~~~> Read your attachment. He's on the same track. VP93 also featured briefly in a book called "Hitler's U-Boat War", which described the war years from the German viewpoint, mostly about the Uboat forays in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and their battles with the various ASW patrols.

~~~> While the squadron was at Quonset, one evening, late, the duty officer decided to see if the tarmac sentry was awake. He wandered about a bit until a voice told him he was dead. It seems the sentry was wide awake, lying on top of one of the PBYs, keeping watch from that vantage point.

~~~> I had spent some years in submarine school and at the subbase at Coco Solo CZ, during the 1932 to 1936 years, and so when the Navy came out looking for volunteers for the submarine service, sometime around 1942, I applied. It was decided I was needed more in the aircraft squadrons, so that was turned down.

~~~> VP93 (Greenland contingent) also acted as mailman for the U.S. Weather stations which had been set up along both Greenland coasts. We landed at Ivituck, the location of a mining company, halfway between Bluie West One (Juliennhaab) and the capital at Gothaab. We also landed occasionally at Gothaab altho we didn't have an American contingent there, but we had to check in once in a while with the Danish authorities. On one trip, we went to Gothaab, then across the ice cap to the East coast seaplane base at Bluie East. We landed in the bay, taxied up a rather small stream to the base, and tied up with lines to both shores. A couple of us stayed aboard, the rest of the crew spent the night -- or so they planned -- on shore. About midnight, we discovered that a large iceberg had floated down the bay, lodged in the opening to the stream, and a piece had broken off and was floating up the stream driven by the incoming tide. It was about the size of the PBY and bid fair to do some damage when it hit We spent the next few hours loosening the mooring lines and nudging the small iceberg to the side, where it floated on up past the plane. A little later when the tide changed, it came back down river and we had it all to do over. By daylight it had gone out to sea, the mother iceberg had gone down the bay and we were able to taxi out into the bay and take off for home.

~~~> On coming back from one long ASW flight, we landed on the metal runway, accompanied by a loud clatter. On investigating, we saw a depth charge that had come loose from the wing clamps, rolling up the runway alongside us. That sort of slowed down our breathing for a bit, but all was OK.

~~~> The runway covered in metal plates, was uphill to some extent. Takeoff was always downhill, regardless of wind direction, and landing uphill for the same reason. An Air Force pilot coming in for a landing attempted to land into the wind (down hill), couldn't slow down enough and finally got wise to the restrictions, turned around and landed safely uphill.

~~~> Another exploit of the Greenland group was the rescue of a pilot and crew member of an AT-6 that had landed on a beach on the west coast. We later flew our mechanics in, landing on the lake, they stripped the AT-6 of instruments and anything that could be salvaged, including the wings. The wings were strapped to the turtle back of the PBY5, and we took off again with all that on board. The PBY flew like an old barn door and you could do almost anything with it.

~~~> One time, one of our pilots, name not remembered, flew a little too low over a nearby village, scaring the bejasus out of a farmer's cattle. He was waiting for us the next time with a shotgun, but he couldn't hit the side of a barn door, not even the barn door we were flying in. Another pilot, or maybe it was the same one, tried to spin the wind indicator on top of a church steeple, missed that one, but when he tried to dump a sailboat, he got a bit too low, the occupants hit the water and the radar antenna (hayrake) on the right wing was wiped off by the top of the sailboat mast. More fun -- but I wouldn't fly with him again.

~~~> Greenland was quite comfortable, altho sparse. A supply ship from the U.S. had been torpedoed in the straits west of the Island, and another tanker made an emergency trip to bring us much needed supplies. The only problem was that diesel oil had permeated everything in the ship. Eggs, fried or poached, tasted a little peculiar with the diesel oil mixed in, but a liberal dose of Ketchup helped some. A Swedish ship came in one time and I went down and talked them out of a five pound can of cocoa and another can of dried milk. It made wonderful hot chocolate drink after coming back from a long flight.

~~~> A book, "Fear Is the Key", told about a PBY that was running from Gander to Greenland. The Greenland southern airstrip was up at the end of a 55 mile long fjord. Bluie West Three was just a beacon at the opening of the fjord, acting as a guidepost. The pilot was unfamiliar with the area, ran into fog, down within several hundred feet of the water. He came in under the fog bank, headed up the fjord, took a wrong turn and ended up in a dead end with 6,000 foot mountains all around him. We found the tail surface sticking up out of the water but that's all.

~~~> I was later transferred back to Boston to undergo some repairs to my nasal passages at the Chelsea Hospital, after which I was sent to England to a B-24 squadron operating out of a base at Dunkeswell. I lost track of VP93 after that. From England, I went to Boca Chica FL in Hedron 5, as Radio Radar Officer.

~~~> There's probably more, but that's all I can dredge up at this time, memory at 86 years of age gets a bit hazy, so use what you think wise and good luck. 73 Hank <~~~

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