FEN HQ - South Camp Drake / Tokyo 1956 and Beyond

Another view of HQ

The original pictures on this page were provided by Sheldon "Shelly" Pivnik. Sheldon served as a Broadcast Engineer at FEN Tokyo. Prior to military service, he was with NBC in New York as a film editor (The old kinescope recordings). After leaving the Army, he went back to school and became an electrical engineer and an attorney. He says he's now "mostly retired but still doing a fair amount of consulting."

Like many of we engineer types, Sheldon holds a First Class Radiotelephone license. That helped him get transferred into FEN from a Signal Battalion in Sendai. He is also an Amateur Radio Operator with callsign WB4VZX (and before that WA2QPF).

Click on any of the thumbnail pictures below to see the full-sized image. You will need to use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.


That's what the letterhead for FEN HQ looked like circa 1956 -- click on the image for a larger and better defined rendering. There are 19 studios and relays shown in here! It shows the network as it existed at the time complete with dial positions. We got easily spoiled by the availability of inexpensive color printing and excellent craftsmanship ! Note the similarity in the logo above and the patch below.


FEN Patch

This is the patch FENers wore circa 1956 on their uniforms for almost two years -- until the Army discovered it was not an authorized patch! (SP photo)


This photo is three members of FEN Tokyo, from December, 1955 taken at the University Club (The Air Force Officers Club) in Tokyo that these gentlemen regularly attended (crashing in civies). Left to right Dana Johnson, Announcer (passed away mid-1999), Bill Garity, an Announcer at FEN Sendai visiting Tokyo, and Sheldon Pivnik, Broadcast Engineer at FEN Tokyo. (SP photo)


Here's Don Robinson, one of FEN Tokyo's announcers, taken in early 1956. (SP photo)


FEN Tokyo Studios taken January, 1956. I remember the walk to and from the studio to the bus stop (not shown in this picture) which was located off to the left of the road at the bottom of this picture.

As I recall, the news, production, and adminstrative areas, and the record library were located in the portion of the building to the right in this picture. Studio A was just beyond the entry way, Master Control (with a view to all studios) and Studio B were central to the structure, and Studio C was at the end of the hallway in the back of the building.

A radio network with no towers in site? Everything went by landline to the transmitters, both AM and shortwave located "down the road" in Momote Village. At least it kept the RF out of the audio gear! But there are some pretty strange stories about the residents of Momote "hearing" FEN in some strange places...    (SP photo)

Group 56

Here's the entire staff, military, civilian, and Japanese working at FEN Tokyo. The photo was taken December, 1955. Sheldon Pivnik is the fourth standing person from the right. Notice that the "FEN" letters are not present in this photo, but the are in the photo taken just two months later.  (SP photo)

By my count, there are 40 smiling faces in this crowd of the Best Broadcasters in the World!


Here's the Japanese production and programming staff at FEN Tokyo, taken April, 1956. From left to right: Tomoko Endo, Mr. Shigemori, and Keioko Sizuki.(SP Photo)

Tom K

Here's a piece about Tom Korzeniowski from the February 15, 1963 issue of the Kanto Plainsman (Courtesy TK)

FEN 1957

Tokyo FEN alumni circa 1957 courtesy of Len Keller

Net Map

The FEN network map courtesy of Len Keller

Koffee Klatsch

"The Koffee Klatsch" program in December 1957.   Dorothy Wiesinger, a writer for FEN, Brooks Connally, producer of the show, and Lt. Leonard Keller, Commanding Officer, Hq. CO., FEN at the time, interviewing Arthur W. Radford (retired).  Photo courtesy of Len Keller

Not Sure

A broadcast from Chitose in 1958.  Len Keller in the center.   Can you help identify the others in the photo?  Courtesy of Len Keller

Not Sure

A great picture taken in October 1951 of the Tokyo staff.   U.S. Army Photo by Captain Charles P. Hoffman GHQ Photo Division ID # FEC-51-35073, 5 October 1951. Photo provided from the collection of Kay Bland, daughter of Roy Howard.

Not Sure

Another great picture from the Kay Bland collection.  This one is of Kay Dale.

Bill Miller

Were you a fan of "Burnt Toast and Coffee Time"?   Click on the picture to the left for more about the host, Bill Miller.

beck.jpg (42059 bytes)

Bob Beck's recollections and contributions are spread throughout the site.  Bob served as a Staff Announcer from 1963 to 1966.  He is the one who proposed "Fundial" and cut the audition tape to expand it to 55 minutes.  He followed that with the "Moondial" format, circa late 1965.  Bob (along with Tom Korzeniowski) were heard in Vietnam long before Adrian Cronauer, as several FEN programs were aired over AFVN.  Bob's Country Club show was aired for a time on AFVN until they got a country music DJ in-country.

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Here's Richard M. Saltzman (Retired Army SFC) who served at Tokyo Station from Nov. '83 to Dec. '86 and ran the news department. He also anchored the network's morning radio news; did sports and anchored the military portion of the hour-long TV news. Richard picked up a "Gold Mike" and Army Keith L. Ware Award in '86 before returning to the states and a rewarding three years as DINFOS broadcast writing instructor. The picture is of the front and an inside page of a Japanese FEN magazine.


This page last modified on Saturday, 25-Oct-2003 10:54:57 EDT

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