Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM

U.S. Department of Transportation
(The Department of Homeland Security didn't exist back then!)
US Coast Guard Bar
Semper Paratus
(Always Ready!)

Roger J. Wendell in front of Radioman School in Petaluma, California - 1975
Roger J. Wendell, age 19, at Radioman A School
Petaluma, California - 1975
Welcome to my
Coast Guard page!



Roger J. Wendell in a Coast Guard hat on Veterans Day - November, 2006
Veterans Day 2006 - 3 decades older but still proud!
My four years as a Coast Guard Radioman, back in the 70s, exposed me to some of the most honorable people engaged in the most rewarding work I've ever had the pleasure to participate in. I have fond memories of the Coast Guard and look forward to hearing from other Coast Guardsmen, Reservists, Auxiliarists, maritime radio officers, or anyone else interested in the USCG who happens across this website!

Wishing you fair winds and following seas,

Roger J. Wendell

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for notes, stories and thoughts from "Coasties" who stopped by this page!
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for Coast Guard Photos and Friends!

In my late teens and early 20s I was a Radioman (RM2) at three U.S. Coast Guard facilities:

NMO - ComSta Honolulu, Hawai'i (Wahiawa, O'ahu 1975-77)
NMC6 - Group Station Monterey, California (Monterey, CA 1977-79)
NMC - ComSta San Francisco, California (Pt. Reyes, CA 1981 Reserve Duty)


Listen Icon Click Here for Radio KNUS' Randy Corporon mentioning me, the Coast Guard, NMO, NMC, and NMC6 on Memorial Day!


My boot camp experience took place in 1975 with Company Alpha 100 at Government Island, Alameda, California.   That same year I completed 5 months of Radioman "A" School in Class RMA-20-11-75 a few miles further up north in Petaluma, California.   While at RM School I also broke, and currently hold, the Coast Guard's Morse code receive record at 40 WPM at 99%+ accuracy.




(Click on any of this page's "Thumbnail" images for a larger view)


NMC6 - Coast Guard Group Station Monterey, California


NMC6 in 1977:

Roger J. Wendell at Coast Guard Group Station Monterey - November, 1977
Me at NMC6 in 1977
Both of these photos were taken in 1977 when I was 21 years old.
The picture at left is in the Group station's radio room in November of that year. At NMC6 we mostly guarded VHF marine and HF voice. This particular room was a special favorite of the local TV news station whenever there was an active SAR (Search and Rescue) operation underway.
The photograph at the right is outside the station looking in through the fence. It was taken i October of that year.
Roger J. Wendell at Coast Guard Group Monterey - October, 1977
Me, again, at NMC6 in 1977


NMC6 in 2007:

30 Years later I stopped by Monterey to take a quick look around in March, 2007. I stopped by again, that November, and took another look around!
Coast Guard Group Station Monterey - 03-02-2007
Coast Guard Group Station Monterey Pollution Response - 03-02-2007
Pollution Response
Coast Guard Group Station Monterey Flagpole - 03-02-2007
Flagpole at main entrance
Coast Guard Group Station Montery - 11-13-2007
Again in November...
Coast Guard Group Station Monterey Pier - 03-02-2007
Coast Guard Cutter Hawksbill at Group Station Monterey - 03-02-2007
NOAA & Cutter Hawksbill


Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for a list of ET duties from David Ingebright from when he was stationed there from 1972 to 1976!
"HI roger: are you on pike's peak yet? Attached, here's a start of the rundown you suggested. I can fill it in and make a story or we can leave it here. Man, that was a lot of equipment to keep running. The worst were the LF radiobeacons. Xmitted all on the same freq like 386Kc. Eacho one xmitted on a different minute out of five. Clocks were GSA issue grandfather clocks... you can imagine listening to WWV and trying to get the clocks to keep time within a few seconds in a drafty solid-rock quarried lighthouse..."
(David Ingebright, via email, 02-01-2019)




Moss Landing Shore Beacon

Moss Landing Shore Beacon 25 Watt Shore Beacon at the entrance to Moss Landing Harbor, California, November 7, 1977

This beacon transmitted the Morse characters "M L" on 298 KHz through an 85 foot loaded vertical. Established range was ten miles, with other beacons in use up and down the coast. On occasion I would join the ETs (Electronic Technicians) for some routine maintenance on these transmitters.




