Personal Accounts of 7th PsyOp Group

 

J.R. Leftault 15th Psyop Det. 1971-1973
Brief Email and Pictures From Lt. Roger Jackson Who Served in 7th From 1968-70 10/3/15
Recollections Of The 7th Group 1972-73 by Jim Wilks. Contains names of many who served and some photos. 11/10/12

 

J.R. Leftault 15th PsyOps Det. 1971-1973

Received via Email 5/31/17

Tim,

I arrived on Okinawa in Oct 1971 initially assigned to the 16th PSYOP Det, which was already deployed to Thailand.  As a new 96B, Intelligence Analyst, and a PFC, the powers decided to attach me to the 15th PSYOP Det for duty in the North Vietnam Section of the PSYOP Automated Management Information System (PAMIS) as a propaganda analyst.  We had a section of 4 guys led by a LT Cortez(?) that listened to audio belt tapes of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)  site on Okinawa from Hanoi Hannah broadcasts and from a monthly North Vietnam English magazine.  Our job was to identify North Vietnamese propaganda objectives which were then keypunched into IBM cards and transmitted daily to the Pentagon.  We also a couple of native Vietnamese who did the same thing for vernacular broadcasts and publications.

The 15th was co-located with the 7th PSYOP Group headquarters at the northwest end of Machinato Service Area (MSA), now Camp Kinser.  We had a snack bar and a broadcast studio for the Voice of America at the site.  I think MAJ Brown was the Det Cdr at the time.  The only other person I can recall is a guy who came over with me from Ft. Huachuca, AZ, named SP4 Gilbert Minjarez.

We lived in the 14th PSYOP Bn barracks, third floor, on Sukiran (Camp Foster).  We were opposite the 1st Special Forces Group jump towers and the field house.  We had a mess hall on the 1st floor and local national laundry services in the basement.  I lived in two-man room facing the jump towers.  My roommate was a black guy named Forest.  My room was a few doors down from SP5 Don Abbot.  We commuted to work by military bus every day.  Lunch meals were at the site snack bar.  In Dec 71, I got to see the Bob Hope Xmas show at the field house on Sukiran.  In Jan 72 I was promoted to SP4.

During 1972 I went TDY to Guam to help load propaganda leaflets and portable radios to be dropped in North Vietnam.  An interesting side note was that enroute to Okinawa for assignment in Oct 71, we were diverted to Guam for an overnight because of a typhoon hitting Okinawa.  The following day we flew on to Kadena AB.   Upon our return from Guam, there was a local national labor strike so I was tasked to drive a school bus for junior high kids from Futenma housing area.  That lasted a few weeks and proved to be very interesting.

In Sep 72 I was recommended for SP5 and went on the promotion list waiting for my points to meet the cutoff announced each month.  I also changed jobs becoming a keypunch operator and IBM 80/80 card transmitter using 2d Log Command computers, wiring the board for daily transmission of data back to the USA.

March 73 saw me leave Okinawa for stateside duty.  It was not a pretty welcome at Travis AFB or Oakland Army Depot as protests were in full swing.  

I subsequently remained in the Army for almost 26 years retiring as a CW4 in 1996.  In 1978-1979 I had switched to counterintelligence special agent and completed Japanese language training in Monterey, CA.  I served in mainland Japan, 1979-1982, 1984-1986 and then in Okinawa 1986-1991.  I enjoyed my first assignment with the 7th PSYOP Group on Okinawa and it was a contributing reason for my returning to Japan.

John Leftault

Albuquerque, NM

 

 

Dick Schroeder 15th Det 68-70 Editor Veritas

NOTE: Dick contacted me by Email Feb 5, 2014

Dear Tim,

It was interesting to read about the history of the 7th PSYOP Group,  especially since I was part of it from December 1968-March 1970.
Upon arriving I was interviewed by CW2 Welsh and assigned by CPT Gordan to replace SP5 Craig Noble as editor of VERITAS. This made perfect Army sense because I'm an engineer and told CW2 Welsh that I'd only written what I had to in college. Needless to say I hated the work and when I was offered a position as NCO in Charge of the Printed Media Propaganda Group (part of the 15th Det.) I jumped at the chance. The officers allowed me to hand-pick my replacement so I looked for someone with journalism experience and found Stanley Farbotnik and Richard Potter. I "stayed" as Editor-in-Chief but they actually did everything while I worked for Mr. Connelly and Mr. Waite. Mr. Connley had been one of Gen. Patten's battalion commanders and Mr. Waite was a retired Marine photography expert. We had Hyane as a photographer who took our Army (the old X2) and took pictures all over Okinawa for Shurei No Hikari.

