Although I was not an
official "MARS" participant, I did have some experiences with MARS.
This is a picture of a
TCS-15 communications center that was used as a MARS station in early 1965
in Chu Lai at FLSG B. I was a Radio Tech and the TSC 15 was my "baby".
Tuned up on SSB we put out well over a KW of power and used to contact the
"states" for phone patches, usually at night RVN time.
I don't remember any of the
MARS guys names but until they got their station up, we used the TSC gear
for a couple of months. I had been running bootleg phone patches as a
"Maritime Mobil in the South China Sea" before that to contact hams in the
US to phone patch guys home. After it went "legal" and the MARS station
was set up, all the fun went out of it.
In the picture, you can see
the "waiting room" chair outside the van. The original antenna was a whip
on a bamboo tower that we built with local materials. On SSB on a good
night, we could get to the east coast of the US almost anytime on the 10
meter band. At first I used to work the airwaves from 2AM until 6AM and
ran as many as 20 calls a night, but the word was getting around too much
and the chance of getting "busted" was getting to be too great so I cut
back to an irregular schedule.
Sgt. J. M. Drobniak, USMC