(From a message dated May 12, 2013.)
This is Army Specialist Craig Prosser reporting. Or I was back then..in 1963-64 when I was one of the first newsmen at AFRS in Saigon. I came on board in August of 1963 after graduating from Ohio State and going through the Information School at Fort Slocum , N. Y. And after a brief assignment in the Information Office at Fourth Army headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Those were fun days in Saigon and what a tremendous learning experience it was at the station. We had great leaders and a crew of 20 somethings either just out of college or with a couple years of commercial radio experience. Lieutenant Don Kirtley was our OIC. Chief Journalist Bryant Arbuckle, who put the station on the air about a year earlier, was the manager and Senior Master Sergeant Frank Monteleone ran the newsroom. We operated first out of some former storerooms in the Rex BOQ but later moved to a new complex in the Brink BOQ.
Some huge news stories in those days. The overthrow and assassination of South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem followed by the assassination of President Kennedy three weeks later. There were numerous terrorist bombings including the American movie theater in Saigon and a softball field at Tan son Nhut. The VC also sank a US transport carrier loaded with helicopters in the Saigon River. And, soon after I returned to the States, they blew up the Brink, where our studios were located. The blast on Christmas Eve 1964 killed two officers in the hotel and knocked the station off the air for a few hours. Two of our people, including OIC Captain John Carr, were wounded by flying debris outside the building.
After leaving the Army in 1965, I worked for 40 years in television news, as a reporter, anchor and sportscaster. I retired in 2005 after 35 years at Sacramento's KOVR CBS 13.My wife and I raised two sons, We have three grand- children and live in Stockton, California.
(From a message dated March 18, 2013.)
We were the second generation of broadcasters to work at AFRS in Saigon. Most of us replaced the TDY troops who helped founder Navy Chief Journalist Bryant "Buck" Arbuckle put the station on the air in late summer 1962. Russ Elliott and I were on the same flight over in August 1963 and met Army Sergeant First Class Jack Brice in the personnel office at Tan Son Nhut. He had been one of the early "Dawnbusters" and was about to leave for re-assignment. Arbuckle was still at the station and would be for another couple of months. Air Force Senior Master Frank Monteleone ran the newsroom and was a great mentor. Air Force 1st Lieutenant Don Kirtley arrived in the spring of 1963 and was the first OIC. He got us out of the make-shift quarters in the Rex BOQ and into brand new studios with new equipment in the Brink BOQ in November 1963. These photos are from the Brink studios in mid 1964. Others who served with us but whose pictures I don't have were, SP4 Lee Hansen, USA, A1C Lee Maltenfort, USAF, JO2 John Loflin, USN, and A1C Roy Heitman, USAF. Two members of our AFRS family were wounded in the car bombing of the Brink on Christmas Eve of 1964: OIC Captain John Carr, USA, and SP4 Dick Werges, USA.
Craig Prosser SP5, USA Newsman, Saigon 1963-64
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