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Radio Intercept Operators

I found a really interesting paper written by SMSgt James M. Houle who was a SNCOA student in February of 1996. The title was “Essay on Morse Code Operators in the Air Force.” It gave some good explanations of what my Dad probably did early on in the USAFSS. I’ve included a link below to the file here on the website:

Essay on Morse Code Operators in the Air Force

Discussion

235 comments for “Radio Intercept Operators”

  1. To Paul Smith: It seems our career paths were the same. 6917th Dawg flt 63-65. NCo school at Goodfellow and then the 6931st 64-66 Able/Easy 3. We must have rubbed elbows at the mess hall. I was a 292 ditty chaser.

    Posted by Harold Garvey | November 13, 2015, 8:18 am
  2. I was with the 6917th Dawg Flt 66-68. 292
    Good duty. Went back to KAFB then to Nha Trang with the 6994th

    Posted by Joe Marshall | November 13, 2015, 10:54 pm
  3. I was with the 6917th Dawg Flt 67-68. 292
    Good duty. Went back to KAFB then to Nha Trang with the 6994th

    Posted by Joe Marshall | November 13, 2015, 10:55 pm
  4. I was with the 6917th Dawg Flt 67-68. 292
    Good duty. Went back to KAFB

    Posted by Joe Marshall | November 13, 2015, 10:56 pm
  5. Harvey,
    I was on Baker Flight and Dog Flight. I have a photo of class 03043 Intercept Graduation Class but unfortunately I cannot identify all of the members. If I remember, only a few us were assigned to San Vito Dei Normanni. I do remember standing on the steps of the Apian Way in Brindisi when we were called back to base after Kennedy was shot.

    Posted by Paul Smith | November 15, 2015, 3:51 pm
  6. erved at Wakkanai from 1959-1960 as a 20230, promoted to A1C to go to Germany. I was on Baker Flight.
    Served at Darmstadt Germany as a 20250 1960-1963 promoted to SSGT.
    Married a German, lost security clearance then mustered out of service.
    Came home, next day they shoot President Kennedy, my wife freaked out.
    Got into a brand new up and coming field called “Computers”. Had a good career, made a good living but was forced into retirement at age of 60 due to company outsource all programming to a company in India. Retired since then. Latest project is writing my autobiography (since nobody else will) dedicated to my four ex-wives and two grandchildren, who never really new me. If anybody new me in Wakkanai please email donmcbroom@hotmail.com. In spare time I was the Drum Major of our Drum and Bugle Corp.
    Most important project is to Reclaim America. Take this survey
    http://reclamationofamerica.polldaddy.com/s/reclamation-of-america-survey
    If you would like to study the document before completing the Survey, you can click on the URL below:
    http://reclamationofamerica.org/

    Posted by Donald E McBroom | December 7, 2015, 8:22 am
  7. I was stationed at 6952nd RSM from March 196- to Nov 1962. I have serious tinnitus that I believe came from being a morse intercept operator. Does anyone else out there have the same problem? The VA turned me down for assistance…..

    Posted by James North | January 22, 2016, 8:35 pm
  8. I too have tinnitus and have a 10% military disability as a result. Re apply. I was a 29251 from ’65 to ’69.

    Posted by Joe Marshall | January 23, 2016, 7:21 am
  9. Was a ditty-bopper for four years–6918th and 6924th. VA awarded me a 10% service connected disability for tinnitus.

    Posted by Ken Marchman | January 23, 2016, 8:38 am
  10. I was in Okinawa from ’60 – 61, and then in Germany from 61 – 64, then at Kelley from 64 – 66 when I took a discharge from the AF because I had been recruited by NSA. I was with them for ten years until 1976. I was a 292 “ditty bopper” all those years. I have a constant ringing in my ears also, and a 20% hearing loss. However, I have always attributed that to possible high blood pressure and now (sadly) old age. I have always told my wife and friends my poor hearing is a result of wearing headphones for so many years. Could be tinnitus, but don’t know……….and as such, I wouldn’t know what to do about it. Thanks for the info on the problem.

    Posted by Richard Barringer | January 23, 2016, 9:35 am
  11. My medical records indicate I lost 50% of my hearing in my right ear but I have been denied VA benefits.
    A local reporter learned about Security Service and wrote an article called “Elite Group of Men”. It was published in the Stars and Stripes last month. You may still be able to google “Elite Group of Men” The Easley Progress” if interested.

