US Army Observers Report: US Navy Task Force 68 – “Operation Highjump” – Part 1







Edited by Robert D. Morningstar

Distribution :

OSW (2); WDGS Divs (5), except R&D (300); WDSS Divs (2); AAF (10); AGF (50); T (2); Dept (2); Base Comd (2); Def Comd (2); AAF Comd (5); Arm & Sv Bd (2); Adm Sv (2); Tech Sv (15); AMA (2); FC (1); PG (2); Ars (2); Div Eng (2); GH (1); RH (1); Disp (1); Sch (2), except Gen & Sp Sv Sch (5); USMA (5); Tng C (2); Class III Instls (1); A (5); CHQ (2); D (2); D (ATC) (2); D (A Tng Comd) (2); B (2); R (1); AF (5); W (2); G


(1) Special distribution.

For explanation of distribution formula, see TM 38-405. ii PREFACE This report represents the combined observations of Army personnel assigned to Task Force 68, Operation “HIGHJUMP”, Naval Antarctic Development Project, December 1946 to April 1947. The War Department responded willingly to a Navy invitation to send observers on this important expedition and increased its represen- tation to sixteen, ten more than originally allotted by the Navy. (The personnel included four men with prior Antarctic experience.) The Army cooperated with the Navy in respect to materiel items, particularly in regard to Ordnance vehicles and Quartermaster items of issue including special rations, tents, skis, stoves, sleeping bags, and cold weather clothing.

The Army observers were primarily a cross-section representing Army Air Forces, Army Ground Forces, and some of the technical services. The combined background permitted a general coverage of primary Army interests, particularly in the fields of polar research, engineering, communications, personal health and protection, surface transportation, meteorology, photography, air operations, emergency rescue, and various fields of scientific research. By Navy request, the Army observers’ activity was to be segregated specifically from expedition operations. However, they asked for or accepted voluntary work assignments which would permit better opportunities for military observations. The Army personnel therefore had an active part in many operational activities including exploratory flights, air operations, base construction, photography, over- snow travel, meteorology, emergency rescue planning, training, scientific projects, and other activities.

The Army observers were concentrated for the most part with the Central Group which operated on the Ross Shelf Ice, as there was little of concern to the Army in respect to ship movements and seaplane activity of the Eastern and Western Groups. The War Department issued no special instructions to its observers, but appointed a senior observer who was well qualified as to the broad interests of the Army in high latitude operations and thoroughly cognizant as to Antarctic conditions. The senior Army observer organized the observation team and clarified fields of responsibility. The trip to Antarctica aboard the U. S. S. Mount Olympus, Flagship of the Task Force, was spent in frequent conference to prepare for maximum utilization of observation opportunities in the Antarctic. The plan worked smoothly while on the ice permit- ting the observers to work independently with only occasional coordination with the senior observer. On the return, the observers held daily conferences and prepared iii necessary joint logs and reports by means of dictation into a wire recorder. The specific topics for which the observers were individually qualified and responsible were prepared separately.

Within one week upon return to the United States the Army observation reports, in rough draft, including illustrations, were submitted to the War Department and were made available in most instances to the agencies primarily concerned. The publication of the combined Army observers’ report was purposely postponed until the Navy’s much larger report could have prior release. It is felt that the Army observers’ report, although it does not attempt to cover ship operations or problems of primary concern to the Navy, does contain many valuable independent observations from an Army viewpoint that do not constitute a duplication of the Navy’s “Report of Operation Highjump”. (U. S. Navy Antarctic Development Project 1947.)

The Army’s combined observers’ report has in no manner attempted to evaluate or criticize the Navy’s Operation Highjump. It has been a conscientious effort to report the operation as planned and executed. Each contributor was requested to consider the operation in the light of the problems with which the Army would be faced, were it to undertake a similar project, and to make recommendations as to how difficulties could be obviated. The War Department is indebted to the Navy for including Army observers on Operation Highjump under the commendable leadership of Rear Admiral R. E, Byrd and Rear Admiral R. H. Cruzen. The Army observers, and those who have assisted in production of this report, are to be commended for the very valuable contribu- tions they have made to the War Department research and development program.

H. S. AURAND Major General, GSG Director of Research & Development War Department General Staff


PREFACE Hi CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION. Section I. Planning of Operation “HIGHJUMP”

1 IE Activities of U. S. Army Observers 5 HI. Narrative Account of Operation “HIGHJUMP” 13

CHAPTER 2. ARMY INTEREST IN ANTARCTICA. Section I. Historical Comments 15 II. Army Interest 16

CHAPTER 3. ENGINEER OPERATIONS. Section I. Introduction 18 II. Construction Equipment 25 III. Cargo Handling and Unloading 30 IV. Buildings and Shelters 34 V. Utilities 41 VI. Airstrips and Snow Tests 44 VIE Recommendations 57

CHAPTER 4. TRANSPORTATION. Section I. Introduction 64 II. Cargo Carrier, M29C 66 III. Tractors 70 IV. Drawn Conveyances 78 V. Landing Vehicle, Tracked (LVT) 81 VI. Observations 96 VII. Recommendations 99 VIII. Comments by U. S. M. C. Observer 101

CHAPTER 5. AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS. Section I. R4D (C-47) Operations in the Antarctic 105 II. Technical Observations 108 III. Recommendations Ill IV. Log of L-5 in the Antarctic 113 V. Comments on Air Operations by U. S. N. Observer 120 VI. Air Operations Logs—Central, Eastern, and Western Groups 124

CHAPTER 6. SEARCH AND RESCUE. Section T. Task Force 68 Search and Rescue Plan 129 II. Aircraft Accidents 135 III. Search and Rescue Equipment 145 IV. Observations 154 V. Recommendations 159 VI. Plan and S. O. P. for Army Search and Rescue Unit in the Antarctic . . . 161

CHAPTER 7. MEDICAL. f°*‘ Section I. Plans, Objectives and Policies 168 II. Technical Observations 176 III. Environmental Sanitation 199 IV. Survival and Rescue 208 V. Recommendations 217 VI. List of Medical Supplies Cached at “Little America III” 220 VII. Comments on U. D. T. by U. S. N. Observer 222

CHAPTER 8. COMMUNICATIONS (SIGNAL CORPS). Section I. U. S. S. Mount Olympus 223 II. Airstrip Control Station 229 III. Aircraft 245 IV. Emergency Base Station 247 V. Trail Party 249 VI. Clothing 251 VII. Observations 252 VIII. Recommendations 255

CHAPTER’9. COMMUNICATIONS (ACS). Section I. Plans and Objectives 259 II. Observations ‘ 259 III. Recommendations 263

CHAPTER 10. PHOTOGRAPHY. Section I. Task Force Plan 265 II. Personnel and Assignments 268 III. Equipment 273 IV. Operation of Equipment 273 V. Cold Weather Problems 280 VI. Recommendations 286 VII. Comments by U. S. N. Observer 289

CHAPTER 11. METEOROLOGY. Section I. Meteorological Plan 290 II. Technical Observations 291 III. Weather Processes Encountered 299 IV. Recommendations 300



VII. CLOTHING AND FOOTGEAR EXPERIMENTS 397 VIII. MAPS 399 Page vii Top row: Maj, Crozier; Capt. Harrison/ Mr. Waite/ Dr. Siple/ Maj. Holcombe/ Capt. Wiener/ Lt. Col. Davis. Bottom row: T/5 Waltersdort; T/5 Shimberg/ Lt. Col. Love/ CWO Morency/ Mr. Davis/ Sgt. London/ Lt. Col. Johns Figure 1. Army observers assigned to U. S. Navy Task Force 68, Operation HIGHJUMP RESTRICTED


SECTION I. Planning of Operation “HIGHJUMP”

1. Command of Project.

The United States Navy’s “Antarctic De- velopment Project, 1947,” identified by the code word HIGHJUMP, was established by the Chief of Naval Operations to be carried out by Task Force 68 of the Atlantic Fleet. This force, commanded by Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen, was under the opera- tional and administrative control of the Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. Technical control was retained by the Chief of Naval Operations and exercised through Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN (Ret.), who was designated as the officer in charge of the project and during the conduct of operations exercised technical control. Tac- tical command at all times remained with the Commander Task Force 68.

2. Assumptions.

a. That ice conditions would permit access to the proposed operating areas. b. That weather conditions encountered would permit conduct of planned air and surface operations. c. That no vessels of the task force would spend the winter in the Antarctic.

3. Objectives of Project

a. To establish a temporary base and air- strip on the Ross Shelf Ice in the vicinity of Tittle America, Antarctica, and conduct systematic long range air exploration of the Antarctic Continent therefrom, and conduct naval operations and carry out specific proj- ects for training naval personnel, testing materials, and amplifying scientific knowl- edge of the Antarctic. b. To extend the area of exploration of the Antarctic Continent, utilizing aircraft based on tenders operating around the continental perimeter. c. To examine the limits and character of the ice belt surrounding the Antarctic Con- tinent and the coast line where accessible by surface ships. d. To carry out assigned naval and scien- tific projects in order to—-

(1) Train personnel and test materiel in the frigid zones.