SP5 Dick Schroeder
Fairfield Glade, TN
(formerly Defiance County, OH)

Stephen Catlin 15th Company 1966-1969

NOTE: Stephen contacted me by Email on 8/11/11. Stephen worked with Mike Peters who became the author of the comic strip Mother Goose and Grim. Stephen who presently lives in Kentucky would like to hear from anyone who was in the Radio Branch from 66-69. Email Stephen

I was assigned to the 7th Psyop between thanksgiving 66 to June 69.   I arrived as a PVT. and left as a SP5.  I arrived as a 84D2W (Audio Spec) and left with a 71R2W (Broadcast Spec).   I worked in Building 910 at the Okinawa HQ compound. I enjoyed my time there and was lucky that my wife could join me.  My boss Maj Lehman and I went round and round trying to get permission to bring her over while I was just a PFC.  

I included some pictures with description as follows: 

The next four pictures were taken in the studios of the Radio Branch. Programs were made here in several different languages

E-Mail From Sp5 Ronald L. Waters, 18th Co. 1967-68

NOTE: Ronald sent brief description of his tour and a picture on 7/26 & 28/09

Tim,
Just found your web site ref 7th PSYOP GP as was reaffirming thru the web the Merit. Unit Citation for the Grp when I served.
This was to verify all my uniform "goodies" as my grandson was keen on my uniform etc.
Anyway, I was levied from the 82nd ABN DIV to the 18th in May of 1967 as a SP5 and served with 18th and was attached to the 1st SF
for a short while then finished my last last 6 months assigned to the 7th PSYOP GRPs THAI Det with duty with the 93rd PSYOP.

Keep up the good work. I'm sure all the 'PSYOPERS' appreciate it.

R. Waters 

Ronald snail mailed a picture of himself with a "Welcome to The 7th" in the background. He included information about the picture:

Note the 18th's shoulder patch. It was the Oki Tori patch with a black and gold airborne tab. In all my searches on the web, I have not seen this patch combo. Nor the Class A jump wing flash that had a center oval divided in 3rds with white, grey and black (the shades of propaganda) outlined on the outside by red, yellow and blue to show supporting artillery, armor and infantry. We wore the 14th Battallion shoulder unit crests (which I have seen) and bloused our pants in our jump boots. (Click For Picture)

Ronald L. Waters

Manny Kagan, Photography Section 1972-73

NOTE: Manny sent account of his tour in two E-mails dated 6/21 & 22/09

6/21/09 Message:

Hello,   WOW!  What a blast from the past.  Just came across your website.  I was assigned to the 7th Psyops Group 2 days after I landed in Okinawa in April 1972.  I departed 18 months later to be assigned to the 1st Psyops Battalion at Ft. Bragg to finish my enlistment period.

As a graduate of the Signal School (Ft. Monmouth), in photography and image interpretation, I was assigned to the photography section at the facility housing the codes & cyphers section approx. 3 miles from the barracks at Camp Bruckner.  (It was right near the beach.)   I arrived as a PFC and was promoted by the unit executive officer, (a red faced major whose name I can`t remember), to SP4 a month later. 

The photography section was a 2 man set-up, with a SP5 in charge who had transferred from the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea.  As it turned out, the unit only needed me to do microfilming, and take unit photos of awards ceremonies to be printed in the unit newspaper "Veritas", and to make studio portraits of all the officers when they were promoted or received a new commendation or medal.  (Color photos for their personal file in their Class A uniform with all the trimmings.) 

