Provided by Free Find

Incidents in Trabzon

Don Eddy

2013-2014 by Author

Contact the Author

[From Webmaster of this site.  I received the following from Don Eddy on 4 Dec 2013.  Formatting it just as Don sent it.]


(This is from Don.)
Good website for Turkey deployments.

I was a linguist, crypto person, and semi-official photographer during Oct 58 to Sep 59 at Trabzon.

In summer 1959, with a couple other guys, we were snorkeling at the "American" beach when two guys threw in a grenade leaving us under water with no use of our muscles; just to rise to the surface.  No one killed, fortunately, and the two guys I did see way down the beach running like hell.

An additional incident shortly after this one was being fired at while riding in a sixXby with several others.  We were thankful for the steel tail-gate.

I have been trying for two years to document these incidents, but to no avail.  Not even buddies could I locate for buddy letters.  Now I'm thinking maybe there might be some base documents in the CO's files.  I cannot even recall or find his name.  I have photos of him (in archives in Colorado) but don't know how to find any records.  All of this to support PTSD claim.

Do you have any suggestions for further searching?  I did not see a single name on the website I recognized.

I do have some BW photos from Trabzon on my Communicating Images website.  (Go to Don's "Communicating Images" website to see Don's Trabzon photos.  [From Webmaster:  Some really great B&W photos of Trabzon, actually some of the best I've seen of that town.  Just wish I could have files for larger photos, and without the watermarks, so I could post them here for all to see.]


Don Eddy
PO Box 2411
Monterey, CA 93942-2411
1-831-224-0313 cell

MAJOR WEB SITE:  Communicating Images
B&W PORTRAITS:  Don Eddy Photography
BOOK DESIGN/PUBLISH:  Monterey Publishing
Blog:  Second Image Cafe
MEMBER:  Editorial Photographers
Flickr:  Don Eddy's Photos

(From Webmaster of this site:  As I receive additional information from Don, and information from others, I will add such information here as I receive it.)

(From Don, 07 Dec 2013:)

Hi George,

Many thanks for your comments and questions. They are mine as well.

I have great difficulty returning calls (almost never) and emails (much better).

I live on SS and a small VA disability in a small motorhome, take meds for bi-polar, and have a support German Shepherd that keeps me out of bed!

I will try hard to answer your questions this coming week.

I have spoken of the incident to several veterans here at the VA Clinic since Feb 2011 including my psychiatrist, who I believe, suggested it might have been a terrorist incident.  That's the first time I heard that possibility since 1959.  That's the reason I am trying to get any info possible.

More later.

[I, webmaster, replied to the above and informed Don that the Commander at Trabzon at the time was a Major Irving.  Don sent the following in reply:]

(From Don, 09 Dec 2013:)


Major Irving? Maybe . . . doesn't ring a gong, only a small bell, but could be.  I have photos of him in my archives, which are in another State.

Over the weekend names have come to me, men I worked with some even from training:

Dave Kostecki;
Waco (nickname, but was excellent trick chief from Waco, TX);
Royce Comer;
James Crawford (Ohio);
Capt. Perez (Ops Officer but totally ignorant of operations!);
Wickersham (cannot recall first name);
Bob Price (chess partner);
Kuntsler (cannot recall first name) who had a horse in a downtown stable as did I;
Frank Alzado (or close to this) (transferred from Germany to get back to the ZI earlier, which was a dumb move!).

Most were in radio intercept (203X1).  Most lived in town for nearly a year until forced to move to the new facilities.  Within a month of that move we all shipped out.  Unbelievable mud hole!  Dining was good, as was the new ice cream place.  But segregation stunk.  Enlisted from NCOs.  Morale went out the window, that's why most of us who had houses in town kept them.  Drinking increased a lot.


[I asked Don what he had meant originally when he said, "...a linguist, crypto person, and semi-official photographer."]

(From Don, 09 Dec 2013:)

20351 for less than one week on the job.  (I was not good at putting down what I was hearing.)

Because I could type, I moved into the section that put the intercepts together for transmission to . . .

I did some work with the crypto and Elint folks who seemed to have problems from time to time.

And work in code breaking for mapping aircraft and radar training of the Soviets to help our people visualize what they were doing.  This enormously cut down TWX and GBL.  Much better data recognition.

Another item was that I was good at time tracking telemetry.

Last couple of months all photography for the CO and PR with local military and politicians.

[I emailed Don and told him that I had found another person who had a horse downtown.  Ron Harmon, who was there from Mar 1958 to Mar 1959.]

(From Don, 10 Dec 2013:)

Nope, no bells; however, I think Harmon has a photo on your website of his horse, which I believe looks a lot like the one my friend Kuntsler had!

Frank Alzado (above) is wrong name on my part.  It's Frank Apadoca.  The one from Germany.


[I, webmaster, finally heard back from someone who was stationed at Trabzon at approximately the same time that Don was there.  The respondent was Lew Culkin, and following is what he had to say about the two incidents to which Don refers.]

(From Lew Culkin, 13 Dec 2013:)

Dear George,

Good to hear from you.

Yes I remember both of the incidents you mentioned in your email, but somewhat differently.  I was not present at either of the events and only got it by scuttlebutt after the events happened.

The swimming incident as I recall being told:  Some of the guys went swimming and some local Turks were fishing using dynamite.  Whether our guys were stunned or not I do not recall.

As for the shooting incident as I recall being told:  It was not a 6x but a weapons carrier.  The radio maintenance guy took the weapons carrier to the radio site on the Boztepe down the road toward the mosque (about a mile).  It was night and dark.  On his way back to the site he saw car headlights coming down the road toward him.  He caught a glimpse of someone waving out the passenger side window and it was a gun.  He laid down across the seat and kept steering straight and the guy shot several rounds thru the windshield.  Our guy was not hurt.  I did not see the weapons carrier.

Don't know if this gives you what you are looking for.

Lew Culkin

[From Webmaster:  So, here we are, two different persons' recollections of events.]

Don says that there were no fishermen with dynamite.  He insists the devices were grenades.  He further states that the vehicle was NOT a weapons carrier, but a 6X truck.

[You can contact me, the webmaster/owner, of this website, here.  Would appreciate hearing from ANYONE who has any information on the two referenced incidents, specifically if anyone can corroborate either of the stories.  Thanks, George Durman.]

[Having corresponded with Don via email since I posted the above, I must say that his recollections are so exact that I give them a lot more credence than I did originally.  George Durman.]