Old Moe 3-11-99  info: NCO 

Probably asking too much, but does anyone know where I/we can find a bottle, empty or full, of real Old Muthuselem, 100 proof, "Official United States Navy Medicinal" whiskey? Nobody believes there ever was such a thing. I'm new to computers and the net and don't know where to begin. We need some for the reunion. Doc Holik, I think you used the stuff to knock out the Christmas Pizza donators.  Pygmy 
Thursday, March 11, 1999 5:40 PM  Fm: Ray Berger

Believe me Bob, there was such a thing as Old Muthuselum. The flight surgeon at Byrd saw to it that the whole crew got a couple of shots after a cold long flight strictly for medicinal purposes. Kinda made it all worthwhile. Ah yes, those were the days. 'Course we never told Capt'n Moe bout this but I think he knew.   Ray

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 1999 3:45 PM
From: Himself
Reference: Ray Berger's comment on VX6 web page with respect to medicinal
Old Moe:
"You're cotton-pickin' right I knew about it. The skipper knows EVERYTHING. On occasion I was even known to slug -- sip --an ounce or two myself, but never during takeoffs or landings............."

Good show, Yank,

In response to the story on your web page about "medicinal alcohol", I have a true story concerning the OLD days on the Ice:

In 1958 I was flying R4D-8 99853 and on the way to the Ice, at about 70 South, our heaters went out.  'Made an interesting last four hours.  On landing, the plane captain had to stand in between me and the co-pilot and we (the co-pilot and I) had to breathe alternately.  This was so that, when I was inhaling the plane captain (with an on-site-made ice scrapper) would scrape the ice off the inner windshield in front of my face and then go to the other side to perform the same function while the co-pilot inhaled.  This made for a very interesting flight.  After 13 hours in the air (the last three or four with interior temperatures of -20 to -30 degrees ), we had to make an actual GCA in near whiteout conditions with interior frost alternately on our windshields.

This is a brief history of my plane that year.  I would down the aircraft because of the heaters and would get the standard answer on the yellow sheet...." Ground checks - O.K."  The plane would be up for the next day's flight.  Once again we'd go out into our icebox and fly to Little A-5, Byrd Station, or the Pole......or possibly an open landing with a seismo team.  All the time subjecting the poor crew to these temperatures and expecting performance not to drop.  It was asking a lot but the crew never let me down.

Picture a navigator trying to operate a perascopic sextant or complete a nav chart wearing big bunny mittens.  Or, at one time in the cockpit, an engine-driven fuel pump stopped pumping and we had to use the priming switch to keep the engine running.  The switches on the overhead panel were so close together we could not operate them with mittens on our hands.  So, once again, the pilot would hold the switch on for 30 seconds, plane captain would hold it on for 30 seconds, co-pilot would hold it on for 30 seconds....giving each person one full minute to warm his hand for the next turn at holding. 
We flew this way for two hours.  Very enjoyable.

It happened one day that old Doc Hedbloom ( Captain USN and Senior medical officer on the Ice at the time ) went to Little A with me on 853.  He had heard of the aircraft and it's problems through my complaining loud and long to all available ears.  About an hour and a half into our four and a half hour flight, he came forward and yelled, "Buz, why the Hell don't you turn the heaters on?" to which I answered, "I turned them on before we left the
ground, Doc.  They're working as well as they have for the last month."  He spun around, went back to the cargo section, and returned momentarily with a little brown box about 8 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches.  Upon opening this box, he produced little two ounce bottles of "medicinal brandy" which he gave to me, my co-pilot, plane captain, loadmaster, and navigator.....and said, "I am a Navy captain and outrank all you poor bastards.  Now, DRINK THIS!".....which we did.  Then we had a second round.  By this time, the warmth was coming back into our hands a little bit and we continued merrily on our flight.  One of the most enjoyable flights we'd ever had. 

When we returned to Mac Town, Doc Hedbloom went down to the maintenance shack and raised hell with them about our heaters.  Finally, they were repaired and worked for the rest of the season.

God bless Doc Hedbloom!

More stories as my brain clears.....:)



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