August 16, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

August 16, 1943
Dower arrived with supplies and mail. Eskimos from village over mountain around camp all the time.

The Dower must have been another one of the ships and it looks like Cape Dan is at the southern most part of the island.  It is possible that these Eskimo’s are from the village of Kulusk itself.  I am still looking for a weather station there and when I find it you’ll be sure to know.

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 18

Aug 10, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

Aug 10, 1943
Arrived at Cape Dan (Kulusuk) and started unloading ship. – Saw Eskimos turn over their kayaks while in them and then upright them again, also tip over accidentally and nearly drown. Trading with Eskimos and working 14 and 16 hours a day.

Cape Dan!  What a great name!

Kulusuk Winter – By Algkalv (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

The other thing I would like to leave you with is this video of Greenland Kayak Rolls by YouTube user Andrew Elizaga.  If you scrub through the video, you will see some of the various techniques which Merton most likely saw.  It even looks like they mounted a go-pro to go under the water on a few of the rolls.

I have to say – that looked extremely cold… but I think I’d be up for trying it someday…  perhaps someplace warmer though.

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 13

Aug 3, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

Aug 3, 1943
Worked cutting a new door opening into radio officers room on the Iris.

Just the journal entry for today I’m afraid. I will leave you pondering as I am, how thick are the interior walls of a ship?

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 5

July 28, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

July 28, 1943

Left #1 on the Iris, a Norwegian freight and passenger boat.

#1 was the code name of the base that Merton had been staying at.  I believe there were 7 in total.

The site warsailors.com has a great page on the history of the Iris including a crew list and convoy records. She rescued several sailors from ships sunk to U Boats over her carrer.

It is these old photos and documents that bring these journal pages to life for me.

The Norwegian site www.sjohistorie.no has another great photo of the ship as well.

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 30, 1943