Findland Air Force Station
Charles Farley

Huntsville, AL

#45 Dec 3, 2011
I was stationed at Finland AFS from 8/58 - 5/59 then attended SAGE school at Richards-Gebauer AFB and was returned to Duluth Air Defense Sector at the SAGE facility. Really enjoyed my stay at Finland. Great duty and beautiful country. I was in Barracks 1-lower. Wasn't totally prepared for the winters up there but still had a good time outdoors all year. I do remember Robert Fortmuller and an AP by the name of Simmons out of N. Carolina.
Good times, good memories.
Joe Mercier

Yuma, AZ

#46 Mar 12, 2012
I came to the 756th RADRON, Finland AFS, directly from Lackland in January 1962 right in the middle of a fierce winter storm. Brought up in Massachusetts, I thought I was used to the cold----I was sadly mistaken.
Having attended an electronics school prior to enlistment, I was able to bypass Keesler and entered directly into OJT. As I recall, the base commander was Maj. George Donnelly; my immediate supervisor was TSGT. John Wick and my rommate was Jerry Masilionis. I left in April 1963 when I PCS'd to Karamursel, Turkey.
My AFSC was Ground Communications Equipment Repairman and I worked on ground-to-air transmitters, air-to-ground receivers and high power datalinks. I don't remember the building numbers but transmitters were east of the FPS-26 radome near the ham radio shack and receivers were on the west side of the station.
As a new A3C guess who got to shovel sand into the spreader on the back of the base dump truck at 3 or 4 in the morning so that the day shift could climb Airbase Rd. Thanks to the insulation of the fox-fur lined parka, thermal coveralls and bunny boots I was kept moderately warm at -50F wind chill temperatures.
I have fond memories of a few base facilities which helped make my 15 months there more tolerable. First, Gallahad Gardens that always had pretty good chow including the occasional venison roasts, steaks and burgers during hunting season. Next, the curling rink where I learned about this strange game while becomming somewhat competent at all playing positions. I enjoyed every minute of play while remaining well oiled on Fitger's 3-point beer. Then there was the NCO club. This was a convenient place to blow off steam and make some great friendships. One of the best things was that as long as you were of legal drinking age it didn't matter if you were E-2, E-3 or E-4 you were welcomed to join in.
While at Finland AFS I enjoyed participating in local community activities along Lake Superior's north shore from Grand Marais down to Duluth. Along with some buddies we formed a drill team and marched in a few parades; provided escorts for a homecomming queen and her court; stood honor guard; and competed in local and away bonspiels. Not having traveled more that a few hundred miles from home while growing up, I was happy to be exposed to cultural differences I had only heard about. I was lucky to have been welcomed into the home of one family of Norwegian heritage. Through them I was introduced to Country and Western music, learned to enjoy smelt fries and to eat lutefisk (but only after lots of glogg).
I had other duty stations during my AF career but none that I enjoyed so much.
FYI

United States

#47 Jun 11, 2012
I was just looking for info on what is going on at this site as I was driving up to show my daughter - It has huge gates across it now - before the base housing area and it says Eagle Ministries Corp with many no trespassing signs. There was a number to call a guard so we turned around, seemed odd.
elaine denmark

United States

#48 Jun 21, 2012
My father is john denmark. We lived there in 1969-70. Dad passed away in 2005.
Jay

Saint Paul, MN

#49 Jul 16, 2012
I remember my father playing in softball tourneys up there in the mid 70's. I also remember the names of some good friends who all of a sudden moved one day. Chris, Susan, Cindy, and JT. They would be 41 years old now. I don't remember the last names. However I do remember Cindy laviolette. Anyone know these people?
jerry Dunlap

Virginia Beach, VA

#50 Oct 3, 2012
Dean,
I saw this post and had to rpley when I saw the Nagy name. I was friends with Steve mike and Danny and with the trots as well I kept up with the Nags as we ended up in FL ttogether
Dean Wiese wrote:
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
JTH

Vidalia, GA

#51 Jan 28, 2013
Looking back on childhood is a funny thing. As with many of these posts I was curious as to what happened to the old base. So I took a look on Google found the base and this blog. Looks as if the houses on the lower loop are still there. My family lived there in 78-80 give or take. We were in the house at the end of the loop facing the woods. My father was Maj. Hughes and was the commanding officer tasked with closing down the facility. I still remember seeing my childhood friends packed up and moving away. We were one of the last families to leave the base. Great childhood memories playing in the snow and tramping through the forestry roads to Egge Lake. Had some friends who lived in a cabin back in the woods and had a dog sled team. When my kids complain about going to school I still pull out the stories of sitting on the snowplow banks looking down at the school bus when it pulled up and then following the plow to school for an hour while changing into dry shoes.
Carl Adkins

Lincoln, NE

#52 Jun 24, 2013
I find it hard to believe that Finland Air Force Station was part of the DEWLine. In 1981, I was assigned to 4700 Air Defense Squadron (ADTAC) at Peterson AFB, Colorado, and my unit managed the contract for the DEWLine, the contractor being FELEC Services, Inc., whose parent company was ITT. The DEWLine started in northern Alaska, continued across northern Canada, and terminated in Greenland. There were no DEWLine sites south of this area, especially the lower 48 states. I think somebody is confused calling this a DEWLine site.
bobby winn

