A large collection of forgotten records was discovered at the Wake Island Airfield military airport in the North Pacific Ocean.
The collection, consisting of some 9,000 records, has been valued somewhere between $90,000 and $250,000, according to a report from the Air Force public affairs account website. They were stored on base for use by low-power AM military station KEAD.
The collection was stored behind a door with “KEAD” stenciled on the front. It was labeled as a restricted area, which kept out curiosity seekers for many years.
According to Larry Sichter, American Forces Network Broadcast Center affiliate relations division chief, the American Forces Radio Service began sometime in 1942 as a means to deliver American music to troops overseas.
KEAD operated sometime during the 1960s, according to dates found on the records. Wake Island was controlled by the FAA until the mid-’60s, though according to an entry from Patrick Minoughan at www.richardsramblings.com, KEAD was already around in 1963.
“I would guess it wrapped up maybe in the ’70s or with the advent of satellite radio,” said Colin Bradley, communications superintendent with Chugach Federal Solutions Inc., in a press release. CFSI is a contractor operating under the U.S. Air Force to maintain operations on Wake Island.
The 611th Air Support Group’s Detachment 1 is working to preserve the vintage vinyl records and deliver them to their rightful owner, the American Forces Radio and Television Network, located in Alexandria, Va.