As the years have gone by, the recollections have almost disappeared completely, with no memory of anyone else`s name, other than a few incidents that have stuck in my mind.  Sometime in late 1972, a sergeant from one of the units, (I`m guessing it was radio codes), was arrested for passing classified info to the soviets on the unit`s radio transmissions.  In early 1973, the unit`s facility on the beach was locked down for 2 days when a bomb threat was suspected by military intel.  After the area was searched, it was cleared to re-open.  In 1973, the headquarters company needed a company clerk when the last one went home.  I knew typing so I was "volunteered" to that position for 6 months.  While assigned to 7th Psyops I took hundreds of photos, maybe 1000`s, of the base, nearby Kadena AFB (B-52`s taking off for Vietnam & SR-71`s taking off and landing), the airborne school area behind the barracks, our airborne members doing their qualifying jumps from C-130`s landing on either the beach or the runways, and wrecked trucks and APC`s brought over from Vietnam, and plenty of scenes of Naha and the Okinawan countryside.  When I arrived at Ft. Bragg, all the photos, negatives, and color slides had been taken from the boxes shipped ahead of me.  I was later told by the unit`s postal clerk that the boxes had been opened to search for drugs, and the photos confiscated as "Classified Materials". 

I also remembered the unit sending me to an NCO leadership school on the island for 2 weeks so I could get my promotion to SP5.  (Too bad the Army`s quota for my MOS was already filled when I got more than enough points after going before the promotion board.)

Anyways, thanks for keeping a record of the unit.  Manny Kagan.

6/22/09 Message:

Hello Tim     

You have my permission to add my story to your history of the unit.  As you say, I was there as the war was winding down, other than the increased bombing by the B-52`s, and the intensified negotiations at the Paris peace talks.  A few other memories come to mind of the unit.

For whatever reason, the 7th`s radio section was also tasked with passing direct communications from MACV to the White House, in scrambled mode.  The only snippet I can recall was that Kissinger was coded with the name "Mountain Goat.  I also had a "Top Secret" clearance, even though I never had to deal with anything classified, other than be a "volunteer" packing leaflets, the radios which were cheap transistor types pre-tuned to American frequencies.  (Ironically, many of these radios were stolen by GI`s and the civilian workers before they were packed.  The unit`s colonel had to bring in investigators from the MP`s before the thefts stopped.)  Another secret that ended up on the NY Times, was the mass dropping of counterfeit N. Vietnamese currency on the countryside there, hoping this would affect or collapse the economy.  Again, a lot of this currency was taken by the soldiers as souvenirs and other idiots who thought they could exchange it for dollars when they went home.  The "currency" was printed by another detachment in the Philippines. 

I met the captain who was the designer of all the leaflets dropped on N. Vietnam.  His office was next to the photo section, and he spent the whole day cutting different shapes of papers, from the thinnest onionskin types, to cardstock, and having a staff sergeant standing on a chair and dropping the paper.  The captain would time the descent, and keep a record of it`s movement peculiarities.  To simulate winds, they would use fans, set to different speeds.  Sounds crazy but this was the Army.

During my time there, 95% of the officers were combat veterans, mostly Ranger and Green Berets, which led me to believe that they had been assigned to 7th Group for other reasons than being suited for "desk jobs".  The commanding officer had been one of the Rangers scaling the Normandy cliffs on D-Day, and the Command Sergeant Major, a short stocky African American, who acted grandfatherly, was a combat veteran during the Battle of the Bulge.

In late 1972 to early 1973, the Okinawan dock workers at the nearby naval port in Naha, went on strike, refusing to load or unload military cargo ships.  The 7th Psyops had to provide approx. 25 nonessential soldiers to fill in as dockworkers, along with soldiers from every unit near Camp Buckner.  I was assigned to that detail, and spent the whole time unloading 500-1000 lb. bombs to be trucked to Kadena.  (As well as LAW rocket launchers, ammunition, grenades, claymores, and all the other fun stuff used in war.)

The most oddest twist to my time there, was that from the beginning of my tour there, no one ever explained to me just what the purpose of the unit was, or even what the heck was psychological warfare, and how it was supposed to help in the war.  But, 2 months before I was discharged from the army, while at Ft. Bragg attached to the 1st Psyops Battalion, I was assigned to and graduated a Psyops course taught in the classrooms of the JFK Center for Military Assistance school for NCO`s and officers.  I finally understood the intricacies of black, white, and gray propaganda, but getting near separation, and not re-enlisting, I no longer cared.

Regards,  Manny.(E-Mail)

 

Col. Charlie Nahlik (Ret.) 7th Group 1966-68

Editor's Note: Col. Nahlik is a 1963 West Point Graduate now retired from the Army. The following are excerpts from several e-mails in Dec. 2005:

I was assigned to the 7th PSYOP Grouip on Okinawa in the Machinato Service Area from late 1966 to 1968. I was first assigned to the S3 plans for a few months (as a Captain) before being assigned to understudy the Major that basically designed the high altitude leaflet programs in the Pacific. Major David Underhill was a fantastic officer and totally dedicated to training others to spread leaflets by the millions. I spent about 6 months working for him. we traveled to Saigon and taught Vietnamese PSYOPS personnel all about PSYOPS. It was a fantastic experience although a bit scary at times.

