Monday, December 1, 2014

The San Clemente CCT's Support trips to Palm Springs (1970-1972)

The San Clemente (CCT) Support trips to Palm Springs Ca.

Welcome to Palm Springs
Type Of Activity
 Communications Support Trips
Location
Location
 Palm Springs California
Date of Activity
 Nov. 19 1970 to Dec.  27 1971
Coordinates

The CCT was designed to be a quick response highly mobile unit.  We were deployed on several occasions to Palm Springs CA with the President and also provided the Vice President communications support on west coast trips and he would come to Palm Springs several times to play golf.  The Vice Presidents visits were usually pretty simple to set up and once finished required little activity because nothing was scheduled other than short motorcades to and from the golf course.

Vice President Spiro and Mrs. Agnew on Vacation 

19 Nov 70 to Palm Springs CA with Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

Our First visit as a team wasn’t until November of 1970. Vice President and Mrs. Agnew were scheduled to visit for several days and play some golf.  This trip was turned into a full scale deployment of the CCT including all of our equipment as if we were going on an overseas trip. The goal was to set up all of our communications equipment as quickly as possible and establish HF contact with Cactus and establish a phone patch with DCSU Headquarters at Camp David.

 Our Motel in Palm Springs 
As soon as we arrived and checked into our motel, we started to deliver equipment. Our first stop was the GTE Central Office where we would install the Switchboard and Commcenter equipment. This would become the base for telephone, radio, radio paging and data communications.
                                                       /          
 Edom Hill Radio Site                    
Our second stop would be a visit to Edom Hill where we had permanently installed Baker, Charlie and Sierra radio base stations. The San Clemente Detachment had placed these base stations here on President Nixon’s first trip to Palm Springs knowing that there would be many trips, and the only work necessary would be to power them up and test them.  The remote keying lines were ordered to terminate back at the GTE central Office.  We would return to final test everything once we were told that all of the keying lines were installed.

Our final stop that night was back at our motel to start the installation of the HF equipment in a room in the Motel. Early the next morning we would install the antenna on the roof of the Motel and started to power up the two AN/URT-23 SSB radios. I would spend the rest of the day establishing contact with Camp David, Collins Radio, Silver Dollar (Airborne Command Post) and other locations within the Andrews Airways HF system.  Successful phone patches were completed with various individuals and our activity was terminated.

The Hearst Residence Front Entrance   
The next day we visited the Hearst residence where The Vice President and Mrs. Agnew would stay on this visit.  We surveyed the residence and started to set up the USSS Command Post (CP). We completed a radio survey and headed to the Palm Springs International Airport where the VP’s arrival and subsequent departure would take place.
 Palm Springs International Airport
Vice President Agnew and Frank Sinatra Golfing in Palm Springs
Fore!!!!!
The Agnew’s spent several days in Palm Springs golfing with comedian Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra before they returned to Washington D.C. of course when they left we de-installed all of our equipment and returned to El Toro. We spent a total of 10 days in Palm Springs on this the team’s first trip.

Vice President Agnew in the Bob Hope Desert Classic
                         
12th BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC at Bermuda Dunes Country Club
08 February 1971 to Palm Springs with Vice President Agnew

Three members of the San Clemente CCT were sent to Palm Springs set up communications at the residence of Frank Sinatra, where the Vice President would be staying while he was in Palm Springs.  .               
 Frank Sinatra’s estate in Palm Springs 
We also conducted a radio survey of the Palm Springs International Airport where the VP would arrive and depart on Air Force Two, and finally checked out coverage at the Bermuda Dunes Golf Course.

The Palm Springs International Airport
The 12th Annual Bob Hope Desert Classic was held  at the Bermuda Dunes Country Club ran from 10 February to 14 February 1971 with Arnold Palmer winning the tournament.

The Vice President golfing in the 1971 Bob Hope Desert Classic with Bob Hope
A great souvenir from the 1971 Desert Classic         

When the tournament was over the Vice President returned to Frank Sinatra's residence and the next day returned to Washington DC. We did what we always did removed the Communications equipment and returned to El Toro and wait for our next assigned trip.


President and Mrs. Nixon visit the Annenberg Estate

Annenberg estate (Sunnylands)
01 May 71 to Palm Springs CA with President and Mrs. Nixon

The President and Mrs. Nixon went to Palm Springs in May 1971 to play some golf and get away from the press for a couple of days. We received very short notice about the planned trip and loaded our equipment in a rental truck and headed for Palm Springs.
We also immediately contacted the GTE telephone company in Palm Springs to start the installation of the circuits for the radios at Edom Hill and to the Annenberg estate, where we were installing Baker and Charlie Base stations for the USSS. We were getting the radio base stations installed in the grounds keeper’s building when Army One landed with the Presidential Party.

