Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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November Zero Echo Foxtrot Bravo

1st MAW MAG 36, RVN

1966 -

Tom Cagan

Amateur call N0EFC belongs to James M Princer and expires in 2008.

I started out as a "user" when the station was just a couple of comm boxes, a tarp, and a few picnic tables.  I began repairing some of the gear (Drake TR-4 for in-country nets) and the Collins S Line for CONUS.  The more that I hung out at the station, the more time I got to operate. I was able to call my folks, grandparents, and of course, my Girlfriend, now my XYL (KF6KQA).  I found that even though some of the copy was poor, I was able to talk with my folks.  My father (KC6UHR SK) and I are civilian pilots and have had much experience making sense out of the hash, so when everyone else was "down" I still was able to make calls.  Norval and Connie (ed. N0HFO) used to call me the Tired Olí Man, since most of our QSOs were very early in the morning Hotel Time, and we got pretty punchy that late in the morning.  I remember that one of the operators had an affinity for Celery Phosphate (Dr. Brown's, I believe).  We drank copious quantities of the stuff.  When the "New" station was built with a real air conditioned waiting room it made my two years in Viet Nam more tolerable.

 We used to trade airtime with the USAF Mars Station AI8AM on top of Monkey Mountain (Tien Sha).  When they couldn't get out on their freqs, and we could, and vice versa.  We would be able to make calls to our families via landlines and phone patches within DaNang.   We also got to know the drivers from NSA Taxi, and whenever we needed something from elsewhere in DaNang, they were able to find it for us by driving through the dark streets of the city at breakneck speeds.

Tom Cagan