Coast Guard Radioman "A" School - Petaluma, California

Roger J. Wendell in front of Radioman School Here's me standing in front of the school.   At the time (early July '75) I was 19 and about to set the school CW record for 5 character coded groups (40+ wpm).  During RM School I was still WBØJNR - my KH6JDO call was assigned when I reached Hawai'i a few months later.


Coast Guard Class RMA 20-11-75
TRACEN Petaluma, California, September 19, 1975

Coast Guard Radioman School Class 20-11-75 Here are everyone's name and initial assignment,
Left to Right, as best that I remember:
  • Back Row:
    Rick Beatty (USCGC Dauntless), Mellerup (Group Woods Hole), Harmon, John Barnwell (Group Astoria), Roger J. Wendell (CommSta Honolulu), Coyne (USCGC Vigilant)
  • 2nd Row from Back:
    P.E. Williams (USCGC Chase), Mark Carter (RadSta Miami), Mason (CommSta Kodiak), Mike Bell (USCGC Mellon), Kathy Taylor (CommSta Boston)
  • 2nd Row from Front:
    Class Leader F.P. Williams (RadSta Miami), Class Advisor RM2 Norm Wolf, Carlisle (Group Shinecock), Art Femister (USCGC Venturous), Miller (USCGC Campbell).
  • Front Row:
    Alario (USCGC Bibb), Turner (Group Coos Bay), Wayne Porter (Group Chincoteague), Pete Golfetto (USCGC Dallas).


"Through These Doors Pass The Nation's Best Military Radiomen" (sign in 3rd photo, below)

These old photos were taken by me, at age 19, with a very primative camera from that era. The sign
above my head, in the third photo from the left, was somewhat famous as it said, "Through These Doors
Pass the Nation's Best Military Radiomen" - over the years I've had various radio ops ask me about that
sign even though they'd never been there or seen a picture of it! (word certainly got around back then!)

"The Cage"

Me in Phase 5 Net

"Through These Doors..."

Stedman Hall


Larry Mason, John Barnwell, and Mike Bell


"Through These Doors..." Photo Update!
  August 22, 2017

Good evening Roger,
While searching the internet to find information about TRACEN Petaluma's ham radio history I came across your site. I notice the "Though these doors..." picture and I would like you to know the sign is still displayed at the Operation Specialist school. I am not an OS but I am an Information Systems Technician. I am an instructor in the same building as the OS school and pass the sign daily and it always brings a smile to my face. If you would like I can snap an updated photo for your site.
Matthew Rawlings




Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my Hawai'i Page!

NMO - Wahiawa, O'ahu, Hawai'i
(My first Coast Guard communications assignment mixed with a bit of service for the Navy!)

Click Here for a description
I was assigned to NMO (US Coast Guard Communications Station Honolulu located in Wahiawa on the Navy's NAVCAMS EASTPAC base) from 1975 through 1977. It was a pretty exciting assignment for a young guy as keenly interested in Morse code and communications as I was! At NMO I gained all kinds of experience with MF, HF, VHF military and maritime communications. We used Model 28 teletype machines, KW-7 (code name "Orestes") crypto systems, and Collins 651s1 general coverage receivers - all pretty much state-of-the-art at that time!

The KW-7 was an on-line, send/receive crypto unit installed in shore stations and aboard ships to create secure communications networks, when needed. Each radio day (0000 zulu, or UTC) we changed a special "IBM-like" card that provided necessary code information for the next 24 hours. If I recall, correctly, prior to the card we also used a plug-board where the newest members of the team were awarded the tedious duty of switching little wires around for that day's code. I wish I had photos of all this but, at the time, it was all classified so things like that were kept out of any photographs for obvious reasons!

Anyway, at NMO I kept busy with all kinds of antenna switching, log keeping, message handling, weather observations, teletype (My typing speed was well over 70 wpm but had some peculiarities like the required hitting of "carriage return," twice," to ensure proper line advancement, etc.), VHF and HF marine and weather broadcasts. Also, it was sometime around 1976 that I was made supervisor of a small unit that had the communications responsibility for two conventionally powered naval submarines.