In the coming two years of my tour, I taught at the Korean Special Forces Camp in sub-freezing weather, taught Taiwanese at okinawa and taught Vietnamese units in Plei Ku, Da Nang and Saigon plus portions of the 6th PSYOP Bn in Saigon.

The Unit Groups consisted of the following: (Discussed Below)

  • 7th PSYOP Group
  • HHD, 14th PSYOP Bn
  • 15th PSYOP Det (Strat)
  • 18th PSYOP CO (A&S) (ABN)
  • 16th PSYOP CO

The 18th PSYOP Co (Airborne) was the staffing company for the headquarters, 7th PSYOP Group. The 18th was the unit that just about everyone was assigned to that worked in the Headquarters itself.. I do not recall if the 15th PSYOP Det had their own orderly room or not.*

*Dennis Kaliser who was an enlisted man in the 15th at the time indicated that the 15th did NOT have their own orderly room and the 18th was performing all the admin HQ duties. Dennis Kaliser served with the 14th shortly after it was reorganized as the 7th group. . See Kaliser's account of 7th under "Other Accounts".

The 15th Detachment and the 7th HQ were all laid out in long flat buildings, basically end-to end. The 15th Detachment claim to fame was the Target Analysis Section. They were always reading everything they could find that was provided them by the detachments in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. They would write tons of reports that would then go back to the various contries and headquarters for use in preparing for future PSYOPS. They published some fantasitic area assessments I wish I had kept.

The 16th PSYOP Company was still in Deragawa. I was only there once as an observer for a Mount Out Operation that the company participated in.

The 14th PSYOP Battalion was basically like the 7th PSYOP Hq.... It was a HQ with a LTC and mini-staff with the two companies an detachments under them. In my two years there, there was basically no interaction with or requirements from the Bn Hq*.

*Editor's Note: Col Nahlik indicated that he was not certain what role the 14th Bn played in the 7th Group. The role of the 14th Bn after the reorgnization continues to be unclear. . It may be that the 14th Bn was kept as a holdover from traditional naming of PSYOP units or the 14th was considered a "Regional" PSYOP asset as discussed below in Psychological Operations Of US Military:

Every component of the U.S. military services has its own PsyOp personnel and assets whereas the main potential here (about 85 percent) is in the Army, the only component with regular PsyOp units in peacetime and big reserve PsyOp components of high mobilization readiness. The main regular element of the Army and at the same time the nucleus of the entire PsyOp structure of the U.S. military services is the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) at Ft. Bragg, NC. It consists of a headquarters element, a headquarters company and five PsyOp battalions: the 1st, 6th and 8th are regionally oriented battalions, the 9th is a tactical PsyOps battalion and the 3rd is a PsyOp dissemination battalion. The Group's total strength is 1,135.

Regional PsyOp battalions are designed to organize and conduct psychological operations of strategic and operational levels in specified theaters in support of the Unified Command (UC) of the U.S. military services: The 1st Psychological Operations Battalion supports the UC in the Atlantic and the UC in Central and Southern America; the 6th Psychological Operations Battalion supports UC in Europe and Africa; the 8th Psychological Operations Battalion supports the UC in the Pacific and the Central Command zone. Each regional battalion has a headquarters support company and two region-oriented companies supporting concrete unified commands (groups) of the U.S. military services. Each of them has a strategic studies detachment, which includes civilians with expertise in the regions the battalions are responsible for. The battalions have MSQ-85B general-purpose audio and video studios for recording and editing television and radio programs and loudspeaker-broadcast messages, producing photographs, slides and printed material layouts.

More will be added to Col Nahlik's account...................

Source: Col. Charlie Nahlik (Ret.)

Maj. Carl Yasuda (Ret.): Assignment To B&VA (14th PsyWar Bn)

Editor's Note: The following is a partial e-mail from Col Yasuda in Dec 2005:

I enlisted in July 1960, made E-5 in 62 and completed OCS in 64. I completed Signal Officer Basic, Airborne School, and the PSYOPS course before reporting to B&VA, Okinawa in August 65 as a 2nd Lt. I was already on orders to go TDY to Vietnam before my arrival. Anyway, the 1st PSYOPS Det was formed by members of B&VA and deployed on TDY status to Da Nang, Vietnam, in July 65 under the operational control of MACV, Advisory Team #1.

