14th Radio Broadcasting & Leaflet Battalion

USARPAC Patch Worn by 14th RB&L

4 stars represent the Southern Cross and 7 stars represent the Big Dipper. The red arrow symbolizes the WW2 offensive North to Japan. (Source: Jack Giza)

The 14th RB&L preceded the reorganization of the 14th PsyWar Battallion. The history of this unit was added as a result of input from former members.

The origin of RB&L is breifly stated on the 14th Psychological Operations Page:

The 14th Psychological Operations Battalion was originally constituted on 24 December 1943 in the Army of the United States as the 4th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company. It activated 29 December 1943 at Camp Ritchie, MD. Following the end of World War II, the unit inactivated on 25 November 1945 in Luxembourg.

Redesignated on 19 November 1954 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion, the unit was allotted to the Regular Army. It activated on 20 January 1955 at Fort Shafter, HI.

It was reorganized and redesignated on 25 March 1961 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 14th Psychological Warfare Battalion.

It was again reorganized and redesignated on 20 October 1965 as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 14th Psychological Operations Battalion and 7th PysOps Group before inactivating on 30 June 1974 at Fort Bragg, NC.Redesignated on 30 October 1975 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 14th Psychological Operations Battalion, it was concurrently withdrawn from the Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve, and activated at Mountain View, CA.


USARPAC Command HQ Ft Shafter 1957. Picture Provided by Jack Giza

The United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) serves as the Army Component Command to the Commander in Chief U. S. Pacific Command (USCINCPAC), less the geographic area of Korea. USARPAC commands active U. S. Army and U. S. Army Reserve forces in Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, and in possessions and trust territories administered by the United States in US Pacific command.

Following World War II, numerous Army headquarters in the central Pacific were consolidated with the goal of forming a single Army command based in Hawaii. In 1957, the U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC) was established at Fort Shafter, following inactivation of the Far East Command. As Army component of the unified command led by the U.S. Commander in Chief Pacific, USARPAC was assigned a threefold mission: Provide necessary ground Army combat forces; Support those forces administratively and logistically; and Provide reserves and contingency plans to meet any ground threat to United States interests in the Pacific.

Source: USARPAC Page

Accounts of 14th RB&L

To date (2/7/06), two accounts have been submitted.   Jack Giza served during 1957-58 and Robert Conrad (1956-57) at Ft. Shafter in Hawaii where the 14th was based...

I would like to hear from others who served in this group or from anyone with information about its organization.

Nicolas Kariouk 1955-1956 Added 4/15/11

Nicolas Kariouk 1955-1956

Note: Nicolas was born in France and moved to Chile after WWII. He then moved to the U.S. and was drafted into the Army in 1954. His account along with a story of his friend Ibsen can be read in an article he wrote for "Human Condition" . Nicolas also submitted another article from the Human Condition (4/10/11) entitled "A General Knows a Frontal Assault When He Sees One". This is a tongue in cheek experience of meeting a General while in a barracks Latrine. Nicolas also included a Citizenship Story that is certainly an interesting comparison to the process of receiving citizenship today.

In an Email dated 4/14/11 Nicolas writes:

I was in Fort Bragg with Psy War in 1954. Later that year or perhaps in 1955, Captain Avedon  sent me to Oahu where, as a private and probably PFC, I remained in Hawaii until 1956 at which time I used my GI Bill to get an engineering degree at Columbia U in Manhattan.

My assets with Psy-War were my many languages, although ironically, my English was quite poor! As such, I had no problem conversing with the other privates because I generally had a language I could communicate with them, it was the sergeants and grades above that I had difficulties with because none spoke any language other than English!

Specializing in Nuclear engineering, I wound up in a nuclear power plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now retired, I am still in BR although my wife entices me to move elsewhere!

