I was after you guys, I was on the mobile maintanece team out of Mt. Corna for power production,From October 1982 to May of 1984.I also knew SMsgt. Hopkin very well, my best buddy Ssgt Chris Herman introduced me to him. Hoppy was a straight shooter and a good friend. I have many fond memories of Pag, Venda, Cimone, and Serra and I would go back in a heart beat as well. I was saddened to hear that the DEB was shut down in 2008. With all the problems I have heard about Satilite Comm I wonder the wisdom of that. I'd love to swap stories with anyone who experinced Italys comm sites, my email is email@example.com .
Don was a good guy. He taught me alot about the radios. I seem to remember the other radio set at Venda, too. It was the FM12/800. There were 3 shots to the Army sites. They were always giving us trouble and had to be put on the bench quite abit as it remember. Ed Ferris. I've heard the name and seem to recall him being talked about when I did an extended TDY to Cima. Must have been in the really early days of the site. When I was there, I skied from the top down several times. There were some really scarry parts on that mountain. Never did have the desire to ski off of big drops, but I did fall on an ice face once and slid about 50 feet. Got some bruises from that one. Learned to ski at Cimone and thought that I was good or something. Got a FISI jacket from the ski school at Passo De Lupo and was really proud of it. There were several of us that skied at Cimone and we had sort of a competition to try to out do each other. Like I said, young and partly crazy, those were the days.
Last time I saw Hoppy was in Aviano, he had put on Chief. Spent that evening at his place and swapped stories. I think that was in 1985. Out of Comm at that point and at Rimini as the interpreter. Kept trying to get back into the 2187th but couldn't seem to manage it, too many others trying to do the same thing. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, so send me an e-mail about the sites. I get to Italy about every 2 years and have lost track of most things except for the Cimone area. I do get to Vicenza every trip and Aviano every so often, but things change and it's crazy trying to remember who, when and where I've met or worked with some of the folks that I have worked with. I do remember that everyone wanted to go to Corna. Lago Di Garda was a tough place to live around, ha, ha, ha.
There was a good PBS show recently called "David Suchet on the Orient Express" (you can view it online as part of the Masterpiece series). They take the train down to Italy, and stop at Brennero to change engines. There is a good view of a mountain in the background that looks a lot like Cima Gallina. I don't know whether it is, but it will make you want to jump on a plane and see the place again.
As for Ed Ferris, I wonder if I have that name quite right? It may have been Terris or something like that, but he would have been early 70's or even late 60's, the good old days.
He could have been there in the late 60's, I didn't know very many guys on the other sites when I was at Cimone. We spent our time working and going to Aviano or Camp Darby on support runs. My free time was really not as much as I would have liked. Did manage a TDY to Ramstein to go to the 120/400 school and V60/VZ12 schools. I too saw something on TV and saw what I think was from the top of Cima. The camera panned to show the RAI tower and building. I do remember the tourists sunbathing on the top of the RAI building in the winter. There were some good sights to see at times, as the girls really liked to get their sun. Kept us occupied at times. Hated to have to dig out the chairlift every morning, but that was the only way to get up or down unless you skied down. Did that several times and quit when skiing around the rocks became too much work. The shot from Pag was really good most of the time and the shot from zuspitze didn't like us. They had alot of problems at their place and remember lots of grumbling from the higher ups about it. Did you ever stayat the Mohr Wert Hotel, I think it was, they had great wild game dishes and the spritz was excellent.
That is a good question, but I don't remember where we stayed, presumably in Colle Isarco. I remember the restaurant though, with the good prosciutto in the antipasto. It was a mix of German and Italian up there, as you know. Yes, there was always a lot of explaining to do because of atmospherics that had nothing to do with the equipment. The 2187th (Col. Hall back then) even brought in a meteorologist to explain it, mainly for the benefit of the higher-ups in Germany. It was especially bad in the shots along the Adriatic in the spring, when ducting could either blast you out or drop you out entirely. It gave me something to do though.
JIM1348, During my stay at Cima, I rented an apartment in Vipiteno after 2 weeks and moved out of the hotel. Had my own transporation and I was able to stay under my alloted TDY pay, so I saved some $$$. Brought the wife up once or twice and we had a great time. ****ed everyone off except for a few that knew me at Aviano. BTW, I noticed that you mentioned "Men on Mountaintops". I think it was shot in the winter of 70, and I might be in one of the pics working on the equipment. I would have been the blond 2 striper in the photo. I remember sending the article to my folks, but have never seen it since. That was when AFCS was at Richards Gabuer AFB south of Kansas City, Mo. My folks actually went to chruch with MajGen Paul Stoney, the AFCS Commander, at the time. I got my butt chewed out by one of his civilians that was touring the Italian sites for not writing my folks enough. Needless to say, I wrote alot more often after that. Boy, those were some days.
I remember name of MajGen Stoney; hadn't thought of it in years. But I did a TDY to Richards-Gebaur for something called "Scope Cap", which you undoubtedly never heard of since it had to do with cable maintenance in 1972, so he must have been around. I don't think I was the one who mentioned "Men on Mountaintops", but I would love to see it. I don't suppose it is generally available though.
JIM1348, Hoping that you might remember about the "Men on Mountaintops", It was in one of your Jan 2009 posts. Anyway, just wanted to know if you might have it, as I would like to get a copy of it somehjow if its around. Hoping that you might have it still. I've got lots of memories and am just trying to refresh them for my and my familys sake.
