Lt. Richard Harding & Lt. Col. Ward Kemp CO of 449th FIS, Ladd AFB, Nov 1952

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  1. Lt. Col. George Ward Kemp Jr., Detroit, commander of the 449th Fighter Squadron at Ladd Force Base, Fairbanks, tells of some of the problems of operating in Alaska’s interior. Most treacherous is the winter ice fog. At 20 or below zero, in calm air moisture particles freeze and form vertical sheets of fog limiting forward visibility to a matter of yards. Such a condition may last for as long as 10 days and aircraft landings become touch and go propositions.
    Kemp’s squadron which flies F-94 jet all-weather interceptors and F-82 Twin Mustang ground support planes, has a remarkable record of no serious accidents in two years. New arrivals like Lt. Mike Slazor pilot from Evansion Ill., and Lt. Lionel W. Lavin radar observer from Brooklyn, N.Y., have been landing their F-94 under ceilings as low as 200 to 300 feet. Kemp says
    “While the ice fog is a continuing wintertime menace to operations in the interior, flyers in Alaska’s maritime areas along the Bering and Alaska Gulf coasts and on the Aleutian chain where the second C-119 was lost contend frequently with gale force winds. Over the mountainous areas they may en-counter ‘windwaws,’ sudden gusts of 160 to 170 miles an hour. The maritime areas also see as much as 60 to 120 inches of rainfall a year and in isolated locations as much as 230.”

    August 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

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