Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Vice President Resigns (1973)


Vice President Agnew Resigns
Vice President Agnew at one of his many fundraisers

Type of Activity
 Political Resignation
Location
Location
 Washington DC
Date of Activity
 11 Oct 1973
Coordinates
 38°53'51.2"N 77°02'20.9"W

Vice President Agnew Resigns from Office 11 Oct 1973

The announcement that the Vice President resigned from office came as a shock to me and I was saddened because I had worked with his staff and protection detail on many support trips and got to know everyone quite well! I first worked with them right after his nomination at the 1968 Republication Convention spending many days covering various, fund raisers, special events and even several vacation trips to Palm Springs.  My last involvement was at the 1972 National Republican Convention in Miami when I was with the Key Biscayne Communications Detachment. The NIXON/Agnew ticket achieved a resounding victory in the November 1972 election with a land slide defeat of Senator George McGovern.

Re-election victory for the President and Vice President in 1972
Vice President Agnew is sworn in at 1973 Inaugural Ceremony
The Vice President had very little time to enjoy his landslide victory, as a scandal was brewing in the summer of 1973, involving the Vice President. The United States Attorney's Office in Baltimore, Maryland, was investigating allegations that Vice President Agnew, while Baltimore County executive in 1966, had solicited payoffs from contractors doing county business and that as governor of Maryland and later as Vice President he had accepted kickbacks from engineers whose firms had received state contracts, even accepting several $2,000 payments in the Executive Office Building next to the White House.

On July 31, 1973 Agnew's lawyers were handed a letter written by George Beall, United States attorney for Baltimore, informing them that the Vice President was under investigation for conspiracy, extortion, and bribery. At a meeting with Attorney General Elliot Richardson, Agnew denied all the charges, and on August 6, 1973 as the story broke in the newspapers, the Vice President released a statement saying, "I am innocent of any wrongdoing."

Vice President Agnew meets with reporters in front of the federal Courthouse in Baltimore MD
Although President Nixon called Vice President Agnew into the Oval Office and assured him of his support, the White House chief of staff, Alexander Haig, immediately dropped over to Vice President Agnew's office after that conference and suggested to the Vice President that if he were indicted he should consider how it would affect his performance as Vice President—a not so subtle hint to consider resignation.

The Vice President exits the federal Courthouse in Baltimore MD after pleading "No Contest"
In September of 1973, Vice President Agnew began to plea-bargain with the prosecutors, but negotiations dragged on for more than a month as he sought a deal that would not involve any admission on his part of wrongdoing. He tried desperately to get out of the corner: he made an issue of leaks to the press by the prosecutors; he had a meeting with President Nixon, desperately trying to get the President to put pressure on Richardson to agree to a compromise; he asked the House of Representatives to impeach him so that Congress could conduct an investigation. White House aides refused to pressure Richardson, and the Democratic majority in the House refused to impeach Agnew until judicial proceedings had run their course.

The delay was not to Agnew's advantage. He antagonized Nixon by attacking the Justice Department. His standing in the polls was dropping, a sure sign that he was a political liability. An exhaustive investigation of his finances was completed by the Internal Revenue Service, and the prosecutors now had details about his personal life that conceivably could prove embarrassing if they were revealed.

Vice President Agnew’s letter of resignation to the President
Between October 5 and October 9, 1973 Vice President Agnew's lawyers and justice department lawyers cut a deal, which on October 8, 1973 was agreed to by a federal judge. On October 10, 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew officially resigned from office.

Vice President Agnew’s letter of resignation 
New York Times Headlines on Oct 11, 1973  
With Vice President Agnew out of the way, President Nixon named Congressman Gerald R. Ford (R-MI) as his nominee for vice president. Two days before the Presidents announcement, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned his office after being convicted of tax evasion charges unrelated to Watergate. Congressman’s Fords nomination was received by Congress with great enthusiasm and strong bipartisan support.

Gerald Ford is sworn in as the new Vice President
 With the resignation and succession crises resolved, attention once again turned to the long-simmering Watergate crisis. It would only take another eight months of intense scrutiny for Watergate to bring down the entire Nixon administration leading to President Nixon’s Resignation in 1974.
After he resigned, Vice President Agnew and Judy moved to a winter home at the Springs Country Club in Rancho Mirage. By then, the Agnew’s had visited the Coachella Valley numerous times and had become friends with Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra. They avoided publicity and lived a quiet, reserved country-club style life. He played tennis and golf. Neighbors recall seeing him bicycle around Rancho Mirage, dine at local restaurants and party, often at the Sinatra compound.

