American Forces Thailand Network (AFTN)

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February 28th 2021
12:55:51 PM
What is your name?  

Robert King

Current Whereabouts  

Daytona Beach FL

Current Work  

Retired

Base Stationed and Date  

Korat july 67 - july 68

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

F105 Doppler Nav system repair

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I was initially trained on the F4C and they sent me to a Doppler system repair school for 12 weeks at McConnell. I was an instructor for radar altimeters at Keesler for 2 1/2 years

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April 12th 2020
01:20:32 PM
What is your name?  

John S Oles

Current Whereabouts  

San Antonio, marooned from Thailand for the time being

Current Work  

Adjutant, AFTN Memorial Post 10249

Base Stationed and Date  

NKP 1971-73

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Bob, You\'ve done a wonderful service for those who are interested in the history of Udorn activities during the war. As you know, our post is named in honor of the airmen who died as a result of the crash. Every Feb 3 is Thai Memorial Day, and I\'ve long wanted to know if any Thais were killed as a result of the crash. I thought it\'d be fitting for our post to honor any Thais who were killed as well. I\'ve reached out to the US Embassy and tried to find a Thai who might know the history of the crash, without luck. Is there any chance you or your followers know the names of any Thai workers who might have been killed as a result of the crash. Thanks again for documenting the history as you have. John Oles

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July 25th 2019
12:05:46 PM
What is your name?  

David Easley

Current Whereabouts  

Back home in TN

Current Work  

Computer Network Administrator

Base Stationed and Date  

Korat RTAFB Feb 1975 - Jan 1976

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Electronic Countermeasures Technician

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Enjoyed AFTN while stationed at Korat. I helped close the base down. All of you helped me through some rough times away from family. I found this website while searching for some video footage. There was a camera crew there filming us as the last of us boarded the plane to leave the country. Would like to see that footage.
I have to say my one year in country was the worst and the best of my life. I learned a lot and really got to see just how blessed we are in this great country. I would return to visit, might be interesting from a different point of view. I still won\'t eat rice bugs. LOL
One of several jobs I\'ve held since those days was 8 years as a radio broadcast chief engineer. I would loved to have done THAT job for AFTN. But it is what it is. I had an important job to do as it was while there.
Thanks for this site and the memories!!!
D Ez

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April 9th 2019
06:43:04 PM
What is your name?  

Dennis Clark

Current Whereabouts  

Garwood, NJ

Current Work  

Retired

Base Stationed and Date  

Udorn RTAFB Oct. 1969-Oct 1970

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Aircraft Pneudraulics Technician 432nd FMS

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In loving and fond memory of the nine fellow Airmen, including my hometown friend Sgt. John Rose, who died in this tragic event. You will never be forgotten. Rest peacefully, in the arms of Our Lord, my Comrades.

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November 7th 2018
04:28:22 AM
What is your name?  

Chuck Stewart

Current Whereabouts  

Treasure Coast Florida

Current Work  

Video production, shooting, writing, editing

Base Stationed and Date  

Ubon June 1969

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

TV Program Director, Producer, Director, weekly radio show

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Still in touch with former AFTN staffer Gary Twitchell. I’m retired after a wonderful career with NBC Network News, White House Press Corps, NFL Films, Nat Geo TV and many others.

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October 4th 2018
07:20:17 PM
What is your name?  

Kenneth E Hardin

Current Whereabouts  

Seymour, TN

Current Work  

RETIRED SMSgt USAF, Engineer at ORNL, Narional Lab

Base Stationed and Date  

Korat

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Radio Network Engineering

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I SERVERED FROM SEPT 1969 TO SEPT 1970

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May 19th 2018
01:18:42 PM
What is your name?  

A!c Raymond R Cantu

Current Whereabouts  

San Antonio, Texas

Current Work  

Retired

Base Stationed and Date  

Takhli 1966 - July 1967

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Bug Killer ( Entomoloy Specialist)

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Looking for contacts during my time there. Working on my va claim.

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September 25th 2017
03:49:34 PM
What is your name?  

Donald James (Jim) Davey

Current Whereabouts  

Las Vegas, NV

Current Work  

Retired

Base Stationed and Date  

Several in Thailand

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Listener

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Served in Korat, Ubon, Udorn & Laos 37 consecutive months from May ’67 to June ’70 Enjoyed AFTN radio broadcasts … John Daremis (or something like that spelling) had such a deep soothing voice. I few years ago I was on the internet … found the VFW Post 10249 had a memorial to the men lost in the AFTN/RF-4C crash on its FaceBook page (vfw10249@yahoo.com) …. here is some of what I wrote the VFW Post about my recollection of the event …. old memory then, and things distorted like the height of the wall, but here is what I wrote, for what it is worth:

“It was daytime, and I was physically in the wooden barracks over on the “base side” of the Royal Thai Air Force Base in Udorn, Thailand. I normally never spent any time there as I had off base housing, and our normal work location was in one of the hangers over by the CIA Headquarters on the other side of the base. I had driven my motorcycle over to the squadron for some reason to see the First Sergeant if I recall correctly .. I was standing in the office, and the Armed Services Radio Station was playing on a desk; a disc-jockey or announcer airman was talking. Then I (we) heard an F-4 overhead .. that unique high pitched screech sound only the F-4 produced. Having worked on them as an Aircraft Electrical Repairman (AFSC 42350) in Ubon, and been on the flight line for years, I knew it was close, and not what you normally heard that far away from the runway even during low level fly-bys, etc. The engines sounded like they were full power or accelerating not on a landing pattern .. Different sound. Sort of like a touch and go, but in the wrong place. Maybe it just the fact the sound was getting closer and closer, and louder and louder … time started running slower ..… I think we all stopped talking, but the radio announcer was still talking .. the sound of the F-4 got even closer … louder … way too close .. and then the Earth moved … it really fucking moved! …… the lights went out …. the radio went silent .. and the sound of the huge explosion was very very close … I’d seen various planes crash in the years I was over there, and this time it was way too close!