At 12:51 pm the President boarded Army One and flew from San Clemente. to the Palm Springs estate of U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Walter Annenberg.  President Nixon would always stay at the estate of Walter Annenberg the owner of TV Guide, Seventeen and many other publications and was the ambassador to England. The Annenberg estate known as Sunnylands came with everything including an 18 hole golf course situated in Rancho Mirage.

The President was accompanied by several gusts including, his friends Bebe Rebozo and Robert Abplanalp. Shortly after their arrival the President and his party started a round of Golf on the 18 hole course on the 240 acre estate.

Although we had the switchboard and radio equipment ready to go when the President arrived, there was still no circuits installed at the Annenberg estate. After many hours of waiting for the telephone company to install the remote keying lines, we finally tested with the switchboard and finished up at about 4AM and left the estate.  We departed Palm Springs the next afternoon for El Toro. The one thing that I learned during that trip was that I could actually get a few minutes of sleep on the back of a golf cart.

Ariel view of the Annenberg estate complete with an 18 hole golf course
The next morning the President and his guests played another round of golf. I have no idea who won but when they finished they had lunch.

At 1:55 The President boarded Army One and flew from the Palm Springs estate of U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg, back to the Western White House in San Clemente.

After a little more than 24 hours the President was gone and it was time to tear down all of our equipment and return to El Toro and finish the stay at San Clemente.

President Nixon Dedicates the Eisenhower Medical Center 

The Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Desert CA            
November 27 1971 to Palm Springs with President and Mrs. Nixon and Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

The San Clemente CCT made many trips to Palm Springs in support of the President and Vice President. Most of the visits were only golf outings but, on November 27 1971 President and Mrs. Nixon attended the dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital and Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Desert CA.; also in attendance were Mrs. Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew and Governor and Mrs. Reagan all of which had protection details that need access to our communications either directly or indirectly.

We had to install the CP and the WHCA Commcenter in a nearby hotel for the USSS and WH staff. The switchboard was installed in the GTE central office in Palm Springs. There was a radio site on Edom Hill which overlooked Palm Springs Airport, The Medical Center and the Annenberg estate where the President always stayed. WHCA had installed Baker and Charlie base stations that we turned up when a trip was eminent. We also installed FM radios at the USSS CP, close to the speech site.

Bob Hope at the ground Breaking Ceremony (Hope donated the land) for the Eisenhower Medical Center


Bob Hope donated the land for the Eisenhower Medical Center
We had to install the CP and the WHCA Commcenter in a nearby hotel for the USSS and WH staff. The switchboard was installed in the GTE central office in Palm Springs. There was a radio site on Edom Hill which overlooked Palm Springs Airport, The Medical Center and the Annenberg estate where the President always stayed. WHCA had installed Baker and Charlie base stations that we turned up when a trip was eminent. We also installed FM radios at the USSS CP, close to the speech site. 

The President and the First Lady flew by helicopter from the San Clemente Compound helipad, to the Annenberg Estate, Palm Springs, California. The President and the First Lady motored from the Annenberg Estate to the Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California.

Upon their arrival the President and the First Lady were greeted by Mrs. Bob Hope, wife of the comedian and President of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center. The President and the First Lady, then accompanied by Mrs. Hope, went to the speaker's platform. Other guests seated on the platform were: Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, Mrs. Spiro T. Agnew, Governor Ronald W. Reagan (R-California), Mrs. Ronald W. Reagan, Bob Hope, Comedian and Donator of the land for the Medical Center, Paul Jenkins, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center and A. Pollard Simons, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center

President Nixon speaks at the dedication of the Eisenhower Medical Center
Remarks at the Dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California.
November 27, 1971

Mrs. Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew, Governor and Mrs. Reagan, President and Mr. Hope [laughter],1 all of the very distinguished guests who are here on the platform and who are here in the audience:

When one studies, the history of civilizations, he finds that one of the most difficult problems every society has is to find an appropriate way to honor their great men. Sometimes a statue is built. Sometimes a building is named, a street, many appropriate ways have been found.

Mrs. Bob Hope was president of the board of trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center.

In the case of President Eisenhower, so many ways would have been appropriate. Here was a man who in the whole history of war led the greatest armies to the greatest victory and so he could have been a man on horseback a military statue that could have been his memorial.

But, as the Vice President has so eloquently said, this is the most appropriate way to honor this man. It is what he would have wanted.

I recall, as Mrs. Eisenhower will, those last days in Walter Reed. And while physically he became weaker and weaker, mentally and spiritually he was stronger and stronger. I remember right to the last, where he wanted to go more than anyplace else in the world was back to Palm Springs. Oh, he loved Burning Tree and he loved Augusta and all the other places where he played golf, but his heart was here, here because of this place, the people that he knew.

