This Is
The American Forces Thailand Network

Ubon AFTN Station

AFTN Ubon StationUbon Station in 1969                AFTN Ubon Station
Original AFTN building in 1970
AFTN Ubon TV Trailer 1969

From Airman Magazine:

Goooood morning, troops

As a teen, J.W. Bradbury would listen to Atlanta’s rock-and-roll disc jockeys for hours.

His home had an intercom, and he’d set up his old turntable and play “DJ” for his sister and her friends. That’s when people first heard his golden voice.

At 18, he joined the Air Force — two months before the bloody Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War. His voice got him a job, over hundreds of applicants, as a military broadcaster.

A year later, he volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia. His first Armed Forces Radio and Television Service station was at Udorn Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand. But the day prior, an F-4 Phantom jet crashed into the station destroying it and killing nine airmen. The worst disaster that the AFRTS family has faced.

So he was diverted to the base at Ubon, where he got his first harrowing look at the war. “I had just landed on a C-130 transport when the base came under mortar attack,” he said.

“My only thought was ‘don’t shoot me, I’m just the DJ.’” As it turned out, the base’s radio and television station — his future office — was the target.

“As a major communications outlet,” the veteran DJ said, “we could deliver battle orders to anyone carrying a small AM/FM radio.”

Mr. Bradbury said having “been there” makes him keenly aware of the needs of military listeners and their families overseas. Many are away from home for the first time and feel lonely.

“But, when they turn on the radio,” he said, “there I am. Talking to that one person, letting them know they’re not alone, that we remember them.”


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