These two submarines were probably the last of the navy's conventionally powered fleet and were assigned to NMO because of our communications expertise and physical location on their base (see NAVCAMS EASTPAC description next paragraph below). I remember we sent all of the submarines' traffic, both plain text and encrypted, into the "blue" each day, at a predetermined time with an exact repeat of the broadcast a dozen or so hours later. Then, at week's end, the submarines would surface antennas and send us a long list of the messages that they had received in their entirety. Anything that was missing, of course, was then sent by us again, twice, the following day after the submarines had submerged again. The Coast Guard always had a willingness to take on extra responsibilities and duties but to the best of my knowledge communicating with submarines was one of its more unusual activities!

To reach NMO you had to drive through Whitmore Village, near the town of Wahiawa (located in the center of O'ahu) and onto NAVCAMS EASTPAC - the Naval communications facility where NMO was physically located. At the time, even back then, security was relatively "tight" with Marines guarding not only the parameter and vehicle entrances but some of the various facilities inside the base as well. One time, unfortunately, I was held lying on the ground, spread-eagle, with a gun (I believe it was .45) to my head after wandering back onto the base from an adjacent mountainside where a friend and I had just climbed (a large portion of the the Hawaiian islands, at that time, was held/owned by the U.S. government so if you wanted to to do a lot of hiking or climbing you usually found yourself trespassing...). Anyway, I obviously survived that little incident but learned, 30 years later, that security was even more strict than I could ever have imagined. My wife and I attempted visiting the base, during a trip to Hawai'i in '07, only to find a very menacing display of guns and bravado at the main gate that quickly turned us around. Oh well...

- Roger J. Wendell
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for some detailed radio club history about KH6UL at NAVCAMS EASTPAC!


Voice Distress guarding 2182 KHz and 156.8 MHz FM

NMO VHF Position
NMO circa 1976
During my time at NMO, during the mid 70s, it was no small feat to microwave the VHF signals we were receiving from all around the Hawaiian archipelago. We had a pretty elaborate array of repeater systems that allowed us nearly a thousand miles of coverage around the Hawaiian islands...


AMVER 12 & 16 MHz AMVER position at NMO

NMO Amver Position  - September 1976
NMO circa 1976
Coast Guard AMVER Flag AMVER stands for "Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue" system and is a Coast Guard supported world-wide maritime safety network.  A great many AMVER messages were "worked" at this NMO position.  Note the ubiquitous Collins 651S1 receiver...


Ship to Shore guarding 6521.8 and 13.144 MHz.

NMO Ship to Shore Position
NMO circa 1976
Note in the lower right the ever present "Mill," or typewriter, that we used for constant log entries and message traffic on nearly every set of frequencies we monitored. On 500 KHz, for example, it was common to make entries for almost every dit, dash, or static burst that you heard throughout your watch. Since 500 KHz was the international distress and calling frequency you never knew if a couple of stray Morse code letters or words could be pieced together to alert mariners or save a life! On the higher frequencies things like Obs (weather observations), "bathies" (ocean temperature readings), and other routine traffic were recorded.


Yellow Arrow Pointing Right



Click Here to download and hear a 4mb MP3 audio clip about a Coast Guard "iron turnings" rescue mission I was involved in. This clip is from a commercial radio station broadcast on September 1st, 2001. Boulder, Colorado station KVCU (1190 AM) interviewed various members of the Colorado QRP Club and broadcast our stories on their Saturday Morning "Hangover brunch" program...
(Click Here for the 21 mb wav file)


NMO Barracks Life:

Since NMO was a "tenant" command at NAVCAMS EASTPAC (a Navy communications base) I lived in the barracks along with all of the other single personnel. Barracks life, like the college dorm experience, probably isn't interesting to anybody but those who actually experienced it. Nevertheless, I include these few shots for not only historical purposes, but because the classified nature of our NMO mission didn't allow too many photographs were I worked!

These barracks probably aren't what you would have envisioned for a bunch of enlisted guys. I'll have to admit these were a huge step up from where we lived during boot camp and technical training (these particular barracks housed not only Coast Guard radiomen but Navy electronics technicians and "CTs" - communications and linguistic experts. So, since all of us were skilled petty officers the accommodations were a bit nicer but still pretty crummy by civilian standards (common showers, noisy conditions, etc.). Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun there - just like any college dorm!

