Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History



The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum


Communications Station Kodiak

Holiday Beach, the MOVIE

A feature film inspired by true events.

1962, Some mistakes, a crisis, a psychopath ... just another day at the beach.

Written by Gary Jenneke and Gary Larson

You probably are aware of this, since you didn't see us on Kodiak, but I just want to add that as a small independent Minnesota film company, we could not afford to shoot the film on location and used the Lake Superior north shore as our substitute... just didn't want to disappoint you folks at the museum!
Steve


Jack Cook, NOJ 1978



Above is TT3 James Renne who was Mark Braunstein's roommate.


Building 576 Tech Control (NHB)


Pictures taken are from Technical (Tech) Control (or as the Navy named it: North Holiday Beach-NHB). The location of tech control was on the second floor of building 576 atop Aviation Hill. The lower floor was given over to Electronics Support Unit Kodiak back in the mid to late 80's. Prior to that time, Commsta admin was located on that floor.

Tech Control was destroyed by fire about 1985. This was the central hub for all communications circuits for the Coast Guard (and Navy prior to that time). All cables and microwave circuits terminated in this facility. Tech control was built in 1952 as part of the Navy's HF communications upgrade after WW2.

After the fire, tech control was moved to the garage complex next to building 576. The location was refered to as building 603. In 1990, plans were laid to remotely control all functions of tech control from a central location at the Buskin Lake transmitter site. By the end of 1992 this was completed and building 603 was abandoned and turned over to Coast Guard Support Center Kodiak. Alaska Communications Systems DMS telephone switching equipment and a small microwave repeater station (that the Commsta owns) is now located in what was the tech control center of the Commsta.

Comments on above pictures from early 1980s:

1.jpg - Collins analog microwave transmitters (3) and mux equipment. There were three paths.

The order wire teletype and test printers are shown. 2.jpg thru 10.jpg - various shots of the patch bays, test equipment and FDM mux equipment.


Building 576 fire


USCG photos

Tech Control and the Commsta admin offices on the floor above were destroyed. The floor in the hallway just out side of tech control got so hot that the steel reinforcing buckled splitting open the floor in that area.

Building 576 is an all concrete building with few windows. Temperatures in some parts of the building reached 1000 to 2000 degrees.

Holiday Beach

Building R-1


Photos by Stevens October 1999


Tom Lawson Photos, Holiday Beach, 1959

I was stationed at Holiday Beach in 1959 as a RM2. Loved it...
Tom Lawson, Issaquah, WA, Trakai (at) aol.com

Receiver station and barracks at Holiday Beach, NAVCOMSTA Kodiak, 1959.


Evert Mudersbach, Holiday Beach, 1962-3

Now in Tres Pinos California, Evert was at Holiday Beach 6/62 to 6/63.
Emud37 (at) yahoo.com


The Barracks 1962-1963. Two story section is sleeping quarters and other effects. One story section is the galley and rec hall. The other building is the garage.

*

*

Pool room, 2nd floor
*

Beer and weiner roast on Holiday Beach


*

*

*

*

*


Notice the stream. It goes right down into the rocks (underground stream). If you look you can see bottom. Nice & clear picture. This is about 200 yds. from the ocean.
*

In front of barracks.
*

Pretty. Standing in the shadows looking across a cove. Notice rocks go all the way to the edge of the water.
*

Horse Shoe Lake with a buddy (Hancock), me in the back.
*

Some dog salmon with a small silver in front. Dogs average around 10 of 12 lbs while the silver was 8 lbs. Check those teeth in the dogs. I caught those in 40 min.
*


Danny Jackson, Holiday Beach August 1963 to August 1964

Via email from Videooman at aol dot com March 2009

It is a pleasure to hear back from you and a real plus for me to run into your website. I have fond memories of Kodiak. Even the ones that are not so fond, I still hold dear to my hear; i.e., the Great Alaskan Earthquake. I was reading some of the posts on your Tsunami guest book. Had I written something like that in 1964, the details would have been much better. I actually did write a lengthy letter to my mother right after the quake, but we cannot find it. Too bad.