(2) Explore the largest practicable area of the Antarctic Continent.

(3) Determine the feasibility of establish- ing, maintaining, and utilizing bases in the Antarctic, and investigate possible base sites.

(4) Develop techniques for establishing, maintaining, and utilizing bases on ice, with particular reference to later applicability of such techniques to operations in interior of ice caps where conditions are comparable to those in the Antarctic.

(5) Amplify existing stores of knowledge of hydrographic, geographic, geological, me- teorological, and electromagnetic propagation conditions in the area. (6) Supplement objectives of the 1946 NANOOK operation. 765274—48— 1 BAY OF WHALES AREA 1947




Figure 2. Bay of Whales area, January 1947.

2 4. Task Force Composition.

Task Force 68 was subdivided into four task groups with the following locations and objectives:

a. Central Group

The Central Group was composed of the following vessels:

1 Communications Ship (ACC), the U. S. S. Mount Olympus (Flagship).

1 Ice breaker, “wind class” (WAG), the U. S. C. G. C. Northwind. 1 Ice breaker (AG), the U. S. S. Burton Island.

2 Supply ships (AKA), U. S. S. Yancey and U. S. S. Merrick. 1 Submarine (SS), U. S. S. Sennet.

This task group was to proceed to the Bay of Whales, land and establish a temporary base and airstrip in the vicinity of Little America, conduct systematic long range air exploration and associated operations, carry out various training and test projects, and support scientific investigations in the interests of amplifying our knowledge of the Antarctic.

b. Western Group. The Western Group was composed of the following vessels:

1 Seaplane tender (AV), the U. S. S. Currituck. 1 Tanker (AO), the U. S. S, Cacapon. 1 Destroyer (DD), the U. S. S. Henderson. c. Eastern Group. The Eastern Group was composed of the following vessels: 1 Seaplane tender, the U. S. S. Pine Island. 1 Tanker, the U. S. S. Canisteo. 1 Destroyer, the U. S. S. Brownson.

This task group was to proceed to the vicinity of Peter I Island (69° S. latitude and 91° W. longitude) and from this location begin systematic air exploration of assigned areas of the continent and coast line. This area was to be covered by moving eastward along the continental perimeter, keeping just outside of the ice pack.

c. Eastern Group <Editor’s note: No data reported. -M >

d. Carrier Group.

In addition to the above one aircraft carrier, the U. S. S. Philippine Sea was to ferry the R4D aircraft and one H03S helicopter down to the limits of the ice pack from which point the R4D aircraft were to be flown southward over the Ross Sea to the airstrip on the ice shelf. The helicopter was to be carried within range of Little America aboard the ice breaker Northwind.

5. General Concept of Operations after Arrival.

The primary objectives of the expedition were: To explore and map by aerial recon- naissance and photography as much of the unexplored and unmapped portions of the interior as possible and certain unknown or improperly charted parts of the coast line; to test cold weather air operations from ice cap terrain with conventional wheel landing gear by constructing and using a matted airstrip; and to determine the feasibility of and develop techniques for establishing, maintaining, and utilizing air bases on ice.

To these ends the various phases of the opera- tion were planned as follows:

a. Base Site. The ice barrier was to be approached in the Bay of Whales area and a thorough investigation made to locate a feasible base site in that area. If the bay was found closed and the area unsuitable for landing, search was to be made along the barrier, aided by observation from the heli- copter carried aboard the U. S. C. G. G. Northwind. The site selected had to satisfy the following requirements:

(1) The top of the barrier must be accessible from the ice, foot or bay ice.

(2) The general area had to be one in which the ice showed minimal signs of a tendency to break off.

(3) The terrain must present a level straightaway 1 mile long for the airstrip.

b. Base Construction. The senior Civil Engineer Corps officer was to be responsible for construction of the base and airstrip. All construction was planned to continue 3 on a 24-hour basis. The following priorities were given to the various phases of establish- ing the base:

(1) Priority One. Construct an access road- way from the ship’s side to a place of safety on top of the barrier, set up rigging to move cargo sleds from ship to barrier top, establish an emergency subsistence facility on the barrier top, and install communications for local control of unloading and construction.

(2) Priority Two. Break a trail from the first supply and equipment depot on the barrier top (“place of safety” mentioned above) to the base camp site.

(3) Priority Three. Erect a 300-man tem- porary tent camp.

(4) Priority Four. Install air operating facil- ities such as quonset hut for service facilities, radio equipment, and the pierced plank landing mat 150 by 5,000 feet with parking area, fuel dump, and runway lights.

(5) Priority Five. Erect 35-man emergency winter hut camp.

(6) Priority Six. Special facilities for testing equipment under cold weather conditions.

c. Carrier Group Operations. Upon completion of the airstrip (estimated late January) two R4D aircraft were to be called from the carrier lying outside of the ice pack at about 70° S. latitude and 175° W. longitude. These planes were to make the flight and test the landing strip before the balance of the R4D aircraft were called. The destroyer Henderson was to act as plane guard during the launching operation. After ferrying and launching the aircraft, no further role was planned for the carrier which was then to be released for return to the Canal Zone. The helicopter on the Philippine Sea was to be brought in to within flying distance of the base site aboard the U. S, C. G. C. Northwind.

d. General Air Plan.

(1) After the aircraft from the carrier had joined the central group the planes available at the main base would be the following: 6 R4D (C-47)—based ashore. 1 JA (G-64) on skis—based ashore. 1 H03S (commercial type) helicopter— based ashore. 2 J2F (amphibians)—one on U.S.G.G.C. Northwind and one on U.S.S. Burton Island. 1 HOS (R~6) helicopter—based on the U.S.C.G.G. Northwind. 1 H03S helicopter—based on the U.S.S. Burton Island. 2 Or (L 5) based ashore.

With this equipment systematic exploration within the limits of practicable flight by the specially modified R4D aircraft was to be carried out. The range of these aircraft with cabin tanks was estimated at 750 miles’ radius. It was intended to fly standard sector search tracks spaced so that adjacent plane tracks at the end of the sector would be no more than 60 miles apart. The planes were oxygen equipped and where possible were to fly at 10,000 feet altitude over the average terrain level while taking trime-trogon photographs. All R4D’s were to be modified to a combination ski-wheel landing gear. The smaller aircraft were earmarked for rescue and short range reconnaissance.

(2) The Eastern and Western Task Groups each had available the following aircraft:

3 PBM-5 seaplanes. 1 HOS (R-6) heli- copter 1 SOG seaplane 1 H03S helicopter.

Western — all on U. S. S. Currituck.

Eastern — all on U. S. S. Pine Island. The helicopters and seaplanes were to be used for rescue and short range recon- naissance.

The PBM aircraft were to be used in pairs to conduct exploration of as- signed areas. Each group was to move gradually in a direction away from the Ross Sea area along the continental perimeter. They were to concentrate on areas outside of a 750-mile circle from the Central Group’s base. Flights were to cover the coast line first in order to provide maximum geographical reference for succeeding flights 4 into the interior.

After photographing the coast line, flights were to be made into the interior up to 700 miles from the ships. General areas covered are indicated on map, appendix VIII.

e. Withdrawal. When the season advanced to the more difficult weather of the Antarctic fall, making air operations unprofitable or impracticable (estimated late March) ships of the Central Group were to be loaded and cleared from the Ross Sea and the entire task force withdrawn from the Antarctic area for return to the United States.

f. Emergency Base. It was planned that no personnel would remain in the Antarctic except to continue a rescue operation. If this became necessary the winter party of about 35 men and officers would be chosen insofar as possible from volunteers and would occupy the emergency camp mentioned above as fifth priority in the base construc- tion plan. If possible this camp was to be located so as to utilize the buildings left by the U. S. Antarctic Service Expedition in 1941 (“3rd Byrd Expedition”). The com- plement of the emergency camp was planned to include one medical officer and one medical enlisted man.

g. Scientific Research. As auxiliary activities many scientific projects were to be pursued in such fields as geology, meteorology, terrestrial magnetism, oceanography, radar propagation, etc. Certain of these projects were under the direction of civilian scien- tists from nonmilitary governmental agen- cies. SECTION II. Activities of U. S. Army Observers

1. Personnel.

The personnel serving as War Department observers on Operation HIGHJUMP, together with the agencies they represented were as follows: Dr. Paul A. Siple, civilian, WDGS, Research and Development (Assistant to Admiral Byrd on technical matters). John N. Davis, Lt. Col., Inf., Infantry School (Airborne). Willis S. Johns, Lt. Col., A. C., AAF Com- munications. R. C. Love, Lt. Col., M. C., AAF, The Air Surgeon. James H. Holcombe, Maj., C. E., AAF, The Air Engineer. Dan Crozier, Maj., M. C., Brooke Army Medical Center. Mr. A. H. Waite, civilian, Chief Signal Corps and Signal Corps Engineering Laboratory. Murray A. Wiener, Capt., A. C., AAF Rescue Service. Chas. H, Harrison, Capt., A. C., AAF, Weather Service. Mr. Robert Davis, civilian, Strategic Air Command (radar mapping observer). S. A. London, 1st Sgt., AAF Rescue Service (paratrooper). A. J. L. Morency, C. W. O., Amphibious Engineers. In addition to the above, four U. S. Army enlisted photographers were on the expedi- tion as participants under Navy direction. They were: Cpl. J. M. Waltersdorf and Gpl. J. Shimberg, central group; Cpl. H. G. Foster, Western group; and Cpl. E. Zinberg, Eastern group.

