Country Joe's Place

Radio Hanoi Tapes Found in Barn


Reported by Doc Upton

The Vietnam Veterans Radio Network has obtained audio tapes, recorded between 1964 and 1971, of regular daily broadcasts from Radio Hanoi's Voice of Vietnam " American soldiers involved in the war in Vietnam," featuring reporters Thu Houng, better known as "Hanoi Hannah," and Van Tung.

VVRN received the Radio Hanoi tapes, as well as recordings of Radio Peking, from Jack Bock, a WW II vet from Washington state, who had worked as a civilian communications technician in Japan and Thailand during the Vietnam War. In a letter, Jack said he had heard VVRN on Radio For Peace International's short-wave broadcasts, and thought we might be interested in the tapes ... which he had stored in his barn. Jack said he had recorded the tapes, "to get another slant on the news," and pointed to the "charges and counter-charges over the so-called Gulf of Tonkin Incident in August of 1964" as an example ... adding, "Looking back, it is easy to see who was lying."

After receiving the tapes, VVRN's initial review found, as Jack had told us, that they contained a great deal of static and/or interference, including, no doubt, US jamming ... so we contacted Chuck Haddix, Director of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-KC, and he offered to "clean" the tapes for us. However, after hearing a portion of "partially cleaned" tape, and realizing the historical significance of their content, Chuck put us in touch with Les Waffen, Director of the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch of the National Archives. Les told us that the tapes of Radio Hanoi were "very rare", and said that his department had "the equipment and staff necessary to clean the tapes digitally" ... and they did an incredible job!

Except for a change from patriotic Vietnamese music in the earlier tapes to American rock and folk music in the later tapes, the format of Radio Hanoi's Voice of Vietnam remained basically the same over the years, and includes:

Copies of the Radio Hanoi/Radio Peking recordings are available from VVRN.


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