I was stationed at the Holiday Beach Receiver Site from August 1963 to August 1964. I was the only one in my class at RMA school in San Diego who actually requested Kodiak as my first duty station. I remember my class instructor as he was passing out orders telling me in front of the class that anyone crazy enough to request Kodiak should get it. And I did!

I was quite the outdoorsman in those days and had heard a lot about Kodiak. I was really impressed with the Salmon fishing. In fact, I was impressed with everything until March 27, 1964. More about that later.

When I arrived at the Kodiak Airport, a sailor picked me up in the old Navy gray van and drove me immediately to the Holiday Beach barracks. But on the way he stopped at a bridge overlooking a stream that was loaded with dog salmon. I had told him I loved to fish and he made that special stop for me. I couldn't believe the fish were so thick they were knocking each other out onto the banks. Later I would wind up catching a lot of them. But I do remember they would not bite any lures. We had to snag them with big treble hooks. Not the most sporting way, but quite effective and a kick in the butt. They were not big fish but plenty of them.

Upon arriving at the barracks everyone was friendly, but I do recall being called "New Guy." In fact, all new arrivals were "New Guys" or "(expletive deleted) New Guys" for the first several weeks. I didn't mind and before long I could say "New Guys" to all newcomers. ha

Like I say, when I arrived I was an RMSN right out of radio school. I made third at Kodiak and second in Vietnam about a year later. Wow! It is all coming back.

My first job at "RC" was to man the CW circuits. That was really my specialty and was a labor of love. I was one of those guys they called "dit crazy." The mid-watches were the best. The prog would get real good in the wee hours of the morning and I could scarf messages from all over the world. No ship ever called NHB (Kodiak). Most didn't even know we existed. They would always call NPG, NPM or if they were really far south they called NBA (Balboa Canal Zone, Panama). I loved stealing message from these guys late at night. We used to sit around at breakfast bragging about the messages we "scarfed" from one of the other stations. It made our day !

I got my speed key ticket while at Kodiak. But when I reported aboard ship after leaving the island, CW was starting to become a thing of the past. Too bad. I still remember the code very well but have never really had a chance to use it again. That would be fun.

Aw Yes! March 27, 1964. Not as big as Pearl Harbor but will remain etched in my memory banks the day they put the last nail in my coffin. I was setting at the end of the barracks with some friends around 5:30 in the afternoon. It was still daylight. We heard some rumbling but didn't think much about it because there had been some dynamiting earlier with construction going on nearby. But the rumbling turned into violent shaking of the whole building. We were all puzzled and started looking at each other. Being from California, I had experienced many earthquakes but nothing like that. I said "That's an earthquake. Let's get out of here!"

With that, we headed toward a passageway that lead outside the barracks. We ran up to the road in front of the barracks but there was really no place to hide. When terra firma starts to shake there is no escape except to get out of the building. The barracks was just about full of people since the day watch had already reported back from RC. And all of us were standing on the road watching this whole thing unfold in front of us. A couple of guys had been in the showers and came running out with nothing on but a towel. Might seem funny now, but it was not funny at the moment.

Joe, I did a tour in Viet Nam after Kodiak and recently had open heart surgery (triple by-pass). But to this day I can honestly say that the couple of minutes during that earthquake was the only time in my life I was convinced I was going to die. I had done some reading about Kodiak and the surrounding area and recalled the Katmai Volcano which erupted several decades before and had spilled ash all over the north end of Kodiak. Thus the reason for few trees and vegetation. At least that's the way I recall it.

During the earthquake, the thought entered my mind that this was more volcanic activity and we were going into orbit at any moment. We could see avalanches and billowing clouds of snow in the nearby mountains. Dumpsters were moving all over the place and water was sloshing out of mud holes. It was terrifying.

