I would like to email or talk to anyone who flew into or served at the American airbase at Narsassuaq in Greenland, called Bluie West One. It went into service I believe in 1942 and was a stop for aircraft being ferried from the United States to Britain.
And can anyone suggest why 'Bluie' should have been chosen as a code name for the Greenland bases?
My email address is in the sig file. Thanks!
all the best
No I never served there but I interviewed a vet whom was stationed there as part of the AA personel stationed there, he was there from 42-45
Is the interview available anywhere?
Is the vet?
all the best
Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K Gann describes flying in there regularly.
I served in the Northeast Air Command from 1950 thru
1952 and was stationed in Greenland. First, for a short time at the main base at Narsarsuak--Bluie West One--then was transferred to Bluie West Three located on Simiutak Island located at the mouth of the fjord leading up to BW1. BW3 had no landing strip and was accessible only via boat. The small outpost was a radio relay station, weather station and had a manned direction finding station. Aircraft approaching southern Greenland enroute to BW1 had to identify the correct fjord to enter in order to find BW1. There was several fjords that could lead pilots astray. The purpose of the DF station was to give pilots position reports making sure they were on the right track. We had about 25 men stationed there including radio operators, weather specialist, navigation aid operators and support personnel. I was stationed there for about 15 months. Was happy when my tour was over.
I served at Blue West One for 12 months in 1956 and 1957. The duty was light, the weather cold, and the beer cheap (10 cents a can). The landing at BW1 was an experience to remember. I flew in there twice. The mountains were so steep that there was no "go around" option. Having a teaching degree, I was called on as a subsitute when the base teacher was ill. Have many photos of those days.
Don't know the origin of "Bluie West One" but you can Google it and read up on it.
My father was 1 of 10 weathermen who were shipped out on the USS Munargo to Narsarssauk Greenland (Bluie West 1) in June 1941. Six, including my father, remained at at Bluie West 1 while the other 4 went to another area. There was no base there when they arrived and they set their equipment up in tents where they worked and lived until the barracks were built. They were approximately 1 mile from where the air strip was being built so they were quite isolated. He was there through mid 1942 when he left to go to cadet training and later became a B-17 IP at Tampa Bay. I believe that all other 5 of the men stationed with him are now deceased but his time at Bluie West 1 remains as one of his fondest memories of his service years.
Bluie West and East indicated costal regions in Greenland. There were different locations on each coast.
My father was based at Bluie West One as a Weather Forecaster during WWII. By the time he got there they had built up the base so they had a weather shack and everything! He is still alive (90 yo) and remembers his days there very fondly.
We were stationed at Bluie West One in 48-49. It was my dad, mother, brother and myself Robert Fisher, Kay Fisher, Michael and Susan.
I have many pictures of our time there including many pictures of buildings...and the base.
I was very little at the time but know that my parents loved being there. I have many pictures in the O club and parties. Col. Dittman was the base commander
Narsarsuaq...just a few...I have Many More!
My name is Dick Blenz. I served with the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts in England from December 1944 to June 1945. My job description, radar countermeasures, was declared essential for the war effort in Japan and so I was placed aboard one of several B-17s, flew to Prestwick for fueling, Iceland for 2 days, Bluie West for one day and night, then Labrador for a night, and crossed the US border at 2PM on the Fourth of July, 1945.
There were 16 men on my B-17 holding their breath when we took off from Bluie. We were delayed that day waiting for clouds to clear off the mountain on the other side of the fiord so we could see it for takeoff. My understanding was that the runway was in water on both ends and your plane's power plant had better work! We ended the war just as my return from Europe furlough ended and I did not have to go to Japan. Pure luck because most people on air bases in England had to stick around for a long time for various military chores and then got slow boat trips home.
I was there the year of 56 with the 51st Air Rescue Squadron. It was my first assignment after tech school and I can say that although it was somewhat cold, I enjoyed it. As for the name, Bluie was because of the cold, One, because it was the first station in greenland and West because it was in the western part of the North Atlantic, At least that was what was related to me. Of course back then it was all a Super Secret refueling stop in 42.
