On 3/20/43 the 17th VHF Instrument Group left Fort Lawton, WA on the United Fruit Company steamer Toloa (SR43) for Adak. The 17th VHF crew had one officer, Lt. Fred Angier, and fourteen sergeants. I was Technical Sergeant Walter J. Kellogg and the only now-living crew member. We replaced the truck-mounted direction finding unit and installed bigger, more powerful units for triangulation and intercom for the P40 and P38 fighter aircraft. We also installed power units, higher antennae, phone lines, etc.

We started at Adak 4/7/43 – 5/4/43, then flew to Amchitka 5/3/43 – 7/17/43. On 7/17/43 we went by YPB tug with a barge loaded with a D8 Caterpillar and 14 two-ton crates, plus tents, cots, food for four weeks at Semisopochnoi. We built a TR17A Bendix D.F. tower for triangulation readings. We returned to Amchitka 8/12/43 – 10/17/43 and traveled daily to the north end of the island for another tower. During that time, we lived on Spam sandwiches and bottled water.

On 10/17/43 we flew to Shemya and started the Shemya and Attu/Alexai Point stations. We flew back and forth, finishing Attu on 4/28/44.

In all cases, each airport had truck-mounted units. We installed more permanent setup, with better coverage, often using hundred-foot dock pilings when telephone poles were scarce.

Published on July 26, 2018 at 8:56 pm  Comments Off on Introduction