There was another young man in our group named Stanley Fredekind. He was from Spokane, Washington. Why would I remember him? Because he was one like me who loved Kodiak. He had extended for another year on the island and had just arrived back after 30 days leave. He had been back no more than a day when the earthquake happened. As soon as the earthquake subsided, someone turned to Fredekind and said "Welcome back to Kodiak, Freddie." It got a laugh out of everyone at a time when we were not in a very good mood.

Immediately after the quake, the only communications we had was listening to local commercial radio. We tried getting information from RC but everything was down. No micro links to the main base and all single side band was out as well as transmitters and receivers for CW. We kept listening to local radio and heard there was a Tsunami on the way. Only they were not called Tsunami's in those days. It was called a "Tidal Wave."

I recall vividly we were standing next to the barracks and looking out across the bay. I believe it was called Woman's Bay if I'm not mistaken. Less than an hour after the big quake the bay seemed to get real confused and the water started to recede. Then here came this big surge of water which broke over some cliffs where we used to hunt and just walk around. It was like a science fiction movie watching all of this water make it's way over the cliffs and up into big fields where we kept our rhombic antennas.

We learned later that a couple of people were caught in a car in that area and were killed. There were also a lot of cattle had drowned and some of us had to go out a few days later and pour kerosene on them and burn them up.

Also part of our job the next few days was to repair land lines from RC to CC. During one of these repair missions, I recall the tide coming in around us and was rising higher than ever before. We had to get in the van and leave because the tide was starting to covering the old gravel road. We were told later that our side of the island had actually settled or sunk several feet during the quake, thus making for higher tides. For a long while we could only drive back to the main base at low tide.

For several days following the earthquake, we had lots of tremors. Many of these tremors would be a major quake here in Southern California these days. We had a second class radioman (don't recall his name) who was older than most of us and had really become shell shocked over this whole thing. While watching movies in the rec room someone would inevitably walk up behind is chair and shake it. He would come flying out of the chair. Most guys would be swinging but he was not nearly big enough for that. If I were to ever see him again I do believe I would apologize for us playing those tricks on him.

About a year later while I was in Viet Nam, I received a Unit Commendation from the Navy Department for my work during and after the big earthquake in Kodiak. I never really felt I deserved this because I was nothing more than scared to death for several days. I sure was no hero. (ha)

I did see the list of names on your website who served at the NavSta in 1962 and 1963. I didn't arrived until August of 1963 so I didn't recognize many of them. But I did recognize Riley Stogner, a first class RM. I also recognized Paul Zasada who was a first class boatswains mate and was just finishing out some time before retiring. He was the man in charge of transportation and other things at the Holiday Beach barracks. I really liked him. I was only 19 at the time and of course "Boats" was much older and helped me to be a better sailor.

I also recognized Larry Gerlits. He was a CS3 and was one of the cooks at the barracks. The other cook was Ronald Baines, but I didn't see his name on the list. My name was not on the list so I must have reported just a few weeks or months after the list was compiled. I would love to see the roster for the next year. My name would be on there but more importantly, others who I would remember.

I had a rifle and shotgun while I was in Kodiak and did go hunting a few times but rarely shot anything. I was always a much better fisherman than hunter. I remember going up to a small pond several times during the fall and winter and just sitting there waiting for a deer. Someone told me that was the way to do it. But I never saw one. Could have been my cigarette smoke (ha). I was a smoker back in those days.

We also used to drive down toward Chiniak and hunt ducks. Lots of big green necked mallards and good shooting. But I was one that did mostly shooting and little hitting.

After Kodiak, I spent close to a year in the Amphibs in Viet Nam, got out of the Navy in 66, went to college on the G.I. Bill and spent the next 31 years in the sales department in the corporate world of the baking industry. I retired in 2000 but am busier now than ever in my life. I produce a sport fishing program for FOX Sports Television here in Southern California. We do go to Sitka, Alaska, each year and produce episodes there as well as British Columbia.

