As much as I can recall, back in the middle
of 1966, the 46 AREFS picked up the commitment
to provide alert crews with aircraft to Goose Bay AB, Labrador. The alert tour was for a 7-day period.
I remember getting to the aircraft at K.I.
around O-dark thirty. We got our gear aboard, then
ourselves, put on a parachute (remember that), and then strapped ourselves in a seat. As soon as the wheels were in the well, we unstrapped ourselves from the seat and
parachute, found a nice spot on the floor, and went to sleep for a few hours.
When we got there, pulling alert was pretty
much the same as back home at K.I. We were
housed in an alert facility, our planes were parked for rapid response in a tree pattern, and we had alert trucks to use for
Our contribution amounted to keeping 4 crews
up there. Bunker Hill, Griffiss and Lockbourne also sent crews. From what I recall, everyone got along.
The O'Club was nice. A big band played excellent
music, led by who I thought was Louie Prima.
Remember the duo of Louie Prima and Keely Smith? Their hit song was "That Old Black Magic." If you were old enough, their
music was the best.
We pretty much had the place to ourselves,
and found it to be a nice complement to the alert
facility. Sometimes, I even ate dinner there and skipped the alert food.
Goose's Base Exchange had unusual items inside.
Many crewmembers bought the Grundig Stereo
cabinet with stereo phonograph, AM, FM, and short wave radio inside along with some nice speakers. It cost around $400, as I recall.
Once, I bought a nicely packaged Irish Linen
table cloth and napkin set. It served as a wedding
present. Not sure who I gave it to, because we had so many young crewmembers getting married at K.I.
One day, right after going off alert at Goose,
an enterprising co-pilot (shall remain nameless)
got a dogsled ride into a nearby town named HAPPY VALLEY. He went into a Hudson's Bay Company store there and bought around 25 silk panties.
They came in one size (HUGE), had fur lining
around the crotch area, and had HAPPY VALLEY inscribed across the butt area.
actually bought a pair of the panties. I was going with a gal down in Miami and I figured next time I saw her, I would try to humor her with them. Well, it didn't work out so well. As she spread them out, I sort of chuckled, expecting
to hear a chortle or two out of her. NOT
SO! I guess she was insulted, because she "smashed" me atop the head with her purse so hard, it really hurt. Needless to say,
we "split." Now, the way I figure it, there
"oughta" be 24 more follow-on stories to this tale.
return trip, we flew mostly over the Canadian Province of Quebec. We had to make position reports by radio. One of the reporting points was Mont Joli. Sometimes,
a co-pilot would squeeze
the mike button and say "MOUNT JOLLY RADIO THIS IS_____ , OVER!" "MOUNT JOLL."
could finish a repeat call, the irate operator on the ground would try to correct us by saying something that sounded like "_ _, this is (MOAN-JOE-LEE RADIO!)" Anyway, it was all in good fun.
Back at K.I.
the fun continued as we went into pay and allowances to collect $22 for our 7-day affair. NOT BAD!
by request--for fear of retribution.