I joined the Det in August 65 after processing in/out of Okinawa and receiving in-country briefing in Saigon. while in Vietnam, I was not aware of the reorganization of B&VA until I was taken off jump status. I was working as a PSYWAR Propaganda Officer until Dec 65 and was given an option of continuing with the Det to complete a full Vietnam tour or return to Okinawa. Since my family was scheduled to arrive in Okinawa, I elected to return to Okinawa with only a few other men to the (newly reorganized) 7th PSYOPS Gp.

Source: Maj. Carl Yasuda (Ret.)

7th PsyOps 1966-67 and Return Visit in 1987 By Dennis Kaliser

NOTE: Communication by E-Mail

Hello Tim

My name is Dennis Kaliser. While putting together my photo collection from old army days (now digitized) I started surfing the internet for info about the 7th PsyOps. I was a member of the 15th detachment, printing branch from January of 1966 until mid July of 1967. In August 1968 I was discharged from Ft. Eustis Va. where I spent my remaining enlistment time. My MOS was 83E20, litho platemaker. In those days, as the Viet Nam war heated up, the unit grew in size and there was also a regular turnover. I saw the names you listed for the 15th det. in '65 but none of them were there when I arrived. Likewise, I came across another site with names just a few years later and I knew none of them. While on business in the Washington area in the mid seventies I came across an x army guy who served in the 7th PsyOps. He told me the unit moved back to Ft. Bragg N.C. in 1972 when we removed our troops from Viet Nam.

To keep hazy memory of names and places straight, I quote from another site found when I searched for 7th PsyOps. "The 7th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) was constituted on 19 August 1965 in the Regular Army as the 7th Psychological Operations Group. It activated 20 October 1965 on Okinawa, Japan.
The unit inactivated 30 June 1974 at Fort Bragg, NC."

That means that the 7th Psyops organization was only a few months old when I arrived on Okinawa and had changed from when you left. All during my time there, the entire Okinawa based group was housed in the same barracks. Enlisted ranks that is.. The 15th detachment was the printing branch and the broadcasting guys were in the 14th. Only the 16th detachment was airborne. The guys in this unit worked seamlessly in broadcasting or printing with the 14th or 15th. They did not seem to have a separate mission except to be ready for airborne operations if needed. With airborne training, these guys got an extra 55 dollars a month. I was tempted to go airborne for the fun of it and the money, but there were less slots available for advancement in the 16th. So I stayed "Chairborne"

There seems to be some confusion about place names as since the sixties bases have changed hands and place names have changed. Like many other guys I clandestinely rented a small "hooch" off base to use as a get away from the barracks once in a while. Officially, you were not allowed to have one until you became E5. My little place was in the town of Makiminato just east of the Machinato Service Area. Referring back to WW2 history, Machinato was a Japanese airfield that was bitterly contested during the battle for Okinawa. Once Okinawa was conquered by the Americans, the Naha and Kadena airbases built by the Japanese were taken over and made into American air bases. The Machinato field was turned into a logistics area covered with warehouses. Closer to the beach was where the barracks were built housing the troops working in the warehouses and where the 7th Psyops had its broadcasting facilities and barracks.

When I first came to Okinawa, the 7th PsyOps barracks was building 1201 at the bottom of the hill close to the access road and then the shore line. Looks like the picture in your site. Later that year, that building was turned over to the growing 2nd logistical command and the 7th PsyOps barracks relocated to Ft. Buckner alias Zukeran. The printing branch (building 205) was located in one of those big warehouse buildings in the Machinato Service Area. The rest of the buildings in the service area were used by the 2nd logistical command storing and shipping logistics for Viet Nam.

I later learned....Once the marines took over after Viet Nam, the Machinato service area became Camp Kinser still devoted to logistics. I'm not sure about the section closer to the ocean where the barracks and the "green compound" was. It either became part of Camp Kinser or was turned over to the Okinawans. You'll have to find a Marine get the answer. Note that this is a correction from my previous email where I mistakenly said that the whole service area was no longer a military base.

