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James H. (Jim) Hatfield 1942 ! (Deceased)

In 1942 I was assigned to the 104th Station Hospital. First at Massawa, then at Gura. We closed Gura and the 104th moved to Radio Marina. Concurrently, the most of the medical unit moved to Wadi Siedna on the Nile as the 367th Station Hospital... I was in 367th, but was around Asmara and Gua and Massawa for over a year. Flew back on R&R onec after leaving. Stayed at Radio Marina lots of times when in Asmara. Was there when Nelson Eddy, the singer and movie star, stayed there for several weeks. Would like to hear from anyone there at that time.

Rick Vida 68-70

This is a spectacular Web Site!

I was at Kagnew at Tract F with the U.S Navy between 1968 - 1970. I was a YN3 working in the Communication Office with LT Lambert and RMCM Dees (and later RMCM Lopes). I recall fellow sailors named Jim Zimmerman, Tom Bashaw, Chris Christensen, and Mike Moote. During this time frame, I believe only Mike received more barracks restriction that I resulting from too much partying at the Oasis and/or being late returning from town in the a.m. Nothing criminal, just enjoying the gusto of serving at Asmara rather than in Nam, at our tender young ages.

My fondest memory was the luncheon that I was able to attend at the consolidated mess hall, with the relatively small respective Army and Navy contingents,in honor of Haile Selassie. This was during 1969, I believe (I have my invitation at home in a frame).

Kagnew was an experience that none who served can ever forget.

Shirley Deane 59

Greetings to Kagnew Friends of 1959:
My name is, and was Shirley Deane. In 1959, probably from February through June, I played professional accordion at Kagnew. I'd been working my away around the world, had finished Europe and most of Africa when I spotted a jeep at the Asmara airport. A sargeant asked what I was doing there. I said, "I'm an entertainer, working my way around the world." He said, "Lady, if all you can do is to stand on your head, you're booked."

Does anyone remember me?

Currently I am writing an autobiography, and I need some input on Kagnew at that time. I have a few questions and will be very grateful for your help.
With kind wishes to all, Shirley Deane

Andy Barber

Hi Rick,
Saw an email from Charles Allen Martin but he is not on the roster. I tried to find an address for him but no luck. Would like to hear from him.
Andy Barber

Tim McKay 62-64

I served at Kagnew from 1962-1964. I was an E-5 with Headquarters Company and assigned to the Finance Office (Accounting). I was the bookkeeper for the Oasis Club, drove stock cars, visited Massawa, Keren, Nesbit, the monks on the mountain and Axum. I remember seeing Haile Selassie and suffered through the JFK assassination with the help of uncle jack. I also owned a 193x blue Fiat Balilla pickup truck and a new 1963 Austin Healy Sprite. Both vehicles I sold before I left in 1964.

Bought a new VW bug, which I took back to the states. Remember a bunch of my "buddies" lifting the VW onto the Oasis Club sidewalk and I ended up getting a ticket from the MP's.

Made a weekend trip to Axum with several motor pool jeeps. My jeep had the wrong spare tire rim when we to change a flat. I ended up severally damaging the jeep, since we had to ride on the rim after the tire disintegrated. They wouldn't let me go back to the states until I left money to cover the damages.

Would like to communicate with the following: Archie Beard, Larry Dishman, John Hite, Duane Satterlee, Dick Gartley, Bob Hittner (contacted already), Ches Brazil, Mike Killian, Tom xxx (Mike's buddy), Ken Porterfield, Don McDonough and Bill Bush. Also remember Charlie Pierce, Al Mancuso, John Tripoli and Larry Sullivan. Another guy I remember was in finance-payroll and his first name was Fred. He played a musical instrument (drums???), loved jazz and was a camera nut. Anyone remember his last name?

Recently read a great book entitled "Asmara: Africa's Secret Modernist City" by Edward Denison, etc. done in 2003 by Merrell Publishing. Great text and pictures from the day the city was first established. Briefly mentions Kagnew Station. Cost was $65 through Borders. The book was mentioned in National Geographic in May 2004.