The Vice President’s resignation and Gerald Fords swearing in as the new Vice President would be the last major event that I would be a member of WHCA. I was discharged at Andrews AFB on December 10, 1973.

I had experienced so much history of the 1960’s and 1970’s, from the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and the antiwar protests, the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the ensuing civil unrest at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the San Clemente Western White House, the historic trip To China, the Florida White House in Key Biscayne, the end of the Vietnam war including the return of the POW/MIA’s, the Watergate break in, the cover up and the resignation of the Vice President!  There are so many details that I have forgotten, but so musch that I can remember to say that I was very proud to have served as a member of the White House Communications Agency for over nine years.           

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Republican National Convention in Miami Beach FL (1972)


1972 Republican National Convention
The President and Vice President accept the 1972 Nomination
Type of Activity
 Acceptance Speech
Location
Location
 Miami Beach Convention Center
Date of Activity
 23 August 1972
Coordinates
 25° 47′ 42″ N, 80° 8′ 0″ W

Republican Convention: Miami Beach, FL August 21 to 23, 1972

I was transferred from the San Clemente CCT to the Key Biscayne Communications Detachment in July of 1972 and had just got my family settled when we started to prepare for the 1972 Republican Convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center only a few miles away from the Nixon’s Key Biscayne White House compound.

I arrived just in time to start preparations to provide support to the President, First Family, Vice President, Senior Staff and representatives from the Committee for the Re-Election of the President who were setting up their operations at the Doral Hotel also on Miami Beach.

The Miami Beach Convention Center Site of the 1972 Republican National Convention
The 1972 Republican convention was not originally scheduled to be held in Miami Beach, but rather in more summer-friendly (and drivable from Nixon’s Western White House) San Diego. But when the GOP could not effectively negotiate with the owner of the San Diego Sports Arena and with the threat of massive antiwar demonstrations, the Republican National Committee decided that Miami Beach would be better place for their convention, they had already set themselves up for two conventions in the previous four years and Miami Beach had the hotel space and phone lines to accommodate them. Not to mention Nixon’s other summer home on Key Biscayne.

The Key Biscayne compound had a well-established communications network already used to provide support for the entire staff necessary to set up and conduct the National Convention and at the same time support the President Vice President their families as well as the President's Senior Staff. WHCA provided additional resources to enable us to provide 24hr support in the communications center, switchboard and the radio console in the Key Biscayne Compound. The Convention Center was set up for the numerous networks and broadcast audio including visual feeds necessary to cover the entire Republican Convention. FM Radio coverage for the USSS throughout Miami Beach and surrounding areas was thoroughly tested, and a regular scheduled courier service was established between the Key Biscayne Compound, Republican National Headquarters at the Doral Hotel and the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The antiwar protesters were assembled at Flamingo Park organized by Ron Kovic of “Born of the Fourth of July” fame, and his band of Vietnam Veterans against War if the GOP had held its convention in California; it would have made for a much shorter trip. As it was, Kovic as well as thousands of others, including Jane Fonda made the trek across the south to Miami Beach. Of course these protesters were not as peaceful as they were at the 1972 Democrat Convention held a few weeks earlier in Miami Beach.

Ron Kovic and Jane Fonda lead the antiwar protests in 1972
Ron Kovic and Jane Fonda lead the antiwar protests in 1972
The 1972 Republican National Convention was opened on August 21 1972 by the convention chairman by then-U.S. House Minority Leader and future Nixon successor Gerald Ford of Michigan.

The President arrived at the Miami International Airport on Aug. 22 1972 and The President addressed the assembled crowd on a nationwide radio and television broadcast. The Presidential Party then departed aboard Marine One for the Key Biscayne Compound.

Later that evening the President motored from the Key Biscayne Compound to the Miami Marine Stadium (a four minute drive), where the President addressed the young people attending, a Presidential Nomination Rally, sponsored by Young Voters for the President. Since President Nixon participated in very few public gatherings, because of the increased security concerns. The public rally at the Miami Marine Stadium was the exception to the rule for the President. The President's address was also broadcast live at the Republican National Convention and on nationwide radio and television. 

