From: "Elder RC Green"
Subject: DAYS OF OUR LIVES #139
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 00:17:13 -0400
MAIL-call - PRESERVING FORGOTTEN MEMORIES
This newsletter is intended for the use of the ASA TURKEY Veteran's. The internet has become so outlandishly unreal that any disclaimer about this newsletter would be redundant. Your memoirs are most welcome to the DAYS OF OUR LIVES and is an effort on my part to preserve the stories and memories of ASA veterans who served in Turkey. Certainly it brings all ASA Vet's closer and it is my goal is to collect and to preserve the stories -- that we honor the ASA Turkey veterans and that we educate future generations about what it was like for us COLD WAR veteran's. When sending an email to me - PLEASE include the word ASA in the subject line to insure that I open it and not mistake it for SPAM. Please send along a foto with your BIO that will be included in the DOOL.Go to http://dool-1.tripod.com to view the foto's in their proper sequence thanks be to Bill Simons, the Det 4 webmaster.
Bill Simons informs that his web pages and mailboxes at
"www.Tuslogdet4.com" from time to time are off the air
and last for about 24 hours.
GREEN, Elder RC (gH), DOB: 1936, RA13513638, E7, 982/98C, Det 27, 1-15MY61, Det 120, MY-JL65, Det 27, JN66-OC67 & Det 4-4, OC67-NO68, (Patty), 3094 Warren Rd., Indiana, PA 15701, 724-349-7395, email@example.com.
2004 ASA TURKEY REUNION -
Huntsville, Alabama - September 16 - 18. 2004
Names(s) as you would like to have them on your name tag(s)
Name:_________________ __________ ___________
2. Number for dinner on 18 September 2004
_______# X $35.00 = Total $_________
Dinner menu: Carved Top Round of Beef, Grilled Chicken Breasts topped with orange sauce, Fish - Fried Catfish. Vegetables: Green Bean Almondine, Red Skin Potatoes, Corn Casserole, Garden Salad, Pasta Salad or Coleslaw. Deserts: Lemon, Pecan Pie, Carrot Cake, and Chocolate Mouse. Beverage: Fresh Regular and Decaffeinated Coffee, Iced Tea. Cash bar available for Wine, Beer and Liquor beverages.
3. Cost for Friday evening, 17 September, at Officers Club
includes, room rental and food. Bartender will be provided, with
each person paying for his or her own beverages.
______# X $ 15.00 per person Total: $________
4. Cost for Hospitality Room Amenities and incidentals related to reunion $ 10.00 per
______# X $10.00 per person Total: $________
GRAND TOTAL: $_________
ALL FEES MUST BE IN BY 1 AUGUST 2004.
5. Please make all checks payable for the Grand Total payable to:
Ernest E. Carrick
Mail to: Ernest E. Carrick, 6111 Fairfield Drive, Huntsville, AL 35811
6.If you have any question, please call either Ernie Carrick 256-852-6180, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Walter Sinor, 256-635-6860, Email: email@example.com.
7. Cancellations must be made 10 working days prior to the start of the reunion. After that date, cancellation will be extremely difficult to deal with. We can only promise that we'll do our best.
RESERVATIONS THUS FAR FOR THE 2004 REUNION
BOWREY, Bradley (Brad) YOB 1948 RA16992891 E3-E4 98B/98C Det
4, JL68-JL69, (Helena), Beverly, WV 26253, 304-636-1472,
CARRICK, Ernie YOB: 1936 RA25358534 E3-E4 Personnel Det 4, NO57-OC58, (Betty), 6111 Fairfield Dr., Huntsville, AL 35811, 256-852- 6180, firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVIDGE, Gordon F RA16654687 E3-E4 059 Det 27, NO60-NO62, 4235 Avanti Cir., New Port Richey, FL 34655, 727-375-5402, email@example.com
DUBICKI, Walter L E5 058/9 Det 27 DE61-JN63 058/9 Trick Chief #1, (Beverly), 6701 Tamarind Ct., Louisville, KY 40219, 502-969-1534, firstname.lastname@example.org
ELSBERRY, Geo P (Joe) RA14758836 E3-E5 054.20 Det 27, FE63-OC64, (Darby Ann), 2228 Military Rd., Columbus, MS 39705, 662-327-4300, email@example.com
ELDRIDGE, Frank YOB 1941 E4-E5 283.10, Det 4, FE61-MR62, (Arlie), 8219 Lone Bridge Ln., Humble, TX 77338, 281-540-3478, firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN, Elder RC (aka Al & Green Hornet- - -gH) YOB: 1936 RA13513638 E7 982 NCOIC T/A, Det 27, 1-15MY61, JN66-OC67(Buyuk Elgi & qtrs 225-E, eff 18JA67) & 4-4, OC67-NO68, (qtrs 914-4), (Patty), 3094 Warren Rd., Indiana, PA 15701, 724-349-7395, email@example.com
HANNAH, James Rogers (Pappy) YOB 1935 RA14663535 Det 4, 74-75, (Mary Ann), 145 Robinson Cove Rd., Leicester, NC 28748, 828-683-1668, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAMMETT, Stuart (Stu) YOB 1938 RA16589314 E2-E4 Supply Det 4, MY58-MY59, (Rita), 16222 Crego Rd., Dekalb, IL 60115, 815-756-9095, email@example.com
PETERSON, Bambridge E F&AO Det 27, 63-64, firstname.lastname@example.org
SINOR, Walter YOB 1942 RA1862.... E3-E4 F&AO Det 27, JA62-JL63, (1/W Ann, 2/W Betty), 3049 County Road 239, Valley Head, AL 35989-4721, 877-453-5097, email@example.com
TAVERNETTI, David E 61y O1-O2 Watch Officer TK#4 Det 27, MR62-SE63, (Suzanne-Sue), 238 Rio Vista Dr., King City, CA 93930, 831-385-4458, firstname.lastname@example.org
TESCHKER, Chuck 059/K E3-E5 Det 27, 60-62, (Penny), 2752 N, Tipsico Lake Rd., Hartland, MI. 48353, 248-887-1620, email@example.com
BUTTLEMAN, Leslie L LtCol Cdr Det 4, 59-60, (Alice), McLean, VA b-30 March 1914 d-11 October 1998 in Fairfax, VA. Colonel Leslie Louis Buttleman died at age 84 of pneumonia on the afternoon of 11 October 1998. He served much of his military career in the Army Security Agency. COL Buttlemen specialized in Communications Intelligence and Security. He served in the Panama Canal Zone during World War II. After the War he was posted to Washington D.C. and then to Frankfurt, West Germany. He later commanded the Army Security Agency Post in Sinop, Turkey. In the 60's, he was Chief of Operations for HQUSASAEUR in Frankfurt, Germany. Later he became Chief, Army Security Liaison to the National Security Agency. Following his retirement from the Army in 1969, he worked for Page Communications Inc., in Vienna, VA and for Quest Research Corp in McLean, VA. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Alice Buttleman of McLean, VA and by three children Keith Buttleman, of St. Paul, MN; Kim Buttleman of Chantilly, VA; and Jill Britton of Annapolis, MD. He also had four grandsons. He was cremated and laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on 28 October 1998.
**SEE Det 4 Les Buttleman attachment which is a cropped picture from the back cover of the August 1968 HALLMARK Magazine.
The photo was of the 27 senior officers who attended the ASA Commanders Conference at Arlington Hall Station 6-10 My 1968. In 1968 Col Buttleman was the CO, ASA Liaison Group, NSA. Also in the picture is Col William G. Lundy CO ASA Liaison Group, (CONARC). Col Lundy was the Det 27 Commander 1965-1966.
COX, John P., Lt Col, CDR Det 4, 60-61, YOB 1916 DOD: 1975 59
years old at Arlington Hall Station of a massive heart attack.
Buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery
Received e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org & 703-378-5628) from the eldest daughter of John P. Cox who found my email address in the DOOL's that she stumbled upon in searching for military info on her father, John P. Cox. Greetings: I am so glad to hear from you. Was afraid you would not open message but am very glad you did! I knew there were atvantages to keeping the Cox name. Dad had no sons so two of his three daugthers kept the Cox name. Most folks have never heard of ASA so I tend not to mention it. I was a kid when Dad went to Sinope even though he had me studying Latin and reading history. I was too young for him to talk about serious issues on the base so I know nothing of the 1961 "riot". He did talk about the people of Sinope and mentioned the Mayor. Lots of offical photos were taken of Dad and the local gov't officals. These are the ones lost in the storm. I am writing Senator Warner to try and get copies from the Pentagon. I live in Northern Virginia so I can go and pick them up if needed. I only have two pics of my Dad in uniform. I will scan them in and send them to you along with more data on Dad. He was a WWII vet and very proud of his work in ASA although he did not talk about work. He retired soon after Sinope. At the time it was illegal to take a cilvilian job after retiring if it was the same work a person did in the military but ASA wanted Dad back at Arlington Hall Sationd so a personal bill was passed in Congress and signed by the President so Dad could go back. Arlington Hall waited months for this to happen but kept his office (not just the positon but the actual office) and kept his sec on the payroll till he returned. Strange but his sec was named Mrs. Cox - no relation. She is the person who in 1975 found my Dad dead from a massive heart attack at his desk working late. He was too young to leave us.
GREEN, Raje, proud & loyal poodle of Elder RC and Patty
Green. He would have been 18 years old in August, but developed
kidney failure and attempts were made to keep our BEST FRIEND
alive, but it was to no avail.
**SEE RAJE LAST DAY-12 attachment
ON THE SICK LIST
NODOREK, John J., YOB:1946, E3-E4, 76P 76T 95B Det 27, AP67-NO67, Det 4-3, NO67-NO68,Carl Vinson VA Medical Center, 1826 Veterans Blvd., Dublin, GA 31021
Greg KEARNEY, ex-05H at Det 4-4, SE68-OC71, (Lonnie), 11426 Brawley Rd., Hesperia, CA 92345, 760-949-5731, email@example.com informs that he received the following letter (by mail & edited) from John Nodorek and thought it would be best if posted in our DOOL's so that guys that knew John could get in touch with him. I have talked with John on the phone a few times in the past and although I didn't know him while stationed in Turkey, found that we had that ASA comradeship.
[The 4-3-94 letter to Greg Kearney from John Nodorek.]: Hello Greg, Hope you and your family are doing well. I would like for you to drop me from the DOOL list and please pass this to Elder. Not dissatisfied - just been in the VA hospital since 28 January 2004 and cannot get to a computer to check my e-mail. Just had my address book brought to me, or would have written you sooner. I thought I had Elder Green's address but do not. I'm in the hospital due to a bad heart and cannot operate, also had breathing problems and diabetes is out of control. Right now also have an infection in the blood. So am a sick puppy. With the heart and lung problems will probably not be leaving here as I cannot take care of myself. Will be confined in the nursing home type of place, Just the way it is. Do take care.
John address; John Nodorek, Carl Vinson VA Medical Center, 1826 Veterans Blvd., Dublin, Ga. 31021
**SEE Welcome to Diogenes Station attachment
AINES, Donald S., YOB: 1926, CPT, AGC, Adj, Det 4, AU60-AU61,
(Marjorie),11772 Woodlea Dr, Waynesboro, PA 17268, 717-762-2619,
firstname.lastname@example.org - Retired Colonel.
**SEE Aines 1 Promotion to Colonel and Aines2 Don & Marjorie Aines attachments
Contacted on 25 March 2004 and had a 2 hour very informative chat with Don Aines. Det 4 was his only assignment with the ASA and it was as the Adjutant and XO. Said that in his 29 year army stint that he remembers SINOP and considers the Officers and First Sergeant Crawford Boyd as among the finest that he ever served with. Served with the 9th Infantry Division in WWII and with the 1st Cav Division in Korea.
Colonel Aines informs that he seldom checks his email and that if anyone is interested in getting a copy of his memoirs just give him a call at the above 717 number.
HIS ARMY MEMOIRS "WIN, DRAW, LOSE"
The life of a soldier who served in all grades from Private to Colonel with service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It is a fitting title for a soldier who participated in three wars, the WIN of WWII, the DRAW of Korea and the LOSS of the Vietnam War.
Sinop was his only ASA assignment and one of the chapters is dedicated to Det 4. His BOQ roommate was Dr. Roger Reitz who was a popcorn freek.
[edited] Dear Elder, To say the very least your telephone call last night was a most pleasant surprise and I sure did enjoy our conversation. I find that your information regarding Det 4 is in some regards more vivid than mine. I guess that is why we old timers write memoirs as opposed to historical documents. One day I will send you an updated and final publication which is currently at a publisher in Bend, OR. In my Det 4 memoirs I make reference to First Sergeant Crawford Boyd. In my way of thinking he was an extrodinary soldier for whom I have always held the highest regard. The Det 4 pilot, CWO Floyd Kitchersid (Ketch) who lived in Ankara with his family was a personal friend. Colonel A. J. van Oosten was my indorsing officer when LtCol Les Buttleman departed and all he signed was "A.J" etc...... Later Lt Col John P. Cox replaced Buttleman. Once again thanks so very much for calling and I do hope we get face-to-face before too long on my trip to near Brookville, PA. My very best to you and your family. Sincerely', s/Don
The title of Colonel Aines memoirs is: WIN, DRAW, LOSE, the life of a soldier who served in all grades from Private to Colonel with combat service in WORLD WAR II, KOREA and VIETNAM.
The INTRODUCTION was written by his son Donald S. Aines Jr.,
and is as follows: Toward the end of Herman Wouk's fictional
"War and Remembrance" Admiral Pug Henry summed up his
wartime experience in two words. "I served." That's a
pretty good description of our father's career in the United
States Army. Our father was not Sergeant York or Audie Murphy,
but he served his country honorably over three decades and three
wars. In addition to overseas assignments during WWII, Korea and
Vietnam, he spent an additional four years overseas in peace
time-three years in Germany and a year in Turkey during the Cold
War. In two respects his career was unusual, but not unique.
Drafted as an aimless teenager in the last months of WWII, he
rose through the ranks from buck private to full colonel. Through
the accidents of history he found himself in three wars, two of
which placed his life at direct risk from enemy fire. Even in
peace time, the military life is not without physical risk and
the military culture is intolerant of failure. Literally and
figuratively, he managed to avoid land mines that might have
derailed his career. While often absent, he was not an absentee
father. One of my earliest memories is sitting at the dinner
table with my mother and three brothers. I was just three or
four, but remember mother telling us about father in Turkey. In
the early 1960's, I remember him coming home in fatigues,
informing us he had been promoted to Major. "That means I
get to spank little kids," he informed me. Dad looked ten
feet tall and I sort of believed him, but cannot remember ever
having been spanked. When he was in Vietnam, I remember his
letters and distorted, radio-relayed telephone calls home. During
the years he was home, he was a father with a vengeance. He was a
baseball and basketball coach, an assistant scoutmaster and the
man of the house. He was able to play those roles thanks to the
sacrifices of our mother Marjorie Ryback Aines, who shouldered
many burdens during her quarter century as a soldier's wife. This
is their story. Donald S. Aines Jr.
PREFACE: I have long felt it is in the interest
of families for members to maintain some sort of chronicle of the
significant events in their lifetime. Accordingly, I have set
down and account of some of the events in my life which may prove
to be of some value to my family and friends. The events of the
first 25 years of my life are, to a large degree, based on
memory, with subsequent recollections based both on memory and
documentation that I have saved, or been able to retrieve, from
U.S. Army and other records. I have, to some extent, downplayed
the horrors of war, while including enough information to allow
the reader some understanding of the experience. The wars I
experienced, whether brought on by despots or diplomatic
failures, were never romantic adventures. I shall always be
deeply indebted to my loving wife Marjorie for her support,
patience, understanding and keeping our family intact through
what is now a half century of marriage. We have been blessed with
four outstanding sons in Deane, Glen, Donald Jr. and Paul. They
have graced us with wonderful adaughters-in-law and, at last
count, seven grandchildren. Despite my frequent absences, our
sons presented us with few problems throught the years.