Rick and John Harris, thanks for the great WEB site and also thanks to everyone who added all the interesting data, pictures, tidbits, etc. What a history of Kagnew!! My two years at Kagnew was a great experience and I sure miss the guys. I will continually review the site to keep current and to help jog my memory.

My address is 825 Corbett Drive, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15234-1703.

"Fat" Frank Bezner 67-69

Was stationed at Kagnew from 67 to 69. Worked at transmitter site D. Sure had some good times at the Oasis Club. Played football on the Stratcom team. fat frank was my nickname.

Samuel E. Avera 67

I was stationed at Kagnew Station in 1967. I worked at Tract C as a Cryptanalyst. At that time, I was an SP4. My daughter became ill and I was forced to rotate back to NSA so she could be at Walter Reed. I worked with Linguist like Davey Marcos and Bob Smotts. I worked mostly swing shift. I also worked with Don McShane, who I also worked with back at NSA and in Vietnam in 1968. I have some very fond memories of Kagnew Station.
Samuel E. Avera, 1SG USA-Ret.

Viola Robinson

I want to let you know that I obtained information regarding Al McMillan whom my husband, Joe Robinson, had been trying to find. When I was reviewing some stories in the Gazelle I realized that the person my husband knew as Al was actually John A. McMillan. With the clue, and using Intellius, I was able to contact his wife and learned that he has been dead for a number of years. I have maintained regular contact with his widow and we have even had one visit. Had it not been for the article in Gazelle I doubt that this could ever have been accomplished. Thank you on behalf of my husband.

Efrem Tewelde

i am actually surprised to see a website about Kagnew station. not that i grew up around the area but it is the place where my father used to work with Americans. my father (eritrean) was operator for the Film projector and as he told us, because i was not born then, they were travelling to Massawa and Asmara to show movies for the soldiers. my father continues his career after The Americans left and worked in several Cinemas in asmara. he is now retiresd and kind of old but the good memories of kagnew he has will stay forever,with the pictures he kept. there is also another funny thing my mother told me about an american soldier but i will share it next time.

Jack Schmidt 62-64

I'm Jack Schmidt, Kagnew station from 1962-64, Operations Co., an 059.1, worked in the back room at the site. Your site sure brings back memories. Came home in February of '64 and got out of the Army.

It's been so long that I've forgotten most of the names, but have memories of the beach shelter up north of Massawa, and diving with the barracuda and 3' sharks in the harbour. And being wakened by the MP's down on the point, sleeping under my buddies Land Rover and being told we were on alert, the president had been shot. Sat in my old Chevy beside the barracks (we were working eves and I got the night off for my 21st birthday, and drove back in to Kagnew from the site) and listening to Kennedy's funeral on KANU. That night we went on break before mids. It got real drunk out that night.

KANU - Frank Wukovitz from South Bend Indiana got me doing a classical music show on KANU once a week.

You're doing a heck of a good job on the site. Keep up the good work. I'll check back.
Jack Schmidt Council Bluffs IA

Michael Roberts 70-73

My sisters and I talk often talk about the great experiences we had while living in Ethiopia. We attended the AADS from 1970-1973. My father was in the Navy, (RMCS Sam Roberts), and worked at Gura. He and my mom had an adventuresome spirit which lead us on many camping excursions into the surrounding countryside. We had a 1968 VW camper and used it in our excursions to the Tecasi River, (spelling is probably not even close!), and one memorable trip to Lake Tana. We frequentely made trips down the mountain to Massaw where we had great times snorkeling off North Beach, or swimming at the Red Sea Rest Center. I remember going down to the stone wall at the waters edge every morning to see what neat things the local Ethiopians were selling from their boats, (cowrie shells, sharks jaws, etc.). Does anyone remember the shop in Massawa where you could buy tropical fish for your aquarium? My dad would take (2) large trash cans with us to take fish back for his 55 gallon aquarium. Does anyone have information regarding a recent trip to Asmara? I am interested in all the particulars, (airfare, lodging, etc.) - Michael Roberts (1970-May 1973)

Dave Pinkelman 64-66

I was stationed at Kagnew Station from January 1964 thru January 1966. I was in Headquarters Company and worked in personnel finance. I have a long list of names of people I remember. You site is fantastic. Many of the stories bring back a lot of memories.Has it really been 40 years?
Take Care,God Bless,
Dave Pinkelman,"Pinky"
Olathe, Kansas

Al Kucinski 48-50 !!