The town of Makiminato along with civilian parts of Machinato eventually became part of sprawling Urasoe. On my visit in 1987, I asked the taxi driver to see if we could find my old "hooch" in Makiminato, but the place had changed so radically that I could not be sure of the street where I lived and all the old tiny houses had been replaced by modern apartments. I see also by my internet search that there was off base housing for military families in Makiminato dating back to the sixties, but as a single lowly enlisted GI, I never saw the place or even knew of its existence.

The smelly benjo ditches were also long gone from Makiminato and Naha as well. I still remember back in '66 seeing one kid peeing in the bengo ditch and just a little ways down the hill seeing kids playing with their toy boats in the same ditch.

Ft Buckner became Camp Butler and for some unknown reason to me, the Japanese name Zukeran also disappeared. The base name change seems unfortunate to me as Army General Buckner was the commander of operations during the battle of Okinawa and was killed during the battle. I guess the tradition is too strong that a Marine base cannot be named after an Army General.

In 1987, I had a business trip to Tokyo for a couple weeks and decided to fly to Okinawa and spend the interim weekend on a nostalgia trip. I was very surprised to see how much the place and the people had changed in the last 20 years. As the Island returned to Japanese control in 1972, driving was on the left instead of the right, Naha was full of luxurious hotels and there were at least 8 Jumbo jets a day flying in and out of Naha loaded with Japanese tourists. Okinawa had become the "Florida" of Japan. There were modern highways with normal speed limits, not like the 30mph limit when I was stationed there. Nostalgia wise, I was just a bit saddened to see that the Army presence on the Island was all but gone. Just about all the military bases had become marine bases.

Koza with its infamous "four corners" was gone and in its place was the  fairly modern town of Okinawa city. As I was alone and had no contacts with the American military, I took a Japanese bus tour or two of the island. I was the only westerner on the bus and the tour guide spoke no English. None the less, it was most enjoyable. I was able to follow most of what the tour guide said based on my recall of Okinawa history and the few words of Japanese I remembered. It was April and the weather was perfect. The island really is beautiful and getting to see it once again, this time as a pampered civilian staying in a fancy hotel gave me a very different perspective than as a young enlisted trooper back in '66. Anyhow, lots more memories, but just wanted to share some of them when I saw your site. Best regards

Source: Dennis Kaliser

Access Photo Album Below

Okinawa Photo Album/Commentary 1966-67 and Revisit 1987

Leonard Sibel 7th PsyOps 1965-66 Machinato and Deragawa

Tonite, I found your B&VA site searching for that older name. Fantastic site for the few of us who recall that "comfy duty". It was B&VA when I arrived; we woke up one morning to find that we were now a real, numbered US Army Group (7th PsyOps). . I don't recall 14th Btln, but maybe I was a member thereof? (Ed Note: Yes the 7th Group was part of the 14th Batallion) ....there was a SgtMaj. I seem to recall that the 15th Co were the photo lithographers and printers.

After about a year of working for GS(-11 (plus?)) civilians writing thrice-weekly propaganda program "To Tell the Truth", for a time in tandem with Notre Dame grad (SP4?) Lawrence (?) Spivak, during which I managed to piss off most of the Hq & Hq Co military "superiors" in Robin Williams "Good Morning, Vietnam " fashion, I was "retired" to the 16th Co out in the boondocks (Deragawa) near Kadena as caretaker ((not-quite)NCO-in-charge) of mobile, airliftable AM broadcast studio van, Gates Radio serial number 2.

There was an NCOIC who drove up there once in awhile. You couldn't miss the nomenclature plate with that "serial # 2" visits, I asked him how many of these stations were in US Army; his answer: "Two". Next question, of course, "where's the other one?"; his answer: "captured by Viet Cong very soon after it went on the air there." (pretty easy to locate by triangulation...maybe the reason it wasn't replaced).

" Vietnam Order of Battle..." has a photo of the interior of what could be "my" "serial #2" studio van, shot from control room behind audio engineer seated at Gates console looking thru glass window at announcer / performer ("talent"), see 8th PsyOp Btln in: http://www.psywarrior.com/VietnamOBPSYOP

...That was my "office" after they put me out to pasture...to a very nice ex-USAF radar station (maybe microwave as per your site?) with two-man rooms, civilian mess-hall workers residing just outside the gate, free movies, free popcorn, free beer, BookMobile visited weekly, new M-151 Jeeps could be checked out for joyriding to find girls in Koza, interesting CQ duty during typhoons, great Co CO (who appointed me Co historian...may be copies thereof somewhere?).