Nicolas included The following 1955-56 Pictures from the 14th RB&L at Ft Shafter:

Nicolas also included the following 1954 pictures from Ft Bragg:

Source: Nicolas Kariouk


Jack Giza 14th RB&L Bn 1957-1958


Jack was the first to contact me about his tour in the 14th RB&L. We have communicated on numberous ocassions about his experiences and the transition from the 14th RB&L to the 14th PsyWar Bn....Jack provided both an account of his experiences and a biographical sketch of himself:

Biographical Sketch of Jack Giza

Jack is retired and living with his wife MaryAnn, in a country home near Staples, Minnesota. He attended schools in Staples, then studied Electrical Engineering at North Dakota State college. He worked 12 years for Minneapolis Honeywell in several drafting departments, then a proposed move to Chicago by the company caused him to instead take a teaching job at the Central Lakes Vocational Technical College where he taught computer drafting for 29 years.

He was a member of several profesional organizations, is a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, served on the Minnesota State Advisory Board for drafting and has a B.A.degree in Vocational education. 

His favorite retirement activities include hunting, fishing, forestry and developing food plots for wild life. They raised a family of four boys and three girls and family activities keep them involved in sports. They have wrestlers, track and field, tennis, cross country, band , orchestra, choir, softball, marathon, and acting participants  that keep them on the go. They spend a lot of time from "ice out" to "ice in" at their lake home on Lake-of-the-Woods, Ontario. Between cabin maintenance days they like to fish, explore, look for rocks and driftwood (MaryAnn is a rockhound), and in season, pick blue berries. 

My Experiences with The 14th RB&L by Jack Giza

I was drafted  May 23rd 1956 at the ripe old age of 23. Left Staples, Minnesota for Minneapolis, then bussed to Ft Chaffee, Arkansas. From there to Ft. Bliss Texas for basic training. We could put down a request for two schools and because I had worked as a draftsman for Honeywell, I picked drafting or weather. I got drafting,and went to engineers school MOS 810 at Ft. Belvoir Virginia. Then the rumors started as to where everyone would be going. It was hilarious!  Anyway, I and two of my buddies got Hawaii, two of us to Ft. Shafter and the other to Ft. DeRussy. I reported to the 14th RB&L and my buddy Bill Hill to the Post Engineers. 

I was with the 14th about three or four days when I was told I would be sent to the Post Engineers also.  I worked there with civilians doing plans for post construction and repair work. It was great. The best was taking measurements around the swimming pool!!  I did lay out a street on Waikiki and found it was still there when my wife MaryAnn and I went back to visit in 2002.

In a month I guess, I was re-assigned back to the 14th I guess what happened is that they decided to keep me and had completed a security check for "secret". I had no idea that the unit had been re-instated earlier that year and it was really suffering a little organizational problem.I really didn't know what I was doing there, but soon was assigned a safe to guard and data to maintain and anaylze..I began to see we were interested in events in Laos and the Philippines..I had first hand knowledge of the terrible events taking place in those two countries.

I think Ft Shafter covered about 160 to 200 acres when I was there.. It was not large as Army bases go..Besides the barracks, there were officers housing, officers club, NCO club, a golf course, MP barracks, motor pool (I got stuck being company driver a few times), a small clinic, a theater, chapel, library, and a small rifle, pistol and grenade range.. The pictures I sent seem to distort distance alot, so it was larger than it looks. The landing strip in picture is Hickam Field, now part of Honolulu International Airport.. Ft. Shafter had no air field. The barracks seen in the picture were for all USARPAC personnel.. The 14th had no particular room or bay....We were all mixed together. I don't have a closeup picture of the 14th Hq building but it can be seen near the barracks but was actually three blocks away. I found that the personel in the RB&L were very friendly and a lot of fun. The officers threw a big Christmas party for us with free beer, pop and snacks and they joined in with us in a lot of off-key, but merry Christmas carols.

For some reason we were encouraged to take scuba training and also jump training, and also study French and Chinese..I tried to learn Chinese but found I was not good at it but did complete scuba training. We trained in the YMCA pool and then had advanced training at Hanauma Bay...We graduated as qualified divers.. A group of 6 or 7 of us then took training on beach landing Re-con measuring water depths... An old WW2 sub the USS Bashaw took us out to various locations and then we swam in using drop lines to record depths and obstacles for beach landings..We also did a few night re-cons off the Bashaw..The swimming was great but the night work had me a little tense.