MOVEMENT TO COMBAT - USA TO REMAGEN
"When you're a long, long way from home, it makes you feel like you're alone. It's hard to find a pal that's true that you can tell your troubles to. And when you write a letter home, you cross your t's with kisses...and you dot your i's with tears." - Words from a Harry James band song, circa 1943
WORLD WAR II introduction: "I gathered my loved ones around me, as I fondly had done so before, and I heard a voice within me saying, this is worth fighting for." - Lyrics from a Vaughn Monroe song, circa 1943
**SEE Aines-8 WWII Doughboy attachment
"We took our 'whore's bath' in our helmets, washing up and shaving in our tin pots with hot water when it was available. That wans't very often. We never built a fire in the open for fear of drawing enemy fire.... we usually ate our c-rations cold. The hash, pork and beans and stew were unappetizing enough hot, but you'll eat just about anything when your're hungry enough. Most of us kept a can of rations in our shirts, so at least it was close to body temperature when we opened them up....if there was a tank or tank destroyer unit nearby, we'd put the cans on their mufflers for a hot mail. Sometimes a crew would share their five-in-one or 1--in-one rations with us... Our division moved into the Harz Mountain region...where heavy fighting took place...and being involved in combat operations day in and day out....soldiers become extremely fatigued and often quite careless...your reactions slow, your mind wanders and sometimes it felt like walking in a daze...We passed through Nordhausen and observed a strange looking complex....Later we learned that it was the infamous Nordhausen concentration camp...
the next episode has haunted me to this day. I saw a German armed with a burp gun start to run. I fired and he fell to the ground dead. later we searched him and the others that were killed for intelligence information... I got a good look at the soldier I had just killed. He couldn't have been any older than 16. His uniform looked brand new... and we found family photos on his body....he was the only person I have conclusive evidence that I killed in the war, but I suspect there were others... in the fog of war it is often hard to tell....you fire and move, fire and move. we came under intense fire and I had lost my entrenching tool and had to use my bayonet and hands to try and scratch out cover protection...I learned here to judge how close the fire was to me... if I heard a zing or whine as the bullet passes, it's not too close... if I heard something like a firecracker going off near my ear, that round was very, very close and I heard a lot of firecrackers that day...One of the most frightening things in combat is the screams of the wounded. He writes about using his trusty M-1 and the distinctive "cling" when the clip sprang from the breech... He writes about the time he was again on the point and single handedly captured 50 members of the Hungarian Army who had been coerced into joining the Axis. Another time he captured a German artillery sergeant and soon became the proud owner of a pair of artillery binoculars, a .38-cal Beggian pistol and a fine watch. Someone soon stole the watch from him, but he still has the pistol and his wife uses the binoculars for bird watching. He writes about the motley Russian soldiers passing by and witnessing them shooting in cold-blood the two German soldiers that the unit had captured. Later Don Aines and 2 others were recommended for the Silver Star for capturing 9 prisoners... but as often happens in wartime, the paperwork either got lost, or wasn't acted on....that was a big disappointment in Aines military career. He writes about beginning a meteoric rise in grade to Technician 5th Grade (T-5), the equivalent of corporal, to Sergeant, then Staff Sergeant, Sergeant First Class and to First Sergeant on 1 June 1946, 10 days after his 20th birthday. His First Sergant pay was a hefty $135 a month, plus $10 for having a Combat Infantry Badge. Aines was discharged on 17 July 1946 and he had 20 days to re-up and retain the First Sergeant stripes. He re-enlisted and his Serial Number US42182225 was now RA42182225.
At McGuire AFB I was loaded onto a Lockhead Super Constellation packed with officers, dependents and a few EM. The plane was bound for Frankfurt, Germany, with a refueling stop in the Azores. The plane droned on for hours through the night until the pilot informed us we were about to land. The engines cut back and we could see the moon reflecting off the ocean as we descended lower and lower, but no land. Even when the plane's gear touched down, we couldn't see land. We were off-loaded onto buses and taken to a nearby officers club up a steep hill. As we drove up we could see the airstrip was on a narrow strip of land that jutted well out to sea. I would have hated to make that landing in fog, because there was little room for error. We entered the club at about 0200 to find it teeming with people of all ages. The club was a gold mine for the USAF, because every time a USAF plane landed at the field, the occupants were brought to the club. Slot machines were legal in the military at the time and the club had about 200 one-armed bandits, with people lined up three deep at each hoping to hit a jackpot before their flight lifted off again. After a lay over of about two hours, our plane took off again for Frankfurt. There, the officers were moved to a BOQ, the EM to a replacement company and the dependents, for the most part, were met by their spouses and headed off to their final destinations. CW3 Obie Haugen, whom I'd met at Fort Devens, reported with me to the Army Security Agency (ASA) Headquarters in Frankfurt to meet with individuals we might be dealing with by phone, or in writing. I dealt with people in the personnel and administrative area and Obie got together with maintenance staff. At that time Det 4 had no intermediate headquarters and reported directly to ASA headquarters in Frankfurt, more than a 1000 miles from Sinop. It was an unusual setup. After 2 days, Obie and I were booked on PAN AM Flight One to Ankara, Turkey. At the time, PAN AM had 2 flights that circled the globe, one heading west and ours, which was eastbound. We were processed at a military activity on the field before boarding the flight, a Boeing 707.
THE DET 4 DOCTOR ON HIS WAY TO SINOP
Obie spotted a dejected looking Medical Corps Officer and not being bashful, walked over and said, "You look like you're going to Sinop, Turkey." That was how we met Capt. (Dr.) Roger Reitz of Manhattan, KS. Roger broke out in a grin as if he had been greeted by a long lost friend. He admitted he was down in the dumps, having gotten married shortly before receiving his overseas orders. Roger, Obie and I boarded the flight at sundown and headed east for Ankara, with a quick stop in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. We landed at Ankara at about midnight and were met by Master Sergeant Fred Barnett, who was NCOIC of the Liaison Detachment that Det 4 maintained in the city. I would assume long-distance responsibility for this unit. The Sergeant drove us through the dark streets of Ankara to an apartment the detachment maintained for officers in transient status, or who were in Ankara on business. Roger seemed to think such a place as Ankara couldn't exist, though Obie and I thought it wasn't a bad looking town. The streets were dusty, but paved, the buildings were fairly new, and the US and Soviet Embassies were about a block away. Roger's morale was low, but it would get lower in the weeks to come. The next morning we were taken to the liaison detachment office, located in a 2nd floor apartment close to the city's center. There were just a few people running the unit, with the Master Sergeant and a clerk handling administrative affairs.
