Old Radio Programs

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Armed Forces Vietnam Network

As the American military presence in Vietnam increased, AFRTS opened radio and later television stations there. AFRTS stations in Vietnam were initially known by the name "AFRS" (Armed Forces Radio Saigon), but as the number of stations quickly expanded throughout South Vietnam became known as "AFVN" (American Forces Vietnam Network) and had several stations, including Qui Nhơn, Nha Trang, Pleiku, Da Nang and Huế, the latter being overrun by the NVA in 1968 and replaced by a station in Quảng Trị. AFVN's headquarters station was located in Saigon. In Vietnam, AFVN had a number of war-related casualties. After a fierce fire fight that killed two soldiers and a civilian contractor, the remaining AFVN station staff at Huế was captured and spent five years as prisoners of war. At the height of American involvement in the war, Armed Forces Vietnam Network served more than 500,000 fighting men and women at one time. AFVN developed a program along the lines of "GI Jive" from World War II. A number of local disc jockeys helped make hourlong music programs for broadcast. Perhaps the best-known program became the morning "Dawn Buster" program, (the brainchild of Chief Petty Officer Bryant Arbuckle in 1962) thanks to the popularity of the sign-on slogan "Gooooood Morning, Vietnam" (which was initiated by Adrian Cronauer and later became the basis for the film Good Morning, Vietnam starring Robin Williams). Among the notable people who were AFVN disc jockeys were Don L. "Scotty" Brink, Lee Hansen, Les Coleman and Pat Sajak. Harry Simons hosted the GO Show at both AFVN Saigon and Danang in 1968 and 1969. Simons along with broadcaster Mike Bates created and produced a 10-hour radio documentary (AFVN: The GI's Companion) as a tribute to AFVN and to honor all Vietnam Veterans. It (originally) aired and streamed on Veterans Day 2015. Beginning in 1971, AFVN began to close some stations in Vietnam. The last station to close was the key station in Saigon in 1973. Broadcasting continued under civilian leadership on FM only and using the name American Radio Service (ARS). The civilian engineers were provided by Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE). ARS stayed on the air until the Fall of Saigon in April 1975. It was to play Bing Crosby's version of Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" as a signal for Americans that the final evacuation of Saigon had begun. The Crosby version of the record could not be found so Tennessee Ernie Ford's record was played. [wikipedia]


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