2. Policies of the Commander, Task Force 68. The policies of the Commander Task Force 68 with reference to the activities of the Army observers were as follows: a. Army observers were not to participate 5 in the operation or the projects set up for accomplishment by the Navy Department. Their capacity as observers only was main- tained except as requested by the task force staff. b. In order that the final report on HIGH- JUMP might be as complete and compre- hensive as possible, it was directed that ob- servers submit their official reports to or via the Task Force Commander. If desired, observers were given the choice of submitting advance copies of their reports to interested addressees. The Task Force Commander was to be informed of advance copies so distributed. c. Commanders were directed to furnish the Army group with all information and assistance possible in the furtherance of their mission. d. Complete photographic coverage of all aspects of the operation was planned, and any additional photographic work desired by Army observers was to be made available.

3. Planning of Activities. Planning of observers’ activities was initi- ated after departure from Balboa, C. Z. Regular meetings of all Army personnel were scheduled three times a week, and plans were drawn up for coverage of all task force projects and activities.

a. A master chart listing all major activi- ties and subdivisions thereof was prepared in such a way as to indicate the primary, secondary, and minor interests of each ob- server in the various phases of the operation. The master chart included official Navy test and research projects and in addition many routine phases of the operation which it was believed would yield valuable information. The medical officers submitted a jointly prepared outline of subjects to cover which became the medical section of the Army project list.

b. It was decided that a final consolidated report to the War Department would be written on the return journey from material assembled by the various observers. Each Army observer wrote the sections for which he had been originally assigned and considered best qualified. These assignments carried with them the responsibility for detailed observation and final preparation of material for the consolidated report.

c. It was believed preferable that most Army observers live ashore from the earliest possible date in close contact with the opera- tion. Accordingly, a memorandum was sub- mitted to the Chief of Staff, Task Force 68 requesting that this be authorized. Subse- quently the task force commander directed that during the early phase of unloading supplies and building the airstrip, only per- sonnel essential to the actual progress of the work would be quartered on the ice. All other personnel, both Navy and Army, were to sleep aboard ship. During this period the presence of these officers on the ice was to be permitted insofar as it did not place a burden on the shore party in erecting tent- quarters, expanding the mess to accommo- date them, etc.

See Task Force Memorandum, this subject, appendix II. Exception to this policy in connection with the War Department observers was made in the case of Maj. Holcombe, Aviation Engineer observer, who was invited to assist by participating in the operation in his field and was authorized to quarter ashore at any time at the discretion of the senior naval engineering officer. Other Army personnel were to be quartered ashore after the landing and construction phases.

d. In view of the detailed and complete photo coverage of all kinds planned for the expedition it was the hope of the medical observers that a moving picture covering the medical support of the operation might be assembled. The privilege of requesting photographic coverage was extended to the Army group and a comprehensive list of medical subjects was submitted. 6

e. It was foreseen that many of the data assembled by various observers would require interpretation and correlation with the weather conditions prevailing when the observations were made. The AAF Weather Service observer was assigned the responsibility for obtaining and recording daily information on temperature, wind, cloud cover, etc.

4. Activities Ashore.

Most Army observers made daily visits ashore until 23 January when tent quarters were made available and were occupied from that date until the shore party was evacuated on the U. S. C. G. C. Burton Island. Information was gathered principally through the medium of daily contact with personnel of the base camp. Press confer- ences were not attended by Army observers, with the exception of a few instances. Each air crew member was interrogated after all major flights. Engineering officers, crew chiefs, and line mechanics were also contacted on matters relating to their work activities. Permission was obtained from the base commander and senior officer of the flight echelon to attend aircrew briefings, and this was done whenever possible. Major Dan Crozier, M. C., and C. W. O. Anthony J. L. Morency were members of the party which made a week’s trip to the Rockefeller Mountains in tracked vehicles.

5. Recommended Assignments of Army Observers. The following memorandum from Dr. Paul A. Siple, Senior War Department Observer, to Capt. R. S. Quackenbush, USN, Chief of Staff, Task Force 68, outlined the recommended assignments for the Army observers while with the Task Force on Operation Highjump: 18 December 1946 Aboard USS Mount Olympus

MEMORANDUM TO: Capt. R. S. Quackenbush, U. S. N., Chief of Staff, Task Force 68, Operation “HIGHJUMP”.

FROM: Dr. Paul A. Siple; Senior War Dept. Observer, U. S. Army.

SUBJECT: Recommended assignments of Army Observer personnel during phase I of Ice Operations (Prior to arrival of R4D aircraft).

1. The following recommendations are summarized from detailed observation plans now under preparation to be submitted at a later date. Army Observer personnel are sincerely interested in the success of Operation “HIGHJUMP” and are willing, individually or collectively, to be of such assistance to the Task Force Commander as he might desire, insofar as they are capable, providing, of course, that such possible assignments permit ample opportunity to carry out observations of their specifically assigned fields by the War Department.

The following list of Army Observer Personnel is given by name, showing individual primary interests and personal choice of location:

A. Dr. Paul A. Siple, W. D. G. S.:

(a) To be available at all times for advice as desired by the Officer in Charge and the Commanding Officer of Task Force 68, on subjects pertaining 7 to Antarctic Geography, safety of personnel and general operations ashore, including scientific research program.

(b) To be available to assist the Task Force Commander in selection of suitable safe sites for various operations on the ice.

(c) To observe physical factors related to the construction of the airstrip.

(d) When not occupied with (a), (b), and (c) above, to accompany members of the scientific group concerned with studies and surveys of the deformation of the Ross Shelf Ice.

(e) To observe factors of human adaptations, acclimatization, accustomization, clothing protection, climatic effects and carry out personal experimentation on radical clothing designs.

(f) To take such opportunities as may be provided to carry out visual observations from the air, to continue previous studies of the morphology of the glaciation of Antarctica and its general geographic structure. CHOICE OF


(1) As desired by Admiral Cruzen.

(2) At the airstrip camp.

(3) With the bivouac camp for scientific group, planning to study ice deformation.

(4) Aboard ship.

B. Lt. Col. Robert C. Love, M. C.:

(a) Primary interest concerns general and specific problems of aeromedical and general medical nature. This latter will include all phases of health, sanitation, preventive medicine, casualties, acclimatization, clothing protection, accustomization, psychological factors, fatigue and endurance, food and water supply, observation of medical facilities and methods used ashore, including evacuations, etc.

In order to make these observations during phase I of the Ice Operations, prior to the arrival of the R4D aircraft, it is desired that Col. Love and Major Crozier, listed below, be permitted to live with the shore party, so that they may experience the actual living conditions on a twenty-four hour basis.

To this end, they are both willing to accept physical assignments to maintain close contact with working and construction parties who are subjects of their observations. It is assumed that if such assignments are made, they will be of such nature as to permit adequate time to make and record observations. Of special regard to Col. Love and Major Crozier, commuting from the ship daily will interfere with their personal acclimatization and accustomization, thus making poor observers and, as well, remove them for important hours each day from their subjects.

(b) After the arrival of the R4D aircraft, Col. Love desires to transfer his primary interest to subjects of aero-medical nature, while Major Crozier will continue to have a primary interest in human and medical problems of shore based personnel,


(1) At the airstrip camp.

(2) Self-provided bivouac near the airstrip camp.

(3) Aboard ship. 8

C. Lt. Col. John N. Davis, Inf.:

(a) Primary interest concerns all types of operations to be carried on ashore, especially landing and tracked vehicles’ performance; obsenations of Ordnance and Chemical Warfare tests, portable field communication equipment, and general utilization of manpower and techniques for meeting problems for operations of the Ice. He will be assisted in observations of performance of automotive vehicles and transportation problems by C. W. O. Anthony Morency, Ord., after Mr. Morency’s arrival on the Ross Shelf Ice.

(b) Desires permission (verbally indicated to Task Force Commander) to make a short flight for the purpose of testing airborne troop type parachutes in vicinity of the base airstrip. Col. Davis will be assisted and joined in actual parachute jump by Ist/Sgt. Jack London, USAAF, ATG.

(c) Included in Col. Davis’s field of interests covering observations for the Army Ground Forces are tests on landing force equipment,


(i) and technique and principles of dog sledging.


(1) At airstrip base camp.