As I mentioned above, most of my barracks neighbors were "CT's" - Communications Technicians mostly involved in collecting and analyzing intelligence. Within the CT ranks, back then, there were a variety of subdisciplines related to radio ("R Branchers"), crypto ("C"), maintenance ("M"), etc. The R brancers did the actual radio intercept work while another subdiscipline was involved with linguistics. During my time at NMO I was studying Russian language, part-time, at the University of Hawaii, and would often attempt to practice my new skills with the many CT's on the base. For obvious reasons security personnel eventually discouraged me from pursuing those kinds of study methods...

Tom Volkanant and Dan Mullins at NMO Coast Guard Barracks - March 1976
1. Tom Volkanant & Dan Mullins
Roger J. Wendell in the Rainforest that surrounded NMO - May 1976
2. Roger stoic in the Rainforest
Roger J. Wendell on his Honda 450 at NAVCAMS EASTPAC - May 1976
3. Base road & my Honda
Kent Brown at the NMO Barracks - May 1976
4. Kent Brown
Roger J. Wendell getting ready for duty at NMO - April 1976
5. Getting ready for radio watch...
Tom Volkanant and Lynn Lacey at the base swiming pool - March 1976
6. Tom Volkanant and Lynn Lacey

Some explainin'

  1. Ahhhhh..... Maybe that very "distinctive" poster caught your eye in the first photo? Well, I thought long and hard (actually, I spent about 75 seconds on the "problem...") about covering it up, a bit, before posting it here, and then thought better of it. Why, you might ask? Well, times have certainly changed in the 31+ years since I got around to scanning these photos for posting here. Back then, such displays were permissible in a military environment comprised of young men, most of whom were still teenagers. Back then such things were taken for granted and actually ignored because they were so common. Now, I'm sure, this kind of "art" isn't permissible on any military installation. Times have changed - I leave it here for historical purposes since that's the way things were back then!
  2. NMO, and NAVCAMS EASTPAC, is (and was 30 years later) surrounded by rainforest. The naturalist and environmentalist in me always found time to explore it every chance I got. Kent Brown, and others, joined me on occasion. I believe Kent took this particular "stoic" woodsman photo along the base parimeter...
  3. If you look closely you'll see me on the aforementioned motorcycle in this photograph. The main point, here, is that the base was heavily wooded and had its own small highway system as well...
  4. Kent Brown was a good friend during my stay at NMO. We had much in common - he was an avid skier and climber that did a lot of exploring with me. He was from Washington State so was pretty familiar with all of the outdoors stuff I was accustomed to as a Coloradoan. Anyway, Kent used this hammock both in the barracks and out in the "field" on our small backpacking trips around the island...
  5. This was the regular work uniform while we stood radio watch at NMO. An interesting note, about Coast Guard uniforms at the time, is that our dress and regular office uniforms were all Air Force issue except for the cap - that was pure Coast Guard! Our deck uniform was navy issue. Both the Air Force and Navy didn't hesitate to leave their insignias on the insides and seems of these clothing issues!
  6. Here Tom and Lynn are relaxing at the base swimming pool. It was actually pretty nice and allowed me a lot of exercise and high-diving board practice. Kent also used it to train me in all aspects of scuba diving - something we both enjoyed off the coast all around the island once I was trained.


NMO Work Schedule:

As I mention in my NMC description, below, our work schedule at NMO was comprised of nine eight-hour shifts that were split up into thirds. It went something like this; Three days, with a 24 hour break, three evenings, with a 24 hour break, and then three midnight shifts, with a 72 hour break to start all over on days again. Sounds pretty brutal but was actually quite manageable since it worked out to be much less than the 55 hour work-weeks I averaged as a manager in my civilian career!!




NMC - Pt Reyes, California

WB0IEA at NMC (Now AA7QC) Here is my future brother-in-law, Kendall S. Miller (Then WBØIEA, now AA7QC) working at NMC.   I, too, worked at US Coast Guard Communications Station San Francisco (actually located near Pt. Reyes) but only as a reservist there for a few weeks in 1981.

A bit of NMC History:

In February 2002, Coastguardsman Johnathan Petie wrote me concerning a history project he was developing at Pt Reyes
itself. Since I don't have a lot of experience at NMC, my brother-in-law Kendall, AA7QC, wrote Johnathan the following;

"I arrived at NMC in May of '75 from RMA school at Petaluma. I recently drove through the area in June of 2000 and most of the base looks physically the same. The housing unit/barracks had no sewer system in 75 and all sewage was trucked to Two Rock. Several trucks were wrecked during my stay there. Several of the names on the "plank" were still there when I came to NMC...