And so from a personal standpoint, the man honored by this building, this institution, would have wanted it right here in this place, the place he loved so much.

But then, as we look at it in other terms, we find that President Eisenhower was a unique history figure, unique in the sense that he was a great leader in war--considering the size of wars, the greatest in history because of the armies that he led to victory--but also he had the opportunity, and met that challenge so well, to lead in peace. As President of the United States, he ended a war and kept America out of war for 8 years, and that is a great legacy for a man.

So this magnificent building behind us, the first of a number that eventually, probably, will be built here, memorializes this man who was a victor in war, but this man whose greatest contribution was to peace. And so this institution will be here to preserve life, not to destroy it, and that is what he would have liked and that is the way that we, very appropriately, honor him on this occasion and in the years ahead.

As we dedicate this building, I would finally suggest that we dedicate ourselves to the great challenges that lie ahead. We enter what we hope may be a period in which the United States can be at peace, not just for a few years, but perhaps for a generation; perhaps longer.

Building a generation of peace or a century of peace is, of course, a great task. But how we use that peace, what we do with it, is equally a very great challenge. We must see that America is physically healthy. This building and the men and women who will work in it will contribute to that goal.

We must see that America is economically healthy, and that means building a kind of prosperity that depends on peace and not on war; the kind of prosperity that we last had in 1955 and '56, when President Eisenhower was President.
And finally, building a people and a nation that is morally and spiritually healthy. The Eisenhower legacy speaks to that great challenge as it does to the others.

And so on this occasion, we as Americans, thinking of one of our great men, thinking of this institution that honors him, dedicate ourselves to the tasks ahead: of building a strong, healthy, vigorous America; meeting the challenge of building a world of peace for us, and for all people in the world.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Note: The President spoke at 11:44 a.m. at the hospital building.
Land for the Medical Center was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hope, and funds for the nonprofit hospital were given by trustees and friends of the hospital. The hospital was the initial stage of a medical complex that will include research and teaching facilities.
_______________________________________________________________________________

On November 26, 1971, the White House released a fact sheet on the hospital.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Citation: Richard Nixon: "Remarks at the Dedication of the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Desert, California." November 27, 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=3237.
___________________________________________________________________________

The Dedication Ceremony
When the Ceremony was over The President and the First Lady toured the Eisenhower Memorial Hospital with: Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, Vice President and Mrs. Agnew, Governor and Mrs. Reagan Mr. and Mrs. Hope, and James M. Taylor, Executive Director of the Eisenhower Medical Center The President and the First Lady greeted a group of approximately ten medical and health publication editors and publishers.
       
A tour of the facility and a small reception followed the dedication
The President and the First Lady accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Hope then departed the Eisenhower Medical Center and motored from the E1 Dorado Country Club, Palm Springs, California. I was driving the WHCA Press car and was included in the official motorcade, the President greeted persons along the motorcade route during a brief and unscheduled stop.  The motorcade then preceded to the dining room in the E1 Dorado Country Club, where he greeted, The Vice President, Governor Reagan, Frank Sinatra, and Mr. Hope among some other guests. The President had lunch and then the Presidential party n proceeded to the golf course to play 13 holes of golf.
                          
The President and Bob Hope enjoy a round of golf 
The Nixon’s return to San Clemente
I was monitoring radio traffic all afternoon and finally at about 4:30 pm the President and the First Lady left the El Dorado Country Club to the helipad at the Annenberg Estate. The President and First Lady flew by helicopter from the Annenberg Estate, Palm Springs, California, to the helipad at the San Clemente Compound.

It was time to retrieve all of our equipment and return to Our facility at El Toro MCAS.

Vice President and Mrs. Agnew Vacation with Bob Hope

The Vice President's arrival on AF-2

 27 Dec 71 to Palm Springs CA with Vice President and Mrs. Agnew

Vice President Agnew scheduled a golfing vacation in Palm Springs, which would include New Year’s Day of 1972. Three CCT members were sent to Palm Springs where we met with the Staff Advance and USSS agent to discuss the VP’s Itinerary.  After checking into our rooms at the Motel we made a radio survey to insure coverage at Bob Hopes residence where the VP and Mrs. Agnew would be staying.  


Since the arrival and departure of Air Force Two would be at the Palm Springs International Airport we also tested coverage at the terminal and the ramp where the aircraft would be parked.  We also checked out two golf courses for coverage, Rancho Mirage Country Club, and Tamarack Country Club.
The Rancho Mirage Country Club

The Tamarack Country Club
The Vice President was to play golf with Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope during his stay.


 Frank Sinatra’s estate at the Tamarack Country Club
Bob Hope golfing  with Vice President Agnew
All of the trips we made were pretty routine, but all of them were different in what we experienced. This was my final trip to Palm Springs and I will always remember the resorts and people that we worked with and how they made our jobs easier.

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