(2) At ship

Lt. Col. Willis S. Johns, Air Corps:

(a) Primary field of interest is that of communications, including all aspects generally and many specifically. Some observations will be made jointly with Mr, Amory Waite, Signal Corps. Because of the nature of the first phase, being primarily communications between ship and shore, Lt. Col. Johns can probably best carry out his observations by living aboard ship, with occasional trips ashore.

(b) After arrival of R4D aircraft, Lt. Col. Johns’ primary interest will shift to communication problems and tests related to the flight operations.

(c) Of special interest are problems of task force organization and personnel handling, commands, and assignments.

(d) Observations to include general operations of aircraft, including cold weather techniques of flight preparations, aircraft performance, communications, and navigation.


(1) Aboard ship.

(2) At base camp after arrival of R4D aircraft.

E. Major James H. Holcombe, Air Corps Engineer:

(a) Observe and participate in construction of airstrip and advanced air base on Ross Shelf Ice. It has been indicated informally that Major Holcombe’s services as an air engineer consultant and as an officer to assist in con- struction of the airstrip may be requested, and to this end he is willing to cooperate to the fullest extent. This would permit him to be billeted ashore where he can best observe while helping in his primary field of interest.

(b) Observe tests, performance, and suitability of standard construction equipment, materials, vehicles, fuels, and lubricants.

(c) Observe cargo handling and unloading.

(d) Determine physical characteristics of possible future air base sites. 9

(e) Observe demolition operations in icefields if such prove necessary, or are attempted for test purposes. If such procedure is contemplated. Major Holcombe would appreciate being placed on the ship most likely to carry out this work, providing that such temporary assignment would not interfere with other observation activities listed above, in order of their importance to this observer.


(1) At airstrip base camp.

(2) Self-provided bivouac near airstrip base camp.

(3) Aboard ship

F. Major Daniel Crozier, M. C.:

(a) Primary observation interests are the same as listed for Col. Love, with the exception that primary interest concerns ice based personnel.


(1) At airstrip base camp.

(2) Self-provided bivouac near airstrip base camp.

(3) Aboard ship.

G. Capt. Charles H. Harrison, Air Corps:

(a) Meteorological observations, analysis, interpretation, and predictions. To this end, it is understood that Capt. Harrison will work in close coordination with the meteorological program and is willing to assume such responsibilities as may be assigned to him in this field.

(b) To observe and record physical characteristics of the environment of Antarctic conditions which produce effects upon man, equipment, and operations.


(1) Aboard ship.

(2) At the airstrip base camp.

H. Capt. Murray A. Wiener, Air Corps:

(a) To observe all aspects of search and rescue operations, including air, sea, and ice. These observations will include problems concerning communication and aids, transportation study, to include land and ski-type aircraft, helicopters, small boats, over-snow vehicles and utilization of dogs and sleds; evacuation and care of personnel and casualties, emergency equipment and use of equipment.

(b) To offer assistance to the Task Force Commander and advice, as requested, based upon prior experience on above-mentioned subject and experience gained on former polar expeditions.

(c) To observe and record aspects of clothing protection and general personnel requirements for operations in Antarctica.

(d) To aid scientific group, when not occupied with higher priority studies.


(1) At airstrip base camp.

(2) Self-provided bivouac near airstrip base camp. 10

(3) With bivouac camp for scientific group.

(4) Aboard ship.

I. Mr. Amory Waite, Signal Corps:

(a) To observe installation, operation, and maintenance of all radio equipment, particularly as affected by cold weather and Antarctic environmental conditions.

(b) To observe the same factors in regard to meteorological and photographic materials and equipment.

c) To observe generally and specifically the technical performance of all types of communications, electrical and electronic equipment, batteries, and items of issue by the Signal Corps, as utilized by the Task Force.

(d) To be available as desired by the Commanding Officer of the Task Force for advice and assistance on subjects listed above and general problems concerning Antarctica operations as previously experienced.

(e) In the early phase of the operation, temperatures will not be sufficiently low to make most of the desired observations listed above. He has therefore offered his services to the scientific group studying the deformation of the shelf ice. As an alternate to this suggestion, Mr. Waite has suggested he accompany the ship, if approved, which will erect the automatic weather station, possibly at Coleman Island, to cover observations of meteorological equipment and communications.


(1) Bivouac camp with scientific survey party.

(2) On ship, erecting automatic weather station and resultant shore party.

(3) At airstrip base camp.

(4) Aboard ship.

J. C. W. 0. Anthony B. Morency, Amphibious Engineers:

(a) To observe all phases automotive equipment and to assist Col. Davis in general observations of specific interest to U. S. Army Ground Forces. This is contingent upon his transfer from the U. S. S. Cacapon to the Mount Olympus and the Central Group.

(b) His services based upon past Antarctic experiences are available as may be desired by the Task Force Commander.


(1) At airstrip base camp.

(2) Aboard Mount Olympus. K. 1st Sgt. S. A. London, Air Corps:

(a) To assist with observation program concerning search and rescue listed above under Capt. Wiener.

(b) To assist the program of testing Army type paratroop equipment as listed above under Col. Davis.

(c) Services available as so desired by Task Force Commander for search and rescue operations as based upon specific training under the Army Air Transport Command for this type of work, including parachuting, trail work, and dog driving and driving of over-snow vehicles.

(d) When services not required as listed above, Sgt. London is available to assist scientific party studying deformation of shelf ice.


(1) Airstrip base camp.

(2) Self-provided bivouac with scientific party.

(3) Aboard ship.

L, Pvts. J. Shimberg and J. M. Waltersdorf, Signal Corps:

(a) Assigned to Photographic staff of Task Force 68.

(b) To observe performance of photographic equipment and materials under operating conditions.

(c) Maintain photographic record of subjects in official files of specific interest to the Army observation program.


(1) As determined by Chief, Photographic Staff.

(2) Airstrip base camp.

(3) Aboard ship.

M. Mr. Robert L. Davis, Air Corps:

(a) It is anticipated that Mr. Davis will join the Central Group from the U. S. S. Philippine Sea by accompanying Rear Admiral R. E. Byrd or by P2V’s. If in the latter case, he will have specific assignment of radar member of crew under Commander Davies.

If in the former case, his interests will be as follows:

(l a) Observation and consultant on all aspects of radar and electronic equipment.

(l b) Observation on all phases of high latitude aerial navigation, aerial photography, mapping, and interpretation.

(l c) Observation on all phases of physical research and test performed by the Task Force.


(1) With aviation detachment at airstrip base camp.

(2) Aboard ship.

PAUL A. SIPLE Senior War Dept. Representative 12


Narrative Account of Operation <ITT’ 1 ■ //* J Highjump>

The flagship of the task force, U, S. S. Mount Olympus, sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, with the U. S. S. Pine Island, U. S. C. G. C. Northwind, and U. S. S. Browson on 2 December 1946.

The voyage of 5 days to the Panama Canal was uneventful. Transit of the Canal was made in the afternoon and early evening of Saturday, December 7th and shore leave in Balboa and Panama City was authorized over the week end. Departure from the Canal Zone was made December 10th, and the equator was crossed on the 12th.

The passage from latitude 40° S. to Scott Island (near 180° W. longitude and the Antarctic Circle) was relatively calm considering the reputation these waters have for extremely heavy weather.

Naval foul weather gear was issued to all hands at about 45° S. but was used very little until the force turned south from Scott Island. Talks on subjects relating to living and operating on the Antarctic continent were given to both officers and men by personnel with experience on previous Byrd Expeditions.

Training films on a wide variety of medical subjects were shown in the sick bay to medical and other interested personnel almost every day between the equator and the Ross Sea.

The first whales were sighted on Christmas Day and the first iceberg the following day at about 60° S. latitude.

The ports of departure and sailing dates of task force vessels and necessary refueling operations precluded all vessels’ making the trip in their assigned groups. Some vessels of the Eastern and Western Task Groups went almost direct to their assigned operating areas. Others met at Scott Island, and the final disposition by groups as planned was made subsequent to this rendezvous. In the vicinity of Scott Island a refueling operation was carried out, some personnel and equipment were exchanged between vessels, and the U. S. G. G, C. Northwind made an ice reconnaissance to the south.

A relatively open area was found and after a day and a half at the island the Central group turned southward on December 31st.

Extremely heavy ice pack was encountered on the second day south of Scott Island.

Many huge bergs of barrier ice were interspersed among large, closely adjacent floes of thick bay ice. Virtually no progress was made for 5 days in this area — about 69° S. latitude. When the pack was finally cleared on December 14th, 10 days more than planned for had been expended in reaching the barrier.

The Bay of Whales was reached on the 15th and on that day and the next, small reconnaissance parties were sent into the bay on the ice breaker to estimate the landing possibilities and locate a base site. On the 17th, unfavorable wind and ice conditions for entering the bay prevailed.

At about this time it was thought that operations ashore would have to be curtailed.

