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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About the Author
Daniel Ford has spent a lifetime reading and writing about the wars of the past hundred years, from the Irish rebellion of 1916 to the counter-guerrilla operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is best known for his history of the American Volunteer Group--the 'Flying Tigers' of the Second World War--and his Vietnam novel that was filmed as Go Tell the Spartans, starring Burt Lancaster. Most recently, he has turned to the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and Soviet Russia. Most of his books and many shorter pieces are available in digital editions He lives and works in New Hampshire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A short and entertaining history of the airfield that was an essential bridge on the North Atlantic Ferry Route during the Second World War and the early years of the Cold War. Ford also lays to rest the enduring myth of Hospital Valley as a place where disfigured soldiers were warehoused to die, their relatives told they had been killed in combat.