that the guys got used to seeing around all the time.

My mother was Georgette Lyden and she was responsible for designing and making the 'Mr. 8-Ball costume.'

My dad's posting ended and we were returned stateside in 1963 to Ft.Bragg NC and then on to Okinawa in 64 whilst the family moved up to Jersey City to await Dad's return before he finally retired.

John "Jack" Hannigan writes in his remembered tidbits: After The EMPEROR reclaimed his THRONE in Addis Abeba, he held public hangings of the Rebel leaders in Addis. These hangings made the Front Covers of TIME and NEWSWEEK. Haile put an embargo on these magazines in Eritrea and Ethiopia. During this time, the local Ethiopian Army stood by Haile and protected the Americans at Kagnew with the Armored Vehicles and Weapon that we gave them in early sixties. Quite exciting times. American dependents were told to pack one suitcase for each person in the family and take all the necessary medication and be ready to move out. The Evacuation Route was the Massawa Road to Decamerie {State Department Airstrip} or on to Massawa where the Marines were suppose to come ashore and protect the dependents while the American Military maintained Kagnew Station.

My dad Sgt.Joe Lyden was sent out to the airport to film & photograph the Emperor Haile Selassie arrive at the airport in Asmara and said that he was never so scared in his whole life. I remember my mother frantically packing our suitcases for the evacuation of the dependents --- but as a kid never understood the danger.

We lived off base when we 1st arrived and our 2nd house was on a dirt road not far from the back gate. My best friend was a young boy called Pino who was Italian/Eritrean. Pino's dad (Italian) drove his own taxi and they had a small house where they raised chickens. Pino taught me had to ride a bike and we went all over Asamara ----- my mother never really knew where I was.... I remember attending the Italian convent kindergarten and learning Italian there, as well as Aramaic from our housegirl. I used to have to translate at the local shops for my mother. We moved to the base and our apartment faced the parade grounds.

On base I went to school Grades 1 & 2, and received my First Holy Communion at the chapel---- we had a visiting cardinal from Rome for the occasion.

Saturday mornings were the best ----- I would hook up with a gang of kids and for .25 you could get into the movie and buy popcorn ---the theatre would be packed with screaming kids sitting on the floors and on the side ledges by the walls...... We screamed for the hero's and booed the villains in the serials...... then it was off to the pool -------- it was great being a kid at Kagnew ------- we ran free ------ My best friend was Lillian ??? and her dad was a doctor at the hospital and she had 3 older brothers (we visited them once stateside when we left Ft.Bragg)

I remember
  • riding our bikes over to the mini-golf and buying custard cones ummmmmmm
  • the locals bringing goats and camels onto base during the Christmas break to sell rides to the kids. My dad was not too pleased to find out that I had traded all of his t-shirts & underwear for Camel rides. I was in big trouble for that one.
  • camping at the beach in Massawa and an MP by the nickname of "Smitty" shooting a Sting-Ray that was trapped in a tidal pool when we went for a walk in the surf...... The sand was so hot you could not walk bare foot.
  • My favourite vacation place was in Keren and I had a pet chameleon.
  • My dad went on hyena hunts and 1 time returned with an orphaned baby baboon.
  • Armed Forces Day and eating snake as part the survival training exhibit.
  • the year that the real Christmas trees arrived the day after Christmas.........
  • the single enlisted guys hanging at our house on holidays and especially wanting to there on Christmas mornings because they were homesick for their families. The guys even volunteered to baby-sit me and my brother.........
My mom almost died one year from internal haemorrhaging when we were on holiday in Keren and she had to be rushed back to hospital at Kagnew.

When we were leaving Kagnew to return home stateside, we were staying at the Pensione. The Russian Embassy was behind the Pensione. There was a large outdoor patio on an upper floor. My little brother Kevin who was 4 starting throwing things down at the guard dogs for the Russian Embassy ------ and in short order an international incident was underway...... the Russians claimed that they were under attack by the Americans and our family was hustled out of the country supeto!!!!

So much to still make me smile. My brother and I hated living at Ft.Bragg and longed to go home to Kagnew Station. In 1977 I moved from NYC to Vancouver BC Canada and married a permanent resident from Oregon (Nick Newvine). Built my life here and remarried 2 years ago to an Aussie (Greg Hodges) from Wollongong, NSW. We army brats have learned to make friends fast wherever we have lived and traveled and while home is where the heart is there has never been another Kagnew Station.
Cheers ~
Denise (LYDEN) Hodges
Tsawwassen (Pronounced Sar-Was-En) BC CANADA

Denise Lyden (Hodges) 59-63

My brother is going through the family collection of slides and photos and we can then share them with everyone.

FYI - my dad is in living in a nursing home and I'm sure he would love to get a card or note from anyone that may remember him from Kagnew
Joe Lyden
c/o Lakeview Acute Care Center
130 Terhune Drive
Wayne, NJ 07470

Phil Urie 70-71

I started as a French Linguist at Track C, but immediately began working after hours and on weekends in the radio & TV station. A few months later I was able to convince the powers that I should be full-time at the broadcast facility.

I think I still have some photos of sets we used for various TV programs while I was there. Who can I send them to?

Rocky Caponigro 58-60

What a wonderful job you've done on these pages! I've lurked a couple of times and this instance was able to actually see some names I remember! I was stationed in Kagnew from Early 1958 until November of 1960. I worked for Capt; O'neil in Immigrations & Customs. Wore civvies and worked at the airport. My co-workers were "Hoot" Gibson and the CIA guy Charlie Welch, who spoke perfect Spanish. There were a bunch of guys who were in Immigration & Customs before us who were more innebriated more often, and got into more accidents with the jeeps, but Gibson and I kept the watch safe!

I also participated with Jack Poupard in teaching English at Lyceo in Asmara--we did a show in English and the kids were terrific! Also was good relations during those times.

I remember particularly A guy from Alaska named Sprinkles and Fred Huff with whom I bunked for a short time--Huff burned up his mattress while sleeping off a hard liquor respite and Sprinkles let him do it! Lots of fun! There were a team of guys who were translators--Lee and another Bob Novo, both from California, and a guy we called "Hotai" he was named Ron and came from British Columbia... we visited and skin-dived often at the point in Massawa where the crazy Rastafarian guy lived under a straw mat with just a jug of water. This is just flooding my memory with good thoughts! What a terrific catharsis this is! You should get paid for psychological uplift services!

Thanks for doing this. My alternate email is ROKKIJ@AOL.COM. I welcome all who want to talk about the good old days! I live in NC, near Charlotte having moved from NJ after 65 years. Again. thank you and continued success for this page--if there is any way I can help, please let me know--this is very important to a lot of people and should be continued.
SP5 Rocky Caponigro (MOS 058)