25 January 2017

Private Snafu In The Aleutians

This April will mark 40 years since I left Adak (and the Navy) and made the trip back to the Midwest.
This morning, a friend sent me an Army training film ... okay, a cartoon ... about it, and it's surprising in two ways.
One, I remember finding it in a storeroom some 41 years ago, along with a number of more conventional training films, and spending a snowy afternoon watching them. And laughing.
Two, it's surprisingly accurate. Except for the guy who goes shirtless, in swim trunks. The only place we did that was indoors at the pool.


PeteForester1 said...

Funny as hell; and for the most part, TRUE as hell! I spent a a lot of time Bering Sea when I was in the Coast Guard. You know things are BAD in the Bering Sea when you LOOK FORWARD to pulling into Adak for fuel, mail, logistics, and mid-patrol break (and drinking, getting into fights with the Navy and Marines... and drinking...).

No trees, my butt! What about the Adak National Forest?

I also had the "pleasure" of setting foot on Attu (Land of the Horny Bird; 39 men, 0 women; hence the name), where the CG had a LORAN station, and Shemya, where I got stuck for a week because the weather was too crummy to land at Attu. The Shemya airfield had a windsock that was nothing more or less than a hunk of telephone pole suspended by a chain!

During the latter visit, we were waiting for the Red-Tail (Coast Guard C-130) to land. The Air Force guy at the terminal told us "No way you're getting out of here today; fog's too thick." Then the pilot of the Red-tail radioed in that he was on final approach, to which the Wingnut said "HOLY CRAP! He's actually going to try to land!" We heard the engines go by, and the Wingnut said "See? I told 'ya." Then he heard the engines reverse and said "HOLY CRAP! HE DID IT! After the plane landed, the pilot climbed out and said "Phew! That was a close one!"

Ahh yes... The memories...

Rev. Paul said...

Good memories, Pete. The National Forest wasn't planted until '44 or '45, and it's possible the filmmakers didn't know about it.

Adak was a good place to experience for its stark beauty and wild nature. I loved my two years there. It's hard to recognize the place nowadays, for so many buildings have been demolished and/or replaced. And I see a number of buildings in modern footage which simply weren't there, 40 years ago.

Old NFO said...

Yep, all true except the bathing suit... :-) Now I'm shivering... LOL

Rev. Paul said...


cannon said...

became an official polar bear by simming in sweepers cove on new years day, 1975.
also got my blue nose flying north of the artic circle on an ice flight during an r+r trip to anchorage.
12 month tour + 6 month extension was the best tour of my hitch.

SENIOR said...

I guess I am glad I never took that set of orders to Adak. Like the icing on the plane, only in cartoons.

Rev. Paul said...

cannon, sounds like we were there at the same time. I arrived there 6/2/75. 22 months; it was great.

Senior, you might have liked it. I sure did.

Old NFO said...

Rev, I think you, Cannon and I were all there at the same time!

Rev. Paul said...

Small world, small island. :)