Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia APO New York 09319
The Ethiopia-United States Mapping Mission was activated on 15 July 1963 having the assigned mission of establishing geodetic control and collection of field classification data in Ethiopia to be used in future mapping programs. At any given time in it's existence an average of 150 officers and enlisted men were assigned to the mission.
Ethiopia-U.S. Mapping Mission was under control of the 64th Engineer Battalion (Base Topographic), and U.S. Army Map Service Special Foreign Activity, which was later changed to U.S. Army Topographic Command (TOPOCOM) Special Foreign Activity. See the Headquarters Italy page for more information.
Headquarters for Ethiopia-U.S. Mapping Mission were in a two-story stucco building located next to the Imperial Golf Club. This building had previously served as offices of Ethiopian Air Lines (before moving their operations from Liddetta Airport to the new Bole Airport). The unit medical facility and mess hall (which also served as a movie theater) were located in a one story building of stone construction. Flight Operations, Supply, and the Motor Pool were all located at Liddetta field, 1/2 mile from the HQ building.
The first floor of the HQ building housed the Personnel Section along with offices for the Commanding Officer, Adjutant, First Sergeant, the Ethiopian Liaison Office, Mail Room, Arms Room, and the unit's Switchboard. Upstairs were the S-3 (Operations) offices along with offices for Army Map Service personnel and a photographic dark room.
The L'American Club was in a building located between the HQ and mess hall; however, due to a fire on 14 February 1967, 'the Club' was only a bar set up off the main lobby in the Mess Hall. During the time the Mess Hall served as the "Night Club" (from late February 1967 through January 1969), there were slot machines and a pinball machine in the lobby.
The mess hall facility also doubled as a movie theater where movies were shown nightly, with matinees on weekends.
Troop quarters (barracks) were adjacent to the mess hall in a one story building, (also of brick and stone construction) which had at one time been stables for the horses of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. The barracks building also housed the unit's Day Room and Library. Most enlisted men lived in the barracks. The unit had a BOQ nearby, and many Officers and NCOs rented homes close to the installation. Tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts were located across the street from the barracks.
The unit's Communications (Commo) shack was in a Port-a-Camp between the HQ building and the L'American Club and later moved to the parking lot across from the HQ building.
The Budget & Finance section also operated out of Porta-Camps between HQ and the Imperial Golf Club.
(information provided by Don Molinelli)
Pictured below is an aerial view of the MM (from right to left): part of the Imperial Golf Club,
the Budget & Finance shack, Headquarters building, Communications shack, the burned out remains of the L'American Club, Dispensary/Mess Hall, four Port-a-Camp buildings, and the Barracks. Behind the treeline near the top left of the photo were the tennis and basketball courts. Photos for a larger view.
ETHIOPIA-US MAPPING MISSION: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (circa 1968)
Click Photo For Larger View
On the first floor were the offices of the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant, the First Sergeant, the Personnel Section, and the Ethiopian Liaison Office. Upstairs were the S-3 offices and Army Map Service (AMS) offices.
FLIGHT OPERATIONS-LIDDETTA AIRPORT
Mapping Mission hangar at Liddetta Airport with H-23 "Hiller" helicopters on the tarmac.
The first L'American Club was completed in the autumn of 1966 but was destroyed by fire after a St. Valentine's Day party in 1967. It was rebuilt and reopened in January of 1969. In the interim, the Club was located in the Mess Hall facilities. (Click the link above for more information)
The Barracks were divided into 3 main bays with an annexed area for higher ranking enlisted men. The Special Services who provided a Library and recreational equipment was also located in this building.
This building held the Mess Hall and Medical Dispensary. It also served as a bar and night club before the L'American Club was built, and then again while the L' American Club was being rebuilt (following the fire in 1967). It also served as a movie theater.