First, due to the width and heaviness of the ice pack — the most extreme conditions ever reported in this area — an early freeze-up of the Ross Sea appeared likely.

Second, the flagship and the two cargo vessels had received varying degrees of damage in the passage through the ice.

For these reasons a tentative departure date of 5 February was considered. Having arrived 10 days later than planned, and with departure by the end of the first week in February a possibility, there remained only 3 weeks for unloading, construction of the base, and shore based air operations.

*For expanded daily activities, see Chapter 13 “Combined Observers’ Log.” 13

Accordingly, the construction of the metal airstrip was deleted from the plan, although short sections were to be laid for testing purposes. The R4D aircraft would then fly from plain ice shelf surface and would all be on skis throughout the operation.

The flagship entered the bay and tied up to the ice on January 22nd. Camp construction, including mess facilities was completed and the camp fully occupied on the 23rd of January. At this time work on the aviation facilities was accelerated, and by the 25th the Central Group was ready to receive the planes from the carrier.

Weather conditions were not satisfactory at both the Philippine Sea and the Bay of Whales until the evening of 29 January, when the planes were called. The first two took off shortly before midnight and arrived at about 0500 hours on 30 January. The others arrived the same day around noon. The ice breaker, return- ing from its rendezvous with the Philippine Sea, reported much improved ice conditions in the Ross Sea.

Accordingly, it was decided to finish unloading the ships, leave a 200-man air party ashore, escort the ships out through the pack, and send the ice breaker U. S. G. G. C. Northwind and U. S. S. Burton Island (the latter to arrive soon from the States) back to the bay for subsequent evacuation of the shore party. This plan had been considered previously and now appeared feasible due to improved conditions in the ice pack.

March 1st was set as the latest date for final evacuation of the shore party aboard the ice breakers. The ships departed the Bay of Whales on 6 February. In the meantime the R4D aircraft were modified by removal of the wheels to plain ski (retractable) landing gear, loading plans were modified in accordance with final operational requirements, and aircrews made trial flights, checking out on the modified landing gear and JATO on plain snow surface.

A trail party of seven men in two LVT’s (“alligators”) was prepared to journey southeast to approximately longitude 139° W. and latitude 82° S. to establish a weather observation point in support of the flights to be made. This party was out from 12 to 19 February, reaching the Rockefeller Mountains 90 miles from the base camp. At midnight on the 13th of February, the weather had cleared sufficiently to permit extended flying operations. Several days of clear weather followed, during which time most of the major flights were made.

The approximately 200 personnel left were evacuated on the U. S. S. Burton Island, and the majority of them were trans- ferred to the flagship after passing through the ice pack. On the return journey the vessels of the task force were routed both separately and in small groups so that various liberty ports were visited in Australia, New Zealand, and South America. The flagship passed through the Panama Canal on the 6th of April and arrived at Washington Navy Yard on 14th of April, completing a voyage of 22,000 miles. 14



Historical Comments

Navy Task Force 68 (Operation “NANOOK”) sailed into northern waters in the summer of 1946. Basically this opera- tion permitted a trial of ice breakers and other types of vessels maneuvering in the ice floes between Greenland and the Canadian archipelago. This operation served a useful purpose in addition to personnel training and tests of equipment. It transported supplies and aided in the building of a weather station at Thule, Greenland, and other weather bases would have been constructed in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Bureau, the Air Forces, and the Canadian government had not the speed of negotiations been so slow.

At the end of the summer’s operation (1946) in the north, it was clear to the Navy that the task of training and testing its equipment in ice-filled waters would require a long, patient period, because of the impending darkness and treacherous ice-filled seas. Task Force 68 (“NANOOK”) returned to the United States in early fall 1946.

The importance of continuing the “NANOOK” type operations was apparent to the Navy. It would be nearly 9 months before the Task Force could again return to the arctic waters safely. It therefore appeared desirable, in the meantime, to utilize these same ships and partially trained personnel to carry out a similar operation in other ice-filled areas.

Antarctica, from December to March, would fit ideally into this program and permit this same Task Force to return again to Arctic Seas in July 1947. It also appeared wise to the Navy to give its Task Force specific problems to carry out incidental to its normal polar problems and operations. These problems form an incentive which is both interesting, and at times sufficiently difficult to force the Task Force into conditions which give a battle-worthy test of equipment.

Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd conceived of a problem, namely exploration and scientific investigation of the world’s least known continent, Antarctica. Because of his long experience and leadership in the field of Antarctic exploration, he was logically selected as a personal representative of Fleet Admiral Nimitz to serve as officer in charge of the project designated as “HIGHJUMP”. The derivation of this name came from a whimsical change from a previous code name “POLE VAULT,” which was somewhat too revealing at a time when the expedition’s plans were in the classified state ot preparation, thus implying at the start that flights would be made over the continent of Antarctica, including the South Pole itself.

Task Force 68 continued under its previously organized pattern with Rear Admiral Richard H. Cruzen in command under the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet. Task Force 68 was informally discussed as a possible joint Army-Navy Task Force; however, no formal discussions concerning the Navy’s Antarctic Operation were held with the War Department until after the Navy had decided to keep it strictly a Navy enterprise.

The Navy invited six Army observers to join the expedition (then 15); however, they later agreed that this number of Army personnel was too small for so large an operation and the number was increased to a total of 16. Army assignments included three lieutenant colonels, two majors, two captains, one warrant officer, five enlisted personnel, and three civilian representatives of the War Department.

Four of the enlisted men were Signal Corps photographers assigned to operational duties.

Four of the Army observers were men with previous Antarctic experience, whose experience had been gained on previous Byrd Expeditions.

Dr. Siple of the War Department, associate of Admiral Byrd on all of his previous Antarctic Expeditions, was asked for by name to assist the expedition leaders in an advisory capacity and was further designated by the War Department as the Senior War Department representative.


Army Interest

The following points are listed as the principal reasons why the Army considered that it had a basic interest in the Navy’s Antarctic Expedition:

A. National defense requires that the United States military forces must become proficient and capable of carrying out war operations in areas of high latitude, a situation in which the Army has had little or no experience.

Antarctica is an unpopulated area with a wide diversity of conditions which would serve as a suitable proving ground with unlimited maneuvering areas. Seasonal timing permits the use of Antarctica for continuous operations when the Arctic area is in total darkness.

B. Conditions comparable to those on other icecaps are represented in Antarctica with comparatively easy access to the sea. The use of Antarctica is not complicated seriously by questions of sovereignty prohibiting research and operations.

C. There is so little known of Antarctica that incidental scientific investigations carried on by military forces are of a tremendous value toward unveiling the potentials of a continent largely opened up in recent years through the efforts of private United States citizens, even though no official claim to the territory by the United States Government has ever been made. There is no proof, to date, whether there are or are not mineral resources in the Antarctic which would be of value to this Nation. With the exception of the discovery of the basic mineral coal, the continent has been so little prospected that it is reasonable to assume from the meager geological information gleaned that mineral deposits in economic quantities probably do exist there.

Although the prime responsibility of determining the potential value of Antarctica is not necessarily a responsibility of the Armed Forces, they are the best equipped Government agency to perform such investigations at a minimum cost incidental to its program of training and research and development.

D. The isolation of Antarctica would permit greater opportunities for research and development and testing of long range military weapons without danger to population or interference with the sovereignty of other nations. It is also sufficiently isolated to permit reasonable security of operations, which might not be true of the Arctic. The principles involved in such operations could be worked out conveniently in the Antarctic in cooperation with nations 16 most closely approaching the Antarctic continent. These nations no doubt would welcome an international approach to the scientific unveiling of Antarctica.

E. Although the Arctic Sea is a basin enclosed by a ring of land masses with a fenced-in ice pack, which is subjected to melting temperatures in the summer, the Antarctic continent, by contrast, is roughly circular, lying mostly within the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by a reef of ice pack which breaks up and flows outward in the summer until it is subjected to melting in warmer waters. The ice pack characteristics are therefore not identical, but are sufficiently similar to promote a study of maneuvering of ships and other vehicles through or over the surface which can conceivably figure strongly in the condition of Arctic warfare.

F. The average temperature for the Antarctic region is considerably lower than for the Arctic region, so that equipment which will stand up under the winter conditions of the Antarctic would generally be satisfactory for the coldest temperatures and conditions of the Arctic (actually the coldest surface temperatures recorded are those in Subarctic Siberia).

