This Is
The American Forces Thailand Network

AFTN Network Timeline    l970-l973  

5 Jan 70                     Assignment of motion picture cameramen to AFTN stations requested.

19-22 Jan  70             AFTN Udorn visited by IG from 13th AF: Satisfactory

19 Jan 70                   Congressional inquiry on alleged news censorship in AFTN received.

20 Jan 70                   AFTN dispatches reply to alleged news censorship congressional .

26 Jan  70                  Approval for converting AFTN Udorn to FM  received from SAFOI

26  Jan 70                   Audio Distribution System (ADS)  at Nam Pung Dam, Thailand, serviced from AFTN NKP removed

2 Feb70                       Thai government approves FM frequency for Udorn

2 Feb 70                      Policy on TV Coverage of Distinguished Visitor Visits

4 Feb 70                      Dir of Info for Armed Forces chief visits Hdqtrs. & Korat

24 Feb 70                    New AFTN News Sensitivity Guidelines placed in use.

25 Feb 70                    Assignment of motion picture cameramen to each AFTN station disapproved by 13th Air Force.

26 Feb 70                    Lt. Col. David T. LaFollette, Network Chief, gives congressional testimony to Congressman Moss at Chiang Mai.    (Page 2) (Page 3)(Page 4)

Feb 70                         The Headquarters engineering staff conducts a TV experiment at U-Tapao station.


Mar 70                       AFTN loses $ 1,000 monthly obligation authority for buying eqpt.

3 Mar 70                     Mr. Hugh Woodward, U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer, visited from Bangkok to explain the new sensitivity list.

4 Mar 70                     AFTN receives a request for a new television satellite at Ramasun, Thailand

10 Mar 70                   A study is concluded on the use of AP and UPI circuits at all stations in the network.

20 Mar 70                   AFTN submits a request for permission to make closed circuit connections for some buildings at Udorn

20 Mar 70                   AFTN again requests voice circuit upgrading for full network service capability

20 Mar 70                   Higher headquarters notified of manning problems in connection with unacceptable experience levels.

23 Mar 70                   Request for UDL revision submitted to provide adequate manning for Network Newsroom.

23-28 Mar 70             AFTN Takhli visited by IG from 13th AF. : Satisfactory

26 Mar 70                   Master production package mailed to all stations.

March 70                    AFTN receives a request from the U.S. embassy in Vientianne, Laos for an Audio Distribution System.

Mar 70                        Semiannual manning study is completed  

Mar  70                       Notification received of “Apollo Plus 50” a production of AFTN Korat, winning a first place award in the annual Thomas Jefferson Awards contest.

 April 70                       Ground broken for television studio at AFTN U-Tapao.

10 April 70                  RF-4 Phantom crashes into station at AFTN Udorn. Nine broadcasters & engineers are killed.

6-8 April 70                 IG visits from 13th AF.=Satisfactory

11 April 70                  AFTN Radio Udorn back on the air 

14 April  70                 Paperwork begun to restore television  for  AFTN Udorn

17 April 70                  Request from the Office of Information for the Armed Forces for operating information to help them answer Congressional inquiry.

17 April 70                   Memorial service for nine AFTN broadcasters killed

18 April 70                  AFTN submits request for design of emergency exits for television vans.

21 April 70                  AFTN sends answer to request for information from IAF.

3 May 70                    7/13th (DXI) requested further study of teletype operations in the network.


7 May 70                    AFTN answers teletype study request.

6 May 70                    New record library requested for AFTN Udorn

8 May 70                    Request forwarded through channels for increased service at Don Muang.

11 May 70                  AFTN Udorn returned to local-mobile home-radio studios from Korat.

16 May 70                  Command support message dispatched by Assistant Deputy Commander for 7/13th Air Force.

21-22 May 70             Station Manager’s conference conducted in studios in AFTN Korat

28 May 70                  Testing begun for frequency modulation broadcasts at Udorn.

29-30 May 70              IAF Visit

1 June 70                    7/13AF (DXI) sends message urging quicker action on television restoration project.

1 June 70                    “Tips on Thailand” radio program returned to air.

4 June 70                    AFTN notified Udorn of facilities requirements for television restoration

4 June 70                    U.S. embassy in Bangkok notified 7/13 AF of higher headquarters approval for Ramasun television operation.

6 June 70                    MACTHAI J6 notified AFTN of disapproval for additional circuit request.

8-10 June 70               lst AFTN Station Engineering Conference

10 June 70                  Plans formed for wall-to-wall inventory.

17 June 70                  Need for antenna maintenance assistance told to higher headquarters.

24 June 70                  Lt. Col. LaFollette wrote Col. Cranston on the results of Sydney industry meetings.

25 June 70                  Lt. Col. LaFollette stressed “no publicity” policy.

28-30 June 70             AFTN Operations/Liaison Mtg with Lt. Col. Billy r. Prim, Political Attache, Embassy

June 70                       Emergency exits for TV vans arrived headquarters and shipped to outlying stations.

