Exercise Wind Chill, unlike Project Mint Julep, was not a side trip but rather was an operation that Billy was closely connected with, probably in some sort of operational staff capacity. It took place in Greenland, perhaps at Sondrestrom, in March of 1954. He refers in one of his letters, written in February, to the "jumbled mess of meetings and paperwork" that preceded the operation. Then, in a March 21 letter, remarks upon the "letdown" and relaxation that followed the departure of the "task force," celebrated by "a few beers in one of the swankiest clubs in the Air Force." This letter was from Thule. I'm not sure why the group flew up further north from Sondrestrom to Thule before heading home.

Here is a transcript of Billy's letter which includes a report on the Wind Chill activities:

16 March, 1954

The Advanced Headquarters, USNEC departed Torbay today at 1000 hrs. local and arrived at the advanced Headquarters site, at Sondrestrom AB at 1730 local. This marked the beginning of the exercise for me (the d-day was 15 March actually). The trip up by C-54 was uneventful and the end of the day and tonight at Sondrestrom delightful. Mother nature celebrated the occasion tonight with a beautiful display of northern lights. We had to look straight up to see them. The moon has shown down since dark and regardless what they say about a tropic moon—one has not seen a moonlight night until he has visited the arctic.

caribouTomorrow we begin work and I’m sure the chief, Col. Frink, has plenty outlined for us to do. I’ll do my best to continue this journal daily during the course of the exercise.

So ends the first day and with its end the same old longing for you.

[The cute caribou graphic is from the staionery upon which this letter was written.]

17 March, Sondrestrom

Today was filled with our preparation to brief the Wind Chill Task Force which will arrive around 1300 tomorrow. We had schedules to arrange and people to see; props to set up and more practice of our parts in the briefing.

Message have been coming in all day and Col. Ramsey has decided to set up an around the clock alert so right now I’m resting in preparation for my tour which will begin at 0100 hrs tomorrow morning.

Tell Kathleen that today I saw two little arctic foxes and I think I got a picture of one of them. We worked under a brilliant sun today and temperatures were as high as 36° F. [Sadly, I found no pictures of arctic foxes.]

Tonight the big moon is out again and I’m looking forward to my moonlight stroll down to Base Headquarters in the wee hours. It will be still and quiet then and I can be alone with my memories of you my Darling. Maybe the Aurora Borealis will dance again just for you and me. All my love.

18 March, Sondrestrom

speaker at podiumMissed my walk with you last night. The party came in at 0200 and said the Exercise was postponed for 24 hours. That wasn’t to our liking, but at the time there was nothing to do but go back to sleep and wait until today.

We rehearsed our speeches again today and worked in a couple of new tricks one of which is to have Capt. Lewis stand before the board and point out the main objectives and control points on a map while the various speakers are talking about them. Must be my navigator’s background.

[Thanks to the internet, we know that the picture on the right was taken at Exercise Wind Chill because of the stunning resemblance the bulletin board has with the one in this video. Unfortunately, Billy isn't in the picture pointing out places on the maps. Perhaps he took this shot during one of their practice sessions?]

Went to the Px today and picked up two little gifts for the wee ones which I will dispatch at Pepperrell. Couldn’t see anything for my Love so I’ll wait and get yours at Pepperrell. It may have to wait till payday but I’ve had my eye on it for some time.

I drew early duty tonight. I’ll be on from now 1800 until 2400. I’ll get that walk tonight but it will probably be in snow instead of moonlight. We’ll be together anyway. Think back to 2100 on the 18th March and see if you don’t remember feeling me with you. I love you, Billy.