History

Learn about the history of FTVA and explore our user submitted Heritage Photographs.

AFISR Agency Magazine Publications

History of USAFSS (1948-1949)

The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency History Office has provided us an electronic copy of the first history of USAFSS (1948-1949). Unfortunately, due to military-wide funding decreases, hard copies of this publication are in extremely limited supply and will not be mailed out.

A Continuing Legacy 1948-2010

The Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency History Office has provided us an electronic copy of A Continuing Legacy 1948-2010. This Book details the history of the Air force ISR Agency, from its inception to its lasting legacy.

Heritage Photographs

If you have pictures you would like featured here please fill out the Web Info form with your information and we will give you an address to email them to.

Pictures submitted by Ed and Cynthia (Schrecengost) Miller

Ed Watts provided the above images, they are said to be copies of the earliest known pictures of Mainsite at Karamursel, Turkey. This was Tuslog Det-3, 6933rd RGM, back in the early days Mainsite was more often referred to as Mudsite. The originals were given to him when he arrived in early 1958 from Germany and he was told that the pictures were taken in September 1957.

 

The Misawa Main Gate has been documented by several Security Service people (who hadn't hocked their cameras for a night on AP Alley!) These pictures indicate the many changes over the many years USAFSS was in Misawa.

San Vito Air Station AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

RAF Chicksands AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

Clark AB AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

Karamursel AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

Karamursel AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of Gary Fisher

Augsburg AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

Augsburg AN/FLR-9
Picture courtesy of AF ISR Agency

AN/FLR-9 at the 381st. IS (old 6981st. Security Group)

A serene photo taken of the FLR-9 from the Misawa Golf Course in 1974 by N. Pacura.

 

 

 

Bust of Gordon W. Sommers
A pioneer in the establishment of USAFSS and the shaping of its capabilities and organization for more than forty years

Subject: Col Harold Fisher, USAF (Ret)

Reference the January/February 2008 Airman Magazine article "A War Not Forgotten." If you don't receive a hard copy you can view it at: www.af.mil/news/airman.

The article highlights the exploits of Harold Fisher, a double ace in Korea, who was shot down and held as a POW and later as a political prisoner before finally being released in1955. This was two years after the end of hostilities.

I bring this up because he is an almost forgotten alumnus of the 544th.

When JSTPS was formed in August 1960, Captain Hal Fisher was Chief of the Airfield Section of the 544th Research Center. He and his analysts provided, on a daily basis, the detailed all-source intelligence that was critical to maintaining the correct categorization and appropriate target weighting of potential enemy airfields carried in the National Strategic Target Data Base (NSTDB). Some of his analysts were Navy personnel that were initially assigned to the Research Center, but later returned to Navy Fleet Intelligence Centers for political reasons. Without the Airfield Section's support, indeed the whole Research Center's support, JSTPS would have been hard pressed to carry out its assigned responsibilities.

Since categorization and weighting drove DGZ construction, the generation of the National Strategic Target List (NSTL), and force application/weapon lay down in the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP), all changes to the NSTDB had to be coordinated with the nuclear CINC representatives assigned to the JSTPS structure. As the O-3 dual-hat airfield analyst for the JSTPS Targets Branch, Research Section, who had to accomplish this coordination before NSTDB entry, Hal was my go-to guy to explain to the concerned reps the intel that supported any changes. In this role Hal was equally superb; he never failed to convince the CINC rep doubters and their home offices.

 

                                                                            Jim Enney

Series 1

Series 2

Series 3

Series 4

 

Series 5

The main area of operations was at the far left of the horse shoe called Head Building East (HBE). The civilian air terminal was at the center. We had all the normal air base facilities in the left half of the building - unaccompanied housing, BX, gymnasium, clubs, etc. Some operations and unit headquarters remained at Tempelhof until the early 90's as the tense times of the Cold War wound down and Germany was reunited.

Head Building East is shown here from the East. Antennas can be seen on the roof. War damage repairs can be seen on the side of the building. We had admin, ops and maintenance personnel employed on 5 of the 6 floors. The Army used one of the floors and the large boxlike structure on the roof housed some of their gear.

 

The flat topped hill in the center is one of several man-made rubble piles that were how the debris of the war was cleared away from the city proper. This hill became known as the Marienfelde Site. It started as a test site in the early 60's.

