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Remembering Bluie West One: The Arctic Airfield That Helped Win the Second World War

Length: 27 pages15 minutes


In June 1940, the U.S. Coast Guard set out to survey the coast of Greenland, the largest island in the world--and the coldest. A year and a half before the country entered the Second World War, the United States was looking for a place to put an airfield that would serve as a bridge to Europe. (For the same reason, British troops seized Iceland; they would later be replaced by American soldiers.) Thus began the saga of Bluie West One, whose 5,000-foot pierced-steel runway would serve as an interim stop for ten thousand American bombers and twin-engine fighters en route to the Second World War. In the 1950s, BW-1 provided the same service for turbojet warplanes. Meanwhile, a strange legend grew up around the station hospital, which travel writers,
novelists, and movie-makers have claimed was a warehouse for Korean War veterans too wounded to return home.Daniel Ford traveled to Greenland to explore the truth and fiction of Bluie West One, which he relates in this engaging little book. (About 6000 words)

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