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Who Was Pirate Radio DJ Dave Rabbit?
Radio Urban Legend? Hoax? Hero?
NOTE: The information presented in this article has been superceded by the following article: "Vietnam War Pirate DJ Dave Rabbit Has Finally Come Forward" Please refer to it for accurate information on Dave Rabbit - Radio Guide

The story about Dave Rabbit goes something like this: he was an Air Force Sargeant who stayed behind in South Vietnam after serving a one-year hitch in the military. Apparently, he operated a pirate Radio station in 1971 and broadcast a show called "Radio First Termer" for the purpose of serving U.S. service men and women during the end of the Vietnam War.

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Elsewhere on the Web
Audio Cuts of Dave Rabbit

Rabbit aimed his broadcasts at English-speaking personnel in South Vietnam and presented an anti-war stance as an alternative to AFVN. He was known to be pretty raunchy and played what was then referred to as "Acid Rock" music.

Dave Rabbit's real identity has never been established. Some of the people who have been suggested to have been Rabbit include:

  • Robert Abbett (known as Rabbett) who runs "Internet Radio Hawaii", although he denies it. As a matter of fact after seeing this article he wrote me and said:

When it was time for me to go to my draft board things were winding down. As it turned out, I went to the wrong draft board but they registered me anyhow and classified me "1H". I asked what that was and they replied "unclassified." So, I never went to Nam, and could not be David Rabbit.

My nickname Rabbett came from Kindergarten. They put my name on a list like so: R.Abbett and although some kids didn't know what periods were they were able to conjur up a nickname which has stuck till this day.

In the 70's and 80's I used the name Rabbett on air. At WXCI-FM my college station, WDRC-AM & FM when I took over for Otis and at all the stations I worked at in Honolulu - KPIG - Now KIKI FM, KDEO AM, PLR2 - aka WOMN AM, in Hamden (I worked for Jay Crawford), then back to Hawaii and KKUA AM, KQMQ FM, KGU AM, KPOI FM 98 ROCK AND KCCN FM.

I work for a contracting company as an estimator /salesman by day and still run Internet Radio Hawaii out of my house.

  • Radio talk show host, Art Bell, because it is known he operated a Pirate Radio station on Amarillo Air Force base. But that connection is somewhat flimsy.
  • TV host Pat Sajak, who was a Disc-Jockey for the military in Vietnam during the war. Again, this is most likely wild speculation, especially since Sajak was a legitimate military broadcaster.

Not much else is really known about Dave Rabbit except he had an assistant named Pete Sadler, who probably doubled as an engineer and a female named "New Gin", helped out.

Dave Rabbit broadcasted at 69 MHZ on the FM frequency. You can hear some audio of Dave Rabbit here.

- Corey Deitz

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