Bluie East Two
An abandoned airfield in Greenland
Ikateq, Greenland, 16 August 2009
During World War II, the United States became responsible for the defense of Greenland. They built fourteen bases codenamed "Bluie". Bluie East Two was an airfield and weather station at Ikateq. It was used by the U.S. Air Force. The weather station began reporting from the location on 1 November 1942 and the 1.500 meter runway was completed a year later. Because of the close mountains and strong winds the airfield never played a prominent role during the war.
The base was mainly used for navigation, search-and-rescue operations and meteorology. Its garrison consisted of two to three hundred men. The airfield was used in 1943 for a bombing raid against the German weather station at Sabine Island, 965 kilometres north. It was the only German outpost left in Greenland. The mission failed due to bad weather, but was completed later from Iceland.
Bluie East Two lost its strategic importance after the war and the site was abandoned in 1947. Most of the equipment was left behind. It was not until 2019 that work started on cleaning up the rusting fuel drums that have polluted the environment for decades. Cleaning up the approximately 200.000 drums and the vehicles will take years and can only be carried out during the summer months.