The RCVR site was pretty much the same as it is now from the outside, although I understand an addition to the coast side has been made to the building. After entering the secure door to the ops area, on the left was a long 3 console CW area (500mhz, HF Amver A, HF Amver B) then counter clockwise around the ops area were: RadioTeletype, Secure RTTY, the secure room itself, a NWS broadcast booth in the NW corner, Technical control across the north end, a spare position, HF Voice, HF Air to Ground, a lounge, and the Radioman In Charge office next to the secure door. The center area had an OOD desk, two Teletype workstations, and three TTY land lines, a local net, a district "SARNET", and a DOD "Autodin" net. All ops positions had sliding glass doors looking out onto the OOD area. One of our favorite pranks was to pull up a floor panel and crawl across to another ops position and pop up to give them a fright.

Each position had 4 Collins 651S1 rcvrs and 4 patched in audio remotes from Tech Control. A keypad allowed you to switch rcvr antennas with about 5 or 6 keystrokes, so it was very fast. Transmitters were controlled by the same keypad. You were assigned a TX by the tech control and you could change "preset" frequencies from the keypad as well. Nominal tune time to change and retune was about 10 seconds. TX antennas could also be changed from the keypad, although only antennas not currently in use by another TX could be brought up. Transmitters ran 10KW or 25KW as I remember..."

Kendall, AA7QC

[Kendall also mentioned that NMC ran 4 section watches: 12 on, 12 off, 12 on, 24 off, 12 on, 12 off, 12 on 96 off.
At NMO we ran 3 Days, 3 Eves, 3 Mids - all 8 hours each]


Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for a W6SG visit to NMC in 2003!




Coast Guard Boot Camp
Basic Training - Tracen, Alameda
(Government Island, California - 1975)


Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Administrative Building - May 1975
Admin building
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Bravo 100 Graduation - May 1975
Bravo 100's graduation
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Recruit Graduation Ceremony - May 1975
Recruit graduation
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Graduation - May 1975
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda JOOD Schack - May 1975
J.O.O.D. Shack
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Classroom Building - May 1975
Classroom building
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Grinder Parade Ground - May 1975
"The Grinder"
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Recruit Barrakcs - May 1975
Recruit barracks
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda former barracks of Company Alpha 100 in far background - May 1975
Former Alpha 100 barracks
Coast Guard Tracen Alameda Fred Zachau with new Caprice - May 1975
Fred Zachau & his Caprice

These pictures were taken a few months after I had graduated boot camp and stopped by for a visit. While I was in boot camp I wasn't allowed a camera (or much of anything else!) so these are the only photos I was able to come up with when this entry was put together 32 years later. The camera was obviously inexpensive and the photos somewhat faded after three decades - nevertheless I think these ten pictures give you and idea of what the setting was like back then...

- Roger J. Wendell


Back in the 1970s, like half of all Coast Guard recruits, my enlistment started out at "TRACEN" (Training Center) Alameda, on Government Island, in the San Francisco Bay area. I believe that most recruits from the western half of the U.S. were assigned to Alameda while the other half went to Cape, May New Jersey. As I created this entry, 32 years after my boot camp experience, I did a quick check and learned that all Coast Guard recruits (both male and female) are now assigned to Cape May. So, my story will probably be a bit different from most "Coasties" as I went through boot camp and at facility that not longer trains recruits and may not even be in existence anymore...

First a disclaimer: Although I found Coast Guard boot camp to be difficult this entry is not meant to be a complaint about the experience nor an indictment against any of the instructors or methods. I entered boot camp (January, 1975) at a difficult time in both my own history and that of our country - the Vietnam War was winding down and I, myself, had had a few differences of opinion about fast cars with the local police in my hometown. So, a tough couple of months in boot camp was good for me and good for a country with various military problems at the time...

