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Jim Brinckman on May 16, 2020 at 9:03 AM said:

This is for Gerry L posting on April 2nd. Are you Lachik if I'm spelling the last name right. If you are I'm the guy next door in supply from 68 to 69 also friends with Roy Sievers who ran the Airman's Club - you guys got to be join the Club board - also bartended at the NCO club and worked the liquor store. Drop me an email at jdbrinck@reagan.com
Marybeth Domurat on May 2, 2020 at 4:09 PM said:

My Dad served in the Air Force and was stationed in Wakkanai. He passed away over a decade ago. I don't remember many stories, and I wish he was still around so I could ask him about his time stationed there, because I'm interested in visiting Japan. I do recall him saying something about guys who would go out in the deep snow with little more than their underwear on... I'm not sure if that's accurate or if I'm remembering it wrong. I do know he talked fondly about his time in the military.
David McClay, 1971-1972 on May 1, 2020 at 5:35 AM said:

Regarding Chuck Murray’s most recent posts….quoting:

“Despite all these affordable pleasures of the flesh, an indefinable malaise seemed to prevail among the troops. The work schedule may have had something to do with it, leading to frequent sleep deprivation. The absence of sunlight over the long winter months, coupled with sub-zero temperatures, gale-force wind, and snow up to the eyeballs, did not make for cheerful states of mind. The mood of most days was cynicism and gloom.”

I was there in 1971-1972 (I still have my Wakkanai Crab plaque, signed by William Sidwell. I think he was a CMSgt. – there weren’t many officers left on base when I was there.) The closing of the base was announced the same day I arrived, so I was one of the “lucky” ones who were instrumental in shutting it all down.

In spite of the formidable and arduous task facing others and myself, we were a tight-knit group that got along well and managed to keep ourselves entertained throughout the process. We certainly did not find the mood of most days to be cynical and gloomy. I think most of that is attitudinal with the individual.

All the referencing to “moosing” and “pleasures of the flesh” reminded me of something I haven’t thought of for a while.

Being an avid reader, I would routinely (two or three times a week) check out the magazine and book sections of the Base Exchange for new arrivals. It always struck me as odd that there were always at least two periodicals and one or two paperbacks in stock that were geared toward gay themes and/or behavior. This actually extended to the base theater, where one week the powers-that-be running the base thought that Matt Crowley’s “The Boys In The Band” would be an appropriate film to show on an isolated or semi-isolated base. (You can Google that one – I’d get kicked off the board for trying to explain it. I may get kicked off anyway.) It’s almost as if we were being encouraged to “take care of business” among ourselves rather than get involved with the local ladies.

It also seems that, toward the end of the life of the base, we were encouraged to drink. After closing the BX, the chapel, the hospital, the theatre and just about everything else, they made sure we could get liquor and cigarettes VERY cheaply right up until we shut off the lights and locked the door to the base.

I enjoyed my time there immensely – I read, I was (still am) heavily into music, and when FEN’s TV board op was sent home, I took over his duties producing the news and operating the board for the TV station. There are photos of me at the board in the FEN WAKKANAI photo section of this board.

Of all the times I have posted here over the years, I think I received one response from someone who actually remembered me – Sgt (SSgt?) Doolan. I still check back here periodically, and enjoy reading the posts. Anyone wishing to contact me directly may do so at dmcclay100@yahoo.com.
Everyone stay safe, God bless, and this current crisis we’re going through will pass. Hang in there!
GERRY L. on April 2, 2020 at 10:02 AM said:

I was stationed at Wakkanai, working in Supply, three different times. 1963, 1965 & 1967.
Dan - 65-66 on March 30, 2020 at 2:27 PM said:

Hi Diane Layo;
If you haven't received any information regarding your brother I would like to suggest this; Click on the 6th link down, "Guestbook Access". Explain to David why you would like to have Guestbook Access. He will give you the password. Start at Guestbook Archive #1, and skim down through the many letters written to the website over the years. (A good project while we are all "sequestered" and "social distancing".) Hope-fully you will find some mention about your brother and maybe even some leads. Best of luck, Dan
Diane Layo on February 28, 2020 at 9:22 AM said:

Sorry but I forgot to add my brother’s name to the last post! His name was Joseph Layo and he was 19.
Diane Layo on February 28, 2020 at 9:19 AM said:

