Author Topic: Amchitka AAF 1943  (Read 1603 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Amchitka AAF 1943
« on: January 01, 2017, 12:24:45 »
I was looking at images of former US air fields in Alaska and came across this image of 8 P-40's including a P-40K of RCAF 111 Squadron. Thought this might be of interest to someone.



A circa 1943 aerial view looking east at Amchitka AAF showing 8 Curtiss P-40 Warhawks (courtesy of John Voss).

Note the 3rd P-40 from the front is a P-40K from the Royal Canadian Air Force's 111 Squadron.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 12:36:30 by tomahawk6 »

Offline Chispa

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Re: Amchitka AAF 1943
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 14:08:04 »
Royal Canadian Air Force's No. 111 Squadron packed up and left Pat Bay on June 3, 1942.  For the next five days they traveled, some by rail and sea, some by air, to Alaska, arriving at Anchorage on June 8, 1942.

111 Squadron served a primarily defensive role while at Elmendorf. They were to fly operations in cooperation with the USAAF 11th Pursuit Squadron.  Their P-40s needed to be outfitted with long range fuel tanks and suitable bomb racks before they could go forward to the outer islands. But the parts were slow to come, delaying their getting into the action.  Instead, they flew reconnaissance patrols and intercepted unidentified aircraft.  Since radio communications were compromised by local atmospheric conditions, there were plenty of unidentified aircraft flying through the region. Squadron was kept quite busy doing interceptions.  There were numerous reports of submarine sightings (in total, during the early stages of the war, there was a fleet of nine Japanese I-boats (submarines) patrolling along the whole coastline). So, was very busy in this defensive role but, all the time they were in Elmendorf, they were chafing to get into action. They derisively called this duty "flagpole flying" since they were, in their view, just going out from and returning to the base flagpole.

Being a huge base, Elmendorf had its amenities.

Max Crandall, armourer with 111 Squadron, described their accommodations at Elmendorf (Fort Richardson) this way: "We were bunked in long wooden barracks with one-decker beds. Here sleeping bags were issued to us as well as sheepskin jackets which every serviceman seemed to be wearing in Alaska. We ate with the Americans in their mess halls and I don't think I have ever eaten so lavishly before or since. It was the best of everything and we knew what each meal of the week would be like - but never the same meal twice in a week.  The evening meal on Sunday was always roast chicken with pie and ice cream for dessert." ("Farm Boy Goes to War", page 29.)

http://www.rcaf111fsquadron.com/life-in-111.html

http://www.rcaf111fsquadron.com/aircraft.html



No. 111(F) Sqn., RCAF Kodiak, Alaska, 1942-43, "BITSA" was reputedly the aircraft flown by S/L K.A. Boomer when he shot down a Japanese 'Rufe' on September 25, 1942.
 

Groundcrew refuelling Curtiss Kittyhawk I aircraft of No.111(F) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.), Patricia Bay, British Columbia, Canada, 15 January 1942. 


C.U.
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Amchitka AAF 1943
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 14:15:44 »
A cool piece of RCAF history, T6 and Chispa.  Thanks.

Regards
G2G

Offline Chispa

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Re: Amchitka AAF 1943
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 12:45:13 »
A cool piece of RCAF history, T6 and Chispa.  Thanks.

Regards
G2G



Hi T6, G2G; thank you kindly, however although I have a SWW RCAF folder with photos from LAC, and aware RCAF Sqn’s., stationed in Alaska, the rest is all new to me.



Bolingbroke and worktent of No. 8(BR) Sqn, RCAF, Nome, Alaska, 1942.


RCAF officer talks to a First Nations man employed on a construction site of one of the bases as part of operations concerning the Northwest Staging Route, Sept. 1944.


The Russian’s in Alaska during WW II., see Link for all photos. http://photos.state.gov/libraries/moscow/29754/WWII/



Lend lease B-25s and P-39s on the runway at Ladd Field, Alaska prior testing by the Soviet Purchasing Commission, September 1942.


American and Soviet airmen pose during a game of billiards, photograph taken in Alaska during American-Soviet lend-lease operations.

WWII Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Alaska

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/AK/Airfields_AK.htm

C.U.
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja

Offline Colin P

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Re: Amchitka AAF 1943
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 10:48:24 »
My dad was a medic stationed on Annette Island in Alaska, in support of 113th Sqdn as I recall?