Good Times at Izmit, APO 09324

Harlow J. Morgan

2003-2011 by Author

I was stationed at Izmit, Tuslog Det.97 from March 1971 to April 1972. Izmit is about 12 miles from KARAMURSEL and is also on the Sea of Marmara. Headquarters was at Cakmakli (Det.67) outside Istanbul, about 60 miles west of Izmit. These units were both part of SASCOM (Strategic Arms Command), in Germany. This was part of the NATO alliance.

Other than for supplies, testing and promotions we had very little contact with Headquarters. Back then there was no suspension bridge connecting the European and Asian sections of Istanbul so the ferryboats made the trip across the Bosphorus very interesting. We were in closer contact with KARAMURSEL. We had access to their PX and Commissary and various clubs and our APO was actually the same.

There were only about 40 guys at Det.97. A few that I remember were Bart James, Jim Hilton, Fred Palmer, Ronald Victor Rose, Carl Anderson, Roger Mackenzie, David Bacon, Bernie Mosbacher, Lt. Lynch, and others. (see pics). Where are you guys?

The base was small and consisted of a barracks, a couple quonset huts (one used as a barracks the other as a recreation hall), officer's quarters, main office, PX, mess hall and guard shack. The Air Force had a communication tower there too and a handful of guys to operate it. As with most other artillery detachments, the Turkish battalion had the launchers and we were the "custodians" of the heads. It was a great arrangement. Our most common interaction with the Turkish Battalion included guard duty (they had the perimeter; we had the exclusion area) and filling our vehicles with gasoline from the battalion tank. We also had joint missions that included a practice launch with a cement head into the Black Sea (see pic).

My personal responsibilities at Det.97 included Missile Crewman, PX Manager, and Driver. I was one of three with a military drivers license, so I was chauffeur to CO's, Lt.'s, KP's and Houseboys. I also made "PX runs" to KARAMURSEL to stock our local PX from there.

We also made friends with the American civilians at the Uniroyal plant in Adapazari. They would come over to Det.97 on Thursday nights to watch movies and I would open the PX for them. (They all had Commissary cards.) In turn they would invite us over to their housing complex for cook outs, tennis courts, etc. If it hadn't been so far from home it would have been a great assignment! Other fun things included water skiing on Lake Sapanca and snow skiing at Bursa.


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Air Force shack at Det 97 (Communications tower)

Statue of Ataturk  in the circle in Yalova

Uniform badges for our area

Bart (not Simpson:) James in favorite attire... beads & shades.

C.O.  Capt. Barry D. Grant, pretty cool commander with a Fiat Spyder 850 Convertible.

Joint Mission with Turkish Battalion which culminated in firing an Honest John Rocket (cement head, no nukes!) into the Black Sea. This shot was very difficult since the rocket is traveling 2000 feet per second by the time it hits the end of the rail!!! Basically, you hear the rumble, see a flash of light and snap the picture. (no clue if you got it at all, it happens very fast!) It was 4:30am, when this was taken. Still dark out. The sky was lit up from the rocket!!

Mrs. Clyde Ryan (Betty) & me. They were some of the friends at Uniroyal at Adapazari.

Captain Burt A. Vanderclute, CO of Det.97 after Barry Grant.

Air Force Radar Cones at Det.97. They had their own number but don't remember what it was.

Mess Hall  Kerry Fenerty ("Fork"), Javit (Turkish KP), & Cecil Cooks (Mess Sergeant)

Dennis & Don - Dennis Yauger & Don Shepard in Dennis'area. Dennis painted the picture in the background.

Dennis Rose : Acting First Sergeant after Alvoid Williams left.

Det. 97  taken from Turkish Battalion air strip.

Det 97  taken from the end of the driveway looking out to the front. Shows Barracks, Mess Hall /Office /PX, Quonset Huts, and Air Force Shack.

Envelope I sent to my honey of 26+ years now, showing postmark and APO info. PS: We live in Rochester NY, now.

Ferryboat crossing the Bosphorus near Istanbul. I hear they have two bridges now. How wonderful!! :)

Flags at KARAMURSEL, January '72.

Lt. Fred Palmer, a good friend and last CO during my stay in at Det.97.

Guys :)  - Bart James, Carl Anderson, Bernie Mosbacher & Don Shepard.

Downtown Izmit

Jim and Ken  - Jim Lyons & Ken Knowlton in Ken's area with polka-dot walls!!  Very '70's-ish!! :) "

Guys :) - Jim Hilton & Gerry Cressa.  Jim was in my wedding party and dated (and almost married) my wife's best friend!!  He was also a very good friend!

John Steele combing his hair (he did that a lot!!! :))

More guys :)  - Ken Knowlton: Bartender at Det97; Richard Kennison: Best customer at the Bar (AF Sergeant)

Post card of KARAMURSEL

Lt. Lynch ("Lyncher") and me.

Palmers - Mrs. Fred (Cindy) Palmer and daughter Vickie.

Pete - Close up of my friend Ronald Victor "Pete" Rose. "Pete" was a teacher in Chicago before he got drafted.

Pete & me :) - Ronald "Pete" Rose & me in my area.

Roger! - Roger McKennzie taking a picture of me taking a picture of him. We really needed to get a life! :)

Santa!!  - Lt. Fred Palmer playing Santa, Christmas 1971.

The sign   that everyone would see driving out of Det.97 that said "Leaving SASCOM's Finest".

Shop in Yalova Had a lot of Alabaster stuff (Chess sets), Meerschaum Pipes, Brass things (Samovar's, etc.) Also leather goods, made to order.

Skiing  - me skiing at Mt. Uladag, Bursa

After skiing Bart James, me, and Jim Hilton at Lake Sapanca after a day of water skiing.

S_a_m_s :)  - guess!! :)

Taxi !  - '38 Chevy & '57 Ford Taxi's in Izmit, 1971. I was told that these cars were much newer than their model year because GM for one, sold the dies to Turkey and they produced '57 Chevy's in the late'60's!

Taxis  - more old taxi's in Bursa, in 1971.

Thanksgiving  1971 at Det97

More thanksgiving : Roger Mackenzie, front left; Bernie Mosbacher, far right; Don Shepard, middle; Jim Lyons, near right; ???, back to camera.

 Vehicles  - '69 International Harvester Travelall (with a 394, 4 speed and a blown clutch) and a '60-ish Econoline PU truck that we acquired courtesy of KARAMURSEL AF junkyard. Also had a '68 Chevy PU not pictured.

 WAF at KARAMURSEL taken from in front of the Commissary facing the PX.