    Posted by Paul Smith | January 24, 2016, 10:02 am
  12. I was stationed at IAS twice, from Oct 75 – Apr 78, and again from April 81 – April 85. Sure would like to hear from anyone stationed there during these Yolanda.

    Posted by al smith | February 16, 2016, 5:31 pm
  13. Served in brindisi in 66 to 68 then kelly them shimya 68 to 69

    Posted by edward thompson | March 21, 2016, 5:15 pm
  14. Ed Thompson
    I was there on Dawg flight.
    I don’t know you I don’t think

    Posted by Joe Marshall | March 21, 2016, 7:21 pm
  15. Served in USAFSS 1st at Wakkanai 66 to 68,
    San Vito 68 to 70. Enlisted Dec 66 Separated Noc 1970 as an E5. Worked,in comm center 70250

    Posted by Pete Giola | April 14, 2016, 4:18 pm
  16. I was stationed in Brindisi from Mar of ’67 to Sept of ’68.

    Posted by Dave Scholl | April 14, 2016, 5:22 pm
  17. Dave, I saw your comment about the dates your were in Brindisi. I have a friend who married a girl from Brindisi and returns fairly often for a visit. He said the base is now a commercial business area and the Elephant Cage has been demolished. To me it is sad the portion of our lives that meant so much to the world then now has no meaning to anyone today.

    Posted by Paul Smith | April 15, 2016, 4:18 pm
  18. Paul,

    Thanks for the message. I had read the Cage had been removed. I remember spending some very long nights there. I often thought of returning for a visit, just never made it.

    Posted by Dave Scholl | April 19, 2016, 10:25 am
  19. We visited in Italy last summer but I was not able to go to Brindisi. It would be great to have a pizza at John’s just off the square.

    Posted by Paul Smith | April 19, 2016, 1:18 pm
  20. Does the cruise ship still stop there on the way to Greece ?

    Posted by Joe Marshall | April 19, 2016, 7:49 pm
  21. Served in San Vito Italy Sept. 68 to Dec. 69 than most of 70 in Sinop Turkey

    Posted by Allan Eenhuis | June 18, 2016, 6:45 pm
  22. Stationed in Misawa on the Hill Trick 2 68-72 Ditty bop. Great time good people. I still have QRM in head but I think I will live. Its nice to find a site like this. Have a great day everyone. Hope to hear back.

    Posted by Jack Caldwell | July 11, 2016, 8:00 am
  23. My wife, nephew, his wife, and I are looking forward to visiting the NSA Cryptology Museum in Annapolis next week. I wonder if they will have a console set up with a SP600 and R390 radios, tape recorder, royal typewriter and ear phones on display.

    Posted by Paul Smith | July 11, 2016, 10:01 pm
  24. MY SALUTE TO ALL OF YA’LL THAT SERVED UNDER THE GROUP KNOW AS “USAF-SS”. AFTER READING QUITE A FEW COMMENTS ABOUT THOSE THAT ARE SUFFERING FROM “TINNITUS” AMAZES ME TO MY VERY OWN CASE WHICH STARTED APPROX 3-4 YEARS AFTER LEAVING ONNA POINT. IT JUST CAME UPON ME OUT OF NOWHERE ALONG WITH AN ACUTE LOSS OF AT LEAST 75% OF HEARING IN MY RIGHT EAR, I ALSO AT THE SAME TIME SUFFERED THE LOSS OF EQUILIBRIUM. I SPENT TWO 8 HOUR DAYS ENDURING EVERY HEARING TESTS AND TRIED EVERY DEVICE ON THE MARKET WHILE I WAS AT THE HOSPITAL AND NONE OF THEM HELPED AT ALL. UNTIL READING THE POSTINGS OF RECENT, I NEVER GAVE A SECOND THOUGHT AS TO THE POSSIBILITY OF WEARING THOSE HEAD-SETS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. AT THIS TIME, AGE 78, I STILL HAVE IT 24/7 WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SLEEPING. MOST OF THE TIME THE SOUND I HEAR WHILE AWAKE IS JUST LIKE TAKING A “CONCH” SEA SHELL AND HOLDING IT TO MY LEFT EAR. PERIODICALY THE SOUND WILL AT RANDOM INCREASE TO THE SOUND OF A CONSTANT “WHISTLE”. IF I AM ANYWHERE NEAR RUNNING WATER, I CANNOT ENGAGE IN A CONVERSATION.