We had several jumpers with our unit but their day jobs were in a different office as I only seen them floating down on the golf course, or quartered in our barracks. One, Wayne Marchand, was an excellent lock picker and was always opening footlockers for those who locked in their keys. He helped me out my second day there. I was afraid to ask--you know-- but he turned out to be a great Guy.  Several members went to Laos and spent time in the mountains with the natives. Very interesting. Wish I could have went. It was a "no identification" trip. We did the usual security stuff, signing in and out, waste baskets at 6 ft height, everything burned each day, etc.. I think we were practicing security more than using it. I was then cleared for "top secret" and it occurred to me I should take my work a lot more seriously. I finally realized that we were getting involved in the serious events taking place in Laos and Viet Nam.

With the investigation by the FBI around town for my security check, some people thought I was in deep trouble. The penalty then for divulging top secret material was 10 years in jail and a ten thousand dollar fine. So I guess the possibility for deep trouble was real.   It was nice to not have to explain your job. Just say "can't talk about". My poor Mom was so confused on this "scuba thing." My Dad, a veteran of the famous 82nd AB,  would just give his best sad smile act. As I recall we had about 40 personnel in the unit and about half were officers. About half were of Japanese, or Chinese decent.

My immediate supervisor was a Capt. Higgenbottom, a good old boy from Arkansas and he was a great guy. We also had four or five artists from New York and Boston. They carried degrees from some of the better colleges there, and because I was from Minnesota, (an unexplored part of the USA)  was the subject of continual ribbing. The company commander was a Captain Michael Angelo.

Capt. Angelo was a very demanding officer and of a completely different personality compared to other officers in the group. In one experience, I was confined to the barracks for two weeks for failing to clean my weapon.. I could go to work, but after that it was back to the barracks.. Problem was, I had just gotten married..... Well I sneaked out anyway and met my bride in the evening at the post library. I'll admit I failed to clean my rifle so the incident did cure my forgetfulness.

One time we had just returned from the parade grounds located at Palm Circle where one of our guys received an award for some outstanding work. When he got to our building, Capt. Angelo pointed out a few grass clippings on the fellows shoes. ( It was a damp morning).... He had the guy busted back one rank!

He liked to hang out with our artists by their desks and talk art.. He fancied himself as having pretty fair ability. One artist, I believe his name was Sandy MaCone, had a rag he use to clean his brushes and it eventually was a mass of colors.. The guys got the idea to frame it and ask the Captain to critique it. Well he was just so proud to be asked. After much scrutiny he said he thought it was just super great.. Then , with a troubled expression on his face, Sandy said he needed a name for it and would the good Captain suggest something.. Now Angelo had really hit his stride, and told how he visualized fish, coral, weed, sand, etc. and suggested UNDERWATER PANORAMA. We all exclaimed "it was perfect." It really made his day, and also  the rest of ours. We almost busted trying to remain serious.

One of the unit artists was George Osaki. George and I were close friends.. He and my wife and I spent a lot of time together on picnics, swimming and just hanging out.. I have a picture of him shooting my revolver.  One time Captain Higgebottom failed to close and sign out my safe...The register tablet was on top of the safe.. Well anyway, I spotted his error as I was leaving for the night, I signed out for him.. Next morning he came over and I could see him looking out of the corner of his eye at the pad.. He saw that I had signed it for him and although he never mentioned it, I was his man from then on. Luckily I saw it before the night CQ came on his rounds.

I was scheduled to make one of those covert trips into the Philippines to gather some intelligence on the communist movement there. They were the Hukbalahaps, and bad asses they were! However, the trip was canceled, as the 14th RB&L pulled stakes and went to Okinawa. 

In August of 1957 I married my fiancé, MaryAnn Drinville at the Ft. Shafter chapel. The priest was army chaplain Captain Ira B. Hayes. We found an apartment in a 4-plex one and a half blocks off Waikiki on Cartwright road. Outside our kitchen window was a banana tree with the best tasting bananas in the world. Life was great, and we had a year long honeymoon.

