K T U S
by Richard R. Wilt
In August of 1957 I arrived in Karamusel Turkey and the base was just being built and everything was very primitive as far as communications of any kind. Slowly things came together and there was a commutations circuit set up between Karamusel, Turkey NKK and Port Lyautey, Morocco, NHY. My job at that time was to monitor NHY Fox broadcast to determine any need to and when to bring up the communications with NHY. There were a few CW positions set up at this time, but no non Morse positions in operation.
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There was very little recreation. such as music except a few people had short wave radios in the barrack and at times tuned in Voice of America, Radio Moscow, or Radio Luxenbourg to get any American music.
One maintenance man, Neil Burg came up with a solution of the lack of music in the barracks. Based on a design of a baby monitor which was called cable current, Neil accomplished the task by placing an RF signal back into the AC power lines of the base. This would make any radio plugged into the AC power of the base a very small transmitter and in turn be tuned to the frequency and AM music could be received.
Neil built a 30 watt transmitter and installed it in one of the rooms of the Navy barracks. We had taken blankets and lined to room to absorb sound so we would not have any echoes in the room and by using a 4 channel audio amplifier to drive the transmitter we went on the air on Christmas Day of 1957. The theory was, if you had a AM radio plugged into an AC outlet on the base you would receive the AM broadcast on the frequency of 1000Kz with a call sign of WUSN. It worked great or maybe to good.
On New Years Day, Neil received a telephone call from one of our friends that had driven to Istanbul and listened to WUSN all the way to and in Istanbul on a car radio. This meant we were no longer just on the base AC lines but broadcasting which was illegal in Turkey.
I was sitting the the makeshift broadcast studio when Neil walked in, and literally pulled the plug from the wall socket. We were off the air.
Neil was not to be stopped with his idea so he decided to build smaller cable current transmitters of around 10 watts each and place them at 3 or 4 places throughout the base. Luckily it worked and we were back on the air with no signal outside of the base power system.
It wasn't long before more personnel on the base were listening to and became interested and involved in WUSN radio station. One in particular was Larry Webb, a Sargent in the Air force on the base. Larry had worked several places with the Armed Forces Radio system around the world on military bases. Through Larry the Air force Commanding Office of the base was brought into the group and gave us his blessing. With the acceptance of the CO the station was given a day room in one of the Air force barracks and the radio station was off the ground and growing. A studio was built in the day room and we were given more equipment and a new control consul was designed and built and the station call sign was changed to KTUS, meaning Karamesul Turkey United States and was given the blessing of the FCC to use the call sign while using Cable Current and not to be broadcasted.
My main job became sitting up a system to receive via teletype commutations of AP (Associated Press), UP (United Press), INS (International News Service) and AFN (Armed Forces Network) I had to set up a system that included, an antenna, a radio, a converter, and a Model 28 teletype machine. I had to keep the signal tuned in and copying the News and making it available to the News Director of the the new station.
With this KTUS was becoming a full fledged Broadcast Station at Det 28, Karamasul, Turkey. I can remember a few names that were involved but here a few, Neil Burg, Larry Webb, Tex Cline, and Don Brown. I know there were many more but I just can't come up with the names.
In the first few months of 1958 the station grew by leaps and bounds. Larry Webb had worked with AFN and he had some old friends stationed in Greece where they had a AFN station and he called in some old favors and Greece appeared was the last station to receive recorded transscriptions from the Armed Forces Network so when they finish with a package of transcription they would send them to us and we would use them and then return them to the Armed Forces Network, so we were beginning to sound more like a full fledged station.
I received orders and was transferred to my next duty station on August 1, 1958. I heard that after I left the AFN stepped in and took over the operations. I don't know if KTUS ever became a complete station and transmitting into the ether.