SCATTER SIGHT is most apt for the location of four
200 foot NCS station antennae at Ritidian Point. All
that remains is a mess of tangled, twisted steel and
cable. (NCS Photo)
Thanks to the lessons learned from the passing of Typhoon Allyn in 1949, NCS prepared for the future disasters by constructing permanent, typhoon-proof operational buildings and housing units at Finegayan. These modern buildings came through all Karen could throw at them, and damage was minor. However, many temporary structures were either totaled out or severely damaged.
The antenna "farms" at Finegayan and Radio Barrigada were "a mess," to quote a member of a special rigging crew flown in from NCS Honolulu. The monstrous towers at Ritidian Point are twisted piles of wreckage, knocking out a vital link in the Pacific Scatter Communicatons System. Page Communications Engineers, Inc., personnel had jury-rigged antennae erected hours after the passing of Karen, but damage to the site approaches one million dollars, and repairs will take months to complete.
NCS opened its doors and hearts to its community of neighbors, giving them food and shelter. Thousands of hot meals were served at the Ney Award winning galley, arousing the admiration of the galley's unexpected clientele. Vacant housing was made available, and a few Navy families with damaged housed moved in with neighbors. Power was restored in many housing units just hours after the storm passed, and in a day or so most of NCS housing had utilities again.
NCS is cleaning up and making plans to rebuild, and promises to be bigger and better than ever. New equipment and technicians continue to arrive every day. Navy personnel who lost personal property in the typhoon began submitting claims to six Claims Investigating Officers on November 26, and prompt settlement of claims was assured.
RADM Bernard F. Roeder, Director, Naval Communications, sent the following message to NCS after the storm: "The performance of NavCommSta Guam personnel during and after Karen has been a source of pride to me and everyone in the Navy Communication System. Your work to minimize damage before and during the typhoon and you promptness in getting your facilities on the air after the storm provided the first major communications from Guam. "I should like to congratulate and extend my personal appreciation to everyone concerned for a job well done."