In 2002 my wife and I went back for a 10 day visit to the islands. The security was a little tight but I called the MP station at Ft.Shafter and got permission to visit the post. The 14 RB&L building is gone. In fact it is hard to figure out where it was! The old PX on Palm Circle is now a beautiful new one next to the old barracks. The barracks are now offices for intelligence, and in their place are new apartments for post personnel. All the old buildings around Palm Circle are still there and the same sick pea green color. I wanted to go in the barracks but a young Major stepped out and said they were off limits. I told him I was stationed there 44 years ago, and he seemed really interested in how the place had changed. It was a little amazing to realize he wasn't even born then! All the people we met there were extremely courteous and made me very proud of the young people we now have in the service.

When the 14th left for Okinawa, I was re-assigned the HQ of the 25th division at Schofield Barracks. I worked there in G3 mainly preparing the maps for field exercises, and in the field I maintaining the situation maps as the exercise progressed. It was there that I discovered the Hawaiian mosquito!  Even though I was only with the 25th ID for 2 months I am still proud to have been a part of one of our finest army divisions. After leaving active duty I completed my 4 years of reserve and was discharged an SP4. I often wish I would have stayed in the reserve but as it was, that would have been a sure hitch to Viet Nam.

In the book The Green Berets At War by Shelby L. Stanton, there is mention of four of the people that were jumpers and serving as advisors in the early days of Viet Nam. They were, James Gabriel KIA, George Groom, Francis Quinn and Wayne Marchand also KIA about the same time as James Gabriel.....Wayne was the lock picker.

The 14th left for Okinawa in I believe December of 1958, and I was left to finish my remaining 2 months at 25th ID HQ at Schofield Barracks. I never heard what happened to them after that. The shoulder patch we wore is the USARPAC patch. Blue round with a red arrow and white stars. You can find it by looking up USARPAC  (the Pacific Army Comand)

The story of the Green Berets, by Stanton tells of their formation leading up to the Viet Nam war. and the units involved from Hawaii. I believe since PsyWar can be part of the Green Beret operations, some personnel might have been placed in some of their units. Looking back on it all now , it is plain to see we were just getting our legs again.

Jack Giza
48470 county 7
Staples, MN 56479

The 14th RB&L From 1956-1957 by Robert Conrad


I happened upon a Webpage describing Robert Conrad in a search for 14th RB&L....Turns out Robert was a member of this unit from 1956 to 1957....I also found that I am not the only one in the 14th PsyOps to become a celebrity :)

Robert is Co-founder and President of Cleveland Radio Station WCLV and has been the host for broadcasts of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1965....Robert was recently interviewed by Kelly Ferjutz a Cleveland writer and editor..The full interview can be read on the WCLV Page but a few paragraphs will be included here:

WCLV's Robert Conrad remembers asking his mother what he needed to do to become a radio announcer. Taking him seriously, she replied, "Learn how to pronounce all of the words in the dictionary."

He was five years old at the time. But the boy was serious. He made toy microphones out of toilet paper rolls. And quietly started reading the dictionary into them.

This was in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, when radio was in its absolute hey-day. By the time Robert was 14, he had worked his way into being a "go-fer" at the local radio station, WKAN. He did this by standing around waiting for someone to tell him to "carry this". It worked, and soon enough, he was hauling remote gear for the basketball games and keeping score for the sportscasters. In high school, he hosted a live Saturday afternoon teen-age program, and the summer he graduated from high school, he became the station's summer vacation announcer. He did everything—record shows, man-on-the-street interviews, telephone quiz programs, read the news and the hog reports. Good thing it was before the days of "format" radio! The station played classical music as well as country and western. And one of the shows Bob was assigned to was "Hayloft Jamboree", a live country and western show staring Harley Dowell and the Sun Valley Boys with Sunbeam Marcia Jean Gockel. It aired live on Saturdays at 2:00 PM. And as the host, Bob became Sagebrush Bob. He vividly remembers one listener protest, "I like the music you play, but you use too big a words."

