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Danish kitchen helper and good guy Harold Lauritzen, right, in the DYE 4 mess hall with two Danish Arctic Contractor (DAC) crewmen assigned to repair the station road from Kap Dan airport.
The library at DYE 4. Here’s where I discovered the story-telling joy of J.R.R. Tolkien in an old paperback edition of The Hobbit and subsequently devoured the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Note the seal skin above the bookcases, the chessboard and the great National Geographic map of the world on the wall. The station library offered great mental escapes.
The station dormitory was strictly for visitors for whom we had too few rooms. Visiting teams of air force electronics technicians & inspectors where the only occupants I recall during my too-brief stay at DYE 4.
A typical DYE 4 corridor. Yes, it was a bit spartan . . .
One view of my pig-pen of a room at DYE 4. The walls consisted of soundproof, military-spec metal panels. However, the rooms were reasonably large and appointed with a single-sized but comfortable cot, a bedside table, a chair, desk, dresser, window, mirror and closet. Each room contained a phone for internal station use and a speaker through which emergency messages could reach everyone at once anywhere in the building. All bedrooms were located on the perimeter of the building core that on this level, contained bathrooms, the library, a darkroom (where I spent most of my time), and other common-area facilities. A good design.
Another view of my room. Note the two alarm clocks. I often needed them!
My organizational compulsion reached its zenith (or nadir) here.
If the late Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan was correct, as I believe, when he said ‘the penalty of eternal vigilance is indifference,’ then this Hägar the Horrible cartoon from 1976-77 captured our DEW Line conundrum magnificently.
Yes, it’s yours truly wearing pajamas while experimenting with his Nikkormat SLR.
The view from my bedroom window on a nice day, with the north Atlantic in the distance. The fellow outside may have just checked weather instruments inside our Stephenson Screen enclosure, to his left. This task, rarely possible because of the weather, also was simply inconvenient & unnecessary. With the exception of cloud cover observations, we console operators could issue required hourly weather reports from a room nearby that contained electronic gear that reported the numbers from these instruments.
The DYE 4 gymnasium. I was one of the few people - there were just 12 of us in all - who used the equipment. When I wasn’t in the darkroom learning black & white film developing, my regimen included 50 inclined sit-ups, 60 push-ups, 40 leg lifts, assorted other calisthenics and 100 rope skips. Next came repetitions of bench presses, standard presses, reverse presses, curls and a long walk around the gym perimeter carrying a bar loaded with as much weight as I could carry. My work out concluded with a long game of basketball ‘horse’, played all by myself. Yeah, I was in great shape. It took the edge off of things.
A picture of the main radar scope at the DYE 4 console. Note the diagonal line drawn across the screen. This grease pencil mark is an outline of the portion of the Greenland coast covered by our main radar signal. At a normal azimuth, the signal covered about 250 nautical miles in 360 degrees. However, at DYE 4, nearby mountains gave us interesting blind spots to the northeast. Along the entire DEW Line, the radar signal from each station enjoyed considerable overlap from each adjacent station. To see the first of my two black & white photos of the console itself, take your browser to Also try



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