Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Transcription Mystery Disc #72

This transcription disc came in a Columbia 78 rpm sleeve that is probably 20 years older than the recording. Neither side of the disc is labeled in any way and only one side is recorded on at all. That one recording is only 3 minutes long, at 33 rpm and  starting at the outer edge.  It has some oxidation, but plays fairly well and is indeed mostly listenable with no filtering or other manipulation.
The host is very professional sounding.  The first clear phrase to my ear is "Located in Oji, Japan" the phrase is in English so some obvious questions emerge and are immediately answered. At the end of the recording he restates it all more clearly.  "...this is Army Radio Correspondence Specialist 3rd class Roger Dale speaking to you from the 29th Engineer Batalion located at Oji, Japan in central Honshu."

He interviews PFC Thomas P. Needlecorn from Greenville, Ohio who is being discharged the following December. No year is mentioned. Some of the ambient noises make it seem more authentic to me. About two minutes in you start hearing the background you can hear large vehicles, and even distant voices.I cant find a single reference for the surname "Needlecorn" and I suspect I am spelling it wrong, or that it is fake.  But the 28th Engineer Battalion is real and was in japan in an appropriate time frame for this recording to have occurred there as this suggests.  I quote below from  Global Security.org:

"In 1954 the Battalion assumed responsibility for Korea and Okinawa and moved to Tokyo, Japan. There it absorbed elements of the 64th Engineer Battalion and continued its mission of providing topographic support to U.S. and Allied forces in the Pacific Theatre, particularly to combat commands in Southeast Asia"

Lacking a direct date I'll put this recording in the mid 1950s. Admittedly I have seen ones with the exact same label from the mid 1940s, the 33rpm speed really has to put this at no earlier than 1948 so that fits our window nicely. It was probably recorded with at least the intent to broadcast, but it might also have been a discarded take from a practice session.