When time for the Army came along, Bob was sent to Hawaii, where he was part of the 14th Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion. (I'm not making this up!) He recalls it as a fun time—defending liberty while at the beach at Waikaki. And, again, in the evenings, he worked for a couple of Honolulu radio stations. Then came another terrific boost: NBC Radio's "Monitor" program initiated a contest for "The Most Beautiful Voice in America."

At the urging of his Army colleagues, Bob entered and won the Hawaii portion of the contest, beating out the lead newscaster from the local NBC radio station. For that he received a trip to Las Vegas. His entry made it all the way to the national level, where he was second out of twelve finalists. Since the first prize went to a woman, his was considered the most beautiful male voice in the country.

After discharge from the Army, he returned to WFMT, except for time out to take the trip to Europe that he won in the "Voice" contest and to sell another prize—a grand piano that he sold in order to purchase a Volkswagen. In 1960, Bob and his new wife Jean moved to Detroit where he was program director for a new classical music station WDTM. But it wasn't very long before C.K."Pat" Patrick called one day from Cleveland. Pat wanted to buy a radio station in Cleveland, but he needed someone to do the programming. Several Detroit-area advertising friends of Pat's had recommended Bob for the task. And the rest—as they say—is history

For remainder of interview see WCLV Page

Robert Conrad's Account:

I was Operations Sergeant in the S3 section of the 14th RB&L at Fort Shafter from early in 1956 through October of 1957. Like everybody who spends two years in the Army, you talk about for the rest of your life.  You may wonder how a two-year man ended up as a sergeant.

During my senior year at the School of Speech at Northwestern University (1954-55), I joined the 305th RB & L reserve unit in Chicago in order to (1) get time in rank, (2) have some control over where I was assigned after basic traning, and 3) control the time I would enter the service. This was, after all, draft time, and most everybody who had gotten draft deferments because of college expected to go. A lot of my friends, however, entered Air Force ROTC, and spent three years (or in some cases - careers) as officers in the Air Force.

Anyway, by October of 1955, when I chose to enter basic training, I had the rank of corporal. I took basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Although I almost immediately lost my corporal stripes and made a Spec 3, it earned me the position of squad leader and kept me off KP. In the meantime, the Reserve Unit in Chicago was writing the Pentagon trying to get me assigned to the PsyWar Center at Fort Bragg. This eventually worked, but first I was sent to Red Tape School at Fort Knox. There I learned how to be a company clerk, but most importantly, how to fill out forms and use the system. After Red Tape School, I was assigned as a clerk in the S4 (quartermaster) section at the PsyWar Center at Fort Bragg, which at that time had no PsyOp operational duties and was primarily a Green Beret training station.

One story about the S4 Section -  We were going to be inspected by Headquarters, and the S4 Major, in preparation for the inspection, made us put all of the paperclips in our desk tray facing in the same direction.

My training at Red Tape School stood me in good stead, because I was able fill out the papers to get myself on a levy for the 14th RB & L, and in the Spring of 1956, five of us were shipped out to Ft. Shafter.

The unit was company strength, made up of a number of regular Army sergeants and officers, some ROTC lieutenants, plus many draftees, mostly privates, but all with college degrees in various disciplines - artists, writers, broadcasters (such as myself - I had been in professional radio since I was 14). It was my good fortune that there was a need for an Operations Sergeant in the S3 section. I was assigned and eventually promoted to a regular sergeant, much to the unhappiness of the regular Army NCOs.

We were allowed to live off base as long as we maintained a bunk in the barracks and showed up on time in the morning. Five of us rented a cottage within walking distance of Waikiki Beach. It was just like an office job, except that we had to drill on Saturday mornings.

The first S3 I worked under was Captain Herb Avedon (brother of the famous photographer Richard Avedon). He had been an OSS operative, dropping behind the Japanese lines in Indo-China durng World War 2. He was re-activated during the Korean War, and in spite of his brillance, and perhaps because of his thinking out of the box, never made it beyond captain. He was a great guy who tolerated the draftees' general cynicism and unhappiness with being in the service (in spite of the fact that it was really pretty good duty.) He did not, however, like our referring to civilian life as "the real world."