I am trying to find anyone who might have known my brother who was stationed in there in 1963. I know that he went to Syracuse University, NY to study the Russian language.
I was very young then and barely remember him but I always wondered what his job was like and what really happened to him.
He died there in October on 1963.
Diane Layo on February 28, 2020 at 9:19 AM said:

I am trying to find anyone who might have known my brother who was stationed in there in 1963. I know that he went to Syracuse University, NY to study the Russian language.
I was very young then and barely remember him but I always wondered what his job was like and what really happened to him.
He died there in October on 1963.
Chuck Murray on February 26, 2020 at 7:30 AM said:

Airman Judy

Just as you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't judge a man by his manner.
At first glance, Airman Judy seemed mild-mannered and unobtrusive. He shipped into our remote radio intercept site in sub-arctic Japan and took his place in the rotating shift operation. Hardly anyone on our Trick took notice of him - until after several months of duty, his behavior changed drastically.
To be specific, he couldn't seem to stay awake on duty. He'd come in on the day shift at 7 a. m., seat himself at his position, and promptly fall asleep. Such conduct wasn't terribly unusual at our location. Rotating shift work kept everyone in a perpetual state of sleep deprivation, while the lure of cheap and plentiful booze in the Airmen's Club offered a state of anesthesia between shifts. Smoking was rampant in those days. Cigarettes were $10 a carton.
But Airman Judy wasn't subject to either of these influences. Instead, his problem was caused by overexertion during his off-duty hours. He had begun moosing.
Moosing was a fairly common practice among the ranks at our air station. It was named after the Japanese word musume for girl. It involved finding a desirable consort among the dance hostesses in the GI bars across the street from the Base and enticing her into shacking up together in an apartment in town.
This lifestyle was easily affordable even on an Airman Second Class's meager pay. In the postwar economy of Northern Japan in 1959, a one-room apartment went for about $12 a month, including the basic utilities of running water, electricity, and coal for the pot-bellied stoves in each apartment. A daily diet of fresh-caught or dried fish (depending on the season), rice, vegetables, and tofu were available in the open-air markets for under a dollar.
The official term for this practice was "cohabitation," a clear violation of our Top Secret clearances. But the officers all seemed to look the other way, probably in the interests of troop morale. Rumor had it that the Base Commander kept two mooses in different parts of town.
This sinful paradise was overwhelming to the typical 19-year-old airman. Many had seldom, if ever, experienced sex outside the back seat of a car, certainly not in the luxury of a futon with an exotic paramour. And many suffered the sweet pangs of overindulgence.
That seemed to be Airman Judy's plight. His amorous exertions left him too exhausted to stay awake at work. At first, the Trick Chief treated his somatic truancy as he would someone showing up too drunk to work and passing out seated at his radio position. We would throw a GI blanket over his head and wheel him over into a corner of the Ops room, unnoticeable, should the Duty Officer pay us an unscheduled call.
But only one or two strikes were allowed for such transgressions. Incorrigibles were subjected to various forms of official discipline, including Article 15's, Court Martials, and Dishonorable Discharges.
I never learned of Airman Judy's fate for his dereliction, as I shipped out to advanced tech school before the matter was resolved. Hopefully, he acquired the virtue of moderation before the axe of authority befell him.
If there's a applicable moral to this story, it's "Don't fuck all night when you have a boring job to perform the next day."
Bryant Jackson on February 22, 2020 at 8:08 AM said:

I was stationed at wakkanai during the time from June, 1953 to December 1954
Nick Lutz on February 11, 2020 at 7:59 PM said:

I spent two Christmas at Wakkanai also. 66 and 67
Nick Lutz on February 11, 2020 at 7:59 PM said:

I spent two Christmas at Wakkanai also. 66 and 67
Chuck Murray on February 10, 2020 at 8:47 AM said:

Here's the rest of the Wakkanai segment from my memoirs:

One particular manifestation of this condition was two epithets inscribed on many legible surfaces around the Base, expressing the communal attitude. One of the writings was "I H T F P," which stood for "I Hate This F------ Place!" It was an updated version of "Kilroy Was Here," which American soldiers had carved or written on walls and other visible surfaces throughout the European and Pacific theaters during World War II and the occupation period thereafter.
The second carving or writing on Wakkanai walls is the theme of this blog: "W A R B I," which stood for "We Are Ruled by Idiots." That theme has stayed with me through all my subsequent years. It brings me great comfort in those certain moments when I have knocked myself out to deliver a near-perfect and unprecedented accomplishment before my superiors only to have it either ignored, taken for granted, or even disparaged as of no value whatsoever.
When any of that happens, I console myself with "Oh well, it's just WARBI again." What a great mantra for this egomaniac with an inferiority complex, demoralized idealist, and frustrated perfectionist.
Chuck Murray on February 10, 2020 at 8:42 AM said:

Here's a chapter on my 12-month tour at Wakkanai in 1959-60 from my memoirs entitled "WARBI."