I WAS AT BW 1 AND BW 3 FROM FOR 18 MONTHS JUST AS THE KOREAN WAR WAS STARTING,,, I WAS IN THE AACS (AIRWAY AIR COMMUNITATION SERVICE. CRYPTO WAS MY MOS. WE PLAYED A SOFTBALL GAME AT MIDNIGHT IN JUNE. ALSO ENJOYED SEEING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS.
WAS COL DITTMAN FROM TEXAS? I WAS THERE AND HAD A COL FOR BASE COMANDER AND HE WAAS FROM TEXAS. HE HAD COWBOY BOOTS SHIPPED IN AND WE ALL WORE THEM AS DID HE. HE WAS QUITE AN OFFICER.
Greeting all...This is Susan Thompson, one of the Fridge Midgets from 1949/1950...we were stationed there for a year.....and.....I was at Bluie West One last month. September 11, 2010!!! It was fantastic!!! I was on a cruise ship that went into Qaqortoq, Greenland and had made arrangements to charter a boat from Qaqortoq to Narsarsuaq!!!! 2hr boat ride up the fjord...what a thrill. I saw the old HD building and Hospital Valley and met Ole, the curator of the museum...I had 6 friends with me....it was a fantastic experience. I am including a few pictures...as well as one of Col. Dittman at a costume party. It is a beautiful place!!!
not all the picture took...I will try again later
My name is Ray Franklin and I passed thru BW1 as pilot on C-47 in August of 1944. We were one plane of 31 being dispatched to England as replacements to Troop Carrier
Groups already stationed there since Jan '43. I remember the awesome and kind of scary flyine up those 50 miles and landing on the end of a glacier.We saw a film at Goose Bay Labrador showing landmarks so we wouldn't
fly up some of the side fjords. Flew at 1 thousand feet
above the sea looking up at those 10000 foot side walls of ice. I remember I had one hell of a head cold and
actually saw a flight surgeon there who gave me a tube of some kind of jelly to ***** up my nose to keep the tube to my ears open. I was 20 at the time.
Next day we flew to Icelands Keflavik althogh we lost 4 planes in the drink as we ran into freezing rain and the planes took on a load of ice and we were overloaded to start with. It was a hairy ride.All deicing equipment was going and every once in a while the prop ice would let go and it sounded like it was coming right thru the cockpit. It was the worst leg o
f the flight.
I flew into BW1 in 1943 in a Martin B-26 on my way to North Africa. I remember the briefing mentioned a branch Fjord to the right. It had a sunken ship at the entrance. The message was "Don't go there! it is a blind alley with no room to turn around. I can remember The Icebergs Calving during the night sounding like cannons.
At about the same time one of my fellow pilots flying B=17 across Greenland with no visible horizon suddenly found himself sliding to a stop on the Ice cap. It took six months to finally get the crew off, losing two rescue teams in the process. In the time they were there the glacier moved from a point where they were entirely surrounded by ice to where they could see the ocean to the west.
I was a Captain in the ferry command at the time based in Memphis TN. I later went to India flying 166 missions on the China/Burma hump.
Weston H. Ament
I was reminded of Bluie a couple of months ago when we had a two day visit of one of my beloved B-17s, Aluminum Overcast, in which I got to ride for 30 minutes up front in the Green House. I often wonder how many 17's ended up in the drink at Bluie while trying to land or take off.
The finest machines ever built in the world were four; the Model A Ford, The Model A Two Banger John Deere Tractor, the DC 3 passenger aircraft, and the B-17 Flying Fortress.
I noticed that you said you flew CBI during WW2. My dad also flew the hump and was Captain Robert F. Fisher from Mansfield, Ohio.
We were stationed at BW1 in 1949/1950 and I have many photos from our time there. I am including a photo with my dad in it ...I was wonder if his name is at all familiar. My dad is the one at the desk.
Susan Thompson >http://www.warhistoryfans.com/images/fbfiles/images/ Dad_sitting.jpg
I just received this in my email today...I am planning to attend with some other folks because it is soooo beautiful and unspoiled.