The summer period in Antarctica rarely rises above freezing, which permits research work to be carried out at low temperatures under continuous conditions of daylight, thus permitting more rapid development than would be possible under the cold-dark conditions in the Arctic. Antarctica does not present summer Arctic conditions comparable to the tundra and muskeg country; however, in Alaska and through cooperation with Canada, wide areas of this nature are available for military investigation. Because of the difficult approach to the Arctic icefields, research and development of military methods of operations in these areas are greatly inhibited. The approach to Antarctica is much more open in this respect despite its greater distance from the United States. 17




1. General.

This chapter is an account of Operation “Highjump” submitted by an observer from the Office of The Air Engineer who accompanied the expedition. It summarizes engineering operations and conditions encountered, presents problems of special interest to the Corps of Engineers, and makes recommendations.

a. The staff work and planning of Bureau of Yards and Docks was directed by Commander G. O. Reinhardt, U. S. N. (CEC). They had only 3 months prior to the sailing date to draw up all plans and specifications, fabricate special items, organize the Seabee detachment, and assemble materiel and personnel at the proper port of embarkation.

b. The Seabee unit was charged with all construction work, cargo handling and unloading, transportation, and messing while on the barrier ice. A 200-man temporary tent camp (fig. 3), two Quonset huts, three Wannigan Huts, three ski runways, and a PSP test strip were the main items constructed or assembled. Snow conditions and characteristics were studied in relationship to its supporting power. Even though the study of snow mechanics has hardly started, a considerable amount was learned and one would be safe in stating that the loose granulated snow of the Antarctic can be compacted within 1 month’s time to carry the load of a C-47 on wheels without any wearing surface, such as PSP, on the runway.

c. It was learned on the expedition that there are three main groups of items or subjects which should be given considerable thought and study — they are housing, transportation and construction equipment, and snow compaction. If the Army is contemplating future operations in regions similar to the Antarctic, further development of these subjects is a necessity if the operations are to be successful.

2. Staff Work and Planning

It was not until the first of September 1946 that the Staff Officer from Bureau of Yards and Docks was able to start organizing available data and planning for Operation “Highjump,”

About the middle of September the planning got underway on a large scale and in less than 4 weeks drawings and/or specifications were ready to leave Washing ton, D. C. This meant that all equipment, other than standard items, had to be fabricated and brought to the ship’s side for loading in less than 6 weeks. The majority of this work was performed by the Advanced Base Depot, Construction Battalion Training Center, Port Hueneme, California. Other items such as the ‘Go-devil” sleds were manufactured by private concerns. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was allotted by Bureau of Yards and Docks for all their supplies, labor, materials, prefabrication, etc. The rest of their total cost, which was approximately five times that large, was required to come from surplus property.

At the time when the planning commenced there were no organized construction battalions available.


Figure 3. Map of 200-man tent camp on Ross Shelf Ice.

19 November two officers, one warrant officer, and approximately 175 men were ordered to the unit at Port Hueneme, California. Of the entire enlisted personnel only about 25 or 30 were Seabee personnel; the rest came from general service organizations and without construction knowledge other than that which they would normally receive while aboard ship.

The month of November was spent organizing the unit, training, drawing clothing, etc.

3. Responsibilities.

The senior Civil Engineer Corps Officer (Commander C. O. Reinhardt) was to be responsible, subject to the military control of the senior officer present afloat, for all construction ashore and the discharge of cargo and its ransportation from ship’s side to the base camp. Officers charged with the command and operation of facilities ashore were to be responsible for advising Commander Reinhardt of their requirements and were to be available for consultation during the erection of facilities under their jurisdiction. He was to arrange for additional personnel from ships present through the Senior Officer Present afloat.

a. Commander P. D. Davis was to superise all construction ashore and expedite the erection of facilities in accordance with the established priority. He was to be responsible for the distribution of personnel and equipment assigned to construction and for supervision of construction. ‘ He was to be the Officer in Charge of the Construction Battalion Detachment and was to have the following Officers under his supervision:

Lt. V. B. Peller (CEC) U. S. N.,

Capt. V. D. Boyd, U. S. M. G. (while working with construction equipment and transportation),

Ens, C. B. Mallory,

Chief Warrant Officer Ulan, and any other officers who might be attached for construction work, cargo handling, or transportation within the camp area.

b. Lt. V. B. Peller was to coordinate the unloading of cargo and its movement to a position of safety at the foot of the barrier. He was to be responsible for discharging cargo at the maximum safe rate and for assuring that cargo would be discharged in accordance with the established priority.

c. Capt. V. D. Boyd, U. S. M. C., was to report to Comdr. C. O. Reinhardt for administrative direction and was to be responsible for the operation of all equipment assigned, and for the movement of supplies and personnel from the ship’s side to the base camp.

d. After the first stages of unloading cargo, Ens. C. B. Mallory and 12 men were to have the sole assignment of performing such tests as those which would not normally be run during construction. These men are not included in the Seabee unit, but were to work only for Bureau of Yards and Docks.

e. Chief Warrant Officer Ulan, who has had considerable experience with construction equipment, was to be the heavy equipment and transportation expert.

Other officers were to be designated to supervise the storage of materials at the base camp, to assist in controlling the movement of supplies from the barrier to the base camp, and to assist in that construction which was deemed necessary. These officers were to be taken from the observer group and were to be those who were most interested in this phase of the expedition.

4. Cargo Discharge.

Immediately upon arrival the discharge of cargo was to have the highest priority. All personnel not required for the security of the Task Force were to be assigned to assist in the discharging of cargo and later in the construction of the base camp. All construction and cargo handling was to be on a 24-hour basis.

Personnel required for construction were to be released from discharging 20





Figure 4.

Emergency base radio and Little America ill. 21 5 days, including tents, rations, and fuel, was to be unloaded and a cache established in a safe place.

b. Priority Two.

Ten days’ supply of diesel fuel and operating supplies for transportation and construction equipment.

c. Priority Three. Communication equip- ment for local control of unloading and construction.

d. Priority Four. Materials required for the erection of a 300-man temporary tent camp, including 10 days’ supply of fuel for heating and cooking, 10 days’ rations for 300 men, and medical supplies.

e. Priority Five. Materials for construction of air operating facilities, including pierced plank, one Quonset hut, radio, GCA, GPM2, 15-kw generator, aviation field lights, shop and maintenance equipment.

