Phitsanulok TROPO Site

TROPO Facility in Phitsanulok
29th Sig GP, 442nd SIG BN (LL), 1st SIG BDE, Company A.

Guestbook

To all of the US Army, USAF and Civilians who were assigned to the Phitsanulok during the Vietnam War, hope you enjoys these photos These photos were donated by Jim Buchmann, US Army, Phitsanulok 1970-71, 442nd Btn, Co A :)

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15 Comments

Reply Jim Buchmann
2:59 AM on July 12, 2014 

Hi  David. 

Thanks for getting back so soon. Thank you for mentioning the name Leroy Johnson.

Yes he was my Tech rep too. For the longest time i could not remember his name.

He had his desk to the left when you entered the site and against the outside wall.

Sorry about his passing. I didnt associate much with him off duty. One othe guy did and i cant recall his name. If you mentioned it , It would all come back.

He didnt live in our hooch area. not sure were he had his living area.

I dont remember any gynecologist. Other than breaking my foot i didnt need any medical treatment. I do remember some of the others saying something about going to see the doctor.

I was quite removed from the social life that a few had. I liked to explore and look into old things of the past. The people and the differant way of life. And many hours on my short wave radio trying to listen to something of home. When I could keep up on m y aviation backround. A cold beer would help.

Did you stay in contact with anyone from the phitts site including Leroy?

Back in those days it was hard to keep in touch.

If the internet was around then i think we would have all kept in touch.

If you remember anyother names please mention them and I may get to put more names together.

Reply Jim Buchmann
2:26 AM on July 12, 2014 

David says...

Hi Jim

Glad to hear from you too. Currently in Destin, FL for a short visit with my son who happens to be an Air Force staff sargeant stationed at Hurlburt Field. I'm afraid I can't remember names of people when I arrived at Phitsanulok or even who came later at this moment. There may have been a Sgt Gray when I was there there, I just don't recall that now. Probably that was true as I didn't start out there as an NCOIC. Do you remember Leroy Johnson, the tech rep? I knew him in Don Muang where I worked on a MRC-98 before re-upping and going to Korat (he died a few years ago). When I returned to Korat after Phits, I lived in VIP quarters for awhile (everything else was closed) before going to Ubon with a few others where we lived in housing off base for a some months. We traveled around Thailand in civilian clothing (to attract less attention) to former communication sites then under civilian contract. I really liked your stories about Phitsanulok. Do you remember the gynecologist in town we had to see for medical treatment? 

Reply David
7:28 PM on July 10, 2014 

Hi Jim

Glad to hear from you too. Currently in Destin, FL for a short visit with my son who happens to be an Air Force staff sargeant stationed at Hurlburt Field. I'm afraid I can't remember names of people when I arrived at Phitsanulok or even who came later at this moment. There may have been a Sgt Gray when I was there there, I just don't recall that now. Probably that was true as I didn't start out there as an NCOIC. Do you remember Leroy Johnson, the tech rep? I knew him in Don Muang where I worked on a MRC-98 before re-upping and going to Korat (he died a few years ago). When I returned to Korat after Phits, I lived in VIP quarters for awhile (everything else was closed) before going to Ubon with a few others where we lived in housing off base for a some months. We traveled around Thailand in civilian clothing (to attract less attention) to former communication sites then under civilian contract. I really liked your stories about Phitsanulok. Do you remember the gynecologist in town we had to see for medical treatment? 

Reply Jim Buchmann
3:25 AM on July 6, 2014 

Hi  David.

Thank You for dropping in and posting your message.

Real good to hear from another person from that time period.

To my best knowledge my tour in Phitsanulok ended around the first of Aug 1971.

I remember someone came in to replace me- but I cant recall who or the name.

There was a Sgt Gray who was the NCOIC when I left.

My counterpart`s name was Benny he had a Thai wife. We worked together most of the time. He was there when I left.  As were several others.

I always wondered what happened to them and would like to find them.

We were always on a first name basis. Last names seemed to never get into the picture.

Sounds like you then replaced Sgt Gray.  If you have any info on these other people- Please pass it to me. It would be great to hear from one of them.

When I went back to Korat to leave country. It was like a ghost town. The army was getting ready to close part of the base and turn it over to the locals.

Some of the friend I knew in korat were processing out with me.

We made a big BBQ and needed wood. We pulled some boards off the old barricks to make the fire for the BBQ.

I do have some of those pictures someplace. One of the men`s name was Jolly ?

Thats all i remember on there names. He was in the LRC-3 at Korat?.

Seems we all came over on the same flight and back out all together on the same flight.

Thank You again for stopping in. 

Reply David Gilson
5:55 PM on June 28, 2014 

Hi Jim. Not sure if we overlapped or not though you look familiar. I haven't thought much about Phitsonluke for decades and didn't keep records, so a lot of details are lost from memory. But your stories and photos help to bring it back to my attention. Best as I can recollect I went to work on the MRC-98 in the summer of 71 after being assigned to a MRC-98 at Korat for awhile. I was made NCOIC at Phitsonloke after I arrived which was a big shock as it was an E-7 slot and I had no preparation for it. I was a Spec 5. I think I left Phitsanulok around Feb-Mar 72 as the military was pulling us out of there. Sites around Thailand were getting turned over to civilian contractors. I stayed in Korat for awhile after that and ended up staying in country for a few more months.