Eventually, he was kicked up stairs to USARPAC headquarters, and the new S3 was Captian Higgenbottem. He was an okay guy, but had no idea of what we were doing. This was the Cold War period beween the Korean War and the VietNam War, when it was fun to go on trips to Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The privates in the S3 were working on projects that had to do with "what ifs"; most had "Top Secret" clearances and were having conferences with generals and admirals, which frosted the regular NCOs.

Some names - two people who were members of the 14th RB&L just prior to my arrival, were Josh Darsa, who became a NPR and CBS reporter, and one of Adai Stevenson's sons - I don't know if he was the one who eventually became a Senator from Illinois. Darsa and Stevenson had been on a trip to Laos, contrary to the Geneva Accords, which didn't allow military personnel without the permission of the Laotian government.  They entered the country as civilans, much to the unhappiness of the U.S. Embassy.

One of the artists was George Osaki. He eventually became art director for Billboard Magazine.

The S2 Major was referred to as "the Silver Fox", because of his white hair and amorous activities.

We had a fellow from Guam who wanted to become the first Guam native to be governor. I don't know if he ever made it.

Among the people from the Unit who were in the cottage with me was Stanley Cohen, who worked for ABC TV for a while and then became a nurse. He was killed by an automobile while standing on a corner in New York about two years ago. Fred Stavis's family  had a fish business in Boston - the Stavis Fish Company. I did see him in the 80s while on a business trip to Boston, and I assume he's still there. Eugene Lee's father was the Chinese Nationalist ambassador to Peru (or Chile, I don't remember exactly). The one person that I do hear from occasionally is Sandy Macone, a wild man with a great sense of humor. He was a clarinetist and had a Dixieland band in the Boston area. I once narrated an album for him. I last heard from him about a year ago, when he called me from Jamaica and left a message. He's evidentally involved in some sort of social work project. I returned his call, but kept getting a busy signal. Sandy had gone to Language School to learn Indonesian.

My aged memory is failing me as to the name of the fifth partner at the cottage - although he was renowned for his sexual exploits. He once bedded a mother and a daughter consecutively, without either of the women knowing what was going on.

The four were also bridge nuts. We would come home from the base in the evening, eat, and I would go off to one of the two Honolulu radio stations I worked for part time - KAIM (a religous station which played classical music in the evening - I had worked for WFMT in Chicago while at Northwestern. WFMT is the granddaddy of FM classical stations) and for KULA, a pop station. The four would begin a bridge game, and by the time I got home at midnight, they were still playing but at each other's throats.

The company compander was the improbably named Captain Michael Angelo. He had married a wealthy countess in Italy (presumably so she could get to the US). He drove a Cadillac convertable.

One day, the First Sergeant called me and said that USARPAC was going to have a parade, and they wanted to borrow the battalion guidon. They didn't want the 14th RB&L to march, because we weren't very good at it. Just the guidon. I gave the message to Captain Higgenbottom, and he exploded. "If they don't want us to march, then they can't have the guidon!!!" The exchanges between the Captains Angelo and Higgenbottom continued with the First Sergeant and me relaying the messages.

Finally, the First Sergeant said that Captain Angelo was going to come down to the battalion. The company barracks were up on a hill overlooking the battalion building. We could see Captain Angelo storming out of the  Day Room, leaping into the Cadillac and racing down the drive way. He burst into Captain Higgenbottom's office and pounding on the desk, yelled, "Captain Higgenbottom, I've been in the Army longer than you! I've been in rank longer than you! AND I've got more money than you!".  He then grabbed the guidon and stalked out.

On Saturday mornings, we would clean the carbines (which only got fired when we went to the range once a year), do some drilling, and have a police call. One Saturday, soon after I got my sergeant's stripes, Captain Angelo was giving out the orders for the day. "Sergeant so and so, you will be in charge of close-order drill. Sergeant so and so, you will be in charge of cleaning the weapons. Sergeant so-and so, you will supervise the police call. You may have noticed that I haven't assigned anything to Sergeant Conrad. That's because he's young in the Army.