The Miami Marine Stadium and floating stage where President Nixon and Sammy Davis Jr appeared at a public rally
Sammy Davis Jr gives President Nixon a hug
The defining moment was when Sammy Davis Jr. introduced the President: “The President and Future President of the United States of America!” When Nixon came onto the stage, Sammy Davis Jr. hugged him.

Aug. 23, 1972 would be a very busy day for all of us because the delegates would place their ballots for the Republican Nominee for President and Vice President who would give their acceptance speeches that evening.

First Lady Pat Nixon behind her is Senator Bob Dole of Kansas
and Governor Ronald Reagan of California
First Lady Pat Nixon addressed the delegates at the 1972 Republican National Convention; she was the first, First Lady since Eleanor Roosevelt to address a party convention, and the first Republican First Lady to do so.

Inside the Miami Beach Convention Center awaiting President Nixon's acceptance speech
Vice President Spiro T. Agnew introduced the President to the delegates attending the 1972 Republican National Convention.

The President and the First Lady went to the speaker's podium. They were accompanied by: Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Cox, Lt. (jg.) and Mrs. David Eisenhower. The President announced his acceptance of the 1972 Republican Presidential nomination to the delegates attending the National Convention. The address was broadcast live on nationwide radio and television. John Cardinal Kro1, Archbishop of Philadelphia, then joined the President on the speakers’ platform to deliver the benediction.

Richard Nixon wins the Republican Nomination in 1972
When the Convention was adjourned the President and the First Lady participated in a reception line with convention delegates, alternates and guests. Also receiving guests were Mr. and Mrs. Cox and Lt. (jg.) and Mrs. Eisenhower.

The President and First Family returned to The Key Biscayne compound on Marine One well after midnight.  Although it was a very long day for everyone involved we were all glad that it was over and we could return to our normal activities.

The next day the Presidential party departed aboard “the Spirit of 76” for an extended stay at the Western White House in San Clemente.

The President’s approval was at an all-time high emphasizing a good economy and his successes in foreign affairs, such as coming near to ending American involvement in the Vietnam War which would come to an end in 1973 and establishing relations with China in 1972. President Nixon would decisively defeat Senator George McGovern in upcoming November election receiving 60.7% of the popular vote. He received almost 18 million more popular votes than Senator McGovern, the widest margin of any United States presidential election.

After the 1972 Presidential Election a dark cloud was forming that would shake the Nixon Administration to its core. The Watergate break in occurred in Jan. 1972 and continued to cause controversy surrounding the White House. The Watergate investigation would reveal that the President had WHCA install a voice recording system in the White House and other locations that would produce enough incriminating evidence that would eventually lead to the firing of the Senior Staff, and eventually the President’s resignation on Aug 9, 1974.




Friday, July 3, 2015

The President's Trip to Santa Catalina Island


The President's Trip to Santa Catalina Island

The Casino in Avalon on Catalina Island 

Type of Activity
 Boat Excursion to Santa Catalina Island
Location
Location 
 Santa Catalina Island CA
Date of Activity
 August 28 and 29 1971
Coordinates
 33° 23′ 0″ N, 118° 25′ 0″ W

28 and 29Aug 1971 to Santa Catalina Island CA   

Santa Catalina Island, often called Catalina Island, is a rocky island off the coast of California. The island is 22 miles (35 km) long and 8 miles (13 km) across at its greatest width. Catalina Island is located about 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of Los Angeles, California.
The total population as of the 2010 census was 4,096 people, 90 percent of whom live in the island's only incorporated city, Avalon. There are only two ways that you can travel to the Island, by boat or by flying into the Airport in the Sky. When WHCA made their radio survey of southern California and Orange County it was discovered that a site on Catalina Island would line of sight to cover all of the beach areas from San Clemente, Laguna Beach, and north to Newport Beach. Most of the Senior Staff, Staff, and representatives of the Press would stay in these beach cities while they visited the Western White House.
We installed radios on Blackjack Mountain which is the second highest point on the island, at 2,010 feet, inside a fenced-off AT&T communications installation. Over the period of time that I spent working in San Clemente we made numerous trips by helicopter to Catalina island to perform preventive maintenance on the radio base stations and make sure that we had sufficient coverage should the President visit Avalon.

