To relieve the stress of the Sondrestrom mission
and the boredom associated with the hours of waiting for the next
flight, practical jokes became commonplace among the Firebirds.
One such ritual was reserved for Firebirds visiting Greenland
for the first time. The initiation began when the "old timers"
would start talking to each other about how much fun it was to
take the bus to DYE I for a "night on the town." (Note:
There are no roads to DYE I.) By the time the weekend arrived,
the "first timer" was ready to party. The old timers
would then drive the neophyte, or neophytes as the case might
be, over to the other side of the base in the squadron truck to
an area near the fuel storage tanks, to "wait for the next
bus." The trick was to dream up a convincing excuse to "have
to go back to the BOQ for something important that was forgotten."
The new Firebird would be left out there, several miles from the
main base. When the initiate finally realized that he was on a
"snipe hunt," he had a long walk back. Reputedly, Bill
Bless or Dave "Buck" Buchanan were masters of this ceremony.
(Courtesy of John Root, Firebird Pilot)
Note from D.K. Acheson, Firebird Pilot: This sounds like a spin-off of the bus/train to Holsteinburg, which was a new guy initiation that I first learned about in 1963. I had Jim Bell (Firebird Navigator) running around Sondy for about three days looking for tickets. Dka