Priority Six. Five days’ supply of aviation gasoline and operating supplies for aircraft, gasoline truck, oil truck, fire fighting equipment. g. Priority Seven. Initial supplies of diesel oil, aviation gasoline, rations, and other operating supplies were to be maintained at a constant level by daily replacement. h. Priority Eight. Daily replacement of shore stores of aviation gasoline, diesel fuel oil, and other operating supplies to maintain a safe reserve ashore. i. Priority Nine. Material and equipment required to erect a 35-man emergency winter hut camp. Note. Base radio and communication equipment to be discharged as soon as radio hut was erected. ;. Priority Ten. Special gear submitted for test. k. Priority Eleven. Rations, fuel, and oper- ating supplies for 35-man emergency hut camp for 14 months to be discharged only in the event that it was necessary to occupy that camp. /. Priority Twelve. Duplicate aviation oper- ating supplies. Figure 5. Bay of Whales area looking at about 135° with camp area in background. Mess hall and motor pool to the right of tents. Base operations down and a little to left of tents. Beginning of PSP test strip above the far ship. (24 Jan 47) cargo as soon as possible. After cargo priorities 1, 2, and 3 had been discharged men were to be released in such numbers and skills as to enable the construction of facilities to keep pace with the rate of discharge of materials. Skilled personnel other than Sea- bees were to be released from both cargo handling and construction as soon as possible after facilities were available for any pro- jected operation. 5. Cargo Discharge Priorities. Each ship was loaded so that it could be discharged in accordance with the established priority for equipment and materials ashore. All the cargo in the first six priorities was loaded on the U. S. S. Yancey with priorities seven through eleven on the U. S. S. Merrick. a. Priority One. Transportation and cargo handling materials and equipment (tractors, fork lifts, sleds, lashing, cargo slings, tarpau- lins, trail markers, slings, etc.). Note. As soon as possible after the first sleds were ashore, an emergency subsistence kit for 25 men for 22 6. Construction Priorities. The following priorities were assigned to construction with the assumption that the two AKA’s and the AGC would be moored in the Bay of Whales from early January until all operations had been completed, first of March, and that communications and Flight Control would be handled by the U. S. S. Mount Olympus. a. Priority One. Construction of an access roadway from the ship’s side to a place of safety on top of the barrier, rigging to move cargo sleds from the ship to the top of the barrier, establishing an emergency subsistence facility on top of the barrier, and installing communications for local control of unload- ing and construction. b. Priority Two. Breaking a trail to the base camp. c. Priority Three. Erection of 300-man tem- porary tent camp. The facilities actually installed were to be sufficient to accommodate personnel actually ashore and were to be expanded to the ultimate 300-man camp as it became necessary to quarter additional personnel ashore. d. Priority Four. Installation of air opera- tion facilities. (1) Quonset hut for service facilities, (2) Radio equipment. (3) Pierced plank landing mat 150 by 5,000 feet, with parking area, fuel dump, and runway lights. e. Priority Five. Erection of 35-man emer- gency winter hut camp. (1) Radio hut with additional insulation. (2) Power plant. (3) Radio antenna. (4) Galley and mess. (5) Quarters. (6) Connecting structures. (7) Additional insulation in huts. f. Priority Six. Special facilities for testing equipment under cold weather conditions, g. Of the items listed above the most difficult to be constructed was the runway. It was planned to first construct a parking area to determine the best method to use during this operation. Such materials and special designed equipment as calcium chlo- ride, snow drags, snow rollers, oil burners under a hood (snow melter), and dark objects (PSP) laid on the surface, were to be experimented with. After the most feasi- ble method had been found, and if time and personnel permitted, a 150 by 5,000 foot runway was to be constructed to accommo- date plane wheel loads of at least 60 pounds per square inch on the tire contact area. 7. Collection of Data. A large part of the technical and scientific information which would normally be ob- tained by an engineering unit should be gathered from field experience of this unit in the construction operation. Additional tests which the Bureau of Yards and Docks wished to run were as follows: a. Field Loading Test. Purpose—To esti- mate the plane wheel load capacity of the ‘‘pavement” which is understood to be either compacted snow or compacted snow covered with steel mat. b. Snow Penetration Test. Purpose—-To de- termine the supporting power of the com- pacted snow. c. Density in Place Test of Compacted Snow. Purpose—To determine the density of com- pacted snow at different depths. d. Field Shearing Tests. Purpose—To de- termine the in-place shearing resistance of compacted snow. e. Tests on Ice and Frozen Materials. Pur- pose—To determine the bending, shear, and compression characteristics of compacted snow and/or ice. f. Tests on Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers. Purpose—To determine suitability of ex- tinguishers for use in extremely low tem- peratures. 23 g. Test on “Little Giant Tractor Saw.” Pur- pose—To determine ability of subject saws to cut natural ice and snow into blocks. 8. Operations. a. Due to the heavy ice pack the ships were not able to get through and start un- loading until 18 January. The two AKA’s and the AGG departed from the Bay of Whales on 6 February which resulted in their being available for unloading and assisting the expedition less than 3 weeks instead of the previously planned 8 or 9 weeks. This necessitated the changing of unloading priorities to meet changed con- struction priorities which placed the con- struction of the 150- by 5,000-foot pierced steel plank runway last instead of immedi- ately after the construction of the tent camp. After inspection of Little America III, it was decided to enlarge and improve it instead of constructing an entirely new 35-man emer- gency winter camp. b. The operation plans for both loading and discharge of cargo, and construction of the base showed a considerable amount of staff work and gathering of information. They were well prepared, presented to sub- ordinates so that they were easily followed, and flexible enough to cope with the over-all change in plans of the Central Group. c. The general construction plans, even though priorities were changed, were fol- lowed throughout. Until such time as the ships left, construction work and unloading continued on a 24-hour basis, with the men quartering and messing on the ships which were moored in the Bay. Until 6 February the actual working hours were from about 0700 to 1730, with an hour and a half for the noonday meal for the day shift. The actual working hours for the night shift were from about 1830 to 0530 the following day with 1hours for the midshift meal. The evening meal on 23 January was the first to be served in the camp and from this time on the men working in or near the camp area ate the midshift meal on the ice. 9. Personnel. The Bureau of Yards and Docks was rep- resented by an excellent team of officers who planned and supervised their work. The staff was headed by an officer who was efficient and definitely gifted in that type of work and in gathering information from experiments which will be the basis for Antarctic construction for years to come. The other was especially qualified and efficient in the details of field construction and the handling of personnel. The effi- ciency with which the project was carried out reflects the cooperation between those responsible for its planning and those charged with its execution. Cdr. Davis was in charge of the day shift with Lt. Col. Partridge (U. S. M. C. observer) assisting in caching of cargo and construction of facilities, and Lt. Peeler and Ens. Mallory assisting in unloading cargo and transportation. Cdr. Reinhardt was in charge of the so-called night shift with Major Holcombe (U. S. A. observer) assisting in caching of cargo and construction of facilities, and Captain Boyd, U. S. M. G., and Chief W. O. Ulan assisting in unloading cargo and transportation. From time to time Capt. Wiener and other officers helped for short periods. a. Of the approximately 175 enlisted men, 15 held a chief’s (master sergeant) rating, one was in the motor pool, one similar to the 1st sergeant, one was master- at-arms, and the other 12 were on camp construction. The approximate distribution of personnel, including chiefs, was: Overhead 3 Cooks and KP’s 24 Repairmen and operators. … 35 Camp detail 106 24 The camp detail personnel, plus additional personnel from the ships, did all construction work on the tent camp, Quonset and Wanni- gan huts, handling of cargo from the ship’s side up the barrier, and until it was properly cached, construction of the 35-man emer- gency winter camp, construction of the ski runway, and the test PSP runway. b. When the ships departed from the Bay of Whales on 6 February, the following en- listed personnel were left on the ice: Cooks and KP’s (24 hrs) 18 Repairmen and operators (24 hrs) 12 Camp detail 16 This camp detail was necessary to finish construction of connecting tunnels, etc., at the 35-man emergency camp and maintain the 200-man tent camp. c. Even though the majority of the Sea bee personnel were unskilled in construction work of this type, their efficiency was very high considering climatic conditions. It is believed this was due to their high morale which was maintained by excellent leader- ship and abundance of good and well pre- pared rations, 29 percent over and above the normal Navy ration. SECTION II. Construction Equipment 1. Performance of Equipment. The main items of equipment which were used lived up to expectations even though they are by no means the answer for Antarc- tic work or transportation. They were D-6 Caterpillar tractors, TD-9 International fork lift tractors, “Go-devil” sleds, QM 1-ton sleds, Weasels (Cargo Carrier—M29G), the wooden snow drag, and the pontoon snow drag. The efficiency of these items depended upon the hardness and supporting power of the snow, which was governed by the temperature and climatic conditions in that the higher the temperature the softer the snow became resulting in low efficiency, whereas the lower the temperature the harder the snow became, thus raising the efficiency of track-laying vehicles. Wheeled vehicles were out of the question and con- sidered not satisfactory for normal Antarctic use. 2. Conditions Encountered. The vehicles on this operation encountered pressure ridges, shear cracks, crevasses up to 3 feet across, slopes or grades up to 20 degrees, surfaces from those that would support only a few pounds (2 to 4) per square inch to sea ice several years old, temperatures from 30° F. to — 22° F , and winds up to 38 knots. 3. Tractor, D-6 Caterpillar. a. This tractor (fig. 6) was modified with the following: hardwood track extensions which decreased its bearing pressure from around 8 to about 5 pounds per square inch; winterized cabs which protected the opera- tors from low temperatures and strong winds; canvas winterized hoods for engine protec- tion; and track support blocks which re- placed the support rollers. The extensions lived up to expectations, even though they required replacing frequently. A number would break off at the edge of the grouser plates. Others would split, this being caused by the bending of the C washer which was used in securing the extensions. The cabs caused no noticeable trouble, but in time 765274—48——3 25 would have shown wear from vibration. The canvas hood shrank, becoming difficult to fasten properly. The track support blocks functioned as expected without giving any trouble. b. The tractor as manufactured gave very little trouble and only minor adjustments were necessary. All tractors were equipped with Hyster winches which proved very use- ful. All the D-6’s were used for the first 2 weeks of the operation. All but three with extensions and one with a dozer blade were loaded back aboard ship on 5 February so that they could be returned to the States. The efficiency of this tractor was reduced considerably during high temperatures (20° to 30° F.) and soft neve. Later on when the temperature dropped and the surface would support more, the tractors with extensions functioned better. The tractors without ex- tensions operated satisfactorily on the bay ice even though at times it was hard to obtain a foothold; on the undisturbed snow at high temperature, the tractor without extensions was useless, but did manage to travel across undisturbed snow when the temperature was down to about —15° F. The tractor seemed to hold its footing better while traveling in reverse, i. e., while pulling heavy loads in a forward gear, the rear of the tractor often buried itself; whereas when pulling back- ward the tendency was not so great. All tractors either worked or idled 24 hours a day except for a period each day when they were being serviced. By the end of the 5- week period on the ice, the tractor hour me- ters averaged slightly over 500 hours. 