Reply Jim Cook
5:07 PM on July 16, 2013 

Jim,  I was the NCOIC of the Korat MRC-98 shots for a time (442nd Sig Bn).   When I first got to Korat in June of 68 we had a 98 shot to Phits.  They were just turning up the LRC-3 shot to Phits when the Chaing Mai tower problem came up.  I know when the LRC-3s went into servcice we took down the Korat-Phits 98 shot  I can only asume that my end was moved to Chaing Mai and your end was rehomed on Chaing Mai.    I was one of the lucky few that had my family with me for my two year tour in Korat.  Was good duty. 

Reply Alex Graham
12:12 AM on March 29, 2012 

We were upstream from you at T-11 (Chiang Mai) MRC 98. Everything was Top Secret and every outfit was, too. We were the last one on the line. I never talked with any of you but partied with your buddies at our site. Must have been the same Sig. Battailion. My Dad was at Fuchu so I frequented  the Autovon on priority thru the Fuchu Switch via your Don Muong link. They came so close to finishing the Sat. uplink with the new gear and then the war started to wind down. 

Reply Jim Buchmann
3:15 AM on November 12, 2011 

Hi George.

Thank you very much for the greating. May your veterans day also be a good one.I myself dont get out much for meeting or parties. We never talked about what we did .The internet has really helped get our words out. I think i have talked more about those days in the last year. Than i have in the last 40yrs.     

Say hello from me to our fellow GI`S. and about Thailand and the signal corp.

Sawatee:   Jim Buchmann                                                                                               

Hello Jim,

Dropped in to wish you and the other guys a peace filled Veterans Day. 

Not much for the parades, or the speeches by local dignitaries and politicians.  However I will attend our VFW's BB-Q, and enlighten a few about what we did in Thailand !!

Sawatdee,

George 

 

 

 

/Jim Buchmann says...

Reply George Armstrong
11:04 AM on November 11, 2011 

Hello Jim,

Dropped in to wish you and the other guys a peace filled Veterans Day. 

Not much for the parades, or the speeches by local dignitaries and politicians.  However I will attend our VFW's BB-Q, and enlighten a few about what we did in Thailand !!

Sawatdee,

George 

 

Jim Buchmann says...

Hi George. Good to hear from you. I dont have much info on Korat. Just got in and the next day on my way to Phits. We had a small Crypto modual. It looked like a big outhouse. Only one airforce person had the key. It was built like a Tank. And the white Phosphor charge to melt it down in case of attack. JUSMAG was always  having something sent or received. WE also had shortwave radio links to Laos.  If you did the slide show on the pictures, Small messages about the pictures would be displayed. An we to had problems with generators. One Thai almost melted the  trailer to the ground while trying to phase in the generators. Most of the time it was quite, sometimes too quite and boring, Drank alot of Singhi beer.Now and them some air american guys would fly in for R&R. We were out of the way, still a good town and good food, and less or no paper work than going to a main air base.

Thank you for the visit and Info.

Jim.

Sawatdee Jim..

Name here is: George.  Found your site via the TLC Brotherhood webpage.

In 1966-67, I was assigned to the Facilities Battalion, 29th Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade, Camp Friendship, Korat, Thailand.  When I first arrived in Korat from Bang Pla Relay in Bangkok, the unit was still USASTRATCOM Thailand (Provisional).  We became part of the 1st Signal Brigade about 2 months into my tour.  I worked as a Crypto Maintenance Repairman (MOS:32G20) on the KW-26s and the KW-7s at the RUMK TTY Relay near Korat.  I don't know if we ever used your Tropo link, but we did establish a TTY circuit link to the US Embassy in Vientaine, Laos (that's what one of the KW-7s was used for).

My memories of Korat was that it was: 1. That it was hot and dusty.  2. That it was hot and wet !!  As Camp Friendship was down the road from Korat RTAFB  the jet-noise was constant and very loud.  As I recall, the Long Lines Btn HQ was right beside our Facilities Btn HQ.  In addition, we shared the same Motor Pool and Mess Hall in those days.  The Long Lines guys were always requesting the 9 passenger vans, then keeping them for days.  Sometimes you could spot one of them in Korat parked near a bar, in a hotel parking lot, or in one of the bungalo areas. 

As my tour was nearing its end in August 1967, COMUSMACTHAI was attempting to exercise command and control of all 1st Signal Bde facilities in Thailand. USMACTHAI wanted more Thai Army involvement.  I remember in early June 1967, we got 6ea Royal Thai Army personnel to OJT as Teletype Maintenance, and 4ea other to OJT on our 2ea 75KW Power Generators at the Relay.  We ran both generators in parallel 24/7, so we usually experienced at least one power outage per day, and we could plan for that.  When the Thais took over the Power Operations, that jumped to 2-3 per day, and you never knew when until the lights and air conditioning went out !!.   Those guys seemed to never quite able get both generators in phase after restart.  Then sometimes our line frequency would just drop from 60cps to near 40cps.  Not good when you have 20+ TTY links throughout Thailand, South Vietnam, and one high priority circuit way out to Clark AFB in the Phillipines. 

