We left McGuire and flew to Goose Bay, Labrador. Then we flew up to Thule, Greenland.
It was our job to resupply various fields where people remained all winter. We had to go to Nord, Alert, and Eureka. In Thule, at this time of the year the sun is visible all night long. Outdoors all the buildings are connected by rope lines so you can find your way in a time of blowing snow. When we took off from Thule we had to worry about the weather at our destination, the weather at Thule and the weather at Sonderstom.
We had to bring a 35,000# Caterpillar tractor to Nord. The Headquarters for Military Air Transport gave a weight limit for takeoff from Thule. Nord was 765 miles from Thule. Our Alternate from Thule was Sonderstrom AFB and that was 660 miles away. With all that distance and the winds starting “white outs” at Thule and Nord, we had to cancel the delivery several times while we were airborne. Finally, we had to go to the Headquarters to allow lifting the takeoff weight to the C-130 limit.
When we got to Nord, on our third attempt, the sky below was perfectly clear and we started a penetration, went out to sea a little and turned back in to Nord. There was nothing we could see. The entire sky was covered in ice fog that was generated by our penetration. We came in at 50 feet and then thought of their large radio antennas. We held for about 30 minutes and the fog dissipated and we landed. Then we delivered the tractor.
At Eureka we went in and had lunch. The crowd was mostly Danish and we had a lot of fun with them. You can’t see Eureka on the map but you can fond Resolute. Eureka is across the bay.
It was very interesting to fly up here where the Magnetic North Pole is not really useable and we needed to use the True North Pole and Grid Navigation. It was wonderful to have a navigator to handle that, flying up there.