"Yes sir", the sergeant said emphatically. "I believe we have the highest morale of any outfit. Large or small, in the Air Force, and" he grinned, "wait until you sink your teeth into some of the fried chicken we're having for dinner." The speaker was SMSgt. Charles D. Bell, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Thule AIRCOM site manager, with the senior NCO at the wheel of the metro truck. We were bouncing our way to the 1983d Comm. Sq. site on top of N. mountain, some six miles from Thule proper.
"Some folks might say we're isolated being so far from the base" Bell continued, "But with our own mess, living and working area so close together we believe we live better than most people on the Base," He went on to explain that the site had it's own power and heating plant. The Base supplies them with food and water and takes away the waste. The day room has a radio set, tuned to Thule AFRTS, their is also a record player well supplied with the latest records airmen themselves, and Armed Forces Film Library furnaces them wit movies which they run on their own projector whenever they wish. "Even when road is closed by Phase winds or sleep snow, we're entirely self-sufficient" the sergeant continued.
Just then we broke over the top of the mountain. Below us was a breathtaking view over three huge glaciers flowing endlessly from the Polar ice cap to the sea. Looked to be the tallest orange colored radio tower in the world spiraled into the sky high over four small buildings nestled in a small ravine a few hundred feed from a cliff, overlooking the fjord. "It's not quite the tallest,” the site commander said in answer to our question, "but it 's the tallest in Greenland, and it is 1241 feet high".
As we stop at the entrance to the long low living quarters, Bell pointed to the largest of the three other buildings in the mediate vicinity. "That's the transmitter building", he said. "It houses over two-and-a -half million dollars of electronic equipment, and over there" he pointed again "is our power heating plant and the garage".
We walked into the bright spotless kitchen, and after a round of introductions to all hands, sat down and sampled some delicious southern fried chicken prepared and served by A1C Ralph Duncan, south Dakota, while Sgt. Bell explained the site's setup. "There are only 28 of us Communication, power construction and food service specialists up here". He said. "All of us but the cooks are members of the 1983 Comm. Sq. Our two cooks are here through the courtesy of the 4683d and we know they are the cream of the crop for their work speaks for itself”...
After dinner, we walked the few yards to the huge transmitter building once inside A1C Thomas R. Walker airman in charge. Guided us through a mass of expensive electronic equipment. "We transmit long range Teletype to Goose bay, Labrador," he explained.
"This is one of four such transmitters in the world." the Tyler Texan Drawled. "Working three shift’s a day, seven days a week, we are just another link in the forward preoperational scatter chain of long-range communication systems scattered from here to Sonderstrom air base and" he added with a grin, pointing to one of the electronic units where moving dials showed something was happening explained, "right now the airways section is talking with an incoming plane. We even help the mailman make his appointed rounds up here on top of the World".
Next we visited the power and heating plant where after being fitted with a pair of special earmuffs SSgt. Cecil McDonald, Meridian Miss, and A2C Robert L. Welch, Byron City. N.C. took us through the plant where three White-superior diesel engines each provided 350 kilowatts of power, needed to keep the site running...
As we rode back down the mountain road with Sgt. Bell, we remembered what one of the Airmen said as we left the site, "Be safe, and come again. While it's not quite like Home, we think it's much better up here than down there". Remembering the cordial welcome genuine hospitality and the delicious fried chicken and watermelon we had enjoyed, we agreed.