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I served in Turkey during 1968-69, at Sinop on the Black Sea, TUSLOG Det. 4 (APO NY 09133? I think), directly opposite from Sevastopol and the Crimea part of Ukraine that are so much in the news today (2014). During our time there the base was buzzed a couple of times by Soviet MiGs, which the Turkish AF chased out to sea. The guys in Ops said one of the MiGs disappeared from the radar screen one time. Proves we should not trust the Russians!
On my flight to Turkey I met SSG William R. Ward, who was assigned to be the new Special Services NCOIC at Det 4. He recruited me to be part of his “operation” as I had been a Phys. Ed major in college, and had my Sr. Lifesaving certification. I became an 03C and we set up a nice intramural program that included fast pitch softball, flag football, basketball, and volleyball. We also leased the house on the beach that became our post’s beach. I was sent to Ciğli/Izmir to earn my WSI and then ran the beach all summer. Best job in the Army? Hey, I too was helping fight the Cold War… We also leased a power boat with dock in town for our guys to enjoy. That part of the operation was run by Spec. Bobby Joe Drake.
One time, a GI waterskiing in Sinop Bay got run over by the boat returning to pick him up and had his throat sliced by the propeller. Quick action by Capt. Stuart Sims, MD, who performed a tracheotomy with part of a pen, saved the guy’s life.
[Note from Webmaster: Learned the "pen trick" in the USAF Survival School.]
Our Special Services OIC was 1LT Bruce Carpenter. He was really nice to work for. We also oversaw the post library. I do not remember the librarian's name (a Turk), just that she had REALLY bad b.o. and that Lt. Carpenter bought her some deodorant which he tried to get her to use, but to no avail! I really enjoyed working for 1LT Bruce Carpenter, and SSG William Ward.
Our base commander during my tour at Sinop, Lt. Col. John O'Connor, was responsible for naming the softball field "Attaturk Field". Good community relations with the Turks on base and from the town. I find it really interesting to read so much on the internet about Attaturk and the country since there really wasn't much info available at the time and Sinop was so isolated, especially to other bases in Turkey.
My barracks was Roosevelt Hall. Our softball team won the base fast pitch softball championship that year with a slow ball pitcher — Cheesie McIntosh from Oklahoma. We could hit and played great defense. The NAVDET team won the volleyball tournament, playing something like 20 games in one day due to their shift schedule.
I also made good friends with Elton James Jackson, who was our Turkish linguist. He was from near Lake George, NY, and we got together a few times after returning home. A friend from my home town of Poughkeepsie, NY, Jim Guy Scott, was so lucky he went to Sinop twice, before and after I went.
I will look for pix from the good old days, see what I can find to scan and email to be placed on the website. And if additional info/stories come to mind, I will certainly be in touch. Thanks so much for handling this project. Quite an undertaking and extremely valuable to us and our families!
Lots of memories. The best part is we lived to share them!
All the best,