Price: $2,255.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good+

On offer is a fascinating, original archive of 23 letters, over 40 pages, handwritten and typed by Parker Emerson Calkin at the US Naval Station at Adak Alaska to his folks back in Atlanta Georgia. Historians and researchers of the time and place will recognize the grouping as unique especially given the remoteness of Adak which is the westernmost municipality in the United States and the southernmost city in Alaska and there are no radio stations within 200 miles and the historically significant times. 1956 was the year of the Hungarian Revolution, the start of the Vietnam Wars, the Suez War and in the following year the Strategic Air Command would initiate 24 hour 7 day a week vigilance fearing a missile attack from the Soviet Union. One cannot help but remember that the Korean 'Conflict' had just ended 3 years prior and was still an open painful wound on the American psyche. Parker writes he is being trained to be a Top Secret Control Officer and Radio Officer and given the importance of Adak which was developed as a naval air station and played an important role during the Cold War as a submarine surveillance center these letters are particularly well placed historically. We also learn he is studying to become a geologist which eventually becomes his profession. Dr. Calkin wrote several books and articles concerning his geological findings and studies and even has a glacier named after him. [See the BIO NOTES at the end of the description.] Some of the letters are written on stationary from the Naval station itself. Here are some snippets: 1956 "April 7th, Dear Mom and Dad, I imagine as I am writing this you are on your way back to Atlanta….I don't remember exactly what I said in my last letter so I'll probably repeat a lot. I am in the Communications Department here on the Naval Station. There is also a Naval Communication Station at the other end of the Island which does a lot of secret work. At the present time we have seven officers in the department, but two are leaving next month. At the present I am in training for the job of Radio and Signal Officer. This is a very important billet and is usually held by a senior J.G. I am the only officer left for the job, so I will get it if no senior officers come in the next two months. I will be in charge of the message center with three or four transmitters and six teletype machines. I'll prepare all monthly and quarterly reports to be send form the Dept. to the CO and the Com. 17th Naval District in Kodiak. During the year here I'll probably be rotated to the other two billets which are, Electronics officers and custodian of Registered Publications and Postal Officers. I would have liked to be Electronic Officer now but the new JG got that job. I will be standing communications watch which involves sending and receiving secret messages after working hours. I have gotten security clearance and am now a member of the crypt board. Most of this work is secret or confidential but I can tell you that I'm learning to type faster and send messages over the teletype machines. Love Parker." "April 21st, Dear Mom and Dad, I usually can print better than this but I have a cast on my right arm and so I am now left handed. A week or so ago I was climbing a mountain and was only a few feet from the top when a 60kt wind came up also brings snow so I turned to go down. Well to be brief I fell or slid on the ice some 1500 feet to the bottom and then managed to walk some 5 miles through the storm to the first building. I got some bad scrapes and bruises and a chip out of my wrist. The scrapes are fine by now but the doctor says I must keep this thing on my wrist one more week. I've been x-rayed all over by now but I seem to be as whole as ever although a few muscles are still sore….Well I have to write a little woman a note now so bye for now, Love Parker." "May 1st, Dear Mom and Dad……Perhaps you would interested in knowing a little more about Adak. Although there are less than 2,000 persons on the Island now, there were 70,000 troops here during the war. Shortly after the Japs took Attu and Kiska the US moved in here and built the place into a regular fortress. There are thousands of quarters all over the place and very few are occupied now. There were two big airports built on opposite sides of Adak. One of these was flooded by a stream when not in use. The other field was torn up by the wind. The original inhabitants of Adak were the Aleut, a tribe of Indians very similar to the Eskimos in appearance. A very large potion of this civilization died away because of the diseases brought here by the Russians…Special love to you mom, Parker." "June 19th,Dear Mom and Dad,….I'll be taking over a couple of new jobs soon. I'll be custodian of requested publications and Top Secret Control Officer plus my regular job as Radio Officer. Actually there isn't much work to either of these jobs….Hope you all are fine as I am, Love Parker." "July 24th, Dear Mom and Dad, Well today is the day that Joan will be coming in. She came up on the MSTS ship and it will be in at 2 P.M. today. This is the slowest morning I've ever had. I have been working for the last five days cleaning up our temporary quarters. We will be up on a hill overlooking