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Armed Forces Radio & Television Service, KARAMURSEL

Thom Rowe

© 2010 by Thom Rowe

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KCFR Station Tour 1970:
Production Studio & Control Room

The KARAMURSEL Air Station, located on the eastern side of a sizable point jutting north into the Sea of Marmara, and just west of the town of KARAMURSEL was one of the largest U.S. facilities in Turkey during the years before and during the Cold War. Airmen stationed there built a radio station to entertain the Air Force troops as well as a smaller Naval contingent and an even smaller group of U.S. Marines. The station was named KTUS. In 1959, a Navy radio station, WUSN, was begun and ultimately the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Service took over operation of those stations.

This information, submitted by Thomas Rowe, provides views of the AFRTS station as it looked by the late 1960s and early '70s. We thank Thom for providing this information as it is helpful in establishing an important part of the history of radio at KARAMURSEL.


The Production studio [at right] was the recipient of the most recently replaced equipment. The control board was (if I remember correctly) an Altec Lansing design. The cart machine was a new model Gates and the Reel to Reel was Ampex. The window looks into the on air studio. The entrance was thru the on air studio also. (Note the Sonex acoustic tiles on the walls in the second photo.)

On Air Studio
The door goes into the lobby and music library. [Right] The window opposite had a view of the quad that was bounded by the movie theater, BX and the KCFR/clothing sales building and the main road into the base from the main gate. Our antenna sat in the center of the quad. The on air console was a Gatesway Statesman. Gates also provided the turntables and cart machines. Except for the old spotmaster that sat next to the console on the right. Ampex reel to reel recorder completed the layout.

[Not pictured] Our record library covered two walls totaling about 25 feet floor to ceiling. LPs were provided by AFRTS of the most popular songs from the states. Some albums were also provided. Canned programs by Bobby Troop, Ruta Lee and even Adrianne Cronhauer (sp) of “Good Morning Vietnam” fame among others were provided. Older programs like “Inner Sanctum”, “The Shadow”, and other variety shows were also sent along the circuit.

Transmitter Racks
Bauer 50 watt transmitters got us on the air. These transmitters were originally intended for college "waterpipe stations". With the conductivity of the soil, and our location on the bay, we routinely got our signal into Istanbul and also routed programs over the telephone network to some of the more isolated sites.

Two Collins R390 receivers gave us the ability to pick up voice programming from AFRS in the states. Network news and much welcome sports programs were there anytime the atmosphere cooperated. I also remember a time or two when we were helped by the guys in the elephant cage. Some games were that important you know.

As I recall the teletype machines were model 28. When I arrived in 1969 they were model 19s. We received news feeds from United Press International (UPI), the Associated Press (AP) and the Armed Forces News Bureau (AFNB). The fourth machine was a backup.

Later in 1971 we were able to add a third studio with a Gates Console, turntables, spot machines and Scully open reel tape machines. We felt like we were in High Cotton.

Thom Rowe, SSgt, USAF

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For more information on KARAMURSEL radio Click Here  (This link no longer works.  Does anyone know of a good link for the old KTUS Radio web page?)

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