Handy Island

Handy Island
"The Air War Finds A Handy South Atlantic Island" was the caption on this Peter Hurd painting of Ascension Island, from Life Magazine, April 1945. It was the only place for pilots to refuel between Natal and West Africa.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ah, The Feel of Castile With Salt

(From my father's papers about his work as an Army engineer in the first half of World War II, now in the archives of the Ascension Island Heritage Society. )

Air crews flying through Ascension Island during World War II got special treatment: they got to use a little distilled water for washing up. Photo courtesy US Army Air Corps. 1943

by William Ashley Chapman

Living conditions for the base personnel and the air crews passing through were primitive. For the base personnel--two years in a flapping tent was a memorable experience.

Our desalination plant produced a limited supply of fresh water; enough for drinking, cooking, laundry, and vehicle radiators, but never enough for bathing.