7th RRFS Ramasun Station 1997

These are pictures taken by Dick Sapaugh in December 1997 and recovered from Bill Bogart's old 7th Web Site.

The city of Udorn today would not be recognizable by anyone who served there from 1966-76. Udorn is now a very large city with 4 lane streets, traffic signals, 5 star hotels, golf courses, and plenty of traffic jams. I was amazed at the enormous growth since 1976. From our hotel we drove out Friendship Highway, which is now a very busy 4 lane divided highway lined with businesses and stores all the way to Ramasun. The old Udorn Air Base is still functioning as a Thai AF Base but looks very different than it did in 1976. We also drove through some of the areas (e.g. area "B"), opposite the AB, where many GI's lived with their girl friends. Nothing has changed much here, except the old dirt roads are now paved. I believe many of us can remember those dirt roads in the rainy season. As we approached Ramasun, inside the base perimeter fence on the left side of the road, the Thai military have built what appears to be a family housing area and is no longer an open field. I also noticed that all the bars and cafes that previous lined the right side of the road were gone. The buildings were still there but appeared to be commercial businesses. At any rate, I didn't recognize any establishments that the 6924th members frequented.

At the main gate, Kim, John Oles' wife, explained to the MP's that I had previously been stationed at Ramasun and wished to drive around the area. After some haggling and phone calls Kim was successful, and we were allowed to proceed with an MP excort. Most of the buildings in the cantonment area are still standing. Many buildings are being used by the Thai Army and appear to be reasonably maintained, such as the old 7th RRFS Hqs, BOQ, Officers Club, some of the enlisted barracks, gym, PX and Theater. On the other hand, the dining hall, NCO Club, power generators, engineering areas, motor pool, and Senior NCO Quarters are in shambles. Most of these buildings are in ruins having suffered from general neglect, time, and nature.

One amazing sight was the present use of the old Senior NCO Quarters. When I was there, the building was relative new and fully air conditioned. Now it is the base mushroom farm. Can you believe it! The Thai's have gutted the building and even removed all the windows. They have placed burlap bags over the window openings to make the inside dark and covered the floors with water to keep it damp. In the rooms they have installed a rack arrangement of plastic containers into which they have planted mushroom spores. Bingo, in 4 to 6 months they have some beautiful looking Chinese style mushrooms. Really quite amazing, but turning a beautiful building, costing millions of dollars, into a mushroom farm. That was too much. I almost cried.

Next we set off to see the old operations areas, and I almost wish I hadn't. The entire area from the back of the old NCO Club and Sr. NCO Quarters to the back fence, including what is left of the FLR-9 Antenna, was covered in trees, thick undergrowth, and tall grass. A real jungle. The tips of the antenna dipoles, of the FLR-9, are just visible above the jungle. The old Operations Building itself is in total ruin. The roof was collapsed, holes punched through the remaining walls, trees, vines, and brush growing inside what once had been the operations floor and offices. A huge banyan tree was even growing right up through the floor of the big latrine that was located next to the AF Operations area at the end of that long hall. It was just awful. The Thai MP told us that the whole area had been taken over by cobras. It looks as though the snakes have won.

Enough was enough, and we drove away, thanking our Thai MP escort for his help. I was glad we visited Ramasun Station, but at the same time saddened to see how neglect, time, and nature can devastate a once beautiful and productive station. Goodbye Ramasun.


This is a picture of the headquarters building taken from the front. Note the growth of the the trees.
Remember, this photo was taken in December of 1997. That's at least 20 years since the last American
GI's walked from the main gate to their barracks. I almost sense ghosts walking here.

This is, I presume, is a picture of the Air Force enlisted barracks. Again note the growth of foliage.

This is a picture of the Senior NCO barracks. The Thais have ripped out all the windows and covered
them with burlap and poured dirt on the floors. The are growing mushrooms in there.
A 3million dollar mushroom farm.

This was my (Dick Sapaughs) room in the Sr. NCO barracks.....
which is now a mushroom farm....by the way. Note the Thai guard in picture.

This was the new NCO club. Maybe Dick will send me more narrative for this photo.
(Ed. Note: I personally liked the old one better. It had that "Ugly American", "Ricks Place" atmosphere to it.)

FLR-9 from the road to HQ. Trees and other foliage overgrown everywhere.

Another shot of the FLR9 from the road down to Ops.

This is a picture of the front of the Ops building. Yes....unbelievable huh?

Dick says this is a picture of the Ops floor. I assume he means the whole floor minus a lot of walls and stuff.

The old Air Force (zoomie) Ops office.

The old AF S&W center.

The old ASA Operations offices.

The long hallway as seen from the ASA Ops toward the Air Force Ops area.
The Ops floor was on the left and the offices on the right. (Ed. Note: Believe it or not,
one of those two door openings on left were where we 05h's did their "dirty" work.
I showed my wife this picture and told her that's where "it all happened". Got a little choked up!!

 

Richard W Jaslovsky WebMaster