Location of Machinato Barracks and Communication Compound in 2007 and Update in 2018/20

Coordinates: 26 15 18.15N, 127 42 14.36E

Finding the location of the 16th Company Deragawa site prompted a search for the location of the Headquarters Barracks and Communication Compound in what was once called the Machinato Service Area.

The Machinato Service Area encompased an area along the West Coast north of Naha and south of Futenma. Finding The general location of Machinato was relatively easy since it is known that the Machinato area became part of Marine Camp Kinser and the area is now known as the Makiminato Service Area.

Camp Kinser lies on the West side of Highway 58, a main artery on okinawa and runs 3 km North to South and 1 km West to East. Camp Kinser is bordered by Urasoe City. In the satellite image below, the area of Camp Kinser is shown in blue. The area that once encompassed Headquarters barracks and VUNC/Communications compound is shown in red (Satellite Image)

The Headquarters/Barracks and the Communications Compound with VUNC studios of the 14th PsyWar Battalion were present when I arrived on Okinawa in 1961. My best guess is that the barracks were built between 1958 and 1960. The concrete building in what became known as the "Green Compound" was probably built about the same time as the barracks. The quonset style buildings may have been present since the early 1950's.

In spite of photos from the period, it was still difficult to determine the former location of the Headquarters/Personnel barracks and the communications compound. As was discovered in the search for Deragawa, the entire former Machinato area as seen by Google Satellite photos is completely different except for features of the coastline.

Update 2018:

A YouTube video "A View From Camp Kinser" shows what may be the general location of the former HQ and barracks. As the video pans from left to right two barracks are shown and then an oval track and ball field. My best guess as the the former location of the barracks can be seen in outlined red area of 6/18 Google Earth view of same area. The red "X" in the photo is approximate location where the YouTube video was shot.

Update 2020:

A filmclip of Machinato Barracks in middle 1960's shows 7th PsyOps Unit Sign.

Sources Used In Search

Photos from the 1960's were compared to present day Google Satellite Images in hopes that some common features would be found. Fortunately it appears that the "Perimeter Road" along the coast is still in same location. In addition, an Okinawan Asahi TV documentary provided a number of recent photos of Okinawa that were also used to locate not only the former site of the barracks but specifically to locate what may be the only remaining building in the area of the former Communications Compound.

Shizuo (Alex) Kishaba, Chairman of the Okinawan American Historical Society contacted me in 2006 about a documentary he and former Tokyo Broadcasting System producer Ko Yoshioka were making. Their documentary which aired on QAB (Okinawan Asahi TV) in 2006 explored the role of PsyOps in revisionist campaigns (return of Okinawa to Japan). I recommended two former 7th Group members (one officer and one enlisted) and one former Army officer who worked with PsyOps Communications for interviews. My interview was cancelled because of time constraints. For more details see Report and Summary of interviews of Former PsyOp Personnel For Documentary.

A CD of this documentary provided a number of photos of Camp Kinser from the air and on the ground. Unfortunately, I could not screen capture the images with my computer and had to use a digital camera. As a results, the resolution of the images is not of high quality.

Headquarters and Barracks

The picture above taken from shore line of the East China Sea actually shows two barracks. The lower was the 14th PsyWar/7th Group. Above and appearing to be a 3rd and 4th story were the barracks of the 173rd Airborne which were built on a hill above. Shortly after this picture was taken, two more barracks were built to the right. The one immediately to the right was utilized by the 1st Special Forces. A view of the back side of PsyOps barracks taken from vicinity of 173rd barracks shows adjacent 1st Special Forces barracks in 1963. (Picture)

The barracks also served as Headquarters of the 14th and were used by the 7th Group when reorganization of the 14th PsyWar and B&VA occurred in 1965. According to Dennis Kaliser (7th Group 66-67), the barracks were used until 1967 when personnel were moved to new barracks in Sukeran, now Marine Camp Foster. Headquarters was moved to the Communications Compound. The move was necessary as the 2nd Logistical Command took control of the Machinato area with exception of the Communications Compound which continued to be used until the early 1970's.

Since the PsyOp barracks are no longer in existance, geographic features were sought that existed in the early 60's and present day. The Perimeter Road and a sea drain present in the 60's were found to still be present in 2007. It was determined that the shape of the shoreline could also be used for the approximate location of the barracks in 2007 Google Sat Photos. Images follow that illustrate those features:

Printing Plant

A printing plant consisting of several buildings was located above the barracks. I am not certain of the exact location since I don't remember the facilities which may have been built after I left the island in 1963. A picture of the buildings was supplied by Dennis Kaliser. (Printing Plant)

Communications Compound

The communications compound consisted of numerous quonset style buildings. They housed the VUNC studios, leaflet production, loud speaker contingent and intelligence gathering/propaganda writing facilities. The facilities were greatly increased after I left in 1963 to include broadcast transmitters and towers. In my time from 1961 until the middle 60's, live broadcasting occurred from a Mobile transmitter van. A 50 KW single sideband transmitter was located at Deragawa where I and the 16th Company moved in 1962.

A separate fenced in area was later known as the "Green Compound". I worked in this compound and don't remember it being designated by that name. Dennis Kaliser said he thought the name originated from a parody of the song "Ballad of The Green Beret" which came out in 1966.

The major building in the "Green Compound" was a typical flat roofed concrete building built during this time period. Civilian and military writers worked in this building. I actually worked outside the buiding in a communications hut monitoring teletype and shortwave communications until the 16th moved to Deragawa in 1962.

The Communications area and "Green Compound" building can be seen in a picture provided by Dennis Kaliser (1966). This building may be the only surviving structure of the entire facilities. The other quonset style buildings can also be seen. Cannibalization Vehicles shown in the picture were from Vietnam. (Picture)

The documentary aired by Okinawan TV included an interview with an Okinawan woman who evidently worked for the 7th Group in 1965. Unfortunately I don't know her name since the entire program was in Japanese. She was shown in some early photos working in a building located in the communications compound. It turns out that building still exists and documentary footage included a search for and visit to that building. I may be wrong but I believe this is the same building I worked near from 1961-62 and is shown in previous picture in 1965 within the Green Compound. I have only one poor image of that building taken in 1962. (Building)

The documentary search and visit to this PsyOp building helped to establish the location of the communciation compound. The following are photos from the documentary showing the search and visit and Satellite images of the area. The building seen between distinctive towers in Camp Kinser may or may not be an original Psyop building. The PsyOp building which is later visited in the documentary is evidently not visible from the roof top perspective.

The last series of pictures show a visit to the original PsyOp building which is apparently no longer in use.

In Summary

1. Prior Location of 14th PsyWar/7th Group Barracks and Communications Compound have been found.

2. Barracks were built between 1958 and 1960. Two additional barracks were added to the right of PsyOp barracks in 1962. One was occupied by 1st Special Forces

3. Specific Location of Printing Plant is unknown but was known to be above the barracks in area where present day Camp Kinser warehouses are located.

4. Prior Location of Communication Compound was verified by 2006 Okinawan TV documentary.

5. Several buildings are present in a location that was most likely the "Green Compound" in the early 1960's. At least one of those buildings was originally in the compound in 1965 and possibily as early as 1961 when I worked in that compound.

"All Truths Are Easy To Understand Once They Are Discovered, The Point is To Discover Them"   Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

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