That 8th Btln station in Vietnam was bombed AFTER my Okinawa tour (before which "serial #1" was said to have been "captured")...since the photo looks identical to "my" "serial #2", it could be that it was shipped to Vietnam with the 8th Btln and became a casualty thereof <sniff, sniff>...I'll recall it fondly on Memorial Days...it should beawarded a posthumous Purple Turntable, right?

Although the16th Co did not receive Meritorious Unit (probably not given to below-battalion units?), 14th Btln did, for 1968 - 1970. Your site says that 7th PsyOp Grp didn't receive Meritorious Unit until 1967, but http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/branches/psyop/default.htm...shows that Hq & Hq Co received Meritorious Unit every year from 1965 thru 1973 except 1969 and 1971. From the army.mil site, it isn't clear if this applies to everyone in 7th or only to those in Hq & Hq Co. Until I can unearth my copy of 201 file, I'll assume that I wasin Hq & Hq Co, 7th Grp rather than 14th Btln, and try to find such a tie tack for church.

When we barracks residents were rousted out of bunks at all hours (depending on southerly winds across Korean DMZ, for which there was a C-130s out of Naha at that time, I seem to recall. On one occasion when box(es) of leaflets fell off a truck and burst on Okinawa street , I heard that everyone had to run around policing them all up because they were considered Classified "Sensitive", a classification possibly contrived by / for 7th PsyOps or PsyOps generally. (Where is the logic of "classifying"something intended for wide dissemination? Oxymoronic...but at least WE know better than to put "military intelligence" in that category: WE know that those "96Bravo" guys are sharp indeed.) This may be why we can't find much about VUNC or real details on non-Vietnam activities of 7th: there was a clear understanding that most everything we were doing was sort of "Sensitive" and "not for broadcast" to local bar girls or others. In particular, the exact number of millions of leaflets dropped per year was not something that we leaflet-loaders had a "need to know", but I seem to recall a number like 64 million...but that could be just one of our favorite powers of two among software engineers?

We apparently had some difficulty designing cardboard boxes WEAK enough to burst upon static-line snapping; your site mentions some of this testing...the NEED for it is ironic: "stock" cardboard boxes made in USA were too STRONG for what we needed. I think that our Taiwan office used balloons to convey leaflets to mainland (aircraft would be shot down). I do recall seeing candy debris under the roller conveyors on C-130, so we were probably dropping candy over N Vietnam to the kids. It was learned from captured Viet Cong and N Vietnamese that they very much appreciated our leaflets that could be used as toilet paper (might as well read them beforehand, right?).

I don't know if we made any effort to switch to printing on paper more suitable for that particular membrane. It was said, whether or not hyperbole, that the 15th's two three-headed offset presses were as fast as any in the world. In the interest of speed, paper was flipped between heads, one color on one side and two colors on the other, in the same pass. I don't think they were used for three-color printing much, if at all. Various slick magazines in various languages were printed on the higher-quality presses of our Japan office.

Upon my arrival B&VA via Gen Drake Chenault's "bounty land" government contract Flying Tiger Airlines, there was no evidence of any more airborne troops than you would expect in any other (ordinarily) non-combat unit. The 16th Co's radio station's two ten-ton vans (one studio, one transmitter) and half-dozen duece-and-half huts could be airlifted, supposedly up and broadcasting anywhere in the world with at least its helium-balloon antenna (a big, easy target) within 48 hours (or, was it 72?)...but, as of 1965, that "airborne" episode of B&VA must have been a flash in the pan, vetoed by the CINCPAC Admiral or some such (I think that both B&VA and 7th were directly under CINCPAC 65-66?...I don't recall IX Corp at all).

In the Machinato barracks, 1st Special Forces Grp Hq with their nifty new M-16s was right next door, and a USMC unit ("airborne unit" in your photo) was occupying the high ground (of course) just uphill (we (attempted) to play football against both?, or just the Marines?)...so, we were pretty well-protected; maybe "they" concluded that PsyOps troops didn't tend to be the airborne, combat-infantrymen type?