My "company," during Coast Guard boot camp, was Alpha 100 - the first triple digit designation in what was basically a sequential ordering of all previous companies before us. Although I'm sure there were a few gaps in the numbering assignments the companies before me were units like, "Alpha 79," "Oscar 86," and "Yankee 95." I believe "Zulu" companies were reserved for those with disciplinary problems, health issues, or other reasons for having to fall out of formation with their regular units. Either way, you get the idea - boot camp training companies, at least on Government Island in California, were numbered in alphabetical and numerical sequence as time went along - you could kind of tell when somebody had went through boot camp if they were able to recall their unit's name (who could ever forget such a thing!!??).

Anyway, like I said, it was a pretty darn rigorous course of training - very little sleep, lots of exercise, and tons of videos, classroom training, and field exercises. For example, we were introduced to the Navy's wonderful (yes, I really mean that!) fire fighting school where they'd dump a few hundred pounds of diesel fuel on a cement representation of a ship's focsal (I believe focsal, or forecastle, is kind of the area of exposed deck and compartments behind the bow...). Wearing protective gear and dragging large fire hoses we recruits would rush in, after lots of training, and put out all kinds of intentional fires that were set to simulate emergency conditions at sea.

For me, back then, sleep was a problem throughout boot camp - I never got enough of it! Although bedtime was relatively early Reveille (Reveille is the bugle, or similar "music," that's used to wake American military personnel all around the world each morning) was very early, sometime around dawn, requiring scrambling, running, exercises, and all kinds of stuff I should now be doing in old age! Even with an early reveille we still had to get up at 2 or 3 in the morning for "rack races," "high-porting," or other forms of punishment for serious infractions or failures from the previous day. Rack races required that you and a bunk mate each pick up a bunk bed, in the middle of the night, and marched with it out on the "Grinder" (parade ground). High-porting was jogging around the parade ground, in unison, shouting "Up, down, in, out" while simultaneously thrusting your AR-15/M-16, in sync, with each yell - I've never experienced anything so exhausting in my life!

Something that was helpful for me were the countless pushup we undertook each and every day. At first they were very difficult but after you've completed a few hundred, during the first week or so, they become relatively easy. Of course the first and last things out of our mouths were, "Sir, sir, sir!" so when you did pushups you had to count out loud, in unison, as "Sir one sir," "Sir two sir," "Sir three sir," etc., usually in sets of 25. And as an added bonus the entire company would have to drop and do 25 pushup anytime and officer crossed our path. And, since the Coast Guard was so small, and had so few officers, they lowered the cross-your-path-pushup-requirement to Chief Petty Offices and above! Needless to say, it got to the point were I was easily doing 200 pushup a day when you added in the required ones for the exercise period after Reveille. And, as I said, it's probably amazing to hear but after you start doing one or two hundred pushups a day you begin to get used to 'em - even when you have to lay your AR-15/M-16 rifle across the back of your hands to keep it from touching the ground!!

Other good stuff in boot camp included plentiful, healthy (or at least what they believed to be healthy back then!) food in a clean, orderly environment. Of course like any other military training environment the food lines were lengthy with everybody standing at attention in silence. However, if you had been a good "lad" (yes, they had all kinds of names for us back then, "lads," "ladies," "scumbags," etc.) somebody a little higher up the food chain (so to speak!) could "Zoom" you ahead of the whole line - it was like a gift from the gods! Of course, just like in the movies if you dropped any food or created a problem you could be required to stand on a table or chair shouting, "Sir, I am a scumbag, Sir!" to the entire crowd. As bad as it sounds it was actually humorous at times and something everybody got used to after a day or two in the chow line!

So, here it is, 32 years later, and I'm having trouble remembering a lot of my recruit training experience. But, like I suggested above, there was a lot of good training throughout Coast Guard boot camp. I learned a lot about navigation, maritime issues, law enforcement, firearms, life saving techniques (rescue swimming, first aid, CPR, etc.), knots, history (government, Coast Guard and military), health, behavior, military bearing, and everything else that teenagers and early "20 somethings" needed for a start on an honorable career saving lives and protecting our nation's coastline and fisheries. Yes, Coast Guard boot camp was tough but I'm glad I experienced it and am honored to have served our country!

- Roger J. Wendell
Golden, Colorado 2007

Additional Boot Camp Notes:


In July 2010, John Flores, of Albuquerque,
wrote me about his TRACEN bootcamp experience in the 70s:

John Flores with permission - 07-17-2010 Mr. Wendell: I was shocked and taken back in time when seeing the photos you posted of TRACEN Alameda. Exactly what it all looked like when I was a boot there in fall 1977. I was in Oscar Foxtrot 116 and we graduated Jan 20, 1978. It was actually pretty tough training when I went through there. A lot of running and drilling and classes and very little sleep some of the time.