CW3 FLOYD KETCHERSID
Det 4 was authorized 2 pilots, but at the time there was only one available. He was CW3 Floyd Ketchersid, who had been a B-29 pilot in WWII. The next day Roger and I were scheduled to fly to Sinop, with Obie staying behind a few days to meet contacts in Ankara. We boarded an Otter, a sturdy, single-engined aircraft made by the deHaviland Co. in Canada. It had proven itself a reliable plane, serving in the bush country of Canada and Alaska. It could even be fitted with skis or floats, as conditions demanded. Floyd was the pilot and we were joined by a couple of EM for the flight. Even under the best conditions, the flight to Sinop was not a milk run. It required flying over 3 rugged mountain ranges and finding a safe place to land in an emergency would be extremely difficult. Violent storms could brew up with little warning, most of them blowing in off the Black Sea. Frequently, flights would take off from Ankara under ideal conditions, only to have to turn back because of foul weather. It was crystal clear when the otter took off, and 2 mountain ranges were cleared without difficulty. Then a storm moved in from the west. Floyd was confident we could make Sinop before the weather really closed in. He contacted "The Hill" at Det 4 and told them he would circle until he found a break in the clouds which had socked in the airfield. He eventually found that break and nosed the plane down for an approach to the short, grassy field. Ketch, as we called Floyd, put the plane down and reversed the prop, but we weren't slowing down. There was a fence at the end of the airstrip intended to keep cattle off the field, and it was coming up fast. Ketch put full throttle to the engine, but those fence posts were starting to look like telephone poles as we lurched forward. The plane got airborne, but the gear caught the fence, knocking it down. Luckily, it wans't too sturdily constructed. Floyd brought the Otter around for another try and this time, got the plane to stop. We oft-loaded and got into a vehicle for the 3-mile trip through Sinop to "The Hill." The gravel road gave way to a paved stretch inside the town and then back to gravel as we headed for the base. Sinop was on a low neck of land connected to a peninsula that rose sharply to 605 feet above the Black Sea. The mile-long finger of land surrounded on 3 sides with precipitous cliffs. There was a lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. Det 4 was almost due south of the Crimea. The unit consisted of about 500 officers and EM and was charged with the responsibil-ity of monitoring Soviet communications and missile launghing sites. The post was surrounded by a low barbed wire fence. Inside, there was a cluster of old wooden buildings, including a small HQS building. Inside the compound was a smaller fenced in area, which was the operations area. Entry to that area required special clearances, because of the sensitivity of the work. There were 3 other smaller units on post, including a detachment of Turkish soldiers who provided security for the outer perimeter and shared security duty with US personnel at the main gate. A 2nd unit was Detachment 66-1, a Signal Corps outfit commanded by 1LT Gary Kosmider that handled communications with the outside world. There was also a small British monitoring unit, which probably performed many of the same functions we did. I had little contact with the Brits, who were always in civilian garb and lived in civilian quarters in Sinop. The buildings were scattered about with little rhyme or reason. Beside the HQS complex, there was a supply area and motor pool, with many supplies and parts stored outside because of a lack of storage space. Three long, one story barracks housed the EM, but their showers and toilets were located in another area. NCOs were housed in 2 and 4 man Quonset huts, which were well insulated against the terrible cold of Turkish winters. All the water on post was hauled in by tanker trucks from a spring several miles beyond the airstrip. The base had a good-sized mess hall that was always open since the unit worked around the clock. There was also a club where the men could get a cold beer, soda and snacks, which doubled as a movie theater with several shows a day. There was a PX we tried to keep well-stocked, and a post office. The officers were housed in a wooden building that had been added onto several times. You entered through a small club area with a few comfortable chairs, a bar and some card tables. To the left were the quarters, where officers were housed 1 or 2 to a room. To the right was a dining area that could seat 30 men. Next door was a small, but well equipped medical clinic. Most of the buildings in the compound were connected by walkways, because of the mud created by frequent rain and snow. A new post was being constructed by Turkish workers under contract to the Army Corps of Engineers under Capt. Geesey. That led to some complications, because one end of the EM messhad to be chopped off to make way for one wall of the new concrete mess building. There was a small group of civilian electronic technicians at the site, who lived in the officers quarters. These talented men were constantly upgrading the communications system in the operations area to keep ahead of the Russians, who were constantly trying to jam our equipment. Soviet naval ships could often be seen off the coast sailing back and forth, occasionally being chased off by the Turkish navy. Because of the importance of their work, the technicians did not have to go through normal Army channels to get new equipment. The officer's mess was run by a very proper Englishman. Harry Lauter was a nephew of the famous vaudevillian actor of the same name and had served on some of Britian's finest ocean liners. Whenever we were served roast beef he would ask, "Would you like your beef under done, done or overdone?"
THE PIED PIPER OF DET 4 AND HIS POPCORN
Dr. Reitz and I were initially quartered in a very large room. He was a talented and caring doctor and very religious. The post only had a Catholic chaplain, so Roger conducted Protestant services on Sundays, and organized a very good choir. Still, he was a bit of a Sad Sack, those first days at Det 4. Each day he would ask the supply people if his footlockers had arrived. Each time the answer was "No," his chin would drop further toward his chest. I didn't know what was in those footlockers, but it was awfully important to Roger. I believe he saw the Black Sea as the end of the Earth and wanted those lockers with him when he fell off the edge. Finally, the footlockers arrived. He sat on the edge of his bunk and opened one, only to find it packed with clothes. The second one also contained only personal gear. His face lit up when he opened the third. That locker contained several large bags of unpopped popcorn, two gallons of oil and a popcorn popper. Within minutes he had popped a full load and gulped it down, too. I never saw a man who so dearly loved popcorn. Mice also loved popcorn, and with each batch he made, some sould fall on the floor. After lights out, I could hear the pitter-patter of little feet across the floor as they cleaned up the leftovers. I told Roger this had to come to a halt and he had to get some traps. Now the pitter-patter was followed by the snap of mouse traps. "Throw it out the window" I would command. The Piep Piper of Sinop would then get up, toss the dead mouse out the window and return to bed. Roger was a great guy, but I eagerly took the opportunity to get a room to myself when it became available.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SINOP
Sinop dated back to 1300 BC and the first wall around it was built about 650 BC. The walls were widened and raised over the centuries, with towers added at strategic points. Three centuries before the birth of Christ, Alexander the Great conquered the city and Diogenes, the philosopher who searched the world for an honest man, was born in Sinop. Our officers' mess was named after him. "The Diogenes Officers Open Mess or DOOM. Roman rule of Sinop began in 62 BC when Julius Caesar conquered the region. In 395 AD, the Roman Empire split and it became part of the Byzantine Empire. It remained a Byzantine until 1214 when the Segud rule began. The Ottoman Empire took over in 1460 and the Russians and Turks battled over the port for several centuries. Since WWI, however, it had become a quiet backwater with its Muslim population adhering to ancient customs, while adopting some of the new ways of the Young Turks who succeeded the ossified Ottoman rulers. The harbor on the east side of the city had an underwater wall, designed at some point in the past, to keep warships from cannonading the city. the wall had openings for fishing boats and other ships to pass through. Sinop was the capital of the province, which meant it also had a prison. Some American officers who visited the prison said it was more like a dungeon, built beneath a section of the city wall. The occasional tours were probably arranged to remind Americans of the severity of Turkish law.
I replaced a Major, who had served as both XO and Adjutant of Det 4. My official title was adjutant, but I was also the XO, since that position was unfilled. I had little to do with the functions performed behind the fence of the operations area, other than to acquire the necessary manpower and supplies for them to perform their mission. The ASA personnel, both officers and EM, were highly trained and had stations all over the world for intelligence gathering. Much of that information was funneled to NSA at Fort Meade. While the men were highly trained, they lacked military discipline, which probably wasn't essential for the jobs they performed. Those of us outside the fence were detailed to the ASA for 1 year of duty. Overall, I didn't enjoy the assignment. The assignment was not without challenges, and it was beneficial from a career standpoint, but it was on the fringes of the western world. My responsibilities included personnel and administration, the Ankara Liaison Detachment, the PX, post office, athletics and recreation, and troop morale and discipline. I also served as the Red Cross rep- resentative.
Lt Colonel Les Buttleman and First Sergeant Crawford Boyd
The unit commander was LtCol Lester Buttleman, a Signal Corps officer. He was a fine officer, but his main concern was what happened within the operations area, and he relied heavily on me and others to handle supply and administration outside the fence. About the time I arrived, a new First Sergeant also arrived. Coming from the "Real Army," he was somewhat appalled by the living conditions and lack of discipline. We set out to improve both, without administering a "shock treatment." For instance, we found the barracks jammed with clothing and other items left behind by troops who had departed 2 or 3 years earlier. Just clearing that out was a major improvement.
SPORTING ACTIVITY AT DET 4
With Capt. John Hamlin as the A&R Officer, we began a new athletic league for softball, basketball, flag football and horseshoe tournaments. Hamlin even got a USO troupe, led by silent film star Charles "Buddy" Rogers of the 1927 film "Wings," I doubt most of the men knew who he was, but the small group included some good looking girls, which is always appreciated. More films were shown on post, which also improved morale, since there was little other contact with the outside world. In the fall the supply section was having a new warehouse built, but I felt it could further improve morale if it could be used for basketball and volleyball in the winter. It had no insulation, but at least it was out of the wind and we had a very active league in no time. The leagues kept me occupied as a player.
THE TUMPANE COMPANY
Another activity was the Tumpane Company, which was contracted throughout Turkey to provide logistics and supply functions for US units. They ran the mess halls, transported water, ran the motor pool and provided janitorial services, under the supervision of our officers and NCOs. It was a money saving operation that provided employment for Turkish nationals and, overall worked well.
All our drivers were Turkish, because there was a fear that any accident involving an American driver would result in unjust punishment from local authorities. A case in point happened midway through my tour and involved Ketch. He was authorized to have his family in Ankara, where they lived in an apartment owned by a Turkish family. One night his car was parked in front of the apartment, where it was sideswiped by a Turk. It was clear who was at fault, but a Turkish court determined Ketch was 40% at fault on the assumption that the accident would not have occurred had he not been in the country.
When I landed in Turkey, the Det 4 Liaison NCO told me the first thing I had to do when entering a taxi was negotiate the fare to my destination. Then, in the event of an accident, I was to put the fare and a handsome tip in the front seat and quietly walk away. I never hailed a taxi in Turkey.
