USNRS (T) Sidi Bouknadel, Morocco

The following Bouknadel base and transmitter site photographs and narratives were contributed by Tom Makin, RM2, USN who was stationed there between 1968-1969. Tom can be contacted at

"This picture is looking towards the exchange/gedunk/bowlingalley/post office/medical building and all the way down to the end the movie theatrel. The barracks is to my back and directly across the street would be the basketball court, outdoor movie theater (never used to my knowledge) and behind them the Marine barracks"

"This is a followup to the first picture above looking across the street. Notice back end of mail truck. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the bowling alley and looking over the top of a VW".

"Looking from the exchange area over to the enlisted barracks. That Ford/Mercury belong to several guys; the last before I left in 1969 was Brian Kopp of York, Pa. In the back-ground is the Low Frequency radio tower . The antenna field was about 1/2 mile behind the barracks. The end we are looking at was where the head/showers, etc were located. Next shot shows more of the barracks".

"This picture is looking at the distant end of the barracks with the mess hall at the very end. Quarterdeck was next to the mess hall, then a day room and then the sleeping quarters. Just past the mess-hall was a wooded area where we had base wide (family) picnics. Directly across the street was where the softball field was located".

"This is the road up to the transmitter building, which can be seen as the white building slightly to the to the right of the road in the distance. Notice the two Low Frequency broadcast antenna towers. The little poles were also antennas. I have a picture courtesy of Chief David Rickets of the radio station staff who were present towards the end of my tour in 1969. I will send that one next"


Group Picture, USNRS (T) Bouknadel, Morocco 1969

"This picture was taken from the microwave tower which linked and communicated with the Sidi Yahia receiving station. In retrospect, I must have been crazy to climb this tower as I'm scared to death of heights. A 2nd class ET helped me get up on the tower. I ran in to him (I forgot his name) in Gitmo when I was on the USS Spiegel Grove about a year and a half after this picture was taken. What a great surprise that was. If you look close you can see the road that leads ffrom the transmitter building back down to the rest of the base. This is a good counter picture to the picture looking up the road to the transmitter building".

"Here's that old salt RM3 Makin apparently trying to operate an FRT-39 transmitter. This radios were build by Collins Radio. This particular transmitter was connected by a coaxial cable coming off the outside left of the cabinet to a coaxial patch panel system that was in the basement. By moving patches in the basement, you could connect the transmitters to different antennas in the field. Other transmitters had two wire connectors which fed out of the top of the transmitter and the patch panel was outside in the field. If was scary thing changing two wires from antenna to antenna because of all the RF that was present. We usually had quite a sparks show".