When the thirty-seven week course (at Monterey)ended, our entire class, minus a few flunk-outs, was shipped over to northern Japan for a twelve-month tour of duty as Russian Language Radio Voice Intercept Operators and Processing Specialists. Wakkanai was classified as a remote site for good reason. It lies at the northern-most tip of the northern-most Japanese island of Hokkaido, two degrees north of the Siberian port of Vladivostok.
Because of its proximity to the North Pole, Wakkanai had very little daylight in the dead of winter and little darkness in mid-summer. It snowed from September through May with an average accumulation of 260 inches. They didn't plow much in the winter. The houses in town were at least two stories high. The summer entrance was at ground level, and the winter entrance was on the second floor.
Life on the base was crazy. All the facilities were connected by a labyrinth of above-ground tunnels to avoid exposure to the raging elements We worked rotating shift: five days on day shift, then twenty-four hours off; five days on evening shift, then another twenty-four hours off; finally, five days on the midnight shift, followed by seventy-two hours off. In between shifts, the Airmen's Club was the hub of on-Base activity. Lucky Lager sold for twenty cents. Top-shelf booze went for a quarter a shot. Manhattans, Martinis, Singapore Slings and other such concoctions were thirty-five cents. A dollar bought you a killer Zombie - only one to a customer. No one could drink two.
For the more adventurous, there were three GI bars just outside the Base's main gate, where native booze was served, enhanced by a bevy of lovely young dance hostesses in the tradition of the classic geisha girls. Homesick GIs would sit in a booth with a dance hostess of his choosing, buying drinks for her and for himself, dancing with her to records of old hit tunes from the States, and all the time hoping for the pleasure of her favors after closing time. This hope seldom materialized, as the object of his affection would mysteriously disappear just before the appointed hour. This was called "getting fished." It happened mostly to newly arrived troops, called "Jeeps" by the seasoned troops. Jeeps usually got fished several times upon their arrival before catching on to the game.
The good old boys in the bars knew better. Real companionship with those ladies of the evening was found in "moosing." Moose was a term for young woman. You moosed by finding the one you wanted and moving her into an apartment in town. The official term was "cohabitation," which was a forbidden act under the terms of our Top-Security clearances. Fortunately, all the officers looked the other way at moosing. Our Base Commander was known to have two mooses - one in town and another in South Wakkanai.
Like booze in the Airmen's Club, moosing was cheap. A small apartment in town rented for 4,000 yen a month or about $12 under the exchange rate in those days.
Cigarettes at the Base Exchange were also a great bargain - $10 a carton, $11 for filter-tips. For the typical 19-year-old enlisted man, Wakkanai was a sinful paradise.
Despite all these affordable pleasures of the flesh, an indefinable malaise seemed to prevail among the troops. The work schedule may have had something to do with it, leading to frequent sleep deprivation. The absence of sunlight over the long winter months, coupled with sub-zero temperatures, gale-force wind, and snow up to the eyeballs, did not make for cheerful states of mind. The mood of most days was cynicism and gloom.
One particular manifestation of this condition was two epithets inscribed on many legible surfaces around the Base, expressing the communal attitude. One of the writings was "I H T F P," which stood for "I Hate This F------ Place!" It was an updated version of "Kilroy Was Here," which American soldiers had carved or written on walls and other visible surfaces throughout the European a
Jim Woolridge on January 31, 2020 at 3:59 PM said:

Just checking in. Nice to see the site still active and I enjoy reading the comments and viewing the pictures. Wakkanai was an unforgettable, unique experience.
My last name beginning with a W actually worked out favorably for me for once because the first few names in the alphabet got sent to Samsun and the last three of us got Wakkanai.

I was there from January 66 to April 68, 294 on Charlie flt. Sgt Kinnard was my boss followed by Sgt Francis Scott (Scotty)

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