 Black Jack Mt. radio site

.WHCA radio site overlooking Catalina Airport
To the best of my recollection the President and Mrs. Nixon choppered on Marine One to Catalina Island on Jan 8 1971 and they were greeted by the Mayor of Santa Catalina, Harvey Cowells. The President toured the Island and then after only a few hours departed on Marine One and returned to San Clemente.

Approaching Catalina Island's Airport in the Sky
Airport in the Sky Main Terminal
On Aug 28, 1971 the President accompanied by Mr. C.G. (BEBE) Rebozo departed the Western White House on Army One in route to Newport Beach CA. Landing at the Newporter Inn helipad. The President, and Mr. Rebozo, motored from the Newporter Inn to the Balboa Bay Club, also in Newport Beach. This is where the Mojo was docked.

The Newporter Inn in Newport Beach CA
Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach CA
For twenty plus years the “Mojo” was berthed at the Balboa Bay Club. Prior to and during the Presidency of Richard Nixon enjoyed cruising the harbor aboard the “Mojo.” It was amusing to watch the Secret Service follow along in much smaller boats to ensure the President’s security. The President was greeted by Frank Muller, retired Los Angeles businessman and owner of the yacht Mojo. Also on board were the Presidents Dr., his personal staff and the Military Aide.

The President on board the Mojo enroute to Santa Catalina Island
 The Presidential party cruised from the Balboa Bay Club Newport Beach, California via Avalon Bay, Santa Catalina Island, California, to Jew Fish Point, Santa Catalina Island, California.

The President, and Mr. Rebozo, went ashore to swim from the beach at Jew Fish Point, When the President and Mr. Rebozo returned to the Mojo they were joined by television writer and producer Paul, W. Keyes. 

Once aboard they cruised along the eastern coast of Catalina Island, and finally the Mojo anchored for the night at White Cove, Santa Catalina Island, California. The Secret Service agents guarding the President followed him everywhere never losing sight of him.

Avalon Bay at Catalina Island
         One of the secluded beaches along the Catalina coast
 The next morning the Presidential party cruised along the northwest shore line of Santa Catalina Island aboard the Mojo they then cruised to San Pedro Harbor, California where they had lunch. They then cruised to the Newport Beach Coast Guard dock, Newport Beach, California.

The President shook hands and chatted with people in the crowd which included Coast Guard personnel, press reporters and photographers and got into the Limo and motored back to the Newporter Inn and immediately departed on Army One for the Western White House.

Radio Coverage tor the two days that the President was flawless, the installation of radios on Catalina Island really paid off on this trip!




Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Presidents visit to the Ocean Reef Club (1972-1973)


President Nixon’s visit to the Ocean Reef Club
Entrance to the Ocean Reef Club on Key Largo FL

Type Of Activity
 Boat Cruise
Location
Location
 Key Largo FL
Date of Activity
 11 November 1972
Coordinates
 25°19'13.0"N 80°16'42.0"W

Multiple visits 1972/1973 to Key Largo FL to support President Nixon

Whenever the Nixon’s came to the Florida White House for the weekend they would always relax with the Presidents friends, Bebe Rebozo and Robert Abplanalp. They would go usually go to the Bahamas, play Golf locally, or take a boat ride on Mr. Robozo’s house boat the Coco Lobo III!  This weekend would be no exception the Presidential party would go by boat to the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, which was approximately thirty miles south of the Key Biscayne Compound.

We were very familiar with the Ocean Reef Club because Mr. Rebozo owned a villa at the club and we did quite a bit of work installing the stereo equipment and ceiling speakers in the house and the outdoor speakers’ poolside.  We were always sent down to the villa in advance of the President arrival to make sure that the TV and Stereo equipment was fully functional. We would check the pool heater and other mechanical equipment in the house.
"Wolf Hound" Volga 70 Hydrofoil (2008)
The President and Mr. Rebozo first went boating on the Volga 70 Hydrofoil (which was given to the President by Russian Premier Brezhnev after his trip to Russia).  We had un-officially assigned the hydrofoil the codename of Wolf Hound.  After about an Hour cruising in Biscayne Bay the President and Mr. Rebozo returned to the dock and then boarded the Coco Lobo III.
The President and Mr. Rebozo on the Coco Lobo III
Departing the dock at Key Biscayne on a cruise to North Key Largo, FL
The President would then cruise to North Key Largo Docking at the Ocean Reef Club where they motored to Mr. Robozo’s villa. The Coco Lobo III then returned to Key Biscayne. The President and Mr. Rebozo were greeted by Robert H. Abplanalp when they arrived at the villa. They then watched a college football game and ate dinner.  After dinner the President, Mr. Rebozo and Mr. Abplanalp motored from the Ocean Reef Club to the North Key Largo helipad and returned to the Key Biscayne Compound on Marine One.  
Cruising and fishing on the Coco Lobo III was a common occurrence every time the President visited the Florida White House.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

