WACI - Chicago

by Thomas H. Hunter

Fifth Army Headquarters, Chicago - 1967

Bill Cline, Tom Hunter and Harry Luikart

There is now a radio station operating at 5th Army Headquarters in Hyde Park. This radio station has no official connection with the Army. I built it in my off-duty time at my own expense and operate it with the help of two friends.

We are surprised at the amount of interest our operation is arousing.

Our installation is nearly as large as many commercial broadcast stations. The heart of the station, the studio console, is capable of blending sound from as many as six sources. This includes the studio microphone, two professional turntables and three tape recorders. There are also two additional tape recorders, a volume limiter, a patch panel and several radios including ones for aviation weather and state police. This much comprises the studio which is located in the Madison Park Hotel.

The transmitter is a half mile away at the enlisted men's billets on Cornell Avenue. It is fed programming via a leased telephone line.

Since our transmitting power is minimal and our listening area is only a single building, we are able to operate without a license under the low power communications devices provisions of the Federal Communications Commission's rules and regulations. Actually most of our audience listens to speakers that are connected by wires to a central distribution amplifier in the billets.

Our programming consists of a mixture of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country and western music interspersed with bits of comedy - usually in the form of silly commercials.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly state that, although they are our largest sponsor, I haven't the slightest idea what in the world an adrovdga is. I can only assume that the manufacturer is sincere when he tells us they are delicious with milk and bananas.

Well known to our listeners is the Cline-Youghman feud. This friendly battle arises from the fact that Sergeant Bill Cline (left) wants his program to be more original that Specialist 4th Class Tom Hunter (center), alias Stanley Youghman and affectionately called The Boss, would like.

This dissention and retaliation takes the form of freely disseminated criticism or out-and-out insults in the guise of humor. However, all is in fun for, as you can see, although on the air they are the fiercest of competitors, here they are both grinning, each secure in the knowledge that his show is the better.

The third rogue in this Gallery is Private First Class Harry C. Luikart (right) who is our indespensible odd-jobs man. His many contributions to the station include aiding The Boss to build and install new equipment (a never ending job), spinning records in the absence of our two heroes, shooting publicity photographs (as above) and emptying the official studio wastebasket.

Army photographer Luikart is also actively engaged in helping The Boss to expand operations to include closed circuit television.

We hope that our listeners enjoy our programs even half as much as we enjoy presenting them.

We want to thank our Commanding Officer and especially our First Sergeant for their permission and cooperation with our hobby.