Tom's truck was four years newer than this one, but they were very similar. 

Abandoned hangar may have been the one that housed Rivet Ball. The Control Tower is immediately behind the photographer.

Book Exerpt (opening):

Seward’s Folly is a treasure trove of riches for the United States. It engendered the gold rush of the 1800s and an oil boom in the 20th century. When we bought Alaska, aka Seward’s Folly, from Russia, we got an enormous amount of land, and a string of subarctic islands extending across the northern Pacific. These are the Aleutian Islands.


At the farthest end of the Aleutians, much closer to Russia than to the rest of United States, is an Air Force Base. It is on a tiny island called Shemya.


When the U.S. and Russia were in the Cold War, between World War II and Ronald Reagan, our presence on Shemya was important. From there, we kept a close eye on the USSR, 230 miles to the west.


It was arranged, when Seward’s Folly became part of the U.S., to have the international date line bent so that Shemya was on the same day as the rest of the United States. Otherwise, yesterday and tomorrow would have been very confusing concepts in any conversation about the Aleutians.




I joined the Air Force when a substantial rumor came to me in October of 1965 that the Army had plans for me. I joined the Air Force and left my home in Memphis, Tenn., for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Electronics technical school at Keesler Air Force Base in south Mississippi led to my first permanent duty station at Moody Air Force Base in southern Georgia. After a whole year of training – basic and electronics – it was there at Moody that I began practicing the black art of electronics maintenance as an airman in the U.S. Air Force...

Those are the first few paragraphs of "Shemya, learning to live with the wind," for sale here. It is the first book by its author, Thomas Anderson, and is a mostly true story of Tom's time on the island. His tour of duty there was scheduled to be one year, the minimum sentence according to Air Force regulations. It wasn't long until things began to change.

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© 2016 - thomas anderson design

    All photographs were obtained from public domain sources.