CWO OBIE HAUGEN'S INJURY ON THE BLACK SEA STEAMER
Early in my tour, I directed that the mail be separated and delivered ASAP. First class mail arrived by air, but was somewhat unreliable. Every Friday mail would arrive by truck convoy from Ankara and mail also came by Black Sea steamer, though this route was seldom used. By the latter method, a cruise ship travelling from Istanbul to Trabzon stopped at Sinop and other ports. The ship arrived at night when it lowered anchor outside the underwater wall. A post duty officer then had the chore of taking out a small Turkish contract boat to meet the vessel. Other tenders would also go out to meet the ship, which lowered a gangplank to a small platform on the hull near its waterline. This was no problem in good weather, but rough seas made it tricky to time your jump from the boat to the platform. One night Obie Haugen failed to time his jump properly, and injured his back and legs. He was plagued by the injury for the rest of his life, but did return to duty at The Hill. Once on board, the officer would go to a cabin occupied by the USAF Liaison Officer. His job was to transport classified material to US bases along the coast. He also carried regular mail from time to time. Once the classified documents were signed for, you left the ship, again having to make the perilous jump from the platform to the to the boat. This happened twice a week.
The most reliable way of getting mail was by the weekly convoy from Ankara to The Hill, a trip of about 375 miles by raod, no more than 10 of them paved. The road took the convoy over those 3 mountain ranges, which were dangerous at any time of the year, but more treacherous in the winter. The convoy of several trucks loaded with supplies and mail, along with a busload of replacements, would leave Ankara early on a Friday morning. It would be midnight or later before the convoy arrived at Sinop. Since the post was on duty around the clock, the men would gather around the convoy's arrival. Before I came, it was customary for mail to be delivered during normal duty hours only. We set up a regular post office, however, with individual mailboxes, and the personnel went to work sorting the mail immediately after it arrived. It was never difficult to get volunteers for this assignment, because the convoy usually brought care packages from home. Our post office had all the normal services, from registered mail to first class and parcel post. We even issued postal money orders. I was glad I paid attention to postal instruction at the AG School.
MY FOOTLOCKER IMPOUNDMENT AT ANKARA
Doc Reitz's footlockers had arrived, but I was still living out of a suitcase and too busy to give it much thought for those several days. I did ask the personnel in the Ankara detachment to check on them from time to time, with negative results. One night the convoy arrived and a warrant officer called me aside and asked me what I had in the footlockers, because they had been impounded by Turkish customs officials. Now I was seriously worried, thinking back to the paper bag the Turkish major had given me at Fort Benjamin Harrison. I caught the next flight back to Ankara and discovered the Turk had given me a bag of lacy women's undergarmets, items that are a little hard to come by in Islamic countries. I tried to explain to the customs officials that they weren't mine and asked that they confisc- ate the bag and release my footlockers. I tried to reach the major several times without success and again asked them to release my footlockers. They told me they would see what they could do and to come back in the morning. When I returned, the 2 footlockers were sitting in the customs house with a clearance stip attached. I never found out whether the major got the underwear to his sife or girlfriend, or whether some customs official's wife ended up wearing them, but there was probably some payoff somewhere along the line.
HOW FAR CAN YOU SEE AND DO YOU HEAR MY ENGINE NOISE
One of my functions at Det 4 was Air Traffic Controller, something for which I had no qualifications. I was well equipped, however,, for the job of guiding aircraft to the grassy airstrip. Behind my desk was a window, which allowed me to determine cloud cover and ceiling, visibility, and whether it was raining, sleeting or snowing. Over my right shoulder was a machine that measured wind spped and direction and it sat on top of a radio used to contact the pilots. When an aircraft got in range the pilot, usually Ketch, would contact me and ask about conditions on The Hill, even though it was several miles from the strip. Being so near the Black Sea, dense fog was frequently a problem for incoming pilots. "How far can you see?" Ketch would ask. I'd give him my best vertical and horizontal guesstimates and he would make a decision on whether to attempt a landing, or turn back to Ankara. On some bad days I could hear the plane's engine droning overhead and Ketch on the radio asking, "Do you hear me?....Am I coming closer or going further away?" He would use the radio signal and a homing beacon and try and find a hole in the clouds. Ketch was a darn good pilot and willing to take some chances, if he felt it wasn't too great a risk to his passengers. He did have one crash, which led to a later adventure for me.
A NEAR DROWNING DISASTER
The unluckiest, or perhaps luckiest, man on The Hill was CWO Sterling "Al" Allen. I can recall three incidents in which he cheated death, or avoided serious injury. One occurred in the fall of 1960 when a group of us went on a excursion to Old Sinop, about 2 miles east of Sinop by sea. Det 4 had a recreation boat docked in the harbor and piloted by a Turk, who was a Korean War veteran. The Turkish Brigade had a great fighting reputation. That day we headed east to dig mosaic tiles and pottery shards from the ruins of the ancient city. When storm clouds began to gather we decided to head back. The sea started getting rough and Sterling was sitting atop the cabin with a couple other officers. The boat hit a big swell and almost capsized. Sterling, who couldn't swim, was thrown into the frigid waters. Captain Gerard Dirkx, the Operations Officer, on top of the boat's cabin dove in to rescue him and we dragged them back on board. In the middle of winter 1961, Sterling and I were heading to Ankara in the convoy, both of us riding in the cab of an Army truck driven by a Turk. We were heading up a pass in the second range of mountains when the convoy was brought to a halt by snow and heavy winds. It was a gravel road with a drop of about 200 feet on the left with no guardrails. The driver set the brake, but the truck began to slip backward and to the left. I was sitting on the passenger side and baled out with Sterling, who was sitting in the middle, holding onto me for dear life. The driver also made it out, but the truck didn't stop sliding until the left wheels of both rear axles were hanging out over the edge of the cliff. All the trucks had winches, so we were able to get it back on the road and continue our journey.
THE 30 APRIL 1961 OTTER CRASH
The final incident was truly life-threatening for Sterling Allen and he probably owed his life to Ketch's flying skills. Al and Capt. Hamilton were returning from a TDY to Det 27 on 30 April 1961. Ketch and I made radio contact, but he was far to the west and the transmission was garbled. We didn't know his exact position, but figured he was in the vicinity of the coastal range. Before we lost contact, Ketch reported the wings were icing up and he was trying to get below the clouds to shake it off. It was several hours before Turkish authorities reported to us that a plane was down on a mountain north of the village of Kure, but they did not know if there were casualties. Our primary concern was the men on board, but the plane was also carrying classified documents. I organized a rescue party consisting of a jeep, a deuce and a half and a wrecker and we headed for Kastamonu, a town south of Kure. There was no road west from Sinop, so we had to take the long way, traveling the convoy route east to Gerze along the coastal plain, over the mountains by the Boyabat Pass and then west along a primitive road to Kastamonu. We checked in with the local police and learned all 3 men survived the crash, were at a local hospital and their injuries were not life-threatening. It was now late in the day and we could not reach the crash site before nightfall, so we visited with our injured friends. Ketch had done a remarkable job, landing the Otter on a grassy patch 2000 feet up a rocky mountain. The main gas tank under the passenger compartment caught fire, but the men managed to drag themselves to safety. They were on a rainy, windswept mountain in biting cold, injured and lost.
MISTAKEN FOR RUSSIAN'S
They headed down the mountain, but the first person they met was a shepherd, who took them prisoner at gunpoint and prodded them down the mountain to a small village. By now their injuries were beginning to take a toll and the people of the village were also hostile, perhaps believing they were Russians, the traditional enemy of the Turks. The men were able to communicate that they were Americans, and the tone of the villagers changed. Now they were treated like long lost relatives. Our men were made comfortable and fed and arrangements were made to take them to Kastamonu, several miles to the south. As is often the case in Islamic countries, the men took care of our guys, the women remaining in the background. On 1 May 1961, we arrived in town and were promptly escorted to the governor's house, where the governor and his staff offered us tea and confections and where we jibber-jabbered about the crash. I don't drink tea, but gulped down a couple glasses and kept a smile on my face. Though anxious to get on with the job, we were invited to be guests at a parade marking the first anniversary of the overthrow of the previous government. We didn't want to insult the new regime, so we stood on the reviewing stand with the governor and his staff. Trying to observe protocol, we saluted whenever the governor raised his hand. As parades go, it wasn't much, but the locals seemed to enjoy themselves. Children marched to the reviewing stand, made a presentation and moved on. Farm tractors chugged by to great applause, followed by some parade floats. With Ketch, Sterling and Hamilton out of danger, my main worry was the classified documents on the Otter. The parade had further delayed the mission and I was beginning to sweat. Finally, our 5-man rescue team got on the road, or trail.
