Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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Alpha Golf Four Alpha India

Vance Air Force Base, OK


I graduated from the "INTERMEDIATE SPEED INTERNATIONAL MORSE CODE RADIO OPERATOR" (18 words per minute) school at Fort Knox, KY in 1959.  My MOS was 051.10 and after graduating from radio school I was assigned to Commo Section, Aviation Company, 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, Straubing, Germany.  While assigned to the 11th ACR, Dec 1959 to Apr 1962, I worked voice/Morse code/RTTY with field units assigned to the German/Czechoslovakian border.  After returning stateside there wasn't much of a demand for Radio Operators so I didn't use my radio skills again until my assignment to the 9th ARVN Infantry Division, Advisory Team 60 (MAAG/MACV), Sadec, Vietnam from Dec 1963 to Dec 1964. I was the Chief Radio Operator assigned to the advisory team with responsibility for providing Morse code communications to and from several sectors throughout the Mekong Delta in the 4th Corps area.  I returned stateside in Dec 1964 and in May of 1965 I was discharged from the Army and within 10 days after discharge I enlisted in the US Air Force as a Radio Operations Supervisor (AFSC 29370).  My Army experience in MOS 051.60 qualified me as an Air Force radio operator and with all things considered is what started me on the path of obtaining a General Class Radio Operator License.  I tested for and received my General Class Radio Operator License in 1969.  I spent a total of 18+ years working Army and Air Force Radio Communications and have been assigned to MARS; Field Radio Communications; TACCOMM; Forward Air Control; Bombing Range; SAC Bravo; Giant Talk; Aeronautical Station and InterBase Radio (Non Tactical Radio) positions.  I was active in MARS and support activities for many years.

You would have to walk a mile in a MARS Operators shoes to appreciate their experience.

I was active in HAM radio activities in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Korea and Alaska.  While I considered myself to be a good radio operator I did receive a few ZBM-2s (Put a competent radio operator on watch).  Did you ever have one of those days? Korea HAM Operator .... HL9WG Alaska HAM Operator .... KL7AIR 

Bobby D Thomas  SSgt USAF  2110 Communications. Squadron, 1965 - 1966

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