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James Lee

United States

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#1
Jun 28, 2006
 
During 1967 - 1970, I was stationed at Finland Air Force Station. It was a radar site and was part of the old DEW LINE defense system. I visited the site sometime in 1990. The site had long since been deactivated but the radar towers, Sage Building, and the living quarters were still there. As a matter of fact, I found a sign in one of the buildings advertising the homes that were still there as FINDLANDA.

Can anyone tell me if the AFS is still there and what condition its in?

Thanks
John

Silver Bay, MN

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#2
Jun 29, 2006
 
James, It's still residential housing, mostly on the lower loop. The other buildings are vacant. They recently recieved a rezoning, allowing them to tear down the vacant buildings and construct more single family houses. There have been numerous hazmat cleanup projects at the site, it is still I understand, a superfund site. The worst problem is the TCE cleaning fluid which seeped into the ground and now exists as a plume beneath much of the upper hill.
James Lee

United States

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#3
Jul 3, 2006
 
John, thanks for the update. I was stationed there from 1967 to 1970...man, that was 36+ years ago...How time flies. I will be traveling through Finland in mid July and I thought I would stop by to see the old place.(That was one steep hill to drive up to the site) Once again, thanks for the update and if anyone else has any other info, please feel to respond.

Thanks John and I hope you have a great 4th!
James Lee
Howard Peel

United States

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#4
Oct 31, 2006
 
Stationed 756 Radar Squadron Findland. 10-4 on the steep hill. I was wondering whether or not all the buildings on the site were still there. Especially barracks 2 lower. 1962 - 1965. Has silver bay grown any at all. It used to be nothing but a shopping center. Does anyone know when it was shut down?
Don Westphal

United States

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#5
Nov 11, 2007
 
Interesting to see these post on the 756th and Finland. To day is veterans day 07 and thought of some of my buddies. I was station at Finland Sept 65 till Dec 66 and was a radar tech in the FPS-27. Fond memories of the air station; very pretty country up there but just to darn cold. My wife and I plan on visiting when we retire.
Roger Thompson

United States

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#6
Dec 27, 2007
 
Howard, The name sounds very familiar, tring to put a face with it after all these years! I was stationed there from 62-65 also. I was just sitting here after Christmas thinking about the old radar site and decided to Google it. I had heard the site was closed down but also wondered if anything was left. Take care!
Howard Peel wrote:
Stationed 756 Radar Squadron Findland. 10-4 on the steep hill. I was wondering whether or not all the buildings on the site were still there. Especially barracks 2 lower. 1962 - 1965. Has silver bay grown any at all. It used to be nothing but a shopping center. Does anyone know when it was shut down?
tom bartek

United States

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#7
Jan 5, 2008
 
i was stationed there from 1976-1980.was probably the best years of my life,would reinlist and go back if they would let me.
john hiiva

Minneapolis, MN

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#8
Jan 6, 2008
 
my dad phillip (dick) hiiva worked there when I was a kid growing up 1966-1973..I tried to take my wife for a visit and a guy on a tractor came at me with a gun to ask if I saw the private property sign I just drove by?? scary felt like backwoods of Idaho somewhere??
Test Name

Saint Louis, MO

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#9
Feb 21, 2008
 
test
Barry Jenicek

Saint Louis, MO

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#10
Feb 21, 2008
 
I am having trouble posting this entire message so I will need to add it multipal posts.

I’m Barry Jenicek from St. Louis, Missouri. I was stationed at Finland AFS from April 1967 thru January 1970. I worked in the SAGE building in the T2 area as a “Digital Data Processing Repairman, AN/FST2B”.(I love those long A.F. titles they gave us J ) My “home” during that time was in barracks One-Lower.

In the summer of 1984, I visited the site. From what I understand, the site closed down in 1980, ten years after I left. It was like stepping back in time. ALL of the buildings were still there and OPEN, no locks!

Naturally, the bubbles on the radar towers were taken down and all of the equipment and furniture was removed. The NCO club still had the sign up above the entrance of barracks 4.

My room, which was located in one-lower next to the Day Room, was in shambles, but I still could visualize the numerous parties and card games that were held there. During my stay, I had one roommate, Ron Hoffmann, who worked in the communications section located in the SAGE building, but he shipped out and I had the room all to myself for most of the time while stationed there

In the IEO building (I think that is what they called it) I found a 4 x 8 sign introducing the sale of “Finlandia Village Condominiums” along with other sales brochures.

I found out that someone purchased the site from the Air Force and were offering the base housing as condos. That was before they found about the Diesel contamination, PCB problems (see below). They planned on remodeling all of the existing homes and then offer them for sale. The PCB problems put a stop to that. They drilled a well, which was quickly contaminated with solvents.

There was one unit already remodeled and it looked fairly nice.

My second visit to the Site was in the Summer of 2006. This time, the site gate had a cable across it and access was denied. I circumvented that by driving into the housing area on the left side of the road and then driving over the back yard into the Site.

The entire area was filled with yellow flowers about 3 feet tall. They were growing everywhere. The street was filled with them growing from the cracks.

