Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas, 1942

Photo from the collection of  Sgt. Jack Kotlovker, U.S. Army

Here is a glimpse at what one Squadron, the RCAF 111(F), now approaching six months in the Aleutians,  was up to on December 24th & 25th, 1942.  By this time, they had been relieved of their duties on Umnak and were now, just newly stationed, on Kodiak Island with the Army Air Force at Fort Greely.  They were the only fighter squadron around and the Canadians were responsible for protecting the North Pacific's main U.S. Naval Base which was also located on Kodiak.

Entries copied from the Squadron diaries. 

December 24th, 1942

Mess staff busy preparing for big day tomorrow.  Weather C.A.V.U. Aerobatics, low flying and Ask Ask Co-operation with American Anti-Aircraft Divisions.  Flying time 2:50 hours.

Ground crew left here (Miller Field) to spend Christmas with other boys at Fort Greely.  The pilots all took off this morning (from Miller Field)to enjoy the same privilege.  Flying time 1:30 hours. 

December 25th, 1942

Christmas Day with Officers serving the mess as custom.   Very fine meal provided both at noon and evening by our very capable mess staff.   All members received gifts from the Air Force Mothers Auxiliary of the Army-Navy Wings Club of Edmonton and the American Red Cross.  Weather closed in at 0900 hours.  Strong winds and snow storms all day.  Thirty to forty mile an hour wind from 1530 hours on.  No flying carried out.
All personnel at main field so nothing to report. 

Interestingly, as I spend the first Christmas, in almost a decade,  at my family's home in Winnipeg, the weather forecast for today, Christmas Day 2016,  is calling for the same darn miserable conditions.  So much so, that we had to postpone our family holiday dinner until the storm passes.   Wonder if my grandfather ordered that for effect? 

Merry Christmas everyone!


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