The original N0EFA on the hill in Da Nang   NOEFA

July 1966 saw the transfer of Master Gunnery Sergeant Norman J Laursen into Truck Company, FLSG-A.  He pioneered the construction of the first MARS Station at the base in Da Nang RVN next to HQ up on the hill.

Red Beach in Da Nang   NOEFL

The second station was again constructed by Master Gunnery Sergeant Norman J Laursen at Red Beach RVN.  MARS Station NOEFL at Camp Books was set up and ready for operation on 20 January 1967 and the first phone patch was made by Lt. Oldt to Santa Monica, California, on 22 January 1967.  The first message was sent by Sergeant Arthur J Aocdisan, H&SCo, Cooks Section.  The message was received by his wife in Canton, Georgia.  The first message was made by PFC James Lane, FLSG-A, Maintenance Company.  It came from his mother.

Information provided by Billy/Elaine Brock (Truck Co/FLSG-A)

email me
If you have any information or memories of MARS, contact us
I'm the same Larry Matthess who ran the MARS Radio Station at FLSG 
Red Beach.

Time periods in that far past distort on me, so my time period 
estimates may not be too accurate.  It seems like I did a lot during 
what was only a 13 month tour in VN.  Nowadays, 13 months go by 

It was only for a relatively short time that I drove a truck at Truck 
Company.  From my initial arrival in country for perhaps three months 
or so.  During that time, it seems that I drove mostly at nighttime and 
slept days (I suppose that must have been true for about half of us), 
and this perhaps minimized my socialization time with the company 

MGysgt Norman Larson of Truck Company desired to establish a MARS 
station for FLSC, and he recruited me, a Ham Radio Operator in civilian 
life, to accomplish that.  To that end, he sent me (TDY?) to an 
established MARS station on Marble Mountain near 'Charley Med' for OJT. 
  I worked there for some time, and then was sent up to Phu Bai and 
established and operated a station there for some time (TDY from my 
TDY?).  During these periods, I was of course physically separated from 
the members of my parent Truck Company.

When FLSC was established at Red Beach, I was recalled to my parent 
origination, Truck Company, to set-up and operate a MARS station there 
(as was MGysgt Larson's original objective), which I did.  I operated 
that station for the duration of my tour in VN.  That work was also 
mostly nighttime, and my sleeping quarters were in the station itself.  
Although the Truck Company people were probably the majority of my 
"customers" to call home, I had no real social contact with them.  They 
came in and I gave a short briefing on how the calls would be 
conducted, and then they were in a waiting room and I was behind a wall 
and glass partition operating the radio equipment.  I believe that Tom 
Beesley was recruited to help me after some time, and so he also worked 
at the station.  Prior to my departure, Sgt Dick Stultz, a field comm 
guy, was brought in for training and he replaced me.  There were about 
five Navy/Marine Corps MARS stations in-country, and my "social family" 
had become those fellow MARS station operators.  I'm afraid that Tom 
Beesley was the only name I recognized on your roster (and I'm not 100% 
sure about that).

From VN I was sent to a Barstow, and very shortly thereafter sent to 
Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay) and operated MARS stations until the end of my 
4-year Marine Corps commitment, when I was discharged (at my desire) as 
a Sgt E5.
Good Morning - Imagine my surprise to see my picture linked to the FLC Web Sit, sitting in N0EFL in Red Beach. The photo was taken by the USO, and somehow it got "flipped" (left for right because it appears that I'm writing left handed, and the sign over the Collins S-Line "rig" is backwards.    Butch

a photo of the front door or N0EFL taken in the summer of 1967 -Notice the MARS Gram mail box.
Butch Haw forwarded me a link to your site which I find very nice. I had also read the article posted by Larry Matthess which is also very interesting. My involvement with MARS began with the station of the hill with Larry, Norm, and Al.

I was in RVN Mars for 26 months and served as NCOIC of the N0EFL station for about six months after which time, Butch, Johnny Higgins, and Richard Schultz arrived.

I worked extensively with Larry Matthess, and was present at Red Beach during the Rocket Attacks.

I was also awarded a Certificate of Commendation from General Olsen for my tenure as NCOIC of the station.

These are just a few passing memories, but they may help complete the puzzle of time. I might add that the photo on the wall to John's [Butch] right was my fiancee "Kathy".

Keep up the great work!

Semper Fi!
Leo "Bill" Apsey

Yes, there was a MARS station in Dong Ha, and I believe Barry Goldwater was the Chief Operator there. It was established during my second tour in the neighborhood of 1967.   Bill