The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on January 3, 1956 · Page 9
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 9

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 3, 1956
Page 9
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"TUESDAY^JANUARY 3,1956 PAGB WTNB ICEBREAKER SAGA Bearded William H. Brenzel, QM2 (2nd Class Quartermaster), sends blinker message to another ship. A fter five months and 20,000 miles in the Arctic, the Coast Guard icebreaker Westwind returned recently to the States with her thawed-out crew of 12 officers and 180 enlisted men. During these months, she played a big part in the United States-Canadian Distant Early Warning System, breaking .ice for vessels re- supplying Arctic defense outposts. This was her third annual Arctic visit. It was a lonely cruise for the crew, but there were enough sights to keep their memory books filled—glaciers tumbling to the sea, Eskimos garbed in wolf fur and the ocean above the Arctic Circle frozen white so it seemed the Westwind moved through clouds instead of water. They brought back such mementos as polar bear skins and a walrus skull. Many sported a five-month adornment of beard. The Westwind is a 6,315-ton, steel hulled vessel. 269 feet long, which cost 12 million dollars in 1944. A unique feature of the ship is its cut-away, sharply slanting bow which rides up on ice and breaks it with downward pressure of 6,000 tons. She can break ice 12 to 15 feet thick. Her armor plating is four times thicker than that of the average steel-hulled ship. Helicopters played a big part in the operation. They ferried men and supplies and were used to scout tor passages through ice packs for the vessel. A Coast Guard photographer, Philip A. Biscuti, made these pictures of the Westwind's trip to the Arctic. The Coast Guard's steel-hulled icebreaker outs through the heavy Arctic i«« with the greatest of The doughty WeeHrind BOM* close up to a huge iceberg in Arctic waters Helicopter uses sling pickup to transport material and supplies tositesjnaccessiblebyboat. Crew members setupprefabricated hut at Arctic defense post. It will be used as living quarters for Air Force p«rsonn«l. Eskimo mother hold* up child for cameraman's benefit t, Wild Arctic fox scavengers feed at a defense base in the far north. Eskimos in kayaks pull up alongside Westwind. They received from crew fresh fruit, tobacco and cigarettes as gifts. it ' Bruno A. Yoka, BMC (Chief Radioman),looks over teletype messages flashed to ship. Westwind Iowa supply ship through he»vy icefields in AreWc wMer*. Veteran Arctic Circle croaser 1 ' stands by u newcomer* •»( spiced soup with bi| ladles. TSk Wnk'l FKIUK WOW-*f femf

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