Shelby, NC

#53 Aug 25, 2013
worked in the 27 tower from july 70 to jan 72. worked with ron lingle and SSgt roy who also worked with me in the bowling alley. great place,my daughter was born in two harbors in 71. anybody rember any of these, my e mail is [email protected]
Joe Mercier

Yuma, AZ

#54 Mar 20, 2014
Carl Adkins wrote:
I find it hard to believe that Finland Air Force Station was part of the DEWLine. In 1981, I was assigned to 4700 Air Defense Squadron (ADTAC) at Peterson AFB, Colorado, and my unit managed the contract for the DEWLine, the contractor being FELEC Services, Inc., whose parent company was ITT. The DEWLine started in northern Alaska, continued across northern Canada, and terminated in Greenland. There were no DEWLine sites south of this area, especially the lower 48 states. I think somebody is confused calling this a DEWLine site.
Carl, Finland AFS was actually part of the Pine Tree Line across the northern perimeter of the USofA. I was there in '62-'63.
BILL HARDISON

Charlotte, NC

#57 Jun 13, 2014
I am the son of Bill Hardison. We were there in 67-68. Best time of my life. My father was a SP. I remember he and Myrna Negldinger had a ongoing contest to catch the biggest pike with winner getting a case of bud and bragging rights. Also dad played softball and used a homemade bat that lokked like a barber pole! He kept us busy trying to find his almost certain homerun. He was all Navy 3rd base before joining the air force. All the ladies used to go to Duluth once a month for groceries. I truly loved that place. Dad had his share of beer at the club and won a browning rifle there. I remember the bowling alley. We had the wolf and bear trail and if you eere brave enough as a kid there were some good berries there. We had a snow mobile which was fun andi remember the ice fishing on lacs lake. No one mentioned the bears. They were everywhere and moose. School was great and clean and far advanced to the ones i ent to in n.c. when dad went to nam. He died just a few years after retirement but he lived ehile he was here. He was called wild bill by all and if you knew him you know why. I have been sick most of my adult life. Had open heart at 31. 3 hesrt attacks. kidney stones...etc.. One thing I wanted to do before I die was visit there as it was the only place I have ever been truly happy. Got my first kiss at Six yrs old. A girl in her teens walked by my igloo I built and just walked up to me andd planted one on my lips. I will never forget that. She just walked away and i never saw her again. How many times I have wished i could turn back time or could have stayed there. We ended up in buffali ny for a yr then Ft. Bragg- Pope AFB. Huge letdown..Dad was wounded in Nam. saving some of his men from a tracked vehicle hit by vc mortar. Never got his medals . We tried but got nowhere. Lost paperwork was the answer...He was never the same person when he returned as so many werent. One more thing . I remember goingg to school in what I called the lost in space vehicle..and wearing the big white bunny boots....shame about the base. Bad ending for a place that made so many happy memories for so many people.
don bringman

Dayton, OH

#58 Oct 10, 2014
Charles Farley wrote:
I was stationed at Finland AFS from 8/58 - 5/59 then attended SAGE school at Richards-Gebauer AFB and was returned to Duluth Air Defense Sector at the SAGE facility. Really enjoyed my stay at Finland. Great duty and beautiful country. I was in Barracks 1-lower. Wasn't totally prepared for the winters up there but still had a good time outdoors all year. I do remember Robert Fortmuller and an AP by the name of Simmons out of N. Carolina.
Good times, good memories.
hi chuck

AN OLD FRIEND FROM FINLAND AND DULUTH, DON BRINGMAN. RETIRED IN 1993 FROM WRIGHT PATT, CIVIL SERVICE 39 YEARS. YOU ARE ONE OF THE FIRST GUYS I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTACT.

DON
Jack Rickly

Bergenfield, NJ

#59 Jan 21, 2015
James Venchuk wrote:
I was station at Finland from 71 through 73. I was a clerk for the commander and the 1st Shirt. Also did some bartending at the NCO club. Anyone remeber Fred, Tillman or Barrett. Been back up there a few times. Seems like someone could figure out something to do with that piece of land. Funny how people end up all over the place. Have a good Veterans day
I was there right next to you from '71 through '73. I live in New Jersey now, near NYC. I remember you were from the Chicago area at the time. I was the 1st Lt who was the Assistant Radar Maintenance Officer for a while. I remember a week when the high temperature for the week was 35 below (it just wandered from 35 below to 45 below and back all week); we had a fire alarm go off one night at 42 below. I remember Tech Sgt. Ring was also in the room. I remember Major Fred and his wife Jan, and SMS Barrett, and Phil Hiiva, who was the civilian contractor for the height-finder radar. I remember when they finally put a solid-state receiver in one of the radars, replacing a vacuum tube unit. There was so much less heat in the tower, as a result, that the water froze when they mopped the floor, and they had to troubleshoot circuit boards with mittens on. I also remember a guy got tired of having his garbage cans thrown around by the bears, so he bought a shed from Montgomery Ward and put it up. So the bears tore the shed apart and then threw his garbage cans around. I also remember someone winning the money for the best suggestion for the month; it was "fill in the hole where that house burned down." Finally, I remember there were three timber wolves in the area at the time, even though there wasn't supposed to be any in the continental US. In fact, I narrowly missed hitting all three of them with my car about 10 pm one night.
Allen McCutcheon

