Paul Polink along with his four brothers served in the military during WWII. Miraculously all five brothers survived the war. Paul himself signed up for the Air Force Reserve during his senior year in high school and was trained as a gunner and an aircraft mechanic.
He was assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Squadron, which transported mail, troops, the wounded, supplies, the Governor of Alaska, several U.S. Senators, and members of the USO such as Joe Lewis. He also played baseball for his squadron and remembers playing at midnight due to Alaska's midnight sun.
Paul Polink (middle) and two other men wait for a bus to Anchorage
Life on Elemendorf Air Force Base, winter darkness in Alaska, interest of a 19 year old in seeing Alaska audio / transcript
Recreation during time off from military duty, playing baseball, love of baseball, playing baseball for the 54th Troop Carrier team and later for the St Vincent College, Ft Richardson field, midnight sun baseball in Fairbanks audio / transcript
Playing sports as a kid, coaching for a high school team, military baseball league audio / transcript
Making friends in the service, popularity of the 54th among the men, giving men a ride to "see the sun" audio / transcript
Keeping in touch with family, news from other theatres of war, worries about brothers safety, where four brothers were stationed during the war, desire to write a book about all 5 brothers war experiences audio / transcript
Photos from an emergency evacuation of a ship aground, Aleutian volcanoes audio / transcript
Recognizing veterans for their service, pride in service under the 54th, plaque for 54th at Air Force Academy audio / transcript