HOSH GELDINIZ AND HORSES
We reached a small village where a group of men greeted us, "Hosh geldiniz! Hosh geldiniz (welcome), and we tried to make meaningful conversation. While the woman peeked out from their huts. The mountain before us looked like rock monolith. Our vehicles couldn't make it to the crash site, so the villagers provided us with horses. I managed to get into the saddle, which had no stirrups, and a villager handed me a rope that served as the rein. I hadn't ridden a horse in a long time and this was more like riding a camel. The rain didn't help. The Turks had me up on the horse, which decided to head off in a trot. Within 20 yards I was off the horse with my ass in a mud puddle. The Turks at first appeared stunned, but I broke out in a laugh and they chimed in. Maybe they thought every American could ride a horse like Gene Autry. The Turks pushed this New York boy back onto the horse and we headed for the next village at the base of the mountain. Here we were again greeted with great hospitality. Our field jackets were taken off and dried by fireplaces and tea and boiled eggs were offered. I really wanted to get up the mountain and the villagers soon provided us a new set of guides. The horses were extremely sure-footed along the rocky path, but I fell out of the saddle a couple more times. I eventually decided the best method was for me to walk up the mountain leading the horse.
THE CRASH SITE
After about 2 hours we reached the crash site. All that was left was the charred remains of the Otter's engine, the tips of the wings and the plane's tail assembly. Searching through the rubble we found the registry lock and serial number for the classified documents. The rest had been destroyed. We took several rolls of film to document the crash scene, because an investigation was sure to follow. It was near dusk, so we headed down the mountain, but the guides took us down a different path and, within a quarter mile, we came to our Turk Jeep driver. Why we had to ride horses several miles to the crash site, I'll never understand. Perhaps it was more entertaining to the Turks. It was a difficult trip to Katasmonu, where we joined the rest of the party. By this time Ketch, Al and Hamlin had been evacuated to Ankara. Though it was quite late, I decided to return to Sinop that night and make my report. We arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Also lost on the flight were several potted plants, which I had ordered to spruce up the tables in the EM mess hall. They were burned in the crash, but, Al, Ketch and Hamilton were alive.
CONVOY STRANDED DECEMBER 1960
The winter before Ketch's crash, Obie Haugen and I had been called upon to rescue a convoy stranded between Gerze and Boyabat. This was just before Christmas 1960. The convoy consisted of the usual supply trucks and Turkish drivers, plus a busload of stranded replacements. They were no doubt getting a grand introduction to life in Turkey. Obie and I loaded 3 trucks with extra supplies for better traction, along with a wrecker and a jeep. We had to chain the vehicles by the time we reached Gerze. I doubt we exceeded 5 miles an hour during the journey. Finally, we reached the mountaintop and the convoy. Fortunately, Turkish highway officials had a building atop the mountain where we could spend the night. The next morning we dug and winched out the vehicles and before too long we were headed down the mountain toward Sinop.
**SEE Aines-5 Sinop convoy attachment
Christmas overseas away from your family is not very joyous, particularly in wartime, or in a country that doesn't practice Christianity. GIs usually find a way to celebrate the season, but it's also a time of year to keep and eye out for anyone showing signs of depression, which could lead to suicide. This never happened while I was with Det 4, but there had been previous cases.
1961 NEW YEAR'S PARTIES
Then came New Years and the newly appointed governor of the province invited a few officers to a ball at the theater in Sinop. We showed up at the theater and were seated at a table near the stage with an equal number of Turkish men, ranging from our post barber to some local dignitaries. To one side the governor and his wife were seated by themselves. The tables were arranged around a dance floor and there was a band. It wasn't Glen Miller and his Orchestra, but it had a drummer, saxophonist, violinist and a guitar player. The attire of the guests was interesting, ranging from the latest styles, as worn by the governor's wife, to outfits that looked like they dated from the turn of the century. Everyone seemed to be having a reasonably good time and it was the first time outside of Ankara I had seen Turkish women in Western dress and without veils. We sat and observed the festivities, because asking a Turkish woman for a dance would have been a serious breech of protocol. Some towns people were crowded in the balcony watching the local bigwigs enjoy themselves. Refreshments included peanuts in the shell, cherries on the stem, sliced oranges and warm beer. The band played on and we kept looking at our watches. Midnight passed without notice, but somebody eventually flicked the lights on and off several times and there was some mild applause. It wasn't exactly Times Square. A short time later the governor and his lady departed and, before long, everyone else started drifting out of the theater and we headed back to The Hill and into 1961.
LETTERS FROM HOME
Throughout my stay in Sinop, Marge kept up a steady stream of letters and pictures of the boys. I tried to write back most nights, but wasn't as regular a correspondent. I nevertheless looked forward to mail call as much as any man on The Hill. Paul was still quite young and needed a nap everyday, although he often resisted and Marge would lay down with him until he nodded off. She wrote that one day she drifted off before he did and she awoke when a neighbor came to the door with our toddler. The woman had found Paul asleep on her driveway. If that happened now, Marge would probably be charged with child neglect. It's hard for me to understand how she made it for a year with 4 very young boys.
ANOTHER TURK PARTY WITH BEADY-EYED FISH
In the spring of 1961 we were invited to another of the governor's functions, this time at his lovely home above the Black Sea east of Sinop. On the edge of a high cliff was a large glassed gazebo where we were to have dinner. The governor sat at the lead of the long table with Lt. Col. Les Buttleman to his right. I was halfway down the table surrounded by Turkish officials. The spread included the peanuts, cherries and oranges, along with breads, shish-kabob and a large beady-eyed fish I had no intentions of touching. I just hoped no one would offer me some, because I would have had to accept. The governor gave the signal and everyone dug in with hands going in all directions. I nibbled on some peanuts, oranges, cherries, bread and shish-kabob and was collecting a good deal of scraps on my plate. The plates of the Turks, however, were clean. They simply threw their shells, stems and peels over their shoulders onto the floor. I looked over my left shoulder and spotted the skeleton of the fish.
THE DOOM CLUB
The officers did much of their relaxing at the small club in the BOQ. It had a small bar, some lounge chairs and a few tables and there was a bridge game going every night. One door led to a patio with a fine view of the Black Sea. The dining room was just off the club and was used as a movie theater most evenings. Ahmet, a Turkish national and a fine gentleman, was the steward of the club. The club also had two 5 and 10 slot machines that were always being played. It could be 0300 and you'd find someone playing the slots. The club was making so much money, we began giving away drinks some nights to keep the club revenues down. We were eventually cited for giving out free drinks and were ordered to give our excess revenues to ASA HQ's. Obie Haugen was the club officer and in charge of keeping the slots, which frequently broke down, in operations. He set the machines to pay off more often, but they still produced about $400 a month. We were frankly pleased when one or both broke down.
THE WHIFFEN-POOF SONG
CWO Sam Arthen was my personnel officer, a knowledgeable, efficient and imaginative man. He penned lyrics set to the tune of the "Whiffen-Poof Song" to describe life at Sinop:
"From a table down at Ali's, the the house where Ahmet dwells,
To that dear old Yeni bar we loved so well,
Come the DOOMsters all assembled with their Raki raised on high,
And the magic of their singing cast a spell.
Yes the magic of their singing of the songs we loved the best,
Iscalarii, Mustafati and all the rest,
We will serenade our Ali; spend our year on The Hill,
Then be port called and forgotten with the rest.
We were poor shiska-bobs who were sent this way,
Merhaba, Merhaba, Merhaba.
We are Black Sea shiska-bobs who were sent astray,
Merhaba, Merhaba, Merhaba.
Gentleman DOOMsters from the Black Sea,
Doomed from here to Eternity, Pentagon have mercy on such as we,
Merhaba, Merhaba, Merhaba
To provide some translation, Ali's was a Sinop bar, "yeni" means new, "Raki" is a potent Turkish drink and "merhaba" means hello.
