WA8LMF Home Page | Updated 15  November 2022

 

The Tuy Hoa Tapes

These are recordings of the American Forces radio station at the air base in Tuy Hoa, Viet Nam. This station was not part of the official AFVN (American Forces Vietnam Network). It was an independent operating with the blessing and encouragement of the base commander; not MACV headquarters in Saigon.

There were a number of these "independent" stations, that might be considered "pirate" stations in the US, operating on American Forces bases around Viet Nam. These low-power FM stations were often home-built built from scrounged military VHF communications equipment such as the AN/TRC-24 VHF-UHF telephone relay transceiver a.k.a. "the TRAC-24".  These stations were valued by base commanders because they could cover just their own facilities.

(The officially-sanctioned AFVN FM stations had far higher power and higher locations that often covered many bases and unit areas at once. The AFVN AM stations around the country were mainly programmed with a network feed from the headquarters station in Saigon. The result was that announcements from Saigon covered the entire country - not just one base area.)

These recordings were supplied to me as a carton of 18  C-90 cassette tapes (27 hours of audio) by a member of the Tan Son Nhut Association.  This was a group of Viet Nam veterans who served at the large Tan Son Nhut combined airport and airbase just outside Saigon between 1957 and 1974.

I converted these analog recordings to M4A digital audio files with a Teac K-540 hi-fi stereo cassette deck and a Behringer UCA-202 analog-to-digital converter.

All these recordings were made in 1970, just before the massive draw-down of American forces in Viet Nam. Each side of each tape was captured into a separate file. Thus the 18 tapes yielded 36 M4A files.

The labeling and numbering of the tapes does not make any sense - the numbering is NOT in chronologic order. It is not clear what the "N" vs "Na" denotes.  The numbering sequence of the digital files follows the original numbering on the analog cassette tapes as shown in the picture above.

The last side of the last tape (9a) is entirely AFVN "Chicken Man" episodes apparently recorded off the AFVN network line from Saigon. The audio quality is terrible, since the network line was an ordinary tactical voice-grade telephone line - not a conditioned broadcast-grade audio circuit.

The links below connect directly to 256kb/sec M4A audio files that should play in any modern web browser or mobile device.  Given the limited audio frequency response of the original analog cassettes,  these M4A files are indistinguishable from the lossless FLAC files I used for the initial capture.

Contents of each of the links below is shown in the picture above of the cassette case labels. You can download these files by right-clicking a link and choosing "Save as ..."  (Rather than just clicking to play them in place in the web browser).

If you download them and play them in a media player (Windows Media Player or Media Center, VLC Player, Amarok, etc),   you will see the information on the cassette labels in the photo above shown as metadata.

 

Tapes 1 & 1a
   TuyHoa-Tape-1-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-1-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-1a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-1a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 2 & 2a
   TuyHoa-Tape-2-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-2-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-2a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-2a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 3 & 3a
   TuyHoa-Tape-3-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-3-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-3a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-3a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 4 & 4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-4-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-4-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-4a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-4a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 5 & 5a
   TuyHoa-Tape-5-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-5-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-5a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-5a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 6 & 6a
   TuyHoa-Tape-6-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-6-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-6a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-6a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 7 & 7a
   TuyHoa-Tape-7-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-7-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-7a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-7a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 8 & 8a
   TuyHoa-Tape-8-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-8-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-8a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-8a-Side-B.m4a

Tapes 9 & 9a
   TuyHoa-Tape-9-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-9-Side-B.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-9a-Side-A.m4a
   TuyHoa-Tape-9a-Side-B.m4a