The DEW (Distant Early Warning) line was a line of radar stations near the 70th parallel in North America that we set up to keep an eye on the Russian planes that flew in Canada in 1946 after World War II.
The United States set up bases from Washington State all along the Canadian border.
As a young crewmember of our B-17 bomber at Scott Air Base in Illinois, I made my third trip to the DEW line. We were flying alongside this Russian bomber. The pilot waved at us, turned and headed back toward Russia. We never had any trouble with them again.
Our planes took photos of their planes and gave them to our headquarters. They found these planes were the same ones we gave to Russia during World War II to fight the Germans.
Russia would then build the Berlin Wall, and that would start the “Berlin Airlift”. We would have to fly everything into Berlin to our troops.
A lot of my friends were flying in those transport planes.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)