ARMY DISCIPLINE WAS NON-EXISTENT
The living conditions of the troops were not great, but we made a big effort to upgrade their quarters. They were, however, the slackest group of soldiers I ever served with. Most of the men "behind the fence" were recruited off college campuses, many having left for financial or academic reasons, or even boredom. They were intelligent and highly trained in their specialties, but hated Army discipline. The First Sergeant was Crawford Boyd, an excellent and disciplined Senior NCO at Det 4. I remember the time his hut was torched. We never did find out the bum or bums that set the blaze. Even among the officers behind the fence in the operations area, discipline was poor. Many wore the AIS insignia and discipline and good order were way down their list of priorities. Those of us outside the fence attempted to maintain a better sense of military order, although we tried to administer discipline gradually, so as not to create too much of a shock among the troops.
THREE DAY PASSES TO SAMSUN AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FEMALE COMPANIONSHIP
One regular activity was arranging 3-day passes to Samsun, a USAF listening post to our east along the Black Sea. We had some troops there most of the time, since the intelligence gathering activities were related. Getting there was not easy, since it was another gravel and dirt road running along the Black Sea cliffs. Winter travel was very treacherous, but the men welcomed the opportunity to get off The Hill. Samsun had prefabricated housing with heating, air conditioning and indoor plumbing. There were even prostitutes-off-base, that is.
THE SAMSUN KARAHANI
I visited Samsun in the Spring of 1961 while taking the Det 4 Volleyball team to the Mediterranean District Tournament in Athens. We won the Black Sea Championship by beating the USAF teams from Samsun and Trabson. Not much of a league, but it got us off The Hill a few times. Samsun told us they'd make a plane available for the trip to Athens. I was the team captain and the only other team member that I remember is Lt. Roberts, and I can't remember his first name! Later we arrived at Samsun at the appointed hour, only to find the flight was delayed. That was not unusual , so we built a few extra hours into our schedule. While waiting, a few team members wanted to take Roberts and me to the Karahani, a complex of whorehouses down by the docks. To enter this dead-end street of row houses, we had to pass through a police checkpoint where we were frisked. Once inside, we were free to walk the street and enter the houses, where the madams paraded their women for inspections and selection. Most were very low class, but there were a few choice gals. Some of them had been sentenced there by the courts to pay off fines for other offenses. There was a story that an airline hostess was once sentenced to the Karahani and paid off her fine in no time. Since we weren't buying, Roberts and I were kicked out of a few places. In some houses the woman just sat in the front window showing their wares. It was very degrading. One of the team members must have seen some- thing he liked and was inside a house for a time, while we walked around outside. He came out and proudly proclaimed, "I just spent 10 bucks to find out I'm impotent." We all had a good laugh and that ended our visit to the Karahani.
TURKISH TOBACCO BEING LOADED AT THE SAMSUN DOCKS
The slogan for Camel cigarettes used to say that they were made from a blend of the finest Turkish and American tobaccos. While down at the docks, we saw an American freighter being loaded with bale after bale of Turkish tobacco.
Our airplane never did arrive, so we took a Turkish bus over 300 miles of winding mountain roads from Samsun to Ankara. It was a white-knuckled ride. In Ankara, we went to the USAF Base and caught a flight to Athens, just in time to make the tournament. The EM were quartered at the airbase, which the US shared with the Greek Air Force. Roberts and I were put up in a small hotel on the waterfront outside Athens. The first night we played the USAF team from Wheelis Air Force Base in Libya and were soundly beaten. Afterward, Roberts suggested we catch a civilian bus and see where it would take us. It sounded like a good way to unwind and the bus took us to Piraeus, the port serving Athens. I had gotten about 10 paces off the bus when I realized my wallet was missing. Roberts and I searched the bus to no avail. I had lost my wallet, ID card and money, including $125 belonging to Capt. Jerry Dirkx, who had asked me to buy a fur stole for his wife while I was in Greece. I had to repay the money, which made my financial situation very tight, since captains weren't getting rich in those days. I believe my pocket had been picked sometime during the day, perhaps even on the bus trip. This had reportedly happened to Gen. Eisenhower once during a trip to Greece. That took some nerve! Lt. Col. Terry Feild, from my Fort Gordon days, came to my rescue. He was now assigned to Athens with his family and made arrangements for me to get a new ID card and offered to loan me the money I had lost. I declined the money because I had a check for $75 back at the hotel that I'd received just before leaving Det 4. It was my annual dividend check from my National Service Life Insurance Policy. Col Feild and his wife had me over for dinner a couple of times while I was in Athens. They were a wonderful couple. We lost our second game in the double-elimination tournament, so after another day of sightseeing in Athens, the team headed back to the misery of The Hill.
Det 4 had a number of International station wagons and a staff of Turkish drivers, which the men were allowed to use on their off duty hours for transportation to points of interest. I always made it a point to make friends with the Turkish employees, including the construction crews, offering a friendly "Merhaba" whenever we met. Often, the drivers would come up to me and offer to take me to historical and scenic sites in the region. The most memorable was well off the beaten path, near a small village in an isolated valley. Carved into the face of a cliff was a small temple that must have dated from the Roman or Byzantine empires. The temple was a few 100 yards from the village and while the driver and I were walking back a young boy ran out of a house and offered to sell me what appeared to be an ancient coin. The driver advised me on an appropriate price to pay for the coin. It may have been quite valuable, but it disappeared from our home in Indianapolis a few years later. I suspect it was stolen by one of the boys' playmates. When out on these excursions, the drivers often ended up stopping at the home of a relative. I was always invited in and treated with great deference. Tea was always served by the man of the house, with the woman staying hidden. The Turkish people were very hospitable, though I suspect they could be tough adversaries, judging from their reputation as fighters in WWII and Korea.
NO MOMMA OR PAPPA AT DET 4
Time on The Hill seemed to pass very slowly, though I was quite busy during duty hours and athletics and other diversions kept my off-duty hours filled and the mail was always welcomed. Det 4 did have a fair number of visitors, some of whom were probably there more out of curiosity than necessity. In the Spring of 1961, we had the annual IG inspection, which seemed to go well. One inspector commented, however, "The unit has no momma or pappa," meaning we had no one close by that we could rely upon in time of need. This was true in that our next higher HQS was in Frankfurt. As a result of the inspection, a new ASA Detachment, Det 83, was formed in Ankara consisting, mostly of staff and contact officers. Col A.J. van Oosten, Infantry, was the commander of Det 83. Like me, he had no previous experience with ASA functions. We were no doubt the only officers with Combat Infantry Badges assigned to ASA outfits in Turkey. Since we both had infantry backgrounds, we got along very well and the formation of Det 83 helped us greatly in the acquistion and movement of supplies.
COL VAN OOSTEN - A BATAAN DEATH MARCH SURVIVOR
Lt. Col Les Buttleman left Det 4 near the end of April 1961, as Det 83 was forming, and Lt. Col John P. Cox took command. He was a ball of fire, but like Buttleman, his main concern was what happened behind the fence, and most personnel and administrative duties fell in my lap. Cox developed a real dislike for van Oosten, probably because van Oosten had no ASA background. Cox's animosity got to the point where it was embarrassing for me. Whenever van Oosten dropped by, Cox would closet himself in the operations area, where van Oosten was not cleared to enter. Cox would direct me to go to meet van Oosten at the airstrip, escort him to the post and see to his every wish. I would take him around the base, we'd have lunch and then I'd take him back to the airstrip. One time van Oosten had to stay overnight because of bad weather and there may have actually been a face-to-face meeting between the two at that time. Probably because I was a good blocker, Cox always treated me very well, giving me complete latitude in my work. I liked him a great deal, but felt I was always walking a tightrope and often wondered what kind of efficiency report van Oosten gave him.
