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"The Weekly Gazelle, Asmara, Eritrea"

Below are excerpts when I was Co-editor with Corporal Ty Curtis. Over half the publication was 'boilerplate' received from Armed Forces News or other services. The Armed Forces Radio Station daily schedule comprised four pages of every issue. We 'cut' each week's issue on stencils and the print is somewhat uneven.


KAGNEW GAZELLE--Vol 2, No. 41 10 December 1954


KAGNEW GAZELLE--Vol 2, No. 42 17 December 1954

 
Twenty-nine enlisted men were promoted on the Special Orders No. 179, 16 December 1954.

Sergeant First Class

Vincent T. Lucas,  Hdqtrs Company
Sergeant
Eugene C. Anderson Opns, Paul H. Bowers Hdq,  Andrew M. Brown, Jr. Hdq, Charles A. Carosso Opns, Edward C. Coates Hdq, Billie M. Couch Hdq, David K. Grinwis Opns, Robert F. Hart Opns, Robert F. Highton Jr. Opns, John Meadows Opns, Kenneth H. Neal Opns, Donald F. Papouschek Opns, William L. Shaffer Opns, Ronald G. Skillman Opns, William R. Stephenson Opns.
Corporal
Charles P. Arwood Hdq, Harold D. Childress Hdq, John V. Collins Opns, Matthew J. Curran Hdq, James F. Deal Opns, William A. Kelsey Hdq, John L. Purcell Jr. Opns,
Donald F. Schumacher Opns, Stanley S. Silverman Hdq, John C. Taylor Jr. Opns, Charles E. Wachter Opns, Donley J. Wilson Hdq, David C. Wise.
Kagnew 'Ex' Upped
Sergeant  J.O. Martin was recently promoted at Arlington Hall Station Company B to Sergeant First Class. SFC Martin was stationed here for three years assigned to Operations.
KAGNEW GAZELLE--Vol 2, No. 44 31 December 1954

(this was nearly a year after my time at Kagnew)

Sirens Awaken Kagnew Men to Battle Stubborn Midnight PX Blaze


The night of Jan 24, 1957 seemed as routine as any other night at Kagnew Station. The Post Exchange closed it's doors at dusk, the Snack Bar quieted at 2200 hours and crowds poured out of the Post Theater at 2030 hours. Within the next two hours lights dimmed in the barracks and a calm settled over the Post. But there was litle sleep for the troops that night. At approximately 0030 hours, Friday, January 25, 1957 the awesome whine of the fire siren shook the men from their "sacks" and out into the crisp night air. They were quickly convinced that this was no false alarm ro minor off-Post mishap. Thick white clouds were already billowing forth from the rear of the Snack bar. What happened during the next few hours is now history, but it's worth recalling some of the highlights as a belated trbute to the many nameless workers who fought till dawn to halt the blaze.

An important part of Kagnew Station vanished during that sleepness night. We lost not only the P-X, its Snack Bar and the Theater, but also Operations Company Orderly Room, the Post Signal Office, the barber, beauty, tailor and fur shops, several offices and other minor rooms. Original damage estimates were reported to be approximately $125,000.

Most important, however, was the fact that many inexperienced hands joining together to fight the wind whipped fire and to evacuate the nearby barracks had proved  themselves more than equal to the task. There were no serious injuries and the few who did suffer from smoke exhaustion or minor cuts and bruises were quickly treated by the Hospital Staff. 

The cause of the fire has never been determined but the reason it didn't spread farther is easily determined.  It was simply hard work by all concerned. Special credit should go to the Security Guards who participated so willingly in every phase of the battle, to the men living in close proximity to the fire who somehow managed to evacuate almost everything bu the floorboards from their barracks "just in case"  and to the above mentioned Hospital Staff.

Certainly everyone at Kagnew Station wishes to express thanks to the Asmara Fire Department without whose fine cooperation this story might have had a different and tragic ending.  Their quick arrival and obvious "knowhow"  contributed greatly  to the successful battle against man's oldest enemy. Here was another example of the friendly relations between our Post and our host Government and further proof of the Eritrean Government's
concern for our welfare.

Ron Altic's fire experience:  "I didn't get any  pictures of the fire,  but I remember it well. Where I was involved was at the Post  Library. People were  worried that the library was in danger so a group of us were told  to get the books out  of harms way.  We moved many stacks of books away from the library and away from  the fire. We probably did more harm than good because the library  never did catch on  fire. It must have been a major chore putting all of those books  back in place."

Scanned copy of the above article along with picture of Theater, etc building after fire.



Copyright, 1996-2013 Joe Nix where applicable

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