Captain Angelo decided to take an art course at the University of Hawaii. The morning after his first class, he came down to the battalion, went into an office, and called the artists in one-by-one to assess his drawings and to make sure the instructor was giving him the straight poop.

I had two interesting encounters with Hawaiian military police. One afternoon, I got a call from HMP telling me to report to the Honolulu police station. I did, they told me to sit over there with those other guys - all of whom looked exactly like drug smugglers. Eventually, a polceman came over and said, "Oh, you're in the Army". We're looking for a Robert Conrad who is in the Navy.  You can go."

Then one afternoon, the MP office at Scoffield Barracks called and said, "Get your ass out here!".  I drove my Buick to the MP building and walked in. The Master Sergeant on duty said, "Why are you in fatigues?"  I said that it was the uniform of the day for my unit, and you told me to get out here as fast as I could."

"Is that your car?


"It's a Buick, not a Ford?"

"Yes, Sergeant."

"Where were you last night at 9:00 PM?"

"On the radio over KAIM."

He looked crest fallen. It turned out that there had been a hit and run accident, and the license plate number given by witnesses was the same as my license plate. But I was driving a Buick, and the car involved was a Ford.

People back at the unit were beginning to wonder about me.

Another experience could be called the "Beer Can Caper". We convinced the highups to allow us to drop cans of cold beer by parachute on a Marine unit that was going to be hiking up in the hills. The idea was to see if the Marines would break ranks to go get the beer. They actually laid on a Army Piper Cub to do the drop; we got the little parachutes from somewhere. And we attached some sort of propanda leaflet. I don't recall if the Marines were told about the drop in advance. Anyway, three or four of us - all enlisted men - got a staff car and went out to the boondocks to watch. The drop was successful, and a few Marines did go after the the beer. But the officers prevailed, and some of the beer went uncollected. They did tell the troops that they should be careful about such things as the beer could have been booby trapped or poisoned. It even made the Honolulu Advertiser. So I gues your tax payers money at work achieved something.

After I was discharged and was back in Chicago, there was a ceremony for the battalion commander (a light colonel whose name I can't remember). The crew wrote a script for tape to be played as a part for the colonel, which I voiced and produced in Chicago. I have a copy of the tape. I should listen to it.

At the time, the NBC Radio Network had a program on the weekends called "Monitor" - a magazine show that was the forerunner of NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Morning Edition".  It ran from Friday evening, 24 hour a day through Sunday midnight. They started a contest for "The Most Beautiful Voice in America". My buddys in the unit said I should enter the contest. I said it wouldn't be ethical because the contest was on KGU, and I was working for a competing radio station, KAIM. Then I found out that the lead news anchor on KGU had entered his own station's contest. So I entered, and much to KGU's chagrin, won their local contest - for which I got a trip to Las Vegas. I ended up being No. 2 out of 12 national finalists. No. 1 was a girl from Los Angeles, so I can say, NBC judged me to have the most beautiful male voice in the U.S.

For that I won a trip to Europe, a grand piano (which I sold and turned into a VW) and a Poloroid Land Camera. Anyway, I got my picture and story on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser. This all happened about a month before I was to be discharged, and the unit didn't even bother to give me the usual re-up talk. I had orginally planned to stay in Hawaii after my discharge and work for KAIM, but I decided to go back to Chicago, work for WFMT and wait for NBC to hire me. They didn't. But in 1962,  a partner and I bought an FM radio station in Cleveland, WCLV. I've been ever since - now President of the company and producer and commentator for The Cleveland Orchestra radio broadcasts since 1965.

All in all, being in Hawaii was a great experience, and the military life was about as good as it could be. We got a chance to travel around the islands - Kauai and the Big Island, do a lot of swimming and surfing and dating wahinees. Hawaii was still a territory at the time, and I know there have been big changes since a half a century ago. I haven't been back, but I still plan to go one of these days.

Robert Conrad
26501 Renaissance Parkway
Cleveland, OH 44128
jsconrad@infionline.net (Bonita Springs, Florida, only)