Thursday, April 16, 2009

Iceland

One of my fond memories of Iceland is when some guys from my unit went and added airplanes to the Marine Corps Globe and Anchor on the Marine barracks. Someone cut out a stencil silhouette of the Super Connie (See pic in last post below) and used it to paint blue planes on the globe on both sides of North America. The emblem was on the end of the barracks next to a second floor window and they wondered how it got painted. We had vans like bread trucks and they backed it up to the building, got on top of the truck and did the deed, dropped down and drove away!! Afterwards, they posted an armed guard to prevent it happening again. Jarheads have no sense of humor!! I got a chuckle seeing the bright yellow places where they painted over the planes.

Below is a picture of two radar planes showing the before and after. The Connie is in the foreground and the AWACS is in the background. I used to say the Super Connie had a million dollars worth of electronics in a two-bit airplane. They were all built in the 50's and while searching the Intratubes I found out they didn't get replaced by the AWACS planes until '78!!

Below is a picture of the base at Keflavik, Iceland. Another thing I learned will looking for pictures of Keflavik was that the base closed in 2006. There is no active base left that I was at while on active duty. This picture is probably a fairly recent picture as it looks like there is an airline terminal in the foreground. When I was there the airport terminal for the airlines was in the middle of the base which is in the background of the picture. There is a large building on the center left of the background that might be the hanger I worked in.



One of my souvenirs of Iceland is a transistor radio. It's about the size of a paperback book and has two bands labeled LW (am band) and MW. There was Armed Forces Radio and TV on the base with a radio station on the AM band. There was an Icelandic station on the MW band. One day I had it on the Icelandic station and left the room to go take a shower. When I came back the radio had English coming out of it. I asked my roommate if he had changed the radio to the American station and he said no. Turned out the Icelandic station would alternate between speaking in Icelandic and English. The music was music which is why I had it on the Icelandic station. As for the MW band, after I got back to the states, the only thing I could get on that band was weather.
Armed Forces Radio and TV also had a TV Station. It would come on late in the afternoon and be on all evening. Some of the shows I remember were the original "Lassie" show (where Timmy didn't have a father) and others from the 50's.
When I did Spell-Check it wanted to replace Keflavik with cleavage, but that would be another story!!

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