12 July 70                   Hq AFTN responded to Special and Initial Report of Audit of Supply Division, Hq AFTN                                                        


20 July 70                   TV programming at AFTN-Udorn was temporarily restored

30 July 70                   AFTN-Udorn converted from AM radio to FM programming

1-2 Aug 70                  AFTN, Information Office and AAVS Meeting

12 Aug 70                   Report of survey for Eqpt destroyed in AFTN-Udorn tragedy was submitted

14 Aug 70                   Authority granted for key AFTN personnel use government owned television receivers as monitoring equipment

1 Sept 70                     AFTN activated as 6001 Support Squadron at Korat RTAFB 

1 Sept 70                    Memorandum of Understanding regarding AFTN radio service to the U.S. embassy in Vientiane, Laos.

                                    Engineering--How the AFTN Signal was fed into Laos  

5 Sept 70                     Secretary of the Air Force Office of Information granted permission to convert AFTN-Korat and AFTN Ubon to FM.

10 Sept 70                   New commander for the 6001st Support Squadron reported for duty

11 Sept 70                   6001st Support Squadron advised that television termination at AFTN-Takhli would occur on 15 December l970.

22 Oct 70                    Station Managers Conference

28 Oct 70                    Discontinuance of TV programming at U.S. Army Camp Vayama, Thailand

1 Nov 70                     Establishment of AFTN Broadcaster of the Month Award Program

10 Nov 70                   AFTN Station Engineers Conference

11 Dec 70                   Establishment of Audio Distribution System outlet at the USAF Office of Special Investigation, Bangkok, Thailand

14 Dec 70                   Discontinuance of TV programming at 6001st Spt Sq OLAB, Takhli RTAFB, Thailand

22 Dec 70                   Arrival of AFTN Television Van at 6001Spt Sq OLAC, Udorn RTAFB, Thailand

23 Dec 70                   Establishment of Channel 74 Television Relay at 7th Radio Research Field Station, USA Camp Ramasun, Thailand

4 Jan 71                      IG Inspection of OLAC, Udorn RTAFB

14 Jan 71                    OLCA television is put into operation

1 Feb 71                      Net news expands its daily 7am cast to 30 minutes

4 Feb 71                      OLAB, Takhli RTAFB converted to unmanned satellite of AFTN Korat

5 Feb 71                      AFTN Korat and OLAA, U-Tapao Afld carry satellite coverage of Apollo 14 moonwalk

6 Feb 71                      Notified that cost of model for radio facility at OLAC Udorn RTAFB increased by $ 36,000.

24 Feb 71                    Broadcast service discontinued to Green Hill RTAFB

4 Mar 71                     Station managers conference held at U-Tapao Afld

8 Mar 71                     Notified that AFTN was selected as a winner in DOD sponsored Thomas Jefferson contest.

18 Mar 71                   Broadcast service to Takhli RTAFB discontinued

31 Mar 71                   All operating locations levied to air two one-half locally produced programs weekly.

April 1971                   All stations become equipped with videotape equipment

April 1971                   USAPSUTHAI formulates a Table of Allowances for 20 manpower spaces to be assigned to AFTN

May 1971                   Installation of radio transmitter at Camp Samaesan is completed

May 1971                    Bob Lacell wins Thomas Jefferson Award

May 1971                   Korat local converts to FM broadcasting

June l971                    AFTN recommended for Outstanding Unit Award

June l971                    AFTN corrects radio signal proliferation

June 1971                   OLAC-Ubon RTAFB begins FM broadcasting tests

21 July 71                   Report of survey approved by Hq PACAF relieving all concerned of liability for loss in connection with air-crash destruction of the Udorn TV facility.

15 Aug 71                   American Forces Thailand Network initiated broad publicity of Cold Turkey II-- the drug information program.

 25 Aug 71                   Hq 13AF reinstated request for funds for installation of an automated Frequency Modulated Stereo (FMS) broadcasting for Korat, Udorn, and U-Tapao.

 3 Sept 71                     New squadron commander/network chief assumed command.

 16 Sept 71                   The Bronze Star Medal approved for seven American Forces Network airmen who survived the destruction of the Udorn TV facility.






Dec  l971    Rebuilding AFTN Udorn

(L to R): Ray   Santangelo, Rik Delisle, Ron Van Winkle, Station Manager, Jim "Mac" MacMillan

16 Sept 71      U.S. Army submitted an emergency requisition for 20 radio/TV technicians for assignment to American Forces Thailand Network .

23 Sept 71        Petitioned Hq PACAF to approve enroute delay at Korat of all new incoming American Forces Thailand Network personnel for 3 days for orientation and change of end assignment



Fall 1971                     Mr. Roger Kelley, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (left) and Mr. Richard Borda, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, stand with a painting depicting the scene of the crash of a battle damaged F-4 into the Udorn RTAFB TV Studio (U.S. Air Force Photo)  





29 Sept 71                   Hq 13AF directed an additional 3 hours of daily (Monday through Friday) network TV programming.

16 Oct 1971                The commander brief the Public Affairs Officer, Military Assistance Command Thailand (MACTHAI) at Bangkok on the AFTN mission

24 Nov 1971               PACAF the headquarters that a new AFTN personnel assignment procedure had been approved by Air Force whereby all incoming AFTNers would channel through Korat for orientation and further assignment.

