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MEMORIES OF MURTED, TURKEY

Ted E. Dubrawsky, MSgt. USAF (Ret.)

© 2003-2011 by Author

I have many memories about Murted, Turkey. I was part of a 13-man detachment, TUSLOG 16-3 at Murted. The name “Murted Animals” was already in place before I got there, and I heard that the “Animals” destroyed the all ranks club right before I arrived there.

Anyway, I had been there about 2 weeks when a buddy and I (we came in on the same flight) decided to go to town and do some shopping. We were some of the lucky ones who stayed in the barracks in Ankara instead of at the site. The adjacent town was called Balgat. We took the shuttle bus to Ankara, did some shopping, and decided to take a cab back to Balgat instead of waiting for the shuttle. We got in the cab and the driver proceeded on his way. It was only about a 40-minute drive from Ankara to Balgat, and while we did not really know the way back, we knew about how long it would take. Well, the driver kept on driving and driving and driving. He spoke no English and we spoke no Turkish. He kept on driving and driving and driving. About 2 ½ hours later we finally got the driver to stop at a police station. We found a Turkish cop that understood some English and told him where we wanted to go. Turns out there are 2 towns named Balgat and the taxi driver was taking us to the other one. I forgot how much that ride cost us, but it was worth whatever we paid. We thought we were being shanghaied!

Another time, after being at Murted for about 6 months, one of the guys found a newspaper that showed a scantily clad woman. We asked one of the Turkish cooks what it was and how to get there. We found the place and sat down. We were all dressed real casual, tennis shoes, cut-offs, etc. We knew we were out of place because all the waiters were dressed in tuxedos. Anyway, the 6 of us ordered a beer. Tuborg was the name of the beer and you could get three bottles of Tuborg for a dollar and get change back. Anyway, after we nursed those beers, we asked when the show started. Seems that it was about 5:00pm and the show did not start until midnight. We had not asked how much the beers were, but knew we could not stay until midnight. We asked for the check and all of a sudden about 10 of the biggest guys I ever saw seemed to come out of the woodwork. We thought we were in real trouble. We got out of there with our skins, but our wallets took a beating. Turns out that the 6 Tuborgs, which should have cost us $2.00, cost us $42.00, but it was well worth the price to get out of there.

We built a swimming pool while I was at Murted. While I was there we never had water in it, but it was not uncommon to get off of work and find all your furniture in the bottom of the pool, arranged just the way it was in your room.

We had a USO show come in and Lt Colonel MacArthur (the ranking US officer) opened the all ranks club at 9:00 in the morning. At 3:00 the next morning we were still going strong. We showed the midnight movie at 3:00am. I walked in (with beer in hand, of course), and sat down beside Col MacArthur who was really dressed up for the USO show. I held the beer above the Colonel’s head (pretending that I was going to pour it on him). I had no intentions of pouring the beer on him, but one of the security police saw me and said that “You don’t have a hair on your ____ if you don’t”. I apologized to the Colonel, and then proceeded to soak him with the beer. Had to save face in front of the guys. The Colonel was a real good sport about the entire thing. Still can’t believe that I did that.

Tuslog 16-3 only had 13 guys assigned. Tuslog Det 183 was larger, with about 80 guys to the best that I can recall. Anyway, Tuslog Det 183 challenged us to a softball game. We (Det 16-3)had several 24-hour workcenters and only had 10 guys available. We had guys that did not know which end of the bat to hold. Anyway, we wound up beating them. Afterwards, there was a big celebration for Det 16-3. A couple of hours later, I happened to walk by the barracks, and one of the guys said something to me. Being full of piss and vinegar (and beer), I said something smart alecky back at him. Anyway, he takes off running after me. I ran through the chow hall and into the officer’s quarters. Thinking that the Colonel’s office would be unoccupied, I opened the door and ran in. I stopped on a dime, because the Colonel was holding a staff meeting, chewing a little butt about losing the softball game. I was just about to start backing up when the other guy comes running through door and plows into me. The beer that I was holding went flying all over the Colonel’s office. Anyway, I guess that the Colonel took that well also because I never had any repercussions. Colonel MacArthur took a lot of things well.


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