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Utah Bob #35998

The other Ft Drum

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Not to step on Joe's thread about the Ft Drum in California, here's the other Ft Drum, named after a different fella

It's waaaay up in New York state, about a long rife shot from Canada. And the weather couldn't be any different from the California Ft. Drum. Frrrigid is one word that comes to mind. Windy is another. It's now the home base of the 10th Mountain Division.

 

When I visited there for a couple of weeks for some cold weather training in 1969 it was only used during the summer as a National Guard training area. No one was foolish enough to go there in the winter. Except We few, we happy few in Special Forces. One reason was perhaps that the furnaces in the circa WWI barracks didn't work very well, and the walls had 1/4" gaps between the boards. Good ventilation in summer I suppose. Kind of uncomfortable in winter. No surprise the 10th Mountain is stationed there . Note the pic. They like snow.:blink:

 

I was ensconsed in sleepy Ft. Devens, Mass in a small apartment off-post with my beautiful new bride of only a month or two. She, like I, had grown up in South Florida, a stranger to truly cold weather. But I had been stationed in Bavaria for the past year and knew well the beauty of a snowy landscape, and the unpleasantness of carrying a rucksack through it.

So just as winter was about t unleash it's cruelty, the Army ripped me from the warm arms of my beloved and pointed me in the direction of Camp Drum, as it was called then, a remote huge military reservation near the Canadian border. As I prepared my A Team for deployment to Drum, I said to myself, “How bad could it be?” I had trekked all over the Alps in winter with my band of brothers. Skis, Snowshoes, Sleeping blankets and camaraderie reigned.

 

I have since learned never to say to myself, “How bad could it be?”

No doubt some lowly Lieutenant in 1855 had the same thought as he sat ahorse waiting for the command to advance at Balaclava.

 

 

 

 

 

https://home.army.mil/drum/index.php/about/history

 

 

 

10thMountain.jpg

Ft Drum.jpg

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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Ahhh, the X mountain division!  Once upon a time I did daring things, one of those things was to ascend Mt Washington in NH by bicycle. On my third and final climb, there was the dedication of a monument to the X division (some stone with crap printed on it) traffic was heavy. Think about cars ascending at 10 mph and bicycles at 4-5 mph.

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13 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Not to step on Joe's thread about the Ft Drum in California,

 

As I've mentioned before, never worry about stepping on or changing the direction of a thread I've started, unless I have specifically stated in the OP that I would prefer that it not be diverted.  
But, Ft. Drum is Ft. Drum.  So what if one is in CA and the other in Upstate NY?  After all, how different could they be?  ;)

 

14 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I have since learned never to say to myself, “How bad could it be?”

No doubt some lowly Lieutenant in 1855 had the same thought as he sat ahorse waiting for the command to advance at Balaclava.


No doubt that some Persian small unit commander had that thought at the edge of the Plains of Marathon.

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7 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

But, Ft. Drum is Ft. Drum.  So what if one is in CA and the other in Upstate NY?  

Dammit Joe! ;-)

I’m slow cooking chicken on the grill, sipping petit Syrah from a family heirloom Jefferson cup, and you go say something like that. 

Red shit came flying out the olfactories and my bride sprinted out wanting to know what made me gag and laugh so hard at the same time. 

:-)

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2 minutes ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

Dammit Joe! ;-)

I’m slow cooking chicken on the grill, sipping petit Syrah from a family heirloom Jefferson cup, and you go say something like that. 

Red shit came flying out the olfactories and my bride sprinted out wanting to know what made me gag and laugh so hard at the same time. 

:-)

 

 

My job here is done!  :lol:

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:D I’ll continue my Ft Drum experience later. I’ll need alcohol.

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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Ah Ft Drum New York. This Texan that lived in Fresno Ca for 6 years a lot of that time spent in the desert of Yuma Arizona. Left 100+ deg weather and 2 months later in negative. Really strange feeling when I looked at thermostat and saw -10 and thought feels like warm spring day

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35 minutes ago, Perro Del Diablo said:

Ah Ft Drum New York. This Texan that lived in Fresno Ca for 6 years a lot of that time spent in the desert of Yuma Arizona. Left 100+ deg weather and 2 months later in negative. Really strange feeling when I looked at thermostat and saw -10 and thought feels like warm spring day

My dad went through Aerial Gunners school in Yuma in the summer of 43. Then he loaded up on the train with a couple hundred other guys headed for New York and England. But a day later they announced that there was a critical need for radio men in the 8th Air Force so the train diverted north to radio operators school and that’s where he spent the winter of 44. In Minot North Dakota! :lol:

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6 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

My dad went through Aerial Gunners school in Yuma in the summer of 43. Then he loaded up on the train with a couple hundred other guys headed for New York and England. But a day later they announced that there was a critical need for radio men in the 8th Air Force so the train diverted north to radio operators school and that’s where he spent the winter of 44. In Minot North Dakota! :lol:

Sounds about right

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Why not Minot? I was never there, but I know a bunch of guys who were.  OTOH, New Year's Day of 1969 it was -52 in Great Falls, MT, and there was NO WIND!   In spite of having an electrical tank heater on my vehicle, and taking the battery in the house for six hours, and when I took it out and hooked up the cables, and tried to start it, the engine groaned and nothing else! Even straight 5W motor oil got so thick, it could have paved a road! Next morning it warned up to -37 and the car started!

