View Full Version : Norway, Feb 1979

Rob Parry
10-30-09, 03:49 PM
Were you there? Were you a member of the USMC detachment that was going to be part of the enemy force for the main exercise about 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle near Harstadt?

Let's see if I can jog a memory. I flew one of our senior officers to meet the USMC boss. The detachment had set up their base on the shore line of a fjord, so not only was it cold, it was also very damp. When my boss had disappeared to his meeting the detachment Sgt. asked if I'd like a coffee. He then introduced me to a huge African American Marine and asked him to make some coffee. We stood around and discussed Norway, how things could be uncomfortable etc etc I was curious to observe how the USMC handled the conditions. In the background my latest friend had climbed back inside his bivvy and closed the flap. There was an insistent "eeek eeeek eeek" as he pumped up his naphtha stove, followed by a pregnant pause and the sound of a match being struck.

I remember thinking, "Oh no, he didn't...." Just then the tent ballooned to twice it's normal size and my new friend appeared very dishevelled and definitely not fit to make any coffee. I was laughing so hard it would have been difficult to drink it anyway.

Two weeks later one of my lads did just the same thing at 0600, but in a ten man tent. We managed to cut our way out before the flames got us. An hour later I went looking for the Tilley lamp. I located it by the slowly rising smoke as it burned it's way out of the collapsed tent.

We all make mistakes. :D:D

10-31-09, 12:33 AM
No, I was there in 91 for Battle Griffith, though. Great people, I never paid for a beer there.