    Posted by PHILLIP E. HILTON aka PHIL | July 24, 2016, 10:08 am
  25. NOTE TO RICHARD, SADLY ENOUGH DUE TO THE FACT THERE IS NO WAY ANY MEDICAL INTERVENTION WILL HELP SINCE THE BIG PROBLEM IS THAT TO ATTEMPT AN OPERATION ON THE INTERNAL COMPONENTS OF THE EAR AND THEIR CLOSENESS TO THE BRAIN, THE MEDICAL ARENA WILL NOT EVEN ATTEMPT THAT TYPE OF PROCEDURE COMPOUNDED BY THE FACT THAT SO VERY LITTLE STUDIES EVEN ATTEMPT USING CADAVAS HAVE NEVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL EVEN AS OF THIS WRITING. I WISH THAT I HAD BEEN TREATED & TESTED AT THE “VA” HOSPITAL, MAYBE I WOULD HAVE QUALIFIED FOR A MEDICAL DISABILITY PENSION AS SOME OF YOU HAVE GOTTEN. THE GENERAL POPULATION DOES NOT UNDERSTAND JUST HOW BAD IT IS TO SUFFER FROM TINNITUS.

    Posted by PHILLIP E. HILTON aka PHIL | July 24, 2016, 10:35 am
  26. Sorry to hear of your condition but I remember during testing at Lackland, where I was doing very well on the test for 292, I little voice inside my head told me I didn’t want to listen to this for three and half years, so I laid my pencil down and didn’t pass the test. Instead I was put in as a 202, Analyst.

    Posted by Donald E McBroom | July 24, 2016, 12:08 pm
  27. Hello Phil, I also have the same handicap in my right year, but a bad case of vertigo in 2011 resulted in my not hearing any more in that ear. I also have the constant hum of a “conch” seashell and my equilibrium is shot! I have a 50 percent loss in my left year. I ditty bopped at Clark 1961-62, and Karamursel 1966-68. I am 73. Best of luck to you, Phil!

    Posted by Bob Herr | July 24, 2016, 12:38 pm
  28. Was stationed in Brindisi from Oct of ’66 to May of ’68 as a 292. Then on to the 48th

    Posted by Mike Pascavis | August 17, 2016, 11:18 am
  29. Is there anyone out there that was at the 6986th in Wakkanai from 59-60, especially the fall of 60 that would have a picture of the drum and bugle corp? I was drum major then would love to have a picture of me and the corp so I can put it in my memoirs.

    Posted by Donald E McBroom | August 18, 2016, 2:19 pm
  30. Hello James North. I see you were in the 6952nd at Kirknewton. I was there 55-57 and maintain a website and keep a list of alumni. Would like to add you to the listing if it is ok with you. You can check out the website at http://www.rafkirknewton.com
    Regards, Harry

    Posted by Harry Hathhorn | August 20, 2016, 2:56 pm
  31. Was stationed in Brindisi 1970-71 and Misawa 1972-73. Was discharged from Kelly. I was a ditty bopper.

    Posted by Daniel Tierney | August 21, 2016, 11:08 pm
  32. I was a 292 stationed with C flight 6981 Scty.Gp. at Elmendorf, 1966 to 68- Wore headsets the whole time, then the last year was with 6993 at Medina transcribing tapes, again wearing headsets.I have had what I think is Tinnitus for the past 9 years.I have the “sea shell” syndrome.I never thought that it could have anything to do with the constant use of headsets.But now I’m curious.There is a VA hospital where I live, but I have never gone to them.Just contributed it to getting older.

    Posted by Jerry Huskins | August 23, 2016, 5:11 am
  33. I was with the 6981st during the year of 1957

    I spent most of that time on Shemya
    detachment with the 6981st.

    thank you
    Bill

    Posted by william elsbury | August 25, 2016, 11:56 am
  34. William, I have pursued seeing the VA the for my tinnunitis but have not followed up as I should. I heard of someone local who was a spook in the Navy and was given hearing aids by the VA. I can’t hear in my right ear and often have a ringing noise. I was a 292 also. Paul Smith

    Posted by Paul Smith | August 30, 2016, 9:58 pm
  35. I too, have tinnitus, but cannot recall when I first noticed it ?
    most curious !
    then too, since 1960,I have been around noisy transmitters all my working life(broadcasting), until
    2000, retirement.
    I wish all good luck !!
    thanks
    Bill

    Posted by william elsbury | September 3, 2016, 5:18 am

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