Try doing an optical alignment on a Minuteman missile site, above ground portion, at -15 with a 20-mph "breeze", and nothing between you and Canada's Great Slave Lake but a barbed wire fence!  You know it's cold when you need to "drain the sump" and the stream crackles and freezes in mid-air! And you tuck in quick!

Stay well and safe, Pards!

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23 minutes ago, Perro Del Diablo said:

Sounds about right

The army never changes.

 

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I come from Cold Lake, Alberta.

Need I say more?
OK

Temperatures would drop consistently to -40 and sometimes dip even colder. (But it's a dry cold - at least that's what we told ourselves)

Using good anti-freeze, a trickle charger and a block heater enabled vehicles to start, but in those days of nylon bias ply tires, one side would be frozen flat and you would get some pretty good thumping from them until they warmed a little and the flat side was pounded a bit.

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4 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

Temperatures would drop consistently to -40

 

Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit ? 

:D

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16 minutes ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit ? 

:D

Machts nicht.

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20 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

No doubt that some Persian small unit commander had that thought at the edge of the Plains of Marathon.

I'm sure some Hittite platoon commander said the same thing at Kadesh.

 

Sargon probably had some junior officer mutter the same words at one time or another, too.

Edited by Smuteye John SASS#24774
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3 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit ? 

:D

I do believe that somewhere about-45 the scales meet 

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I don't guess we will see the 10th Mountain Division out in the Midland-Odessa area very soon. 

It is so flat out there that a pool table resembles western Colorado at the divide, by comparison.

The highest thing out there is rattlesnake poopy. 

As I've said before, you can stand on top of your pickup, look to the horizon, and see the back of your own head.

 

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11 minutes ago, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

I don't guess we will see the 10th Mountain Division out in the Midland-Odessa area very soon. 

It is so flat out there that a pool table resembles western Colorado at the divide, by comparison.

The highest thing out there is rattlesnake poopy. 

As I've said before, you can stand on top of your pickup, look to the horizon, and see the back of your own head.

 

I reckon you’ll only see The First Team out in that territory. ;)

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To continue: So Charle Company saddled up, boarded the Deuce and a
Half’s, and headed for Moore Army Airfield where we waddled and climbed aboard some vintage C47s. It was a clear inter’s day? We were told that the winds on the drop zone were 3-5 kts with fresh snow on the ground. The flight north was uneventful. The C47 either has a fire breathing heater or a freezer. It will alternate between the two. At least their was no turbulence. Couple that with a cargo of sweating troopers and you have an uncomfortable and odiferous situation. 
 

So as we approached Drum, the jump door was opened about 10 minutes out. With 5 minutes everybody stood up, Hooked up and did equipment check. My buddy Sid was the Jumpmaster. I was second behind him. He leaned out the door to view the approaching drop zone. I was watching his face as he braved the 110 knot breeze. After about 25 seconds I grabbed his collar and snatched him back inside. I had watched his cheeks and nose turn color and get frostbitten. Not good.

 

With 30 seconds to go Sid took up position in the door and I got behind him. The jump light went green and out we leapt into the frozen sky. “Hot dog”, I though to myself as I gazed at the white landscape, “I Love snow landings”. The air is cold and you drop slow. You can just sit and plop down in mother nature’s featherbed. I scooted back in my harness and watched Sid who was about 50 feet below me as he descended. He had prepared for the snow landing like me. Relaxed in his harness, I saw him hit. Butt first. It didn’t look like it should. I swear he bounced instead of sinking in the snow! Huh? I scrambled to get into a  proper by the book position. Feet and knees together, toes pointed, eyes on the horizon...and WHAMMO! I hit the ground like a dropped manhole cover. The “fresh snow was about a half inch deep over ice and frozen ground. Not ideal conditions. I lay there taking stock of my young body and then got up and limped over to Sid. He limped worse. We rolled up our chutes and headed to the rally point, muttering about the “fresh Snow and light winds. At least the winds were light. By the time we got to the rally point they were blowing 18 gusting to 20. Nice.

 

Gotta go now. To be continued..

 

 

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I spent summer camp there with the guard in about 1974 I really don’t remember anything that makes it stand out 

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2 hours ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Gotta go now. To be continued..

 

 

I really enjoy reading your accounts.   A little serious,  a little humor,  sometimes sarcastic,  or droll, often informative,  and always entertaining. 

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