Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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John Haw   John Higgins   Sam Dunn   E. William Horne

John Haw

LCpl 1967

I joined 7th Motor Transport Bn. in SEP66, and the unit moved to Red Beach DaNang in Spring 67. My Comm Chief, SSgt Wilson asked for "volunteers" to work at the local MARS Station when we were off-duty. I volunteered, and within a few weeks, I was transferred to the Station. I rotated out of Vietnam in Oct67, attended Brown College, Minneapolis, MN, where I studied, and eventually graduated, with a certificate in Radio Television Broadcasting and Broadcast Engineering, and worked for several commercial radio stations in the market, as a marketing representative then on-air personality, aka, "disk jockey" or "broadcaster." In spite of the fact that my career may appear to be quite different than my MARS service, there are many similarities, and in my career as a building maintenance and operations planner and scheduler operating a computerized maintenance management system, I am honored to continue to serve those who serve.

MARS duty very possibly saved my life - long sea story.

I appreciate the connection to the former and current MARS Operators. In my experience, for a various reasons, many Vietnam Veteran maintain little or no connection with our fellow troops, MARS allows me a connection, and I'm grateful for that opportunity.    Back to top

John Higgins

Cpl 10/67 - 2/68

Cpl. John Haw and I were serving in 7th Motor Transport Bn. at 1st FSR DaNang.  I was filling sand bags in preparation for a new bunker when our com. Sgt asked for volunteers to work at the MARS station. John and I volunteered along with others. John Haw and myself reported early the next morning to the First Sgt in charge of MARS operations. We were given the job and we both finished our tours there.

The MARS experience allowed me to meet some great people, both in the system and the Marine Corps and Navy. It also allowed me to continue serving the troops as a operator with NORSE at Camp Pendleton.                      Back to top

Sam Dunn

GySgt 70 - 71

While I was the NCOIC at the Division Afloat network I had 8 stations call signs within the system.  The intent of the system was to furnish the deployed division units with an Amateur/MARS operation.

Each of these stations held a MARS call sign as well as an Amateur call sign.  The mother station W4PKS was the coordinating station for all.  I do not remember the MARS call sign for any of the stations. Can anyone help me out?. Yes I have worked with many old Corps MARS operators and what great communicators they were.               Back to top

 E. William Horne

SP4 71 -72

I was the operator at the DaNang Navy Mars station, N0EFL, in 1971 and
1972.  I was not, however, a Marine: I was an Army MP and an SP/4: my day
job was with the Danang Joint Customs Detachment, 8 MP GP (CI), 18 MP BDE.                     
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