P-Mountain 1954

FROM: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (age 68, retired), A Frigid Brother of the Knights of the Blue Nose and a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).

I served in Greenland twice, first when in the U.S. Air Force and later as a North Electric Company (Galion, Ohio) employee. These are May 30 through June 6, 1998, memory recollections while reviewing photographs (see photo numbers) taken (with an Argus C3 camera) in 1953 and 1954 in Greenland on P Mountain, the site of the 931st AC&W squadron, and at Site 2, on the Greenland Ice Cap. Additional reflections were made from pictures taken while working with the RCA Service Company at the BMEWS site in Greenland in 1959 and 1960.

AT P MOUNTAIN (1953):

Personal photo from P-Mountain

The rides up and down the long road between P Mountain and Thule Air Base, in the summer and in the winter, provided memorable experiences and sights.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

We were often above the clouds

Personal photo from P-Mountain

Large cement blocks were laid on the tops and along the sides of each large trailer hut like building to hold them down against hurricane like (Phase 3) winds.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

Heat was generated and pumped from a main furnace building through large insulated pipes to each building on the site.

A smaller scale of what was being used at Thule Air Base.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

We operated Collins 99A transmitters maintained by M/Sgt Wysong.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

The antenna towers, guy wires and elements would ice up with two or three inches of snow.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

The antenna elements and towers would often bend or break off because of the weight of the iced snow on them and the strong winds experienced on the top of P Mountain.Personal photo from P-Mountain

 

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

We operated a microwave link to Thule and later operated the voice and teletype carrier system over a buried cable running between Thule and P Mountain.

 

The communication group Airmen, rigged a system so a P Mountain radar operator, upon detecting an unidentified aircraft, could flip a switch to signal the event to key people.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

That switch started a slow pulsing relay that applied flashes of 12 volts to a number of cable pairs at P Mountain. They were wired to bus taillights mounted on the walls at the officers, Airmen and NCO clubs and the mess hall. That same 12-volt signal was tied in to a teletype microwave carrier circuit and extended to the Thule Air Base central office. At that location, a similar pulsing relay and wire cable arrangement was set up to control the same type of flashing red lamps at key locations on the Air Base. It served as an instant alert to key people on and of duty.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

Pfc. Fox, a cigar smoker, worked in the communications group.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

Tommy Sharp was in the communications group. He was a student in communication classes taught by T/Sgt Joe Baude in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain  Personal photo from P-Mountain

S/Sgt Bobby Steel was in the communications group. He was an instructor in the training command with T/Sgt Joe Baude in Cheyenne, Wyoming before they both went to Greenland.

 

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

The radar antenna systems were FPS-3 and MOPS-4 systems.

 

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

The NCO club corner bar was padded on the front side and had a black top. We had an upright refrigerator for our American and Swedish beer.

     

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain  Personal photo from P-Mountain

There were a few guys with musical talent that made up a jazz band that played in the Airmens and NCO clubs. Melcher played trumpet, Francis played drums, Bradley played an upright bass, Spinola played a trombone, Red played a guitar and Baude played a clarinet. I don’t recall who played the accordion; his name may have been Mel or Bud. Vitale was the comedian of the show.

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

His straight man was Papa Bear Andy. They put on some terrific skits.

 

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

While at P Mountain. Most people went down to the Air Base at Thule and visited the Eskimo Sea Village a few miles from the base.

 

 

Personal photo from P-Mountain

Camera bugs had a ball taking pictures of the men, women, girls, boys and dogs of the village.

From the May 15, 1954 P Mt Register, it was noted that P Mt celebrated the 931st AC&W squadrons’ first anniversary on May 8, 1954. Major Donald L. Graff (squadron commander), Col. Charles Downer (Deputy Commander of the 64th Air Division), Col. Bertil Hanson (Deputy Commander – Thule AFB), Lt. Col. Charles Gibson (Deputy Commander 64th Air Division, Maj. James Belton (Commander of the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron), Major William Dyes (Base supply officer) and Capt. Travis M. Greenwood (Senior Pilot from the 318th Fighter Squadron) were guests at the Mess Hall complete turkey dinner celebration.

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