A few months ago I sent several emails to various people in Kodiak including the local newspaper. It has long been on my "bucket list" to return to Kodiak. I received a very nice email from the commanding officer at the CG Station in Kodiak. His name is LCDR Michael Nasitka at the CommSta. Mr Nasitka informed me that when I return to Kodiak, to call him and he would give my wife and I the grand tour of the CG Station. Wow! I am looking forward to that and plan to do so this summer.

I was saddened to hear that the old Holiday Beach barracks and RC is not there any more. But I hope I can still drive out there and check out where it was. It will bring back so many memories.

Again, thanks for your website. It's great to see that someone has taken the time to build the site and that so many people have responded. Fond memories indeed! Should anyone want to contact me (and I would love that), my phone is 714-775-3163 and my email address is videooman at aol.com.

Thanks so much !!

Danny

Danny Jackson, Producer
Ronnie Kovach's "Fishing Ventures"
FOX Sports West
www.fishingexpeditions.com
Santa Ana, California

 

 

 


 

 

  Last year I sent an email to the USCG at Kodiak. I told them about my being stationed at the U.S. Navy Communications Station, Kodiak, Alaska in 1963 and 1964 and that it has been my wish for decades to return to Kodiak. I was in Kodiak on March 27, 1964, during the 9.2 earthquake and the tsunami that followed. From Kodiak I went to Viet Nam and served in an Amphibious Task Group.

A few days after I sent the inquiry to the CG in Kodiak, I received an email from LCDR Mike Nasitka. Mr. Nasitka basically said to let him know when my wife and I would be in Kodiak and he would take care of the rest. And indeed he did.

On August 3, 2009, my wife and arrived at the Kodiak Airport. Chief Warrant Office, Spencer James, was there to pick us up and took us to the guest house on the Coast Guard base where we were greeted by Peggie Pies and checked in. That is when this great trip all began.

For the next two days we were given the red carpet treatment by the Coast Guard. There are many people for me to thank and I want you to know how we sincerely appreciate it. I really didnít expect this kind of treatment. Iím just a sailor who served my time in Kodiak and have always wanted to return.


This is our Holiday Beach barracks in 1964. We came out of this building in a hurry when the 9.2 quake hit on March 27, 1964 (5:36 P.M.). Behind our barracks in the right of this photo is Middle Bay. We watched the bay quickly recede then come back in with a huge surge of water which washed up into our rhombic antenna fields. Two peopled drowned close by. It was like a science fiction movie watching all of this and even though I was only 19 years old I will never forget that moment.


This photo was taken on the beach at Middle Bay only a short distance from our barracks at Holiday Beach.


This is exactly the same shot taken on August 4, 2009. This would not have been a good place to be standing around 6:00 P.M., March 27, 1964.


This is OS2 Joshua Bouknight (left) and OSC James Richard (right) and me in the middle. These young men helped me to find the old Holiday Beach barracks site located almost to the 16 mile market on Chiniak Road. This is it! The barracks was demolished and filled in with rock and gravel many years ago. They told me "we are going to find your old barracks site" and they did! I had to spend a few minutes alone after this photo was taken. It was an awesome feeling to return to this place. I am so grateful to these men. I will never call them "Coasties" again !!


This is where I worked in 1963/64. In those days it was a receiver site and we just called it "RC."


This is "RC" now. I can't believe that I am standing on this spot with my wife 45 years later. Hey! You guys should start this operation up again. I can man the Morse Code freqs !!


Our sincere thanks for SK3 David Flowers for the guided tour of your Cutter Alex Haley. Awesome! SK3 Flowers did such a great job. He is a dedicated, polished professional. You should be very proud of him. Thanks David !!


