I flew out to the 719th Aircraft Control & Warning (AC&W)Squadron, Sparrevohn, Alaska from Elmendorf AFB near Anchorage, around January 5th 1955 on a C-119 "Flying Boxcar" similar to this one:
Sparrevohn was home to around 130 guys who were manning a radar station in the middle of nowhere in the territory (now state of) Alaska. Our roll was to give an early warning of any attack on the USA. This was during the cold war with the USSR. My particular duties were confined to the Communications Center operating the teletype machines, switchboard, and spinning records in the AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Station). It all seems so long ago....Hey, it WAS long ago. I arrived at Sparrevohn in January of 1955 and left in January of 1956.
Below are some pictures I took with my Argus C-4 35MM film (remember film?)
The Welcome Sign The Squadron Patch
Quonset Huts for Sleeping, Yours Truly in the Comm Center
Here's a video of a DC 3 taking off from Sparrevohn. The date is unknown, but it's obviously in the summertime and fairly recent (2008 ?). The runway and the area around it look much neater (where are the oil drums?)
TransNorthern Super DC 3 takeoff from Sparrevohn in Alaska just West of the Alaska Range. The runway has a 5% uphill slope. You land uphill into a deadend valley where a go around would be impossible. You take off downhill, typically turning right to follow the gentle downslope of the valley. On this flight which departed empty and with only about 1200# of fuel, the aircraft turns left easily outclimbing the terrain. The landing zone of the runway is a very gentle upslope, with the rollout a very steep hill. I assume the % slope indicated is an average over the entire length. The video does not reveal how steep the runway actually is. There is a radome on the 3800' mountain that you face as you land. TransNorthern operates 3 Super DC's and other aircraft which can be seen at www.transnorthern.com . HERE is a great video of approach and landing at Sparrevohn.
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I live in Minneapolis, a couple of blocks from Lake Calhoun. It's a nice area to live in. It's close to the Lakes and Uptown, and right next to the Midtown Greenway Bicycle Trail.
Lake Calhoun nearby
I belong to the Twin Cities Bicycling Club (TCBC). Between club rides and other rides, I logged over 2,250 miles in 2011, Down a bit from last year....must be slippin'. You can click on the logo below for more information on TCBC.