By Billy Williams

Listen to broadcast radio from the combat zone during the later part of America's military presence in Vietnam.


Most who served during the Vietnam War listened to Armed/American Forces Radio. The Saigon AM radio station signed on in 1962 as the U.S. advisory role ramped up.   American combat troops entered the war in 1965.   Signal coverage expanded to eventually include over 95% of South Vietnam as high-powered AM relay stations joined the network.   Armed Forces Radio, Saigon became the Armed Forces Vietnam Network and subsequently the American Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN).

AFVN's sound evolved as the war lengthened.   Audience surveys began in 1968.   Contemporary pop music, rock & roll and oldies gained dominance.   Most easy listening music shifted to AFVN-FM with fewer listeners and less signal coverage.   Censorship controversies during the late 1960s into 1970 apparently led to loosened restrictions later in the war.   AFVN's music library was very extensive and varied. It received standard AFRTS record service.   I only remember one song being officially proscribed, Freida Payne's Bring The Boys Home.   And that prohibition was not always enforced or adhered to.

I worked at AFVN in 1971-72.   These snippets are mostly from airchecks of my daily AFVN radio shows in Danang and Saigon.   A few are from pieces of tape found in AFVN studios.   Audio quality varies.   These sounds were meticulously nursed from 45+ year-old tapes into mp3 files.   Most clips have not previously been circulated.

The most popular AFVN programming was music as my production reflects. It includes brief clips of stateside hits, GI Vietnam "anthems" along with obscure tunes.   For many, the lyrics take on added meaning today.   With 45 years of hindsight, we can better understand our historical role.

If the download doesn't work, an e-mail to n4uf@nofars.net will get you the mp3 file in reply.