the base called NORPAC Hill. We will be there until the permanent quarters are available. The temporary houses are pretty bad on the outside but fairly nice inside. Ours has three bedrooms, bath, kitchen, living room and dining room. The quarters were pretty dirty when I saw them and there was an inch of sand on the floor where the water had carried it under the back door in a storm. I washed and waxed everything so it will be clean for today. We have a pretty good view from the dining room which looks out to sea. On clear days we can see Great Sitkin Island which is an active volcano 27 miles northeast of Adak. Speaking of Great Sitkin, did I write that I went over there on one of the tugs with six other fellows. We stayed over there three days and camped there. We climbed up to the crater on the volcano which took us six hours up and three and half down. It was quite a climb since we started at sea level and climbed over pretty rugged terrain to 5,000 feet. After all my running I was in great shape and led the party all the way to the top. We got above 1,000 ft. There was snow all the way to the top and all of us that went to the top got pretty badly sunburned. The crater was very interesting to me although it was sort of a broken down one. It consisted of a large pile of cinder like material called pumice and scoria which was enveloped in steam and H2S fumes. The snow was melted back from it for about 25 feet and was over 50 feet deep where I could see the edge. Further down on the outside of the crater there were a lot of fumaroles and hot springs and even a bubbling mud pool. The other day I received a U. S. Geological Survey bulletin and a Geologic map of the Island which I haven't had a chance to study yet. Yesterday three Scripps Oceanographic Institute (UCLA) ships came in to Adak and I got a phone call from one of the fellows aboard who graduated from Tufts in 51. He was a geology major also and had just gotten through with 3 years in the Navy last year. He showed me around the ship and tires to explain all the electronic gear for sounding and taking cores of the ocean floors. Today they are on their way to Pearl Harbor where they'll explore deep sea canyons….I'll be writing again soon, Love Parker." "December 6th, Dear Mom and Dad……I have to go to a lecture this afternoon on Arctic Survival and it should be pretty interesting. All the men on the Station have to go to the lecture and sleep out one night during the winter. I guess some fellows really dread it but it will be fun for me. Last year two or three officers were sent up to Fairbanks for a week of Survival training and I think I might be able to get in on it…..PLEASE DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME, I LIKE IT HERE AND SO DOES JOAN. Love Parker." "December 27th, Dear Mom and Dad…..Joan has been a little upset lately because the doctors here think she is pregnant, but they aren't sure. If she is pregnant she is already four months along but I don't think the doctors will know for sure till next month. If she is pregnant she may be leaving Adak in a month or so. They don't allow anyone to travel after the 6th month so she's either got to leave soon or I've got to extend up here until August. The way are personal life together has been going it will probably be better for her to go home now….Love to all, Parker." His last letter is dated May 2nd, 1957. Only two of the letters have their original covers. All the letters are in great shape. BIO NOTES: Parker was born in 1933 to the parents of Frank G. and Georgia Calkin in the state of New York. He graduated from college and headed to Alaska to the Navy Base in the 1950s. I think he was just studying geology on the side while in the Navy but by the looks of things he became quite the prominent geologist. In fact there is a Glacier named after him called, Calkin Glacier. It's just west of Sentinel Peak and was so named by the United States Antarctic Research Program in the early 1960s. He ended up being a professor of Geology at the University of Buffalo and in 1994 was elected chair of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America. Since 1977 Calkin has made annual expeditions to Alaska, and Antarctica. He also conducted field research in Greenland, the Yukon and Northwest Territory and British Columbia. ; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, PARKER EMERSON CALKIN, GEOLOGIST, US NAVAL STATION, ADAK STATION, ALASKA, TOP SECRET CONTROL AND RADIO OFFICER, UNANGA, THE ALEUTS, NAVFAC ADAK, SUBMARINE BASE, THE COLD WAR, SUBMARINE SURVEILLANCE, TOP SECRET MILITARY OPERATIONS, INTELLIGENCE WORK, POST KOREAN CONFLICT, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, PRIMARY SOURCE, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT, SOCIAL HISTORY, PERSONAL STORIES, LIVING HISTORY, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL,BIOGRAPHY BIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY PERSONAL NARRATIVES



Categories: 20th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, All, 20th Century Ephemera,


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0002272

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Parker Emerson Calkin GEOLOGIST Us Naval Station Adak Station ALASKA Top Secret Control And Radio Officer UNANGA The Aleuts