THE SHOOTING AND DEATH OF A TURK SOLDIER AT THE FRONT GATE
During my stay there was a major event at Det 4 that had serious ramifications for US-Turkish relations. On 8 May 1961 several of us were having breakfast when, at about 0630, Cox received a call that there had been a shooting at the main gate, but information was sketchy. He told Dr. Reitz and I to go to the dispensary. At the dispensary, Reitz began treating the wounded Turkish soldier, who had been shot in the groin. At about 0730 I could see I was doing no good at the clinic, so I headed for the gate. A couple hundred agitated Turkish construction workers surrounded the gate. They were hostile and I was scared, but after throwing out a few "Merhabas," they reluctantly allowed me to pass. Outside the gate house were several soldiers from the Turkish security platoon. They all grabbed me off my feet and tossed me inside the gate house, which was about 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. All the windows had been broken out and the floor was littered with shattered glass and stones. Cox, Dirkx, Spivey and a couple of GIs were inside, huddled under the slight protection offered by the building's low brick wall. I joined them on the floor. Finally, the Turkish lieutenant in charge of the security platoon restored some semblance of order. Eventually, the Turkish workers began to disperse and we were allowed to leave the gate house. Construction was suspended and most of our other Turkish employees were dismissed for the day. The situation deteriorated that night when the Turkish soldier died of his wounds. Turkish authorities asked to use our ambulance to take his body to Samsun, which they did in the middle of the night. Accusations now begun to fly, with Turkish authorities claiming their soldier had been shot by one of the American guards at the gate, which was manned by Americans and Turks at all times. They based the accusation on the fact that a US weapon assigned to one of our men was used in the shooting. Here are the facts as I recall them: A Turkish guard waved a group of British soldiers past the gate without checking their passes. Another Turkish guard got mad and the two were soon in a fight. One of the guards was a known hothead and he grabbed a carbine from the gate house and threatened to shoot the other. A third Turk, a really fine young soldier, tried to get the carbine away from the man was shot in the struggle. We had several witnesses to the incident, both Turkish and American, but the Turkish authorities were adamant that a US soldier was responsible. We had conclusive evidence that the soldier was in the Motor Pool washing his Jeep, as he had just come off of roving guard duty. We had taken depositions from several Turkish soldier witnesses, but they were soon transferred. The situation quickly escalated to the diplomatic level, with the Turkish government continuing to insist our soldier had killed the Turk. They wanted jurisdiction over the case and, in fact, attempted to change the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the countries, which delineated which government had authority when certain events occurred. In general, the US had jurisdiction over incidents that occurred on duty, with the Turks having jurisdiction when it occurred off-base, or while a soldier was off-duty. The SOFA agreement was a sensitive issue for the Turks, since a few years earlier when a US Major killed a member of the Turkish president's favorite band. Each Friday evening the band would pass by the president's home and serenade him. One night the major had left an officer's club and ran his vehicle into the rear of the band, killing one of its members. The Turks wanted jurisdiction, claiming the major was off-duty. Our ambassador claimed he was on duty, because an officer overseas is, theoretically, always on duty. The major, whose career was no doubt destroyed, was able to get out of of the country without a lengthy prison term. Some Turks apparently wanted to use the Det 4 shooting at the gate as retaliation. Courts were convened on post consisting of Turkish authorities. The case was now out of the Army's hands and, while Turkish and American witnesses continued to corroborate our version of what happened, the Turkish court officials kept coming up with reasons to reject those findings. Meanwhile, life at Det 4 had to go on and flights in and out of Sinop were essential to base functions. I was designated to meet the plane to send off or receive documents. We had to pass through Sinop to get to the airstrip and I was quite on edge, since it was just me and a Turk driver in a Jeep. I got some dirty looks along the route, but nobody threw any stones. Eventually, the situation cooled off and operations got back to normal. I believe having been friendly with the locals paid off, but I carried only unclassified documents until we felt it safe to carry classified material to the field. Hearings continued into July 1961, with the Turks remaining adament. The hearings eventually moved to a higher court in Samsun, which got them out of our hair. At some point, US investigators were allowed to bring in a polygraph team from Germany to interview the witnesses. The tests showed all the Turkish and American witnesses were telling the truth, except the man who actually shot the soldier. When the results were presented to a Turkish court, however, the judge ruled then invalid. I'm not sure how the case ended, because it was still going on when I left the country in July. Fortunately, the American soldier the Turks wanted to lynch was also out of Sinop. Getting him out of Sinop was one of my last duties before going home.
ANOTHER TURKISH KANGAROO COURT
Turkish courts aren't like American courts and one more case is worth relating. One morning at break-fast 1Lt. Gary Kosmider, CO of Det 66-1, mentioned that a shed had been broken into the previous night and several car batteries were stolen. That was the end of the matter, as far as I was concerned, because theft was a constant problem. Gary, however, reported the theft to the local police. Several weeks later an official looking document was delivered to me from the local courts in Sinop. Lt. Mike Highland interpreted the document and told me we were expected to appear as witnesses in some kind of legal proceeding regarding the theft of the batteries. I had no first hand knowledge of the theft, but Mike and I were expected to appear in court, or our unit would never be able to have any cases heard in that court in the future. The three alleged thieves were lined up in the back of the 40 foot long court-room with the judge sitting behind a desk to the front. The judge swore us in and I was asked to be seated, while Mike stood. In a very courteous manner, the judge then questioned me, although there was no defense attorney in sight.
Q: "Were the batteries stolen?"
A: "Yes. Lt. Kosmider told me the batteries were stolen."
Q: "Where were the batteries located?"
A: "Lt. Kosmider told me they were in a shed."
Q: "How big was it?"
A: "I'm not really sure, though Lt. Kosmider said it was a small shed."
Q: "Was the shed locked?"
A: "I'm not really sure."
Q: "Well, it the Americans locked a shed, how big would the lock be?" The judge put up his thumb and forefinger at different widths until I agreed upon the approximate size of a padlock. I was the only witness to appear at this kangaroo court and there was no defense of any kind presented. I was told the men received 7 years, although I have no idea on what evidence the men were charged. We never did get the batteries back, and I hope those 3 men didn't have to serve their time in the Sinop dungeon.
THE LACK OF TURKISH WOMEN
Relations with Turkish women was a delicate matter. There was a young US-educated Turkish engineer who worked with our engineers on the construction project. his wife had also been educated in the US and from time to time, we would invite the couple to the post for dinner and a movie. She was friendly and sociable on these occasions and wore Western attire. If we ever saw her in Sinop, however, we ignored her and she would not acknowledge us. It was not a matter of being disrespect-ful, just local protocol, especially in backward areas. Sinop may have been the only place I served where I never heard of a soldier having sex with a local woman, at least that I'm aware of.
DISMISSAL OF A PILOT
Early in my Sinop tour I had the unpleasant task of replacing a pilot assigned to us with the Ankara liaison detachment. At first, we were happy to have him, because Ketch was bearing too much of the flying burden. The first time he came up to The Hill, he flew in another Otter in tandem with Ketch. The weather was perfect, but about midway through the flight this lieutenant found an excuse to turn back to Ankara. This happened a second time and then a third time before he was able to complete a flight to Sinop. When I met him he was likable, but appeared quite nervous. The next day, he flew back to Ankara, but he never flew back. We received reports on a daily basis concerning his erratic behavior. The final straw was when I received a report that he had thrown a chair from an office window and onto a vehicle below. I asked Ketch to come and get me and, upon my arrival in Ankara, I relieved the lieutenant of his duties and had him committed to a hospital for observation. I then had to go inform his wife, who was in Ankara with their two children. She was emotionally drained and in tears, but was thankful her husband had been committed. It was obvious to me that his actions in the office had carried over into his home. My action no doubt ended his career and he was evacuated from Turkey within a few days.
It was in June 1961 that I received orders to report to the Adjutants General School as a member of the faculty, a job I had sought. I was to be in Grankfurt on 2 August 1961 for shipment to the states. I left The Hill a few days before that in order to get the soldier out of the country and arranged for my goods to be shipped. While in Ankara, I went out to Manzarali (Det 27 and 83) and bid farewell to Col van Oosten. He told me I had been recommended for my third ARCOM.
Ankara had been a relatively small town before Kemal Ataturk led the young Turks to power in the 1920s. Ataturk was intent on modernizing the country, but felt the old capital of Istanbul was both too Asian and too close to Europe, so built the new capital in the center of the country.
One of the biggest challenges was water and a reservoir was built near the city. Over the years, however, it proved inadequate, particularly after it began to fill with silt. When I was in Turkey, Ankara had water service only a few hours each day and people would fill their bathtubs, jars and anything else that held water. Most other services were adequate and the modern government buildings were quite impressive, as was the tomb of Ataturk on the city's outskirts.
I well remember Turkey, but it was an unmemorable flight back to the United States. The only thing worth remembering was reuniting with my family.
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