I ran outside and could see black smoke rising close-by .. I jumped on my Honda 350cc motorcycle … didn’t even put on my helmet … and drove the short distance … maybe 200 yards away?, I’m not sure any more … to the scene of the crash … as I got the crash site in view I could see two walls maybe 14’ to 18’ tall of the concrete radio station standing with jet fuel flames and black smoke rising far above … there was an airman on the ground, so I jumped off the bike and helped him up .. he was blown over by the explosion, and was dazed, but was OK. All around the wooden hootches were starting to burn .. people running out in all directions .. total chaos .. some airmen in under ware .. and little house girls screaming in terror … and all around there were electrical wires sparking … I saw a diesel engine ground power unit (GPU) generator a few feet from the concrete wall of the building .. maybe 10’ or 12’ from the wall, not sure exactly. It was still running, so I thought for an instant that it might be producing the electricity causing the sparking … Some officer was yelling/ordering to get away .. to run .. he shouted the plane has bombs on it … but I knew how to shut off a ground power unit … so without thinking, I did … I grabbed my helmet, put in on and snapped the strap; dropped the visor, pulled up my fatigues collar up to cover the back of my neck, and ran to the unit with my head down holding on to my collar. It was fucking hot! … the flames were tremendously loud completely drowning out the diesel engine … with my back to the building that was filled with flames, I hit the fuel emergency shut-off valve, and the generator shut-off switch, and ran like hell. I was scared then .. my exposed skin on my hands was really hot …. my back felt hotter than I had ever known in the sun. I got on my bike and drove out of there fast. I think I had to stop down the road as I was shaking .. sirens and emergency vehicles all going to where I had been.

Later I went and got my camera and took a few pictures … the pilot and back-seater landed nearby alive .. one I think went through the roof of a movie theater. They were not severely injured. I recall the story was the plane was shot-up very badly over North Vietnam .. made it almost to the runway, but lost hydraulics on final approach so the pilot lost control; the pilot pushed the throttle forward in the hopes the plane would fly past the base and crash; then they punched-out … but the plane went nose-up .. then fell back tail first into the radio station building which was not much bigger than the F-4. We also later learned it was an unarmed reconnaissance RF-4, and had no bombs on board. If I recall correctly, all the airmen assigned to the radio station w

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March 25th 2017
05:49:25 PM
What is your name?  

Frank Miccolis

Current Whereabouts  

San Antonio, Texas

Current Work  

Flight Attendant Southwest Airlines

Base Stationed and Date  

Udorn, Takhli 1973-74

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Radio TV Broadcaster

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What a great time I had at these two bases during the war. I later went into broadcast when I got home retired from Air Force 1985.

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January 5th 2017
01:03:27 PM
What is your name?  

Billy Endress

Current Whereabouts  

Clinton Twp; NJ

Current Work  

Retired HS Engineering Drawing, Auto Tech instructor and Dept. Supv.

Base Stationed and Date  

Camp Vayama (Sattahip) Oct67- Oct68

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Generator Repairman MOS 52D20

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Loved Thailand. Listened to AFTN most days at the Repair Shop/Motor Pool

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December 28th 2016
09:06:17 PM
What is your name?  

Larry Sawell

Current Whereabouts  

Las Vegas NV

Current Work  

Free lance, Videographer, editer, writer, actor, voiceover etc

Base Stationed and Date  

Udorn RTAF 1970-71

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Acting Station Manager, NCOIC radio ops

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One of three survivors of F-4 crash.

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July 19th 2016
03:05:06 PM
What is your name?  

Richard D. Hartsook

Current Whereabouts  

West Palm Beach, Fl.

Current Work  

retired

Base Stationed and Date  

NKP Feb. to Sept. \'67

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

R&R DJ \'Champagne Flight 770\" with Dave Settles

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Is Doc Ball still with us? How can I contact people running page? I have a couple of old color slides of me in the new studios in \'67. By the way, I worked in the old shack on the flight line...heard that board made it to the school at Ft. Benjamin Harrison.

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April 26th 2016
12:06:07 PM
What is your name?  

Jeff Snicale

Current Whereabouts  

White Bear Lake, MN

Current Work  

Retired School Teacher

Base Stationed and Date  

Udorn RTAFB 69-70

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Aeromedical Tech. 432 USAF Hosp.

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4/10/70 etched into my memories, one of first emergency personnel on site and last to leave the next day. Knew several of the guys. Very sad day.

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December 9th 2015
07:42:26 AM
What is your name?  

Mike Kieffer

Current Whereabouts  

Erie PA

Current Work  

Business Mail Entry Clerk, USPS

Base Stationed and Date  

Udorn 1975-76; UTapao 1976--closed them both

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Radio/TV on air

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I\'m a bit overwhelmed looking at the rosters and seeing all these names from the past. What a bunch of geezers!

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November 11th 2015
05:02:42 PM
What is your name?  

Robert Buchanan

Current Whereabouts  

Bel Air, MD

Current Work  

Retired from Motorola as Senior Project Manager

Base Stationed and Date  

NKP Oct \'71 - \'72

Position (Radio/TV) (Other)  

Engineer TV

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On this Veterans Day, AFTN was one of my most interesting assignments. I was only there for about 7 months after being transferred from AFCS in Tahkli on a Tropo site. I just don\'t remember eating a rice beetle but probably did. Great Memories.

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