Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

Gentlemen:

I took CW radio operator's training at Ft. Knox, KY in 1957.  However, I never had an opportunity to practice that MOS.  I still enjoy practicing my ability with Morse code and even help a few young men get started with it.

My question is this.  Were there any CW operators after we got to Germany?  I do not ever recall hearing about one, or even meeting one of them.  I used to play the SW radio broadcasts very loudly on the weekends, but nobody ever dropped in to share in the listening.  That makes me think that no other troopers had such training.

Does anyone have a response to this? 

Thank you.

Robert Burns Wadley
Amarillo, Texas 

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dot-dot-dot dash-dash-dash dot-dot-dot
Dave: Roger on that last transmission, but as I do not know your location, better go ahead and call 911. Robert
Damn, you got me laughing on that one, Robert. Almost choked on my beer!
Not in the 1962-65 period. However, in 1964 the attic in Merrill Barracks included a classroom that had been used for communications training, and you could tell it had included CW. But as to when and what units used it, don't know.
Edward: Thank you for for your response. I have had correspondence with a 2 A/C trooper who attended classes there, but I am still seeking details regarding the activities performed and the equipment used by a 2 A/C CW operator. If you have anything to add, please do so. Your note makes me think that CW was abandoned in the 1960s. Robert
Robert: I think you're correct. I took the Armor Officers Communications Course at Knox in 1962 and it was AM, FM, TT, etc.; no CW. Was the Regimental Communications Officer late '64 - Summer '65 and we were not using CW; don't recall any equipment around the HQ. Got to 3d Squadron in November 1962 and know we didn't use CW at troop level, or for border operations.
Edward: Thank you for helping give me closure on this discussion. I had actual input from two troopers regarding their experiences. My intent had been to have a reasonable idea of a day's work for a CW operator. However, even as my own memories have faded regarding my own duties, the information that I did receive left a lot of unanswered questions. I did learn about one radio type and the CW key used, its installation in an APC, and some of the shortcut codes used. I did not discover anything about the types of messages, their lengths or encoding techniques, or any anecdotes about the misery or the fun of the job. I suppose my persistence may pay off in another forum. I appreciate your interest. I suppose that you knew that Merrell Barracks was originally an SS Kasserne in Nürnberg, Germany. As ever, Robert

Sir;

 

I was a 31B radio mechanic for my tour 69-71 and morse code was not even still taught except for some reason to the ground radar crews

we had classes on the big model 19 AM sets but pretty much learned the rest the old way

 

big thrill was to shock people with the little prc25's

 

Dan

Dear Dan:  I am sorry that I did not notice your reply when it was fresh. Yes, the equipment that you worked with had changed a great deal from what we had to work with. That is too bad, because as a radio mechanic you might have answered a few questions that I had about our radios and their limitations. Vacuum tubes were a way of life during my periods of service. Thank you.  Robert

Ahh, vacuum tubes, the key to all that has come since.  The things I learned about radio and communications have served me well in the outside world.  I applied a lot of the experience into a fairly lucrative Bell Telephone career and a side line of building and repairing computers.  I also do not check this forum as often as I should, still looking for comrades from my time period there but with little luck.

Dan

I was trained as as CW operator at Merrell Barracks in 1960 and became one of the operators in "L" Troop, 3rd Recon, 2nd Cav. in Amberg. I only used CW at Camp Gates and in the Commo PC while on maneuvers. Check my site and you'll find a photo of the communications center at Camp Gate. As to remembering the equipment. No way. Memory fading fast.

  Jack Griffith

Dear Jack: You are not alone. At first, I was concerned that a great deal of knowledge has faded from the minds of the radio operators, and then as I tried to reconstruct some of my own history in the military I discovered that the details just did not exist for me anymore. I see from what the other troopers write, that we all still have a lot of clear memories about the things we like to share about our associations. That is probably all that is really important now. My best to you in your current endeavors. Robert

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