A close up view of the early Marienfelde site with a few trailers for operations. The site was secure from 'interested' local residents but very close to the border with the East.

Marienfelde in the 80's. The site went through a number of growth phases over it's life.

A closer look at the tall antenna tower in the hazy morning hours of Berlin.

A view of the Army's Teufelsberg site in the late 60's

Teufelsberg in the 80's.

Photos can be found here

USAFSS IN MISAWA PROJECT NATIONAL REUNION

 

Group

June 5th to 8th 2008 saw a group of about 140 men and women who served at Misawa, Japan as part of USAFSS/ESC sometime between 1952 and 1980 meeting downtown San Antonio for a good ol' "family reunion". Many of these folks are also members of the FTVA. During their reunion, most visited the Riverwalk, some attended a parade and graduation ceremony at Lackland AFB and/or a tour of the San Antonio Missions. Friday's "Exotic Shirt" contest was topped off by a larger-than-life Raffle. On Saturday, the Reunion concluded with a sumptuous banquet at the El Tropicano Holiday Inn Riverwalk topped off by the guest speaker, Maj Gen Craig Koziol AFISR Agency Commander.

 

Ryan
Gen and Mrs Koziol
President Tom Ryan presents a feather painted with ISR Agency SHIELD to Gen Koziol.
Gen and Mrs Koziol at the Reunion.
(Right) Ben Whitten, Oly Harrison, and Al Kovalic visited Mission Conception. When Al and Oly arrived in the summer of 61, A1C John Resetar told them if they wanted to be real "Machi Rats" just watch Ben (haha).
(Left) One of the highlights of the USAFSS MISAWA Reunion was the giant raffle on Friday evening. Three long tables filled with goodies donated by members of the Misawa group were raffled off to happy attendees
(Right): At the San Antonio Reunion, Helen Johns Henderson, Misawa Project Founder, and General Koziol display her "Trailblazer" certificate. . It's estimated the Misawa Group has nearly 3000 people in its list of contacts.

USAFSS IN MISAWA ladies sit for the photographer Saturday evening.

Bob Wynn Jane Doolittle Gisela Bullard

FTVA President Chris Cook with wife Kathy and Jim Kaus, Reunion Chairman

President Tom Ryan presenting Jim Kaus an expression of thanks as the Reunion Chairman.

President Ryan presents Major General Koziol a memento in appreciation for being guest speaker

On Veterans Day this year at The Wall in Washington D.C., Members of the 6924th Heritage Association presented the 6924th Security Squadron's Guidon with the Squadron's 32 award, decoration, and USAF Campaign Streamers, to honor the Memory of our Brother Tiger, A1C Paul Wayne Anthony, KIA at Da Nang, on 8 April 1970. The presentation was done near the engraving of Paul's name on The Wall. The presentation also included the attachment of a special 33rd Streamer: Our Memorial to Paul Wayne Anthony.

Bobby Edwards who participated in the presentation took the pictures and wrote the following:

The Guidon/Colors Project was conceived of by Terry Kearney, and through his research and efforts to duplicate the recognition of the Unit's Awards with Streamers, Terry worked with a Flag Company to Recreate the Accomplishments of a Unit's Proud History. The 6924th Guidon and Streamers were introduced at the 6924th Tucson Reunion in September. It was at the Reunion that Terry Pledged to Take the Guidon to the Wall and to recognize our Fallen Brother, Paul W. Anthony.

Through Terry's Determination, Efforts, and Commitment - This Project was realized.

A Military Unit's Colors carries the Greatest Sacred Trust and Respect by the Members Who Served, and by Those Who Recognize the Unit's Achievements.

On VETERAN'S Day, November 11th, 2008, I had the opportunity to Spend Some Time with the Major and to Record the Event in Photos. I am Awed by His Love of our Unit and His Continued Dedication in the Preservation of It's Memory.

It is with Great Honor that I Salute His Efforts to Preserve Our History and to Honor the Memory of a Fallen Brother.

Bobby Edwards

Terry's comment at the reunion was as follows: "Our Flag/Guidon pulls together all the experiences, past and present, of all our troops - as much as The Vietnam Memorial pulls together all who served in Southeast Asia. It's time for these two icons to come together."

6924th Guidon at The Wall

Terry Kearney and 6924th Guidon at The Wall

Terry Kearney and 6924th Guidon at The Wall

Farewell PDF can be found here

PDF can be found here

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