Panama City, FL

#64 Apr 22, 2015
Dean Wiese wrote:
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
Dennis,Steve Nagy and his mother live here in Panama City,Fl. I believe he is a police officer. Steve Sr. passed away many years ago.
Allen McCutcheon

Panama City, FL

#65 Apr 22, 2015
Skip Coo wrote:
Good to see all the comments from old "756th" folks. Count me as another. I was stationed there from 1976-1977. It was my first assignment in the Air Force. I was a radar operator. I don't remember a lot of names, but I think my supervisor was Dave Trott. He was a MSgt at the time.
I lived in the barracks and bought a green 1970 Camaro for my first car. Got it from a local.
I really enjoyed my time there. Yeah, it was cold, but the locals were nice, and so were the folks I was stationed with. I remember going to the NCO Club many a night, and playing softball on a base team against the locals.
Those were the days.
Skip,any idea where Dave Trott might be ? We were neighbors,bowled ,golfed and drank together.
skip cook

Salisbury, MD

#66 Apr 22, 2015
Allen McCutcheon wrote:
<quoted text>
Skip,any idea where Dave Trott might be ? We were neighbors,bowled ,golfed and drank together.
Allen,

Sorry, I have no idea where Dave Trott is. Last time I saw him was when I left the base almost 40 years ago. I think the only guy I've talked to since then is a guy named Glen. He played centerfield on the softball team and had a rifle arm. He worked in the water plant, I think. Talked to him in Dayton, Ohio in about 1986. He had gotten out of the service and I had just been stationed there as a brand new 2Lt. Only talked to him on the phone.

Skip Cook
Cindy Baker

Dillon, CO

#69 May 27, 2015
My Dad, Charles Baker was stationed at Finland from the early 60's to 1969. Does anybody remember him?
James Venchuk

Washington, DC

#70 Jun 23, 2015
Jack Rickly wrote:
<quoted text>
I was there right next to you from '71 through '73. I live in New Jersey now, near NYC. I remember you were from the Chicago area at the time. I was the 1st Lt who was the Assistant Radar Maintenance Officer for a while. I remember a week when the high temperature for the week was 35 below (it just wandered from 35 below to 45 below and back all week); we had a fire alarm go off one night at 42 below. I remember Tech Sgt. Ring was also in the room. I remember Major Fred and his wife Jan, and SMS Barrett, and Phil Hiiva, who was the civilian contractor for the height-finder radar. I remember when they finally put a solid-state receiver in one of the radars, replacing a vacuum tube unit. There was so much less heat in the tower, as a result, that the water froze when they mopped the floor, and they had to troubleshoot circuit boards with mittens on. I also remember a guy got tired of having his garbage cans thrown around by the bears, so he bought a shed from Montgomery Ward and put it up. So the bears tore the shed apart and then threw his garbage cans around. I also remember someone winning the money for the best suggestion for the month; it was "fill in the hole where that house burned down." Finally, I remember there were three timber wolves in the area at the time, even though there wasn't supposed to be any in the continental US. In fact, I narrowly missed hitting all three of them with my car about 10 pm one night.
Jack, good to hear you are still out there. Man only 45 years later. I'm still in the Chicago area, been working with the Feds. Been up to Finland and the area a couple of times. USAF really trashed the area up on the hill. All kind of reports about it being toxic from the state. Happy thoughts. Had to be the coldest place on earth.
Joe Mercier

La Verne, CA

#71 Jul 28, 2015
Hi All,
The 35th reunion of the closing of Finland AFS went off without a hitch thanks to Marv Crawford and his wife Sandy. Having arranged for the venue, buying all the necessary decorations and refreshments, and transporting them up from their home in Nebraska, it was only fair that Don Miller and I help with the set-up of the hall and Larry and Kate Miller with greeting and check-in. Many thanks to those who came and enjoyed the gathering.

It turned out that about 100 people showed up on Saturday, July 11th, among whom were about 50 veterans, 30 wives and about 20 former civilian employees from across the country. We all had a great time visiting the old site (or what was left of it), swapping war stories and reminiscing about how we all enjoyed our tour at Finland and the surrounding area. For anyone who might be interested in a list of veteran attendees, photos, newspaper clippings or perhaps purchasing a blue cap with the 756th RADRON logo on it, you can contact Marv Crawford at [email protected]

I don't know if this will ever happen again but I'm happy to say that I was one of the vets that returned to the old site and met up with fellow vets who shared a period of time and place that was very enjoyable.
Joe Mercier

La Verne, CA

#72 Jul 28, 2015
Correction to my last: It was Larry and Kate Lewis who helped with the greeting and check-in. My bad.

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