Karamursel, June, 1961 - December, 1962

Ken Patterson, US Air Force

© 2006-2011 by Author

I arrived in June, 1961. I was in the Air Force, and was a transmitter maintenance person, trained at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. In Turkey, I was assigned to the transmitter section, which was Site 4, part way between KAS and Yalova. It was shift work, and the 3 or 4 of us on each shift rode a truck out and back.

For just part of my 18 months there (maybe 6 months or a year, I can't remember) I worked at WUSN - "This is WUSN Navy Radio, 1600 and 1340 on your radio dial!" One of those frequencies was the "regular" one, and the other had no talk, just continuous music, except when we forgot to change the record when it finished. I had a regular show, but I also enjoyed signing up for "Night Mike" on occasion, which went from 11 pm to 7 am, had no format, and was on the air whenever someone like me felt like staying up all night!

I was in Barracks 512 for awhile, and in another later, I think. From my second floor window in 512, I had a perfect view of the new Airmen's Club under construction - it came to be called "The Stork Club." I went there frequently for 25-cent drinks, and for dinners that were a nice change from the chow hall.

Like most guys, I enjoyed going over to Istanbul for the day - and sometimes for overnight in a cheap hotel. The TUSLOG bus to Yalova was free, I believe, then a 37-cent ticket got one onto the 2½ hour ferry to Galata Bridge in Istanbul. One time, three or four of us got off at Büyükada, and walked around the island. No motor vehicles were allowed on the island, and it was a pretty and peaceful spot. I remember that as we were about to get back on the ferry, a young Turkish woman came up and passed me a flower. The other guys were mystified as to why she chose me, and I was, too!


1. The Blue Mosque, the only one in the world with six minarets

2. Looking up at the blue-tiled dome of the Blue Mosque

3. The quiet, carpeted interior of the Blue Mosque. The pillars are 16 feet in diameter.


4. The Hagia Sofia (or Aya Sophia - it's spelled several different ways). Completed in 537 AD, and for 1000 years the largest church in the world. It was then a mosque, and now is a museum. The dome is huge! This photo was taken from a minaret of the near-by Blue Mosque, which I was privileged to climb at the invite of Turk I met. I shot several slides from the minaret's balcony; this was the most impressive.

5. A view looking across the Golden Horn. Galata Bridge is just out of view to the right, and the Sea of Marmara is to the left. Straight ahead can be seen, from the left: the tower and lower buildings of the Topkapi Palace, then the Hagia Sofia , then the Blue Mosque.

6. A view of the busy Golden Horn taken from Galata Bridge.


7. A copper and silverware shop.

8. A ferry coming from the Sea of Marmara turns left from the Bosporus into the Golden Horn. Asia is the far shore, and I'm standing in the Topkapi Palace here in the European part of Istanbul. The Tower of Leander is the white structure on the tiny islet in center of photo. Continue up the Bosporus for 17 miles and you get to the Black Sea.

9. Common sight - a minaret. We were told that there were 500 mosques in Istanbul.


10. An old aqueduct on the outskirts of the city, with me - looking so very, very young!

11. A time exposure in the Grand Bazaar - the well-known covered bazaar. You can buy practically anything there, among the 4,000 or so shops. Sit down, have a cup of cay (chai), and barter!

12. Turkish shoeshine "boy" in Istanbul, with typical ornate box.


13. At the Topkapi Palace, I asked a friend to take a picture of me - and a group of school kids rushed up to join me! It made a much better photo that way!

14. The Bosporus, as seen a few miles above (north of) Istanbul. This view looks south. Again, the far shore is Asia, this side is Europe, and Istanbul is out of view to the right. A modem suspension bridge has since been installed, eliminating the ferry once needed to cross between continents. Oh, yes - once again, that's me!

15. An open-air market somewhere in Istanbul.


16. The Pasabahçe, commonly used on the Istanbul-to-Yalova run. It docked at the Galata Bridge.

17. A view from a ferry in the Golden Horn as it nears the dock. That's the Galata Bridge on the right.

18. A view from the ferry as we docked at Büyükada.


19. On the Island of Büyükada in the Marmara. No motorized vehicles are used on the island. Several of us walked around the island - it's beautiful!

20. Arriving at Yalova. This view of the dock was taken while still aboard the ferry from Istanbul.

21. View from near the dock in Yalova.


22. Street scene in Yalova.

23. Street scene in Yalova.

24. Sign at main entrance to KARAMURSEL Air Station. The guard shack is out of view to the left. We are looking west here. The road continues past the base on the far right.


25. Headquarters building, KAS.

26. A view from the second floor of my barracks.

27. This stork often hung around the base. I think he was almost, but not quite, tame. I guess he doesn't read signs very well!


28. Another general view of the base. Gee, look at all those old cars!

29. From my second floor room, I could watch the construction on the new Airmen's Club. Once opened, it was called the Stork Club. A bit of the road to Yalova can be seen on the far right.

30. The chow hall.


31. The Base Theater. I saw the movie Psycho in Mississippi when it first came out, then months later, saw it again here when it finally made its way to Turkey!

32. My slide title says "Navy crash boat at the KAS dock." It that correct? What's a crash boat???

33.I wandered along the road outside the base, and came upon these kids and cattle - miles from nowhere!


34. A shepherd and his flock alongside the Marmara, near KAS.

35. He posed for a photo.

36. Me, outside the transmitter building at Site 4.


37. A time exposure inside Site 4. We shared this facility - the Air Force transmitters are on the left, and the Navy is on the right side. We worked well together. Two of my shift-mates are sitting while a Navy guy shows us something.

38. I'm tuning a 10,000-watt output single sideband transmitter.

BW1. I shot one roll of black & white during my 18 months there, and had it processed in Yalova. This shoeshine boy is by the ferry dock in Yalova.


BW2 Yalova street scene.

BW3 Yalova street scene.

BW4 Yalova street scene.


BW5 Yalova street scene.

BW6 Yalova street scene.

BW7. An Istanbul ferry at the dock in Yalova. It looks like it could be the Pasabahçe.


BW8. A building on the base.

BW9. Another view of Karamürsel Air Station.


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