That reference to "Men on Mountaintops" was originally by wrichey, on 12 January 2009 10:07 AM, though I quoted it later, which is probably how the mix-up occurred. It looks like he still has it. Maybe he will chime in. I don't know if you can send him a private message from here. But good luck finding it; I tried a Google search and did not see it, but did not search that far. Someone must have it.
When I get around to scanning my slides (not tomorrow), I will post them somewhere and put in a notice here.
I have been following your posts and just now have a little time to chime in. If you have read this entire thread I was in the that area of the world as an SMT from 69 to 71 (Mostly on Ground Radio and Tropo.) I do have a reprint copy of the Airman Article Men on Mountaintops. I have scanned it as a word document and was originally going to post is on my Military.Com Photo Gallery or maybe see if Walter Elkins <http://www.usarmygermany.com/Sont.htm> would post it on the Signals section of the usarmygermany Site. It is an 8 Meg file and I would be happy to send it as an attachment to an E-Mail to anyone who would like to have it and perhaps post it on a web site some where. In my extensive travels I have taken photos of MedComm Sites in Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey (486L System), Japan(484N-B Microwave and Japan Tropo System) and Korea(Blue Fortune and Peace Fortune System). I also have some photos of my days with the 728 TCS and the 3rd Mob. Some of these I have posted to the aforementioned Photo Gallery Site. Just didn't get around to scanning the rest into my system yet. Contact me at <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If the restaurant had a big chimney with chains hanging down to smoke meat on that was the Hotel in Colle Isarco. I do remember Larry Chirotti vaugely. There was also a Tsgt 304X0 that came to Venda when I was there to teach the 12/800, but I can't remember his last name. It hurts when you have brain fad. Funny story about Cimone. We did our arobics every year from Pian Cavallo to Paso Di Lupo and back and sent in out times. One year no one belived us and the 2187 sent their best runner and a Msgt to time us. Pian Cavallo is uphill to Paso Di Lupo and their best runner didn't make more than half way before he quit. We just ran the course and then went back for lunch. Carrying everything in the tunnel and up the stairs and actually running our arobics managed to keep us in pretty good shape. Needless to say, we didn't get anymore flak from Aviano about that. For most of my three years at Cimone, the Carrello inside the tunnel was for cargo only, and we carried everything to insure that we had the necessary supplies on top. Lots of work and fun at Cimone and the area around. I've got some neat memories about Venda too.
I don't recall that I ever got up to Paso Di Lupo. It must have had a nice view down the other side. I remember driving over there and seeing a lake; maybe I have a slide of it. My skiing on Piancavallo was limited to one day. But I did take it upon myself to hike up the mountain from my house, which was just at the foot. About half-way up I almost stepped on one of the famous vipers, which disappeared under a bush. I decided that I had had enough hiking for that day.
I sent you a copy of Men on Mountiaintops. Of the two sites in the article, I made it to Mt Cimone once. Since I was primiarly Tropo I did make it to Mt Pateras several times. My trip to Cimone was to arbitrate a problem between Cimone and Coltano. My butt was dragging by the time I got to the top. It was a wasted trip as the problem was really at Coltano, but the boss said go and I went. The only other site in Northern Italy I was at was Cima Galina. That was a three day trip for some emergency maintenance. Their regular guy from out of Aviano had been injured in an accident so I got to go.
Jim1348, The lake that you are referring to is Lago Del La Nifa. Our family has friends that have a restaurant there. Paso Di Lupo is the area at the bottom of the funavia that goes up to Cimone. It and a ski school, a ski rental a restaurant and that was about it in my days there. It closed down at night, everyone went down the mountain to Sestola. You mentioned Majera and the snow cat. That must have been nice, as we walked across from the top of the funavia to the tunnel in the winter or were able to drive up the back way going by the lake. Skied off of the top of Cimone twice, but never off of the face, nor did I do the face under the funavia. Just wasn't in my blood to be that radical on the slopes. Skied everything else though and used to close the area down and take the last bus many times. Stopped at the albergo Calvanella and ate and drank and then would ski down the road to Sestola. What a life. I was full of **ss and vinegar at that point and felt invencible.
Wow, chatting about Majera and his Land Rover and Snow Cat. One of my big memories of him was watching him warm the fuel pump on the snow cat with a torch made up of rolled up newspaper when it wouldn't start. He also had a very cute daughter, lol. Steve
Lastsngncwbwy, Hi, I'm an old 304x0 that was at Nardello from about Aug 78 to Aug 79. We might have run across each other during that time. I was a SSgt that drove a red jeep cherokee chief and spent as much time as possible off site in the city of Reggio. Had a good friend that was a chiropractor and spent alot of my time on the dock down there playing cards and eating and drinking up the local atmosphere. I do seem to remember the oprhanage and some of the rehab work that we did on it. I also spent a long TDY to northern Italy to the site at Cima Gallina as the interim DetCo there. You might remember me, I'm Doug Sparks
Well, folks, I started this thread almost 4 years ago and had no inkling it would still be going. Because of this and commtroop.net I've run into a few friends from different sites and came into contact with people who were at the same sites I was at but at different times. I'm glad so many were able to come into contact again. Have fun.
nykisa, thank you very much for posting that link to tropo sites... it's great.
I was stationed in Italy when the 486L was dismantled in the early 1990s. Came back to help install the DEB at 10 northern sites. Trying to remember the radio relay site in Calabria that defracted off Etna into Sigonella. I have pictures of Mt Etna erupting through the clouds. I also remember the story about a tall skinny man who was stuck on the ski lift at Cima overnight. I took a rope and blanket with me on every trip. Good memories.