President Nixon's Visit to the Peoples Republic of China (1971/1972)


President Nixon Announces his Visit to China

NBC Studios in Burbank CA

Type Of Activity
 Televised News Conference
Location
Location
 Burbank CA
Date of Activity
 July 15 1971
Coordinates
 34°09'14.7"N 118°20'00.5"W

15 Jul 1971 President Nixon his announces upcoming trip to China

The President and first Lady arrived in San Clemente on July 3rd 1971 for an extended stay at the Western White House. At the time we were unaware of what would come in two weeks. The President’s trip was pretty routine without many side trips and seemed more like a working vacation as the Senior Staff was very busy. On July 13th Henry Kissinger arrived and participated in a series of meetings with the President and the Senior Staff. 

The next day the CCT was told to get ready to leave for the NBC Studios in Burbank CA. for a live national TV and Radio broadcast that the President would conduct! As we departed no one on the team knew the magnitude of the pending press release.

I had been to NBC Studios on a couple of occasions prior to this visit so I had a basic knowledge of the physical layout! During the 1968 Presidential election I was in CA supporting Candidate Nixon.  He was planning to do a spot on Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh In” and I needed to make sure that the Secret Service had radio coverage for security of the then Candidate Richard Nixon. I knew that the warehouse had easy access to the roof so we set up our base stations in a small room in the warehouse.  We surveyed the studio where the President would Speak and started to prepare for the broadcast!

The President and Henry Kissinger arrive at NBC Studios with HR Halderman and Ron Ziegler
The President and Dr. Henry Kissinger with the Senior Staff departed San Clemente aboard Marine One and arrived at NBC Studios at 6pm.

At 7:30 pm during a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stunned the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-Chinese relations.

“It was such a shock,” longtime CBS anchor Dan Rather said, “that President Nixon, the quintessential Cold Warrior, was changing colors, as it were.”

The shock of the announcement unleashed a barrage of opinions, both in favor of the trip and against it, with most somewhere in between. The presidential visit the following February, however, would produce one of the most lasting shifts in the international order in generations — one that reverberates ever stronger to this day.

The President Announces his Planned Trip to China
231 - Remarks to the Nation Announcing Acceptance of an Invitation To Visit the People's Republic of China.
July 15, 1971

Good evening:

I have requested this television time tonight to announce a major development in our efforts to build a lasting peace in the world.

As I have pointed out on a number of occasions over the past 3 years, there can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People's Republic of China and its 750 million people. That is why I have undertaken initiatives in several areas to open the door for more normal relations between our two countries.

In pursuance of that goal, I sent Dr. Kissinger, my Assistant for National Security Affairs, to Peking during his recent world tour for the purpose of having talks with Premier Chou En-lai.
The announcement I shall now read is being issued simultaneously in Peking and in the United States:

Premier Chou En-lai and Dr. Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's Assistant for National Security Affairs, held talks in Peking from July 9 to 11, 1971. Knowing of President Nixon's expressed desire to visit the People's Republic of China, Premier Chou Enlai, on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China, has extended an invitation to President Nixon to visit China at an appropriate date before May 1972.

President Nixon has accepted the invitation with pleasure.

The meeting between the leaders of China and the United States is to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries and also to exchange views on questions of concern to the two sides.

In anticipation of the inevitable speculation which will follow this announcement, I want to put our policy in the clearest possible context.

Our action in seeking a new relationship with the People's Republic of China will not be at the expense of our old friends. It is not directed against any other nation. We seek friendly relations with all nations. Any nation can be our friend without being any other nation's enemy.

I have taken this action because of my profound conviction that all nations will gain from a reduction of tensions and a better relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

It is in this spirit that I will undertake what I deeply hope will become a journey for peace, peace not just for our generation but for future generations on this earth we share together.

