Oral Histories

Randy Acord

Randy arrived in AK in 1943 with the Military for Cold Weather Tests. Interview by Chris Chiei in Fairbanks, AK on July 13, 2002.

RA: "But ah, those little old kerosene stove they had in there - well it was always warm from the top of the stove up to the top of the Quonset (laugh) But from the top of the stove to the bottom of the stove was always pretty cold. That's why we took our shoes and boots and put them at the foot our bed off the floor so they wouldn't get so cold."

"We had a weatherman on Alexi Point at Attu. We were in the same Quonset with him. Cause the three of us were transients - ya know, but - I was there for three and a half months. The three of us were - the two civilians and myself - because we were having to modify all these P38's and put this carborator heat system on all of um and then teach the pilots how to use um. Well..this poor weatherman - he had had his annomometers blow away four or five different times. They only read up to 85 miles an hour - the annomometers broke. So once it got up past 85 miles an hour, there weren't much of any good anyway because they were erratic reading, so he worked out a little system. He figured it would be more or less progressive. And these Quonset huts with the wind coming from this direction would blow on the end of that Quonset hut. His bed was on the end of the Quonset hut on the windward side. So he marked a spot on the floor where his bed was supposed to be all the time. And he'd always make sure it was - because of his references. It was only about that far from the wall on that end - from the end of the Quonset hut. So he had this bed located so that it was a few feet from the wall. And then he scribbled a mark on the top of the bed railing here - the end of the bed - and he started calibrating that in measurements using a sensitive caliper and he would measure those when there was a 20 mph wind blowing, a thirty mph wind blowing, when it was blowing against the end of this Quonset hut, and when it gone up to 85 mph he had a calibration for it - how far this wall was giving in to that wind blast." And when his annomometers would blow away (laugh), he'd come over there and start calibrating this thing - reading the winds off of his bed. And, you know he was within 2 - 3 mph accuracy in that thing. But the Quonset hut apparently never moved, because his calibrations stayed in there."