Again, all of the buildings were there but this time they had locks on them with Asbestos/Lead Signs posted. Some of the buildings had the locks broken so I was able to gain entrance to some of the buildings.

Now the mountainside is dotted with monitoring wells. They're designed to track the flow of the solvents through the bedrock, to make sure the solvents don't contaminate nearby household wells. I have since found out that the Site is now a Super Fund Site because the ground is contaminated with diesel fuel and PCB’s. The monitoring recording equipment was under lock and key in the 27 Tower.

I should have taken the NCO CLUB sign the first time I visited Finland because it was missing. I did take the barracks one building sign as a souvenir.

Ron Cook, who worked in the 26 Tower, had visited Finland before I did and removed the Fallout Shelter Sign from the Fallout Shelter and has it hanging in his workshop.

I married a St. Louis girl 7 months after my discharge and Ron was my best man. Odie Coffey, who worked in Heating and Air Conditioning, was one of my Ushers. I am still in contact with them and have visited Ron and his wife Pat several times in Wisconsin. Just last year, I was able to find Odie through the Internet so I plan on visiting him in Virginia soon.

(Continued)

Barry Jenicek
St. Louis, Missouri
BsandK@SBCglobal.NET
Barry Jenicek

Saint Louis, MO

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#12
Feb 21, 2008
 
I’m Barry Jenicek from St. Louis, Missouri. I was stationed at Finland AFS from April 1967 thru January 1970. I worked in the SAGE building in the T2 area as a “Digital Data Processing Repairman, AN/FST2B”.(I love those long A.F. titles they gave us J ) My “home” during that time was in barracks One-Lower.

In the summer of 1984, I visited the site. From what I understand, the site closed down in 1980, ten years after I left. It was like stepping back in time. ALL of the buildings were still there and OPEN, no locks!

Naturally, the bubbles on the radar towers were taken down and all of the equipment and furniture was removed. The NCO club still had the sign up above the entrance of barracks 4.

My room, which was located in one-lower next to the Day Room, was in shambles, but I still could visualize the numerous parties and card games that were held there. During my stay, I had one roommate, Ron Hoffmann, who worked in the communications section located in the SAGE building, but he shipped out and I had the room all to myself for most of the time while stationed there

In the IEO building (I think that is what they called it) I found a 4 x 8 sign introducing the sale of “Finlandia Village Condominiums” along with other sales brochures.

I found out that someone purchased the site from the Air Force and were offering the base housing as condos. That was before they found about the Diesel contamination, PCB problems (see below). They planned on remodeling all of the existing homes and then offer them for sale. The PCB problems put a stop to that. They drilled a well, which was quickly contaminated with solvents.

There was one unit already remodeled and it looked fairly nice.

My second visit to the Site was in the Summer of 2006. This time, the site gate had a cable across it and access was denied. I circumvented that by driving into the housing area on the left side of the road and then driving over the back yard into the Site.

The entire area was filled with yellow flowers about 3 feet tall. They were growing everywhere. The street was filled with them growing from the cracks.

Again, all of the buildings were there but this time they had locks on them with Asbestos/Lead Signs posted. Some of the buildings had the locks broken so I was able to gain entrance to some of the buildings.

Now the mountainside is dotted with monitoring wells. They're designed to track the flow of the solvents through the bedrock, to make sure the solvents don't contaminate nearby household wells. I have since found out that the Site is now a Super Fund Site because the ground is contaminated with diesel fuel and PCB’s. The monitoring recording equipment was under lock and key in the 27 Tower.

I should have taken the NCO CLUB sign the first time I visited Finland because it was missing. I did take the barracks one building sign as a souvenir.

Ron Cook, who worked in the 26 Tower, had visited Finland before I did and removed the Fallout Shelter Sign from the Fallout Shelter and has it hanging in his workshop.

I married a St. Louis girl 7 months after my discharge and Ron was my best man. Odie Coffey, who worked in Heating and Air Conditioning, was one of my Ushers. I am still in contact with them and have visited Ron and his wife Pat several times in Wisconsin. Just last year, I was able to find Odie through the Internet so I plan on visiting him in Virginia soon.
Bob Schweitzer

Milwaukee, WI

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#13
Jun 16, 2008
 
Hi , I was at Finland from March 71 - Nov 71. I was in Nam before and Thailand after. I loved that little chow hall, used to get 6 sunny side up eggs after a long night shift. And of course the NCO club, many drunken nights for me.I don't remember many names......Garvey, Lee Waedikin....that's about all.I visited ewith my wife in the early 90's, it was a great experience that we I got to in those 4 long years, it is a good memory....now.
Tom Dornan

United States

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#14
Nov 17, 2008
 
Howard Peel wrote:
Stationed 756 Radar Squadron Findland. 10-4 on the steep hill. I was wondering whether or not all the buildings on the site were still there. Especially barracks 2 lower. 1962 - 1965. Has silver bay grown any at all. It used to be nothing but a shopping center. Does anyone know when it was shut down?
Howard: Your name is familiar. I was at Finland AFS from October 1963 until October 1964. I was in Comm and worked for a SGT Bjorkman.
larry johnson

