Thanks Cal, Roger and others for the words about my site. It was the an early one I built while practicing with Earthlink's Click N Build (for web dummies). Not very flashy but something I could master.
The events at AFVN in 1972-3 were difficult but a necessary evolution as the war was winding down. It was to some degree like a stateside station going out of business or changing calls or format but more intense for us at AFVN. But we were getting shorter and that helped. We knew the end was near at least for the American presence but no official treaty was imminent when I left in late September of 72.
I remember when the Qui Nhon record library arrived at AFVN Saigon Supply around May 1972. Several of us were tasked with inventorying every record and writing up an itemized list. After replacing some of the more worn copies in the AFVN Saigon music library, we boxed the records up. We were told they would be destroyed as per the agreement with AFRTS and the lists submitted along with an official statement. Some of us would have loved to have such records for our stateside radio jobs--especially the TPs with the mixed artists on one disk. But unfortunately, there was no easy way to get the records out of the country. I heard that the Da Nang detachment inventoried their records later in 1972 after I left. I understand they loaded the records up in the jeeps and took them to the dump on Monkey Mountain along with their weapons and had an afternoon of target shooting.
It is great to read of the happenings in earlier years through posts by those who were there during the AFVN "peak years"-which I would say were 1968-70. It seems to me that after the Lawrence controversy, things were much more free. While I was with AFVN, we were allowed to play any record in the AFRTS library including Hair (without any edits). "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place," "War" (Edwin Starr), etc. Also, we would play songs that were not in the basic AFRTS library but were on the stateside-produced AFRTS shows like Wolfman Jack, Bob Kingsley, Herman Griffith, etc. Production would dub those songs off onto cart. That's how we got Tooth Fairy episodes when I was there. Maybe not 100% authorized but close enough. At the station where I worked before being drafted, they put tape over cuts on the albums that were not considered within the format. I never saw anything like that at AFVN Da Nang or Saigon.
It seems like the atmosphere at AFVN was much different before 1970 with tons of micromanagement. The only guard duty we pulled was on Vung Chua Mountain and then only when manpower was dwindling and the threat level was very high. At the Walling (on Pham Ngu Lao), I think we only had to pull CQ which was not very often.
When Qui Nhon closed down in late February 1972, the AM and barracks were turned over to the Vietnamese. The AM was deeded over about two weeks or so before the detachment completely closed. TV continued to operate after the 10KW AM stopped. The detachment living quarters were relocated to the top of the mountain. Eventually, a 50 watt Bauer was installed at MACV HQ in Qui Nhon to restore some degree of AM service.
In Da Nang, the main AM site was at Red Beach. It was deeded over in March or April. A 1 KW or so transmitter eventually was installed at Da Nang Airbase but AM radio was on a 50 watt Bauer there for a while until the more powerful transmitter was installed. FM and TV continued from Monkey Mountain as usual until early 1973-I think.
It would be interesting to know of specific records issued by AFRTS which were banned. I've heard that the brass didn't care for Kenny Rogers and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" in the earlier years and they didn't like the full version of "Hair." I wonder what others were on their "list."
Billy Williams, SP5, USA (1971-1972) - 2