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NSGA Cape Chiniak, Kodiak, Alaska .. Feb 1955 - Feb 1956
Photos/Narrative from Jerry Argo

Please scroll-down for  Page #1  of the collection.
Click-on each small photo to enlarge.


My Story - Jerry "Giles" Argo

I joined the Navy in March 1954 and completed boot camp in San Diego, California. Radio aptitude tests
were given in camp and fortunately, for me I qualified for assignment to CT school at Imperial Beach. Many
of the boots failed the test on purpose. "I don't want to be a radioman."

Started school June 1954 and graduated as a CT January 1955. With my first duty station being Cape Chiniak,
Kodiak Alaska. Arrived to more snow on the ground than I had ever seen February 1955. The flight from
Seattle, Washington was cold and breezy inside the cargo MATS prop job. Landing at Kodiak was nerve
racking as runway deadended at the base of a mountain. Left under the same conditions February 1956.
J. P. Finegan and I received orders for Chiniak at the same time.



It took no time after or during boot camp to lose your first name and acquire a nick name. Boot camp CO gave
me "Tex" for my drawl. Did not like it, as OKIES do not like to be called Tex. While at Cape Chiniak,
J. M. Jerome thought I was too fidgety so "Fid" became the next one. However, while in school Jack Bair
tagged me while trying the sound of Argyles out (as in socks) came up with "Giles", which stuck with me at
Bremerhaven.

Cape Chiniak DF station during WWII was manned by the Coast Guard, call sign NNF. Navy Base at Kodiak
used NHB until later reassigned to Chiniak after the Navy had built a new station with latest equipment. Net in
1955 consisted of San Diego-NPL (net), San Francisco-NPG, British Columbia-CFS and Chiniak. The net
expanded around 1960 to at least 16 stations covering both Eastern and Western Pacific.

No personal telephone services were available, however the CO had a ham radio, plus station had a military link
with Buskin bay on an old hand crank rig. All communication thoughout the net was via CW signal only at that
time.

NavRadSta call letters NHB (dah dit, dit dit dit dit, dah dit dit dit). Station located about 40 miles along the coast
from main naval station via dirt roads the whole distance and hazardous during bad weather, which was most of
the time. Mitchell and I were required to get our teeth checked soon after arrival. Mitchell required 11 fillings
and me 8. No chance for multiple appointments so the Doctor filled them all in a 4 - 6 hour sitting. To say the
least we were rather sore after that.


Photo #1
Photo taken standing cliff side
Building was approx. mile from cliff
Photo #2
Looking West - Main entrance and office
Small bldg. on North side unknown

Photo #2
South to North-Upper deck: Enlisted dorm - laundry room, shower, b'room in middle area - E-6 and above
quarters.
South to North-Lower deck: East side: Radio room-game room-kitchen-dining hall-unknown area.
South to North-Lower deck: West side: Unknown area-CO ham room-dining area-Yeoman office-electronics
repair.


Photo #3 Photo #4

Photo #3
Far left: Garage-diesel generators, Motor control center, and machine shop. Gray block is antenna bldg., then
loading dock, food, and supply storage.

Photo #4
In the upper left-hand corner, pole had station antenna and CO's ham radio antenna. His had better reception
during mid watch as someone had discovered over time. I would run a wire down the hall from his rig on the
mid-watch for better communications. Never asked permission nor did he ever act as if he knew.


Photo #5
Transmitter Room
Photo #6
Skiing Weather



Direction finding equipment was located mile or so South in a low marshy area, about sea level. You stood that
watch by your self with the Radio room manned by the rest of three-man crew.

The weather from September to May usually wet, snow in deep winter. June through August with mild
temperatures and wild flowers in full bloom. Fishing in area lakes was great fun although fighting mosquitos was
a constant battle. Japanese currents flowed around Kodiak keeping winters milder that the mainland. Coldest
temperature winter 55-56 was 10 degrees. Summer sun set behind the horizon 1100, with rim of light always
visible, rising again at 0100. Winter daylight was 0900 to 1600. You could take the day watch at 0800 and never
see the sun with watch ending at 1700 hours.


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