2 Dec l971                  E-5s, E-6s, and E-7s assigned to the headquarters and Korat station were given a new billet area on base.

20 Dec 1971               The Ubon and U-Tapao stations taped the audio portion of the touring Bob Hope Christmas Show at their bases.  The tapes were to be used in the final color TV program to be aired in the United States.

22 Dec l971                The headquarters received its first copy of 13AF Regulation 23-25, the unit mission-organization directive.

31 Dec 1971               The AM radio facility was deactivated at Ubon Airport and an FM installation was activated.


1971                            A1C Ron Hurst, Korat broadcaster, was honored by Billboard magazine as Military Disc Jockey of the Year for l971. It was the first known Billboard Magazine award earned by an AFTN broadcaster.


7 Jan 72                      Lt. Col. Jane A. Donovan, Commander, trip to AFVN to discuss disposition of equipment after AFVN phase down

8 Jan 72                      AFTN U-Tapao was among units cited by the Pala School District for their efforts to raise funds for the annual Children’s Day Fund Drive.

9 Jan 72                      AFTN service discontinued to Khon Kaen.

11 Jan 72                    AFTN service discontinued to Phu Khieo.

13 Jan 72                    AFTN service discontinued to Bang  Pla          

23 Jan 72                    Audio circuit to Kong Toey APO placed in operation

8 Feb 72                      Audio Distribution System placed in operation in Takhli Air Base

29 Feb 72                    New AM transmitter installed at Camp Ramasun

22 Mar 72                   Audio Distribution System at Ko Kha Tech control, which was installed 31 January, became operational.

25 Mar 72                   Nakhon Phanon held radio marathon to aid fire victims of village of Ban Peng.  More than $ 2,600 raised in food, clothing, and cash

17 May 72                  AFTN initiated service to Takhli with activation of a transmitter and program feeds from Korat

12 Jun 72                    Audience survey conducted at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base

11 July 72                   Udorn personnel move into new broadcasting facility

21 Aug 72                   Maj. John W. Volpel assigned as Squadron Commander

22-23 Aug 72              Unit received approval to spend 3080 money

Oct 72                         Unit ordered seven FM transmitters with plans to convert to FM at all locations except ADS sites.

2-4 Nov 72                  Unit held conference for station managers at U-Tapao Air Base, Thailand

26 Nov 72                   AFTN increased its television broadcasting schedule to 17 hrs. per day.

Dec 72                        Unit was audited by USAF Auditor General

Dec 72                        Unit was subject of a manpower survey.

20-23 Jan 73               Unit inspected by PACAG  IG

31 Jan 73                    Unit redesignated as 6001 Aerospace Support Squadron

1-2 Feb 73                   Station Manager’s Conference held at Korat RTAFB

18 Mar – 11 Apr73    Commander attends annual AFRTS conference, NAB convention

1 Apr 73                      Nakhon Phanom converts from 770am to 101.9 FM.

1 May 73                    Nakhon Phanom station begins broadcasting in FM stereo.

6 May 73                    AFTN Management Effectiveness Inspection of OLAA-(U-Tapao)

12 May 73                  Commander briefs Thirteenth Air Force commander on AFTN mission and operations.

17 May 73                  AFTN Management Effectiveness Inspection of OLAC (Udorn)

23 May 73                  AFTN Management Effectiveness Inspection of AFTNK (Korat)

29 May 73                  AFTN Management Effectiveness Inspection of OLAD (Ubon)

31 May 73                  AFTN Management Effectiveness Inspection of OLAE (Nakhon Phanom)

31 May 73                  STL Link put in from Udorn station to Ramasun.

3 Jun 73                      Ramasun converts from 1220AM to 101.9 FM.

30 Jun 73                    U-Tapao converts from 1220AM to 101.9 FM.  Sameasan converts from 1220 AM to 99.7 FM.

1 July 73                     Started conversion of  supply account to computers

1 July 73                     Report to 13 AF, equipment outage

17 July 73                   U-Tapao reports problem concerning interference with Thai stations

20 July 73                   Annual reported submitted

29 July 73                   Major Melvin A. Bailey, AFTN commander,  reported for duty

1 Aug 73                     Major Volpel’s end of tour report

1 Aug 73                     Audit reports for AFTN, Korat, and Udorn

4 Aug 73                     Station Manager Conference

18 Aug 73                   Capt William P. Campbell III reports for duty

15 Sept 73                   Transmitter pulled from Nam Phong Marine AB ("the Rose Garden") 

23 Oct 73                    Captain William Campbell visited Udorn

30-31 Oct 73               Historian attended 13 AF Conference at Udorn

12-13 Nov 73              Commander attended PACAF IO Conference in Bangkok

10 Dec 73                   Major Melvin A. Bailey departed on leave


updated 10 / 7/ 16 

Sources: AFTN Unit Histories, Air Force Historical Records Agency (AFHRA), Maxwell AFB, AL 

Timeline--1964-1969                AFTN Home Page          Timeline l974-l976

Network History-Contents