Maybe more later, if memory revives any more. Meanwhile, here's my 500-words-or-less from www.military.com :

1964: E-3 broadcast spec & journalist (MOS 703) in PIO (Pub Info Ofc), Hq & Hq Co, Ft Rucker, AL. 1965-1966: two more promos to E-3 (ha, ha) broadcast spec, PsyOps (MOS 703.2 > 73R2W) in Writers'Sec, VUNC (Voice of the UN Cmd), Broadcasting & Visual Activity, Pacific > Hq & Hq Co, 7th PsyOps Grp, Machinato, Okinawa . 1967: E-3 journalist (MOS 73R2W) in PIO (Pub Info Ofc), Hq & Hq Co, 1st ArmorDiv, Ft Hood, TX; weekend civilian top forty rock'n'roll DJ at KNOW-AM, Austin , TX .

Source:  F. Leonard Sibel Jr aka (radio announcer) Jay William Weed  
P.O. Box 27031 Fresno , CA 93729 559-224-9333

Craig Morris 7th PsyOps Group 1968-1970

I went through the Fort Monmouth, NJ Army Electronics School from Jan. 1968 to July 1968 and was trained as a Fixed Station Radio Repairman". I was a PFC at that time. Upon graduation, nine of the eleven grads were sent to Okinawa to the 7th PSYOP. I was there 2 weeks and was sent TDY with 2 others to the Korea detachment and assigned to VUNC A-site on Kanghwa Do Island. This site had a 10 kw transmitter broadcasting to North Korea for the United Nations Command.

After extending my TDY status three times (9 months) they had to send me back to Okinawa or make me permanent. I elected to start a full tour at the KD which allowed me to cut 3 months off my total enlistment, so, I ended up in Korea from July 1968 to May 1970.

Duty in Korea was very interesting since I got shot at twice and accidently burned down a farmers gingsing patch with a parachute flare. I billited with the 226th ASA in the Quonset next door to the NCO club. We had 3-4 assigned to VUNC-A most of that time. I went home as an Sp5.

Source: Craig Morris

Account by Jack Johnson 15th Det. 1970-71

NOTE: E-Mail Communication

I arrived on Okinawa in February of 1970 and I was assigned to the Laotian section at Machinato, but actually did translation from French into English.  Our billet was at Sukeran across from the jump towers.  I spent a year and a half doing mostly translations.  My desk officer at that time was Cpt McNeil, he did get out of the service sometime during my time on Okinawa, not sure what happen to him. 

Our office was located on the edge of the South China Sea in Machinato and was divided between the Laotian desk 1 officer and two enlisted men, the Chinese desk, the Korean desk, the Cambodian desk and  the Vietnam desk, an a few civilians. 

When I departed Okinawa I was assigned to the 167th Combat Intelligence in Fort Hood Texas October 71 until February 72.  Returned to civilian life attended College and worked at diffrent jobs until I landed a permanent job with The U.S. Customs Service now the U.S. Customs and Border Protection a part of DHS.  I have been the Port Director in Ketchikan since 1997 and in Alaska almost 20 years and  all of it with the U.S. Customs. I plan to retire in January 2009 possibly to Southern BC or Washington State. 

Would like to get in touch with members who were on Okinawa during that time frame and same unit.

SOURCE: Jack Johnson

Laney Reed SFC, Retired

Editor's Note: Laney sent three pictures including one site shot of Site B taken during 1965-69. I was very interested in this picture since it is the only one I have seen other than the initial construction pictures during my TDY in Korea in 1962.

I was with VUNC, 24th PSYOP, in 1969 - 1970 at Site "B" Chorwon Valley. I got to Korea in 1969, assigned to AFKN in Pusan but was transfered to VUNC about three months later because of a shortage of technicians. Being a 26T, Television technician, I was not too happy about being assigned to a radio hut. It turned out to be a menorable time up there. I had met a young girl in Pusan and took up living with her, when I was reasssigned, at the village of Taeguanee (I'm sure that is misspelled) that was about 5 miles from Site "B". About a year later we were married while I was assigned to AFRTS Alaska A new tranmitter hut was built while I was there and they took away the two mobile van later.

I went back to Korea in 1973, AFKN, and called Site "B" and got the same tech who worked there before. Never did get to go up there. Had many dreams about that place over the years. One day I would like to go see it again if possible.

Site "B" Chorwon Valley 1965-69
Laney Martin with K9 Friend at Site "B"
Martin Hard At Work at Site "B"

 

Reed Martin SFC Ret, USA

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