Don Blumenthal's Adak Scrapbook

1943 - 1944


During my first stay on Adak in 43, I was a medic in the dispensary.  I assisted the doctors in treating patients which included minor operations.  I gave those lovely shots that we all enjoyed so much.  On one of the islands I remember giving first aid classes to the squadron.  Sometimes I felt this was done to keep all of us busy.  When I returned to Adak from seven months on Shemya, I was put in charge of the medical supply.  I ordered supplies from the station hospital and sent them on to the dispensaries on the other islands, as they had ordered from me.  As you remember, everything required six copies and those old typewriters were not the easiest to use.  Correcting a mistake in typing was the pits.  We didn't have white out at that time.  I also set up a photo lab so I could develop and print pictures.  I had to get the approval of the Base Censor and was given a number to stamp on the back of each print I made.  This is how I came to possess some of these negatives. 

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#1. This a picture of me with my ambulance on Adak in either 1943 or 1944. We had four ambulances and one was assigned to each one of four of us. Adak.
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#2. Adak in 1943 or 1944...probably 1943 when we depended on the navy for some supplies we could not get from the army. This is a portion of Finger Bay where the navy was stationed. The roads were dirt. Adak.


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#3. Adak, 1943. Our fleet of ambulances at the Air Base Dispensary. Note dirt roads. Our dispensary was the Quonset dug into the ground. My ambulance is the one with the dent in the roof. One night the wind (oh yes) lifted the three hole outhouse over the hill and dropped on top of it. Adak.


adak-alaska-10.jpg (18920 bytes) #4. Adak, 1943 looking into the inner harbor. Adak harbor was very large. I have many stories and pictures concerning Adak as that is where I spent most of my time. I was two or three months on Umnak, seven months on Shemya and the rest of my 28 months on Adak except for a short stay at Elmendorf Field before going to the islands. Adak.


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#5. Some idea of the weather in 43 and how we were dug in.  The hut in front was our infirmary, the dispensary was on the right of this. You can see several of the tents that were our living quarters. Adak.
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#6. Some medics and a doctor outside of the dispensary. Summer 1943, Adak.
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#7. Me in 1944. Adak.
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#8. John Newell and I on the walkway leading to our tents. Adak, 1944.
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#9. Myself (on the right) and unknown outside our tent. Adak, 1944.
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#10. We used this tractor to pull us up the mountain side to ski! Also used for rescue like with the airplane crash. Adak.
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#11. This is a picture of the C-47 that crashed on the mountain between the runways. We had to go up there twice...once at night in a blizzard to examine the area and the next day to bring down the remains...which were few. Adak.
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#12. This was the living area for the medics of the Air Base Dispensary in 1943. Even though these were dug into the hillside, the good old wind removed some of them! Adak.
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#13. Our CO was real smart, having these tents placed in a flat area. When the snow would melt, we'd be surrounded by water! Adak.
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#14. A picture of the staging area in 1943 Adak.
adak12.jpg (21176 bytes) #15. Part of the area where the Air Force was camped in 43.


Last Updated: 30 Dec 2013 08:09

Originally published 3 May 2001