Thank you and good night.


Note: The President's remarks. were broadcast live on radio and television at 7:31 p.m. from the NBC studios, Burbank, Calif.


Citation: Richard Nixon: "Remarks to the Nation Announcing Acceptance of an Invitation To Visit the People's Republic of China." July 15, 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=3079.

The President’s handwritten notes from that day, before delivering his announcement:
Nixon undertook his historic visit to China the following year, thus beginning a long and slow process of normalization of relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. The immediate diplomatic and political rewards of Nixon’s initiative were not readily apparent. The war in Vietnam dragged on until January 1973, with the Chinese apparently having little, if any, impact on North Vietnam’s negotiating stance. Nixon’s trip to China did inspire a good deal of anxiety in Moscow, but whether the policy of detente was helped or not is debatable. The 1972 trip was certainly front-page news in the United States, and may have been one small factor in Nixon’s resounding victory in the presidential election of that year.

 NBC Studios site of President Nixon’s announcement that he was going to visit China in March of 1972
When the broadcast was finished the Presidential party departed the NBC studios for dinner at Perino’s Restaurant in Los Angles. 

We were notified at 10pm that the President had departed Los Angles and was headed back to San Clemente. At which time we began to tear down our equipment and load it on trucks to return to our shop at El Toro MCAS.

This event was only the beginning of the involvement that the San Clemente CCT would be associated with the President’s trip to China.  In Oct 1971 we were dispatched to Hilo HI to support Henry Kissinger when he flew to Beijing to finalize the President’s visit and the team was sent to Guam where we provided communications support while the President stopped in route and return from his visit as well as being back-up for the people working on mainland during the entire visit!

The Kissinger Advance Trip To China Hilo Hawaii

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Hilo, HI

Type of Activity
Communications Support Trip  
Location
Location
Hilo HI
Date of Activity
13 Oct 1971
Coordinates
 19°42′20″N 155°5′9″W

13 October 1971 to Hilo Hi with Henry Kissinger

In July 1971, President Nixon's National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, secretly visited Beijing, and laid the groundwork for Nixon's visit to China. The world discovered that Kissinger had just returned from a secret mission to China. Nixon then announced that he, the president of the United States, had accepted an invitation to visit China.

On October 13, 1971 the San Clemente CCT was sent to Hilo, Hi to support Dr. Kissinger during his final trip to China prior to the President’s visit in February, 1972. The CCT set up a single position mini switchboard, and a secure Comm. Center in the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, where Dr. Kissinger would lay over for a couple of days before continuing on to Peking. There were several Autovon circuits and some TTY circuits terminated on the switchboard for use by the small staff that was traveling with Dr. Kissinger.

We departed Hilo on October 18, 1971 after Dr. Kissinger returned from his meeting in China.

When we left Hilo it was on an old Air Force trainer and we flew directly to Hickam AFB in Honolulu. Since we could not arrange for Air Force transportation, we had to arrange for our return on a commercial airliner. After we booked ourselves on a return flight the next day we checked into the Ala Moana Hotel for the night. 


Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu HI
There were several things that we had to do before boarding the Aircraft. Since we were carrying classified material and Comm. Center equipment we were required to notify them that we were armed and order a Sky Marshal for the flight. Then we had to supervise the loading of the equipment into the cargo hold to insure that it was secured and nothing else was loaded.

Upon our arrival in Los Angeles we were the first off to watch our equipment unloaded from the plane.

On October, 25 1971, just five days after Dr. Kissinger returned from this trip to China the UN General Assembly expelled Taiwan and admitted the Peoples Republic of China.


 Peking China    
 President and Mrs. Nixon arriving in China
Coordinates:                                   39°54′50″N 116°23′30″E
Country
 China
Settled
 473 BC
Elevation
 43.5 m (143 ft.)
Population    (2009) 
 22,000,000


21 to 28 February 1972 President Nixon Visits China

U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC, who at that time considered the U.S. one of its staunchest foes. The visit has become a metaphor for an unexpected or uncharacteristic action by a politician.

