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‘Frozen in Time’: an epic story of survival

By CAROLYN WHITE For the Enterprise Minnesota is well known for its winters and its cold temperatures, but our weather seems pleasant and is very survivable compared to Greenland's weather. Temperatures are often near 40 degrees below zero, but a...

Frozen in Time
Book review

By CAROLYN WHITE
For the Enterprise

Minnesota is well known for its winters and its cold temperatures, but our weather seems pleasant and is very survivable compared to Greenland’s weather. 
Temperatures are often near 40 degrees below zero, but add in a fierce wind which makes walking impossible – that is Greenland’s winters. 
For these reasons and more, Greenland has been ignored by the world, but in World War II, Greenland supplied Cryolite that was essential for making the aluminum needed for airplanes. 
The U.S. Army set up bases to protect Greenland from the Nazis. 
This is the background for a wonderfully written and compelling story about three aircraft crews that crashed in Greenland in November 1942. 
The book, “Frozen in Time,” by Mitchell Zuckoff tells the story of the fight to survive after these heroes of WWII crashed onto Greenland’s glacier, plus the modern story of a private crew lead by Lou Sapienza to find the lost aircraft and bring the dead heroes back to their families. 
Zuckoff was part of this team and his writing reflects his respect plus his passion for telling their stories. 
He starts with explaining how each plane crashed and the background of its crew. 
The Homer McDowell’s C-53 went down Nov. 5, 1942.
Then during the search for that plane, a B-17 piloted by Armand Monteverde with a crew of nine crashed on Nov. 9, 1942.
The very next day a Canadian A-20 crashed with a crew of three.
The rest of the book tells how these men fought to stay alive and the many rescue attempts over the next 148 days.
One constant figure in these rescue attempts was the almost daily flights by a pilot named “Pappy” Turner. His flights dropping supplies and keeping in contact with the B-17 crew was a huge factor in their survival.
If you are interested is WWII, arctic survival or even just a good story of human persistence and  ingenuity, this is a book you will want to read.

Carolyn White is the current president of the Park Rapids League of Women Voters. She retired from teaching six years ago and moved to Park Rapids, where she had spent every summer at her grandparents’ place on Long Lake. White is a member of the Long Lake Association, Kinship and several book clubs.

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