the Glen Edwards diaries


PBY Catalina at Bluie West One
PBY Catalina amphibious patrol bomber on the steel-mat runway at Bluie West One, with Quonset huts in the background, in 1943 or 1944.


Cover of BW-1 BW-1 was a U.S. Army airfield from 1941 to 1947, and as Narsarsuaq Airbase a U.S. Air Force installation from 1947 to 1958, when it was turned over to the Danish government of Greenland. I was enchanted by the name (why One? why West? and above all, why Bluie?) from the day I first heard it. So in August 2005 I flew to Reykjavik in Iceland, thence to Narsarsuaq in Greenland, to investigate the place for myself. This is what I found out. Read the story as an e-book for Amazon's elegant Kindle reader or on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. A $2.99 download from Amazon stores in the United States and other countries. (The link will take you to the right store for your region. Prices may be higher outside the U.S. because of sales taxes and other boneheaded government policies.) Also for sale on Apple - Barnes & Noble - Inktera - Kobo - Scribd.

Remembering Bluie West One (the article)
The legend of Hospital Valley
'Phooey on Bluie' (the poem)
Rescue on the Greenland ice cap (James Robinson)

Brayton Nye served as First Sergeant in the USAF at Narsarsuak in 1953-55. A couple years ago he asked if anyone who knew him at BW-1 to get in touch, and I was able to pass one such message. More recently, I got an email from the daughter of another airman who'd known M/Sgt Nye in Greenland, and who was "beyond excited" to learn that he might still be in ciculation. His daughter managed to find M/Sgt Nye's phone number, so her dad did have a chat with Mrs Nye. Alas, Brayton Nye died last August at the noble age of 94. Blue skies to him, and all the men who served our country in so many strange and wonderful places. — Daniel Ford

Layout of Bluie West One
Here is Bluie West One at the height of its powers, with the east-west runway now hard-surfaced, a secondary runway at an angle to it, and a full quota of buildings. Not visible is Hospital Valley, off the top of the photo beyond the the end of Runway 27. This photo would have been taken about 1950.

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

Flying Tigers
3rd edition

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Posted July 2016. Websites © 1997-2016 Daniel Ford; all rights reserved.