W4YDY Title

WRAL-TV coverage of UNC Basketball team
returning to RDU

March 24, 1957

Click on picture to see large version of picture.

On March 23, 1957, the University of North Carolina won National Basketball Championship by upsetting the University of Kansas in triple overtime in Kansas City.  The next afternoon, I went out to see the team arrive and was surprised by the large crowd of a couple thousand fans.  When I got to the crowd, I saw a WRAL-TV crew with a film camera on top of steps used by aircraft passengers.  They said they needed an audio operator and waved for me to come help them.  I sat under the camera tripod most of the time and operated the audio level for WRAL-TV News anchor Bill Armstrong.  Used the good location to take a few slides with my 35 mm camera.  

A good page by the University of North Carolina tells the story with many pictures of the 1957 team.


01unc_bb_champs1957 02unc_bb_champs1957
1 - Large crowd gathered at the Raleigh-Durham airport to welcome UNC basketball team. 


2 - More of the crowd at the gate and on top of building.   You can see that the boarding gates were not very big and out in the open. 
03unc_bb_champs1957 04unc_bb_champs1957
3 - Small fan has sign "I was never worried" on his stroller.  Another sign in the crowd said "UNC wilted the Stilt" referring to Wilt 'the Stilt" Chamberlain on the Kansas team. 


4 - Crowd on the tarmac waiting for the plane. 
05unc_bb_champs1957 06unc_bb_champs1957
5 - WUNC-TV set up for a live telecast using an RCA TV B&W camera on top of their mobile bus.  In 1957, Channel 4 in Chapel Hill was the only educational station in North Carolina.  This was also before local TV stations had video tape and color cameras. 


6. - Crowd waits.  WUNC-TV was just to the left of our film crew.  Notice in the far background the Air Traffic Control Tower.  Looks very similar to a typical fire tower. 


07unc_bb_champs1957 08unc_bb_champs1957
7 - UNC team airplane landing. 
Sorry about the blurry picture. 
8 - Eastern Airlines Lockheed Constellation taxis with left outboard engine already stopped.


09unc_bb_champs1957 10unc_bb_champs1957
9 - Crowds runs toward plane before it stops.  The pilot had to cut the engines to protect the fans.


10 - The pilot had to stop the aircraft about 100 feet short of where he was suppose to because of the crowd approaching the aircraft. The crew looking out the front door.  It was suppose to stop in front of us so we could get good pictures of the team leaving the plane. You can see the WRAL-TV film camera on the left.


11unc_bb_champs1957 12unc_bb_champs1957
11 - Ground crew trying to move steps to back aircraft door through the crowd.  WRAL-TV News anchor Bill Armstrong starting running with the microphone to the aircraft with the crowd and suddenly his audio was gone.  He outran the mike cord and it disconnected. Wireless mike! What was that!


12 - Team descending the stairs.  Bill did come back close enough to reconnect the mike cable. I don't think the players feet touched the ground until some time later when they got of the plane. 


13 - The crowd had players on their shoulders and walked around the tarmac with them.


14 - One of the UNC players taking a victory ride!   Coach Frank McGuire and All-American Lennie Rosenbluth were not on the plane due to other commitments. 


1957 UNC Champs Return!

W4YDY's H P What's New Amateur Radio Links
Brightleaf ARC Callsign Auto Tags W4QI
W4YDY Mobile Miscellaneous Weather Links

Copyright -2008 W4YDY
Email Address