After our OIC wrote up our weekly outage reports, and our generator issues, then submitted them to 1st Signal Bde HQ in Phu Lam, RVN, the COMUSMACTHAI backed off and simply took over running the Motor Pool (which meant that all assigned vehicles had to be returned to the Motor Pool each night, even those assigned to Long Lines Btn.  Typical Army) and the Mess Hall (but, the food actually got better and the menu more varied).  Those Thai women could cook !!

If I seem a little wordy and long in the posting, you'll have to forgive me.  I don't see many posts or webpage entries for those of us that served with the US Army Signal Corps in Thailand.  The 1st Signal Brigade website is all either Vietnam or Korea oriented.  The TLC Brotherhood website is better, if you can get past all those Ravens' and Air Commando postings.

BCNU later... ôô

George

 

[/Jim Buchmann]

Reply Jim Buchmann
4:00 AM on October 11, 2011 

Hi George. Good to hear from you. I dont have much info on Korat. Just got in and the next day on my way to Phits. We had a small Crypto modual. It looked like a big outhouse. Only one airforce person had the key. It was built like a Tank. And the white Phosphor charge to melt it down in case of attack. JUSMAG was always  having something sent or received. WE also had shortwave radio links to Laos.  If you did the slide show on the pictures, Small messages about the pictures would be displayed. An we to had problems with generators. One Thai almost melted the  trailer to the ground while trying to phase in the generators. Most of the time it was quite, sometimes too quite and boring, Drank alot of Singhi beer.Now and them some air american guys would fly in for R&R. We were out of the way, still a good town and good food, and less or no paper work than going to a main air base.

Thank you for the visit and Info.

Jim.

Sawatdee Jim..

Name here is: George.  Found your site via the TLC Brotherhood webpage.

In 1966-67, I was assigned to the Facilities Battalion, 29th Signal Group, 1st Signal Brigade, Camp Friendship, Korat, Thailand.  When I first arrived in Korat from Bang Pla Relay in Bangkok, the unit was still USASTRATCOM Thailand (Provisional).  We became part of the 1st Signal Brigade about 2 months into my tour.  I worked as a Crypto Maintenance Repairman (MOS:32G20) on the KW-26s and the KW-7s at the RUMK TTY Relay near Korat.  I don't know if we ever used your Tropo link, but we did establish a TTY circuit link to the US Embassy in Vientaine, Laos (that's what one of the KW-7s was used for).

My memories of Korat was that it was: 1. That it was hot and dusty.  2. That it was hot and wet !!  As Camp Friendship was down the road from Korat RTAFB  the jet-noise was constant and very loud.  As I recall, the Long Lines Btn HQ was right beside our Facilities Btn HQ.  In addition, we shared the same Motor Pool and Mess Hall in those days.  The Long Lines guys were always requesting the 9 passenger vans, then keeping them for days.  Sometimes you could spot one of them in Korat parked near a bar, in a hotel parking lot, or in one of the bungalo areas. 

As my tour was nearing its end in August 1967, COMUSMACTHAI was attempting to exercise command and control of all 1st Signal Bde facilities in Thailand. USMACTHAI wanted more Thai Army involvement.  I remember in early June 1967, we got 6ea Royal Thai Army personnel to OJT as Teletype Maintenance, and 4ea other to OJT on our 2ea 75KW Power Generators at the Relay.  We ran both generators in parallel 24/7, so we usually experienced at least one power outage per day, and we could plan for that.  When the Thais took over the Power Operations, that jumped to 2-3 per day, and you never knew when until the lights and air conditioning went out !!.   Those guys seemed to never quite able get both generators in phase after restart.  Then sometimes our line frequency would just drop from 60cps to near 40cps.  Not good when you have 20+ TTY links throughout Thailand, South Vietnam, and one high priority circuit way out to Clark AFB in the Phillipines. 

After our OIC wrote up our weekly outage reports, and our generator issues, then submitted them to 1st Signal Bde HQ in Phu Lam, RVN, the COMUSMACTHAI backed off and simply took over running the Motor Pool (which meant that all assigned vehicles had to be returned to the Motor Pool each night, even those assigned to Long Lines Btn.  Typical Army) and the Mess Hall (but, the food actually got better and the menu more varied).  Those Thai women could cook !!

If I seem a little wordy and long in the posting, you'll have to forgive me.  I don't see many posts or webpage entries for those of us that served with the US Army Signal Corps in Thailand.  The 1st Signal Brigade website is all either Vietnam or Korea oriented.  The TLC Brotherhood website is better, if you can get past all those Ravens' and Air Commando postings.

BCNU later... ôô

George

 

[/George Armstrong]