Navy-Marine Corps MARS in Vietnam

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November Zero Echo Foxtrot Yankee


 Amateur call N0EFY belongs to Andrew Hop, Jr and expires in 2007.

Al Varney, Sgt, N0EFY,  2/68 - 10/68

My Dad had been involved in amateur radio since the late 40's when we lived in Germany. After my service started in 1966 he got involved with the hospital ships running phone calls.  I think Frank Ayd was on the Repose at the time.  I had been in country for almost a year before I had a chance to call using one of the stations.  When I was transferred to the COC at III MAF I wandered into N0EFY and met Dick Steinbaugh.  I used the equipment to talk to my Dad on several occasions using some bogus Okinawa amateur call sign.  Dick asked if I wanted to work at the station since they were shorthanded.  I did for about a month while working 12 on and 12 off in the COC.  Dick later arranged for me to be loaned to the station permanently sometime during March 68.  I left late in October 68 to finish my time at the Camp Lejeune station.  

In thinking back the calls I remember most vividly are the calls from the hospital in DaNang. We had arranged for a phone with a 50 foot cord and we made attempts to run calls for patients in the intensive care unit.  It was more than heart wrenching when you knew that some were making their last call. 

Since we were in the III MAF compound we got some of the USO folks into the station for calls.  Some were pretty nice to look at.  On the down side we ran a remote at the Naval Hospital in DaNang.  Since I was the Junior in the group I got the duty.  I'm certain the effort was appreciated by those in the intensive care unit but it was very disheartening to see them.  Some could only listen which was tough.

On the lighter side we made numerous trips to N0EFS on Monkey Mountain during the night. Our night schedule would finish sometime after midnight, we would check out a jeep from the motor pool and drive up the mountain for party time.  We continually conned the duty officer into letting us leave during the night to deliver "tubes" to N0EFS.  We must have delivered 100's of "tubes". 

It was a great service and I like to think the calls we completed made a difference for the sailors and Marines as well as their families.

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