I was stationed in Asmara, then known as Radio Marina. My tour of duty was from August '48 to March '50. Originally a MOS 799 didn't like shift work so transferred to the motor pool as a heavy equipment operator. Sgt. Lou Cote was in charge of the motor pool, he was the best of all those I served under while in the Army. Discharged the week befor the Korean War but was called back to active duty in September 1950. Became chief battalion radio operator with the 41st AAA gun bn.Discharged as a S/Sgt. Own a few acres in northern New Jersey and retired from the aerospace industry as a configuration analysist....Like to hear from some of the old timers, if they're still around.....73.

Carolyn W. Wynn 70-73

My name is Carolyn W. Wynn. Was in Asmara 1970-1973.

Rocky Caponigro 58-60

Hi Rick:
Please add me to the email page. Rocky Caponigro (58-60) Thanks and keep up the great work!

Carlyle R. Groseclose 65-67

; I MUST HAVE REPLACED WALTER SANDELL AS S-1 NCOIC. i was originally assigned as NCOIC of the Judge Advocate Section. I was promoted to E-8 and transferred to the S1. Col Wheeler was there when I joined the S-1, Major Mordell assumed the S-1 while I was there. Colonel Ford was the AJA and Capt Lighter was the ASJA. I have a copy of the KAGNEW GAZELLE DATED 24 September 1965. There is a picture of Col Wilson pinning the Army Commendation medal on me. Also Capt Kapperman was awarded the ACM at the same time. Sgt Page (deceased) was 1st Sgt of HHC. I was president of the Board of Governors of the NCO Club for a period in 1967. I remember Sgt Tucker was the Provost Sgt and was later replaced by Sgt Spect. SMAJ Donald Fields was the SMAJ and Col Malone was commander when I left. I could go on, but I remember many people, but only remember names at times,. I I can be reached at Thanks for the page. Ray

Arturo A. Flores 63-65

Thank you very much for all you’ve done. I happened to see a bumper sticker in town last week and when I ran down the guy who had it I learned about your web site. Since then all kinds of wonderful things have happened and I now find myself in touch with some guys I thought I’d never get a chance to talk with or learn about. It has all been very positive and you and your efforts were pivotal.
Many, many thanks,

Richard A. Angulo 70-73

I finished basic at Fort Ord, Cal and went from there to Vint Hill. We raked leaves there until Dec-47 furlough and back to Fort Monmouth and finished Hi-Speed Radio op School (Company "U") from there back to Vint Hill to repass all of the radio speeds, plus some special training.

Then to Asmara (4th Det, 2d, Sig Svc Bn). This was around Aug-Sep 48. I don't remember the Trick, but our Trick Chief was T/Sgt Shaka, and Sgt McDonnald. Other guys were LeLevre, Frike, Klebowski, Paul Hodak, Kadasheski. MSgt Charlie Bouma was the NCOIC of collection site.

I went back to the states in June of 50, it was either extend or be extended. So I reenlisted for six years ($360.00 with 55.00 tax). Stayed in for 22 years and retired as a First Sergeant.

Tracy Renee Gibson 64-65

I was born on 7/23/64 – Haille Sellasie’s birthday. My parents were B.E. Gibson and Mary Alice Gibson. (I am not sure what my dad’s rank was at the time – he was a Radioman that went LDO at some point) I was very ill when I was born. I was found to have been a “blue baby” Similar to the RH problem with blood types and parents. It was not well known at the time and I almost died. My parents tell me that a call went out to the Station for blood donors and people lined up “around the block” to donate blood. I was given a “total transfusion” as I understand it, and without would have definitely died. It makes me feel very humbled and grateful to all of those donors and I have often wished there was a way to thank them all for their thoughtfulness.

Please give them all a heart felt thanks from me.