Prairie Farm, WI

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#15
Jan 13, 2009
 
howard peel--we loved your laugh and i remember when you arrived in the barracks. go to "radomes.inc" and click on "radar museum" then click on "radar sites" & then click "search for site" & enter "756" click on the site & scroll down to "site roster" you can register on the roster and see everyone else thats done so. y e mail is there. i have some pictures.
.

click on
Dean Wiese

Greenbush, MN

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#16
Jan 16, 2009
 
My dad ,Dennis Wiese,was there from 77-79 we lived in the new housing first house on the left. Those few years were the best and being kids we made lots of friends. I have no contact with any which is sad......Trott,Nagy,Blum,Ingel s
We have been there a few times to take a look.
It would be so nice if they put some life back in that old hill.That place is a one of a kind to me.
Dean Wiese
Baudette MN
Charlie -Hoppy- Hopkins

Fairview Heights, IL

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#18
May 3, 2009
 
I was stationed at Finland AFS 1975-76 and I worked at the GATR facility. I recognized a name on your post; Capt D-M. As Lt Col D-M, he was the 23rd Air Division Chief of Maintenance. He was later the commander of the 2146th Communications Group, Osan Air Base, Korea. He reenlisted me in 1981 at Osan. When I got ready to retire in 2001 I sent an invitation to him and his wife, Maureen. I figured it would be an easy sell getting them to come to Peterson AFB CO for my retirement as their son Mark was stationed at Schriever, just 12 miles away. Mrs. D-M wrote me a letter saying Col D-M had passed away 25 Jan '01, my birthday. Mark came to my retirement and represented his father.
I was only stationed at Finland for 49 weeks. I made a lot of friends in that short period of time. One of them, Duane Blue, tracked me down just last Tuesday. The last time we had talked was 1976 at Keesler. He was attending AN/GRC-171 school and I was attending DL-19W school.
Other people I've been able to locate are:
Maj John Brundage, CC (Col Ret)--O'Fallon, IL; MSgt Elmer Kirtpatrick, Med Tech (CMSgt Ret)--Bushton, KS; Sgt Tom White, Radar Maint (Capt Ret)--Omaha, NE; A1C Eric Gibeaut, Radar Maint (MSgt USAFR)--Columbia, SC; A1C Duane Blue, Radio Maint (SMSgt Ret)--Ocean Springs, MS; TSgt Dan Strang, Radio Maint (SMSgt Ret)--Perham, MN; MSgt Fred Bock, Radio Maint (MSgt Ret)--Gainesville, FL.
Others I would like to find: Curt Erickson (Radio), John Wooleyhan (Radio), Dave Theel (Radio), Noel Roberts (QC & Radio), Bob Shrewsberry (Radar), Ron Faust (Radar), Eddie Nickstad (Radar), Jim Garvey (NCO Club).
I still have fond memories of Finland. I'm sure I always will.
I retired from the Air Force in 2001 after serving 30 years. My first two assignments were on radar sites, the other being Bedford AFS VA. I was there 39 months before going to Finland. I now live in Shiloh, IL, about 18 miles east of St Louis, MO, and I work as a contractor at Scott AFB supporting the Defense Information Systems Agency and the DoD.
My e-mail address is:
hopkins_c [at] charter [dot] net
Hope to hear for others that experienced Finland.
Charlie "Hoppy" Hopkins
Robert Keefer

Granbury, TX

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#19
May 19, 2009
 
I was stationed at the 756th from l956 thru 1958, was on Able Crew and was housed in the first barracks on the right (behind the guard shack)just inside the gate. in 1957 was in charge of the Rec Hall, the library, the band and sporting goods, and was the editor of the Scanner. Was married in 1957 and bought a mobile home in Duluth and had it moved to the base. At that time there were only 12 mobile homes just outside the main gate and the housing units had not been started yet. My first daughter was born in Duluth in 1958. We lived next door from Henry O'Hara and Dean.... If anyone knows Henry, or Robert Fortmuller, or Rod Rodriguez, I would like to hear from them. I won the name the chow hall contest in 1957 (Galahad Gardens) and had my name placed on the wall in the chow hall. We transfered to Grand Rapids in Nov of 1958 and was then the editor of the Searcher. Anyone out htere with any information on this period of time would be appreciated. E-mail at happidaze@alldial.net.
Robert Keefer

Granbury, TX

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#20
May 19, 2009
 
In my former message, I failed to mention that Colonel Garvel R. Trimble was the base oommander at the 756th and Captain Meyers was the commander at the 707th.
Ed Lustenberg Jr

Mercer, PA

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#21
Jun 13, 2009
 
Was a great place 1967 1969 as a kid growing up. Anyone know wherabouts of Debbie Steel daughter of Dr Steel?
Cary Laine

Lillington, NC

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#22
Aug 15, 2009
 
Was at Finland AFS Dec 62 - Jul 63 at the FPS-27 tower. Went back to visit in 1994, buildings were still there and the electric combination lock I made was still on the tower door. I don't suppose there is much now.

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