The drill instructors--company commanders--were always yelling like the way the Marine Corps D.I.'s do. My recruiter lied to me! He even told me that I wouldn't have to cut my hair in the Coast Guard. A load of BS. First thing that happened was we lined up and the barbers gave us all an instant crew cut. Guess I was somewhat naive and dumb at that age.

Great seeing those photos. Ran many laps on the grinder in the AM. Thanks for the memories.

Note: In addition to this letter and picture,John gave me permission to post a few pix and a detailed
Note: report about his boot camp experience on my Coast Guard Photos page - thanks John!




Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for the International Morse code alphabet and phonetics
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for "Q" and "Z" signals
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my tribute to Morse telegraphy

braggin' Rights: Who holds the Coast Guard's record for receiving Morse code?  -  ME!

(I learned the code at age 14 by memorizing it out of a dictionary!)

Coast Guard 40 wpm certificate.
Armed Forces Day 25 wpm certificate.
ARRL 20 wpm certificate.

Hand Key  Click on this hand key to hear real Morse code! (227k .wav file)

Spacer ZUT Membership Card

Coast Guard Speed Key Certificate Front
Coast Guard Speed Key Certificate Back


Yellow Arrow Pointing Right  
Click Here to download and hear a 4mb MP3 audio clip about a Coast Guard "iron turnings" rescue mission I was involved in. This clip is from a commercial radio station broadcast on September 1st, 2001. Boulder, Colorado station KVCU (1190 AM) interviewed various members of the Colorado QRP Club and broadcast our stories on their Saturday Morning "Hangover Brunch" program...

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right  
Click Here to download and hear a 4mb MP3 audio clip about the USS Enterprise. Author Barrett Tillman was a guest on the Mike Rosen show January 9th, 2013 to talk about his recent Weekly Standard article about the USS Enterprise's final voyage in 2012.I called into the show to mention my own experience as a brief visitor aborad "Big E" and asked the guest to describe how huge a vessel it actually was.




Coast Guard Related Links:

World War II Victory - Coast Guard Poster
World War II
Coast Guard Poster
  1. CAMSPAC Communications Area Master Station Pacific
  2. Coast Guard Auxiliary - America's Volunteer Lifesavers!
  3. Coast Guard Club and Amateur Radio Net
  4. Coast Guard Comments - Notes, thoughts and stories from "Coasties" who have visited my page!
  5. Coast Guard Photographs by Dick Levesque
  6. Coast Guard Experimental Station NCG (Fort Tildon, New York) worked by 9TW in 1924 (66k, from the collection 9TW's son, Ken Yarcho)
  7. Coast Guard Reserve
  8. Fred's Place - The place to meet old shipmates
  9. Jack's Joint - An Unofficial Coast Guard Library and More
  10. Maritime Radio
  11. MCPOCG Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard
  12. Pacific Area Headquarters Coast Guard Island, Alameda, California
  13. Sebago Sailors - USCGC Sebago
  14. TRACEN Petaluma
  15. TWS - Together We Served
  16. Coast Guard Telecommunications Services
  17. ZUT Coast Guard CW Operators Association Web Page




Other Related Links:

  1. Antennas!
  2. ARRL - American Radio Relay League
  3. Art and Skill of Radio-Telepgraphy by NØHFF
  4. Extra Class License
  5. FISTS The International Morse Preservation Society
  6. Hand Keys on display by OZ2CPU
  7. Hawai'i
  8. K9DE Learning and Using Morse Code
  9. LORAN - a history of USCG radio navigation
  10. Maritime Radio
  11. Memorizing Morse code by Wolf at 1728 Software Systems
  1. Military Madness
  2. Morse code
  3. Morse Code Company
  4. NMC page by VK2DS "Down Under"
  5. Ocean Weather Stations
  6. Q and Z signals
  7. QRP and Amateur Radio
  8. Spark Gap Recording from 1921 by VK7RO
  9. Time by the United States Naval Observatory
  10. W6NMC Coast Guard Island Alameda, California
  11. ZUT - Coast Guard CW Operators Association




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