Thanks so much for Mr. James for

LCDR Peter Van Ness Commanding Officer of Communication Station Kodiak
LT David Pizzurro Executive Officer of Communication Station Kodiak
CWO2 Phillip Jordnelli of Communication Station Kodiak
OSC James Richard of Communication Station Kodiak
OS2 Joshua Bouknight of Communication Station Kodiak
SK3 David Flowers onboard the CGC ALEX HALEY
SK2 Marla Daw of Integrated Support Command Kodiak
YN2 Jennifer White of Integrated Support Command Kodiak
CWO2 Spencer James Administrative Officer of Integrated Support Command Kodiak
Peggie Pies
Pamela Smith
Denise Parker

 

 

 

 

 






U.S. NAVAL COMMUNICATIONS STATION, KODIAK, ALASKA

CDR. William M. MILLER, Commanding Officer
LT. JACK D. DURHAM, Executive Officer

Lt. Leonard R. Womack
Lt. (j.g.) Lee A. Hodges
Lt. (j.g.) Donald G. Spencer
Lt. (j.g.) William E. Hower
Ens. Roc M. Brierley
Ens. Charles R. Scobee, Jr.
Ens. Samuel C. Smith, Jr.
Ens. Edward M. Elmendorf
Ens. John D. Devlin
Ens. Eldred "B" Stricklin
Ens. Lawrence L. Edmundson
Ens. Marion J. Diederich
CWO-3 George R. Ballweber
Eugene T. ABel, RMC
Francis C. Affolter, RM3
Carl W. Alvers, ET1
James L. Anderson, RM2
Joseph L. Angelillo, CEPCP
Robert D. Armstrong, RM1
Joseph F. Baggs, RM1
Larry D. Baldridge, ETN3
Phillip J. Barrett, ENSN
Tommy (N) Barrett, RM2
James E. Bashline, BM2
Robert W. Bell, RM3
William A. Bengston, Jr., RM1
Harry R. Bigelow, RM3
Fred N. Bonton, SN
John R. Boyd, RMSN
David K. Brackney, RM3
Leonard R. Brown, EN2
John F. Brownlee, Jr., CEPCN
William J. Burch, RMCN
Timothy F. Burns, RMSN
Charles R. Burr, RM1
Ronald C. Burski, RMSN
Robert H. Burton, RM3
Milton P. Campo, RM1
Silviano (N) Candelaria, RMSN
Robert D. Carlson, RMSN
Simon W. Carraway, EM3
Benny C. Carson, RMSN
Louis R. Charters, Rm2
Melcor (N) Chavez, ENFN
Richard A. Cook, RMSN
William (N) Webber, RM3
Ernest L. Woodring, RM1
Benjamin F. Zartiga, RM1
Earl R. Counts, UT1
Leslie J. Crow, SW1
Richard G. Crump, RMSN
Marshal A. Davis, RMCA
Ronald C. Dean, RM3
Guy F. Decker, RM3
Benjamin W. Denio, RMC
Robert E. Dietz, SA
Billy J. Dolgener, SA
Donald L. Eizenga, RMSN
William H. Emery
Frederick K. Erickson, RMSA
David F. Everleth, ETNSN
Lee C. Fellenz, RMSN
Aaron F. Fielder, SA
Robert C. Franco, Jr., RM3
Richard A. Freeman, RMSN
Edward C. Gacke, RMSN
Jack W. Garoutte, RMC
Harry J. Geraty, Jr., RMCA
Lawrence E. Gerlits, Jr., CS3
Darrold L. Glanville, RMSN
Richard P. Golightly, ETN3
Theodore (N) Granlund, RM1
Billy L. Gray, RMSN
Thomas E. Greene, CS3
John A. Grennell, EN1
Georg (N) Gruen, SKSN
Paul T. Halchak, RM1
William E. Hall, RM1
Lee N. Hancock, RMSN
Gary B. Hamby, ETN2
Dale F. Hannaman, RMSA
Tommy A. Harmon, PN2
Dennis L. Harris, RM1
Francis R. Harris, RMSN