4. Tractor, D–7 Caterpillar. Only one of these was taken on the expedi- tion and it was loaded back aboard after 2 weeks to return to the States. While in the Antarctic, it was used only as an anchor at the top of the barrier as explained in section III. No observations were made, but it is believed it would have performed very similarly to the D-6 tractor. 5. Carrier, Cargo, M-29 (Weasel). This item was used without modification and proved very useful in that it was the only light piece of transportation on the ice with the exception of dog teams. It was used mainly for communications and to transport personnel. Occasionally small quantities of supplies were moved when it became necessary to expedite their move- ment. The two main difficulties that arose in the Antarctic that would not arise in another theatre of operations were— a. Track stiffness. b. The difficulty encountered while enter- ing, operating, or leaving the vehicle. After the vehicle had stood for some time it was difficult to start it moving smoothly Figure 6. Winterized D-6 caterpillar tractor. 26 even though the engine had been idling. It seemed as though a heavy load was tied on behind and the engine was lacking power. After the vehicle had been traveling for some time it operated much more efficiently. It is believed this was caused by the rubber tracks becoming cold and stiff while standing and then loosening up as they were used. While in the Antarctic one is required to wear considerable clothing in order to remain comfortable. This makes it difficult to climb in and out of the amphib- ious Weasel and extremely difficult to operate with the close quarters around the steering brake levers, clutch, and accelerator. 6. Forklift (Hughes-Keeman Model TD- 9-T5C). Modifications for the two International tractor forklifts were the same as for the D-6 tractors: hardwood track extensions, winter- ized cabs, winterized engine hood, and track support blocks. The modifications acted the same as those for the D-6 tractor. The main operational difficulty was met as the machine tried to turn or back around while moving cargo from the sleds to the cache, Figure 8. Track extension on D-7 caterpillar tractor, Figure 9. Wooden snow drag Figure 7. Escape hatch in winterized cab, D-7 caterpillar tractor. Figure 10. Package shot (disassembled) wooden snow drag. 27 which would be only a few feet. The track under the driving sprockets would often be- come buried, requiring help to get out. The operator had to be extremely careful to avoid disturbing the snow surface. Cargo handling equipment is extremely valuable in regions similar to those encountered. 7. Go-Devil Sleds. This is a specially modified item of which 20 were manufactured by the Michler Sleigh and Wagon Company, for Operation “High- jump”. It was the main cargo sled and was used throughout the stay on the ice, (See sec. III.) Even though it proved satisfac- tory, more changes can be made in its design. The over-all structure seems to be a little heavy for its pay load. The runner contact area is small, causing the sleds, when loaded, to sink with snow piling up in front of the entire sled. The undercarriage is not de- signed to keep the sled from becoming buried in soft snow as is the toboggan undercarriage of the QM l-ton sled. The side board re- cesses which were above the floor level of the sled made it difficult to secure large and awkward-shaped cargo and boxes. 8. QM 1-Ton Sled. This sled was very satisfactory and when used in the manner for which it was designed gave little or no trouble. It is believed that a large runner contact area would help in Antarctic use. 9. Snow Drags. Two types of drags were tested; the wooden snow drag, and the pontoon snow drag. The purpose of the wooden drag was to level the sastrugi, which it did very satis- factorily, even though a lighter drag could have been used to better advantage on soft, undisturbed, snow. As the snow became compacted it is possible that an even heavier one could have been used. The pontoon Figure 11. Steel snow drag (not used) Figure 12. Package shot (disassembled) steel snow drag. Figure 1 3. Package shot (disassembled) pontoon snow drag. 28 drag was used to iron out the snow and leave a smooth finish which definitely expedited the construction of the three ski runways. The results with the pontoon drag are very similar to those with a steel wheeled roller on earth in that the top inch or two is well compacted with a “burnish” finish, leaving the snow farther down relatively undisturbed. 10. Grader, MTZ, with 12-Foot Mold Board (Adams). This machine was not unloaded because it was believed it could not have been towed to the camp site. If runways are to be con- structed in areas similar to Antarctica some type of grading machine will be essential. 11. Snow Surface Heater. This heater was unloaded, but due to cir- cumstances beyond control, was not tested. 12. Other Items. a. The “Cle-track tractor” as used by the Air Corps to tow planes was taken on the expedition, but proved unsatisfactory due to Figure 15. Snow surface heater with extra burners. Figure 14. Compressor mounted (D-6 caterpillar tractor) For snow surface heater (40 cfm at 25 lb./ sq. in). Figure 16. Unloading cargo from ship direct onto “Go-devil” sled 29 the rubber tracks which caused the same trouble as did the rubber tracks on the “Weasel”, plus the fact that they would not support the hard wooden track extensions. b. Wheeled vehicles such as truck 2b-, and 4-ton were unloaded, but are definitely not suited to the snow surface which will sup- port only a few pounds per square inch. All except a couple of Jeeps were reloaded aboard ships and returned to the States. SECTION III. Cargo Handling and Unloading 1. Equipment. a. Standard stevedore equipment was used to discharge the cargo from the ships onto the bay ice which floated about 18 inches to 2 feet above the water. This operation was carried on by the ships’ personnel and with priorities as requested by Commander Rein- hardt from day to day or whenever it became necessary. b. The “Go-devil” sled was used almost throughout for transporting supplies and equipment to the base camp. As D-6 trac- tors would return to within a hundred feet of the ship’s side with two or three sleds, a towline from the ship would pull a sled alongside, this being practiced so as to eliminate any danger of excess weight crack- ing the bay ice. The cargo was loaded direct from the ships onto the sleds and a tractor would tow them one at a time about 1 mile to the foot of the barrier. The sleds were then hooked to a towline’ and pulled up the barrier slope by a tractor hauling on a cable, the cable running through snatch blocks at the top of the barrier. The D-7 tractor with blade was used as an anchor. From this point the sleds were pulled to the proper cache by D-6 tractor with track extensions. 2. Bridges. a. It was necessary to build two bridges between the ships and the barrier. One crossed a pressure ridge while the other crossed a sheer crack in which the two sides were moving in opposite directions at a rate of slightly over 4 feet per day. b. These two bridges were more or less of a standard type, the same as would span any deep crack in soft dirt. The bridges, being one vehicle wide, were constructed by placing 8- by 8-inch sills in one case and 40-foot piling in another, across the ridge or crack. They were then tied together with Figure 17. Unloading lumber from ship directly onto “Go-devil” sled (lumber to be used to construct bridge across cracks in bay ice). Note tractor staying away from ship’s side in order to pevent danger of cracking edges of ice. 30 cable with approximately 1-foot spaces be- tween each sill. Three-inch flooring was well spiked, with treadways of 1-inch dun- nage going on top. PSP was placed on one of the bridges but soon became bent, which necessitated its removal. These bridges served their purpose and lasted until the ships departed from the Bay. Later on, about the last of February, when the time came to evacuate the camp, the bridge which crossed the sheer crack required replacing. During the time of our stay another crack developed about two-thirds up the barrier slope, but did not cause any great difficulty. Only one footbridge and one weasel bridge were necessary, 3. Caches. The three main caches were: a. Near base operations which included all aircraft parts, equipment, fuel, etc. b. Near the mess hall and motor pool which included all Seabee supplies, equip- ment and fuel, housekeeping equipment, rations, etc. c. At Little America III which included rations, fuel, some construction material and those other supplies which were to complete the 35-man emergency camp. 4. Cargo Segregation. Due to the large amount of cargo which arrived at the port late and was loaded aboard the ships during the last few days before leaving the States, all cargo was not stowed as set up in the Naval Operation Plan No. 2-46, which resulted in the segre- gation of supplies on the ice, causing some- what of a problem. This problem was Figure 18. Tamping snow on a bridge with a tractor. Figure 19. Bridge crossing crack in bay ice (PSP was put on top of one of the two bridges as wearing surface). Figure 20. Tractor without track extensions towing “Go-devil” sled loaded with supplies across bridge on bay ice. Note bend- ing of PSP. 31 Figure 21. Damaged PSP on bridge which crossed crack in bay ice was later removed. Figure 24. Removing supplies from cache which had been covered during a blizzard. Figure 22. Footbridge and weasel bridge crossing crevasse which developed two-thirds of the way up barrier slope. Figure 25. Aviation gasoline tank on skis was used to refuel R4D’s (D-47’s). aggravated because of improper or incon- spicuous markings and the change in plans which required the ships to leave the Bay of Whales earlier than originally planned. A considerable number of man-hours was spent restacking boxes and looking through dumps Figure 23. Snowdrifts at aviation gasoline dump after a blizzard. 32 Figure <26. Bay of Whales Area looking at about 315°. Mess hall and motor pool to left of tents,- base operations beyond and to right of tents. Roadway leading from tent area to the left leads to Little America ill (35-man winter emergency camp). for missing items. Occasionally a sled would arrive with some of its cargo going to each of the three dumps, resulting in “tying up” sleds which were required to transport more supplies, a. All fuel, 100-octane gasoline, 72-octane unleaded gasoline, aviation oil, motor oil, Diesel fuel, and kerosene were shipped in 55-gallon drums, which were clearly marked. The aviation fuel and oil was cached half- way between base operations and the tent camp in piles of about 100 drums each with 765274—48—4 33 the piles being about 100 feet on center. The other main fuel cache, which was south- west of the tent camp and near the motor pool, was stored in the same manner. b. The smaller planes, OY (L-5) and JA (Norseman), taxied in between the piles for refueling. The gas for the R4D’s (C-47) was pumped from the drums into a tank sled and pulled by a D-6 tractor to the planes for refueling. c. All fuels were standard, the same as would be used on any cold weather operation within the continental United States, except the Diesel fuel which had a —40° F. pour point. Specifications USA 2-102, C AM 3, NGS X-4205. SECTION IV. Buildings and Shelters 1. Temporary Tent Camp. The first construction to take place on the barrier was the erection of