August 18, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

August 18, 1943
Received mail dropped by parachute from airplane.

I am going to try to catch up on these – much like the mail.  I would imagine if he had received a letter from home that he might have mentioned it.  My Father would have been almost 12 years old at this point.  I wish I could ask him if he did ever write.

OA-10 Catalina on the ice in Greenland after a rescue.

OA-10 Catalina on the ice in Greenland after a rescue.

If you are interested in letters back and forth between a husband and wife, check out Deb Sweeney’s great book “Dear Mother, Love Daddy” on Amazon [Link] and her blog at GeanealogyLady.net. [Another Link]

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company. He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next Entry – Aug 22

August 13, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

August 13, 1943
Started first building on mountain for weather station.

Weather stations on the East Coast of Greenland were very important installations.  This was the day before Doplar and Satellites.  The weather fronts from Greenland would routinely make their way on to Northern Europe and these stations could report and forecast so that the troops stood a better chance on the front.

The weather station Knospe in operation during World War II. (Image: Svalbard Museum)

It seems as if the German’s also had stations on Greenland and there were numerous expeditions to find and secure them.

This fascinating short documentary on ‘The Sledge Patrol’ by Sandra Skibsted can shed more light on the subject and is the tale of Greenland’s first ‘Army’

If you are at all interested in the current weather in Kulusuk Greenland, follow this [Link] to The Weather Underground.  This year on August 13 it was a balmy 47 °F (8 °C).

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company. He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next Entry – Aug 16, 1943

August 5, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

August 5, 1943

Arrived at #2, met Capt. Shriffin who was stationed in Hyannis for long time.

Bluie East Two was a minor United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) airfield at Ikateq, East Greenland. It was operational from 1942 to 1947. ¹

I would be curious to find out who Capt Shriffin is.  Did Merton know him ahead of time or was the simple fact they were both in Hyannis the common denominator.  When researching Merton’s history on the cape, be it newspapers or other items, I will keep a look out for the Captain.

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company. He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next entry – Aug 10 ²

¹ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluie_East_Two

² Note – I will catch up soon – I promise

July 31, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

July 31, 1943
Went into #7, loaded coal, saw more Eskimos, and a man being taken off a ship in a strait jacket.

#7 was the base at Kangilinnguit, right near Ivigtut.  Merton last mentioned that he was awaiting transfer to #7 on June 6th.  It surprises me that it took this long.  Perhaps it took the other man even longer which is why he ended up in the strait jacket.

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company. He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next Entry – Aug 3, 1943

July 30, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

July 30, 1943
Arrived at bay near Ivictut

Ivictut aka Ivigtut which is now known as Ivittuut, is located on the western side of Greenland.  I’ve written about it before way back on June 3rd [Link]

I found a video on YouTube by user ‘cputb1’ of his father’s days in Ivigtut Greenland during the late 1940’s.  The photographs encompass work, life and play and show a great cross section of what conditions must have been like.  I hope you enjoy.

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company.  He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next Entry – July 31, 1943

July 21, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

July 21, 1943
Went fishing in fjord with 2 soldiers. One of them caught a big codfish that had a hook in with a line, rod and reel attached!!

What a fish story indeed!  With Merton being from Cape Cod, it did make me wonder if the Cape was indeed named after the Cod Fish.

Iceland is Close to Greenland - Sigfús Eymundsson (1837 - 1911) - Scanned from "Þór Magnússon (1976). Ljósmyndir Sigfúsar Eymundssonar Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík." page 73

Iceland is Close to Greenland – Sigfús Eymundsson (1837 – 1911) – Scanned from “Þór Magnússon (1976). Ljósmyndir Sigfúsar Eymundssonar Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík.” page 73

Continue reading

A Hamilton Railway Special

After reading the July 8th entry of Merton’s War Journal [Link], my Mother commented something to the effect that ‘I don’t Listen to the family stories very well‘ and that the pocket watch did indeed come from within the family. She believes it did belong to my 2nd Great Grandfather – Leonard Ivy Young born in 1843 and died in 1924.

Railroad pocket watch believed to have belonged to Leonard Ivy Young b.1843 d.1924

Railroad pocket watch believed to have belonged to Leonard Ivy Young b.1843 d.1924

My Mother was kind enough to snap a quick photo of it to share.

This seems to be a Hamilton Railway Special – Probably made around 1912.  The Hamilton website has a similar model though the there are some distinct differences.  The earlier models seem to have a different logo treatment, as do some of the later.

Superbly designed and splendidly constructed, this watch achieved that high pinnacle of perfection. More than 200,000 pieces of the 940 movement were produced from 1900 to 1928. 18 size, 21 jewels.¹

Perhaps in another blog post we will talk about the glasses and diary in the background.

¹ From www.hamilton-museum.com/museum