Dennis R, "Roy" Crisman, Jr 62-64

I was stationed at Kagnew station from 62 until 64. It was the best duty I could ever have had. the scenery is fantastic, and the weather even better. How well I remember the courier runs to Gura, and trying to stay away from the pet ostrich. That thing was two heads taller than me, and would peck me on the head every chance it got. And of course there were the trips to Massawa and to North Beach, skin diving in the Red Sea, and the sharks. The trip back up the mountain could be an experience wether it is in an army surplus 6 by 6 with a broken fan blade, or in a Lancia that decides to lose a wheel at the most inopertune time. We stopped at the Halfway house and borrowed some tools and cut the opposing fan blade off to balance the engine somewhat,got as much water as we could carry, and started our long trip up th hill, We made it, after many stops to add water. As far as the balila is concered, we were very luck tha the that the wheel tore loose from the hub, or we would have lost our brakes, and I probably would not here today. Well , I've got to end this somewhere, I could be here all night talking about Asmara, the Bar Fiore, the Blue Nile, Massawa and the Four Floors,but I have to get up early in the morning.
Ciao for now,
Dennis "Roy" Crisman

Tom Cox 61-63

I just read the notes on the bumpersticker site and I am the guy that Bill Rush saw. I have checked the roster and can\'t find him listed. If you have any info on him please pass this on to him. When and where did he see me?? Sure wish he could have caught up with me.

Also just two weeks ago, I was flagged over in Oxford Ms by Hardy Farris who saw my Kagnew tag. He was there in late 50's. Hopefully we can get together soon and talk over old times and hopefully he will soon register also. As luck would have it, after meeting him, I checked out the Kagnew site for the first time in ages and an old friend I had been looking for for years, Glenn Wallin, had just recently registered. His wife and my wife, We married over there, were friends and she lived near us in Florence AL while he was in Nam. Was really glad to get to talk to him after all these years. Love this site.

Cathy Walling (Aaron) 69-71

Man, what a great site! My late father was Jesse Walling (ASA). We were at Kagnew Station from 1969-1971, and it was a delight. My sister, Judy, and I both agree it was the best place we were ever stationed. Do any of you out there have any stories about my Dad? I sure would appreciate hearing them. Also, any of my classmates out there? My teachers were Miss Buckley (yuck!!!), Mr. Williams, and Miss Sampson. I would love to hear from you. Take care of yourselves.

Cathy's answer from my reply:

Hi, Rick:
Thank you so much for writing to me. I appreciate it. Nice to "talk" to someone who has been to Asmara. No one can ever know what it was like unless they were there.

We arrived in Asmara right after I turned 9 years old, and departed shortly after I turned 11. I was there for 4th Grade through part of 6th Grade (June 1969-October 1971). I remember Haile Selassie coming to our school, and his army on the roofs of all the buildings. And, yes, boy howdy, do I remember the drought! Our quarters were upstairs/downstairs, and I can remember lugging buckets of water upstairs to the bathtub, and boiling everything before you ate it, and the water only being on twice a day. But you know something? I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world.

It would be nice to hear from someone who knew my Dad. Again, I appreciate so much you taking the time to write to me. Take care of yourself, and again, you don't know how much it means to hear from a fellow Kagnew-ite.

Fred Zieglar 73-74

Hello Fred Zieglar here in Daytona Beach, FL. USN stationed Kagnew 73-74. Worked as shore patrol. Had the best time of my life there but haven't been able to locate many of my comrades. I often laugh thinking about the EM club on Friday nights, guzzlin rum and cokes. Retired as a police sergeant in Florida. Hope someone reads this and could relate to the experiences!
All the best,

Larry Young 73-75

HI. I am Larry Young, and was at NCS from Jan 73 - Jul 75, finishing with the Communit. Found this site earlier this year, and registered in the guest book, but never really checked this board out. So I'm posting up, looking for old buds. Found a number of civilian friends I was taken in by, and one of them Bonnie (Robinson) Buckman, along with a few of her kids, all grown up now (amazing how 30 years will do that) that live within 20 miles of me here in Florida. What a small world. Looking for Jim Tiley, Tim Roney, Kim Speelman, Steve Traylor, Danny Linnell. We were all young, WILD and CRAZY!!! guys back then. Weren't we all? How could you be anything but that in a place like Asmara? Feel free to contact me at this address. Later...