US Naval Communication Station

Bouknadel, Morocco

 

The following photographs and commentary were contributed by Darian Paganelli (Pag) who served at Bouknadel, Morocco. He can be contacted at dpanop3698@sbcglobal.net.

These set of slides were taken in December 1970 and comprises a look around the outside of the transmitter building and the antenna field including the road to the living compound.

Above slide was taken around 05:30 to 05:55 in the morning at the end of my night shift. Every day I used go out on the east facing loading dock of the transmitter building and witness the dawn of a new day. No transmitter noise, no lights, only fresh air and the promise of a new day and new life. The sun would come out gradually and then just explode over the horizon. .. more than enough for everyone to enjoy.

Above slide is of the road from the transmitter building through the antenna field down to the living compound of the base at Bouknadel. I believe this shot was taken on the way down from the transmitter building to the living compound.

Above slide is taken from out in the antenna field, looking east to capture the white and green transmitter building and the east 800 foot low frequency omni antenna.

Above slide is taken in the west end of the antenna field. You can see the west 800 foot low frequency omni antenna and the concrete structure that housed the gound switch and tuning network for the antenna. also can be seen the white and green transmitter building with the three towers around it that supported the emergency long wire antennae. Jerry Bough RM-2 has recalled the designation of the Emergency Radio Transmitters that were in the transmitter building at Bouknadel as TBL. They were about the size of two refrigerators side by side and were painted in a crinkle black paint. When they were turned on for testing every so often, they reminded me of a toaster because of the bright light from the tubes inside of them and the openness of their cage.

Above slide is a good shot from the west side of the antenna field looking east, showing both 800 foot antennae, the three towers used to suspend the emergency long wire antenna around the transmitter building and the transmitter building in the center.

Above slide is a typical scene of the antenna field that would present itself every day, two donkeys looking at you as if you had no business being out there in "their" antenna field in the first place.

Above slide is a shot taken looking directly up the leg of one of the three towers around the transmitter building that supported the emergency long wire. I was trying to see how good the lens on the pentax was (apparently it was a bit better than I anticipated).

Above slide is a nice shot of the east side of the transmitter building from out in the antenna field.

 

Recently I used google earth to look at the transmitter building and the base at USNRS(T) Bouknadel, Morocco. The transmitter building is still in tact and might be used for some purpose other than what it used to be used for. The three towers that suspended the emergency long wire antenna are still there also. The two story high structures that used to be at the bases of each of the two 800 foot high low frequency antennae are still there too. Everything else is gone, picked clean. All antennas, poles, everything is gone from the antenna field. The perimeter road is still visible and the road to the living compound has been straightened out a bit. The old living compound looks occupied and well cared for. The swimming pool is clearly visible. A few new buildings have been built on the base as well.

D. Paganelli