Improved relations with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China are often cited as the most successful diplomatic achievements of Nixon’s presidency. After World War II, Americans saw relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorating, Russians consolidating communist puppet states over much of Eastern Europe, and China teetering on the edge of communism. Many Americans felt concern that communists might cause the downfall of schools or labor unions. One of the main reasons Richard Nixon became the 1952 Vice-president candidate on the Eisenhower ticket was his strong anti-communism stance. Despite this, in 1972 Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China while in office.

President Nixon and his advisers on AF1 in route to China

From February 21-28, 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Almost as soon as the American president arrived in the Chinese capital he was summoned for a meeting with Chairman Mao who, unknown to the Americans, had been ill nine days earlier but was at that point feeling strong enough to meet Nixon. Secretary of State William P. Rogers was excluded from this meeting and the only other American present was National Security Council staffer (and later U.S. Ambassador to China) Winston Lord. To avoid embarrassing Rogers, Lord was cropped out of all the official photographs of the meeting. Although Nixon was in China for a week, this would be his sole meeting with the top Chinese leader.

 Chairman Mao and President Nixon
The Nixon’s arrival in China
Nixon held many meetings with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during the trip, which included visits to the Great WallHangzhou, and Shanghai.

The Nixon’s tour the Great Wall of China
The Nixon’s tour the Great Wall of China

At the conclusion of his trip, the United States and the PRC Governments issued the Shanghai Communiqué, a statement of their foreign policy views and a document that would remain the basis of Sino-American bilateral relations for many years. Kissinger stated that the U.S. also intended to pull all its forces out of the island of Taiwan. In the communique, both nations pledged to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations.

 Letter of Appreciation
Certificate of Membership
President's Travel Itinerary

Destinations
Dates
Purpose
Agana Guam
February 20-21, 1972
Rest stop in route to China
Shanghai, Peking, Hangchow
 People's Republic of 
China
February 21-28, 1972
State visit; met with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou En-Lai.

WHCA’s Role in the President’s Trip to China 

On February 10, 1972 the San Clemente CCT departed for Guam which is an island in the western Pacific Ocean and is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Agana is the island's capital. Our primary mission was to set up a support base that would be able to quickly respond to any personnel or equipment emergencies that might occur during this trip. 

Agana the Capital of Guam
B-52 departing Andersen AFB to Vietnam
We arrived at Andersen AFB early in the morning on February 11, 1972, as soon as we unloaded all of our equipment and got settled in the hotel. We met with some government and military personnel to find locations suitable to install our communication equipment. Andersen was the perfect location because of its tight base security. 

From early 1972, Andersen AFB was the site of one of the most massive buildups of air power in history. The influx of bombers, crews, and support personnel pushed Andersen's military population past 15,000. Over 150 B-52's lined all available space on the flight line. 

We utilized three locations on Andersen to set up the mini switchboards, the crypto equipment in the Comm. Center, and the HF SSB and FM radios. Since the arrival would take place at Andersen and the President and Mrs. Nixon would stay in a nearby private residence. We decided to install Baker/Charlie and Sierra base stations in the same building as the Switchboard and Comm. Center. This would make it an easier installation for the keying lines to the radio consoles and paging system that terminated at the switchboard... 

We installed a URT-23 HF Transmitter with two R-1051 receivers to work with the WHCA people on mainland China. We were given a schedule of specific dates and times that we were allowed to test on our assigned frequencies. Once we completed testing we went to 24hr coverage on all communications activities 

R-1051 SSB Receiver 
URT-23 1KW SSB Transmitter
The WHCA Mini-switchboard
The President arrived on February 20, 1972 and spent the evening on Guam before continuing his flight to mainland China. 

The President, Mrs. Nixon, Dr. Kissinger and a few Staff members arrived in Peking on February 21, 1972 to begin one of the most historic events in history. The President would spend seven days in China, during that period of time the WHCA installations on Guam would be the focal point for most of the communications to and from the President and his Staff. 

The Presidents left China on February 28, 1972 and we immediately started to remove our equipment and got ready to load it on a C-141 returning from China with some WHCA personnel. The plane was loaded and we were ready to depart Guam for a couple of days of rest in Honolulu, Hi.


Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu HI

We were all ready for some R&R after spending close to a month preparing and executing this very historical event in history. We spent two days at the Ala Moana hotel on Waikiki in Honolulu.

On March 2, 1972 the San Clemente CCT returned to their home base at El Toro MCAS form Guam and the China trip was over.