James I. Hart, RMCA
Glynn L. Hathcock, RM1
Billy D. Havenhill, RMSN
David G. Hemming, ETNSN
Wiley O. Heninger, EMCA
Harry J. Henzen, SN
Jerry C. Hinman, ETN3
Francis E. Hopton, RM1
Frederick I. Horn, RM1
Calvin (N) Hughes, BUCA
Charles A. Welch, RMC
Jack C. Wright, SW1
Paul E. Zasada, BM1
Patrick A. Husseman, RMSA
Gary L. Jenneke, RMSN
Jon C. Jensen, RMSA
Carlton R. Johnson, SK2
James L. Johnson, YN3
David E. Kimes, RMSN
Kenneth L. Kloncz, RMSN
John H. Koons, RMSN
Henry H. Kopf, RM1
Kenneth A. Koski, RMSA
Walter L. Krout, EO1
Gary J. Langston, YN3
Romaine H. Lee, SN
John O. Lewis, RM1
Thomas B. Lewis, Jr., SN
Tommy G. Lewis, RM3
John J. Lindsey, ETC
Frederick J. Lounds, Jr., RMSN
Vernon L. Luce, RMSA
Robert M. Luther, RM2
Donald H. Maclaine, RM1
Maximo "F" "X" Madril, EM2
Frank C. Marcell, RM2
Michael S. Marchesano, RMSN
Lewis C. Martin, UTP3
William H. Mason, ETN3
John P. Matthews, RMSN
Richard G. McAtee, RM1
Richard E. McConnell, CS1
Paul L. Mead, RM1
Ribert H. Miles, RMCA
Richard A. Morales, RMSA
William J. Motto, RM2
William C. Mowery, BUL2
Evert R. Mudersbach, RMSA
Marvin C. Mumm, SN
Raymond A. Meyers, ETN2
Donald W. Newberry, ETR2
Robert E. Nolan II, RMSA
Gary U. Noone, RMSA
Elno O. Nuenz, RM3
William E. O'Donnell, RMC
Oscar W. Osvatics, RMC
Charles F. Palmer, RMC
Thomas W. Park, ETN3
Jimmie C. Patton, RMSN
James F. Williette, SN
Elwood E. Yetter, RMSA
Edward "J" Zimmerman, ENFN
Harlan D. Peterson, RMSN
John R. Phillips, BUL3
Ledger (N) Powell III, SA
Michael W. Quade, SKSN
Jay A. Ranney, RMC
Calvin A. Ray, Jr., ETR2
Kenneth W. Roberts, ETN3
Roy J. Roberts, ETN3
Ray A. Robson, SKCA
Ignacio V. Rodriguez, SN
Henry T. Rouse, CE1
Horace R. Royals, Jr., ETN3
Edward F. Rudzinski, BMCS
Franklyn G. Samson, RM2
Earl D. Saulmon, RM2
Richard W. Scherer, RMSN
Herbert S. Schory, ETCM
Norman R. Schwendler, RMSN
Dennis H. Schyvincht, SA
Donald L. Scott, EN3
Miguel (N) Sevilla, YNCA
Gerald E. Shelden, UTP2
Gaelon W. Silva, HM3
Joseph F. Skelding, SA
George F. Smith, CS1
Paul W. Smith, CS1
Neil L. Sovern, RM3
Paul R. Speelman, RMSN
Lawrence (N) Spencer, RM2
Charles E. Stephens, CE1
Richard B. Stivers, RM1
Eddie K. Stoddard, RM3
Riley H. Stogner, RM1
Kenneth J. Stone, ETNSN
Willard R. Strong, SN
Ta'a (N) Ta'a, Jr., RM1
Tye A. Taylor, ETC
Donald O. Thompson, RM2
Donald C. Timmons, RMC
Ronald L. Tira, RMSN
William F. Trant, ETNSN
Jack N. Treher, SN
Stewart W. Vandervort, SWE2
Manuel J. Vasquez, RM3
Murry L. Walker, SA
Leither D. Walley, ETN3
Larry G. Ware, RMSN
Ronald E. Warren, PN3
Larry L. Watson, RMSN
Robert W. Williamson, ETN2
Phillip N. Young, YN3

Image of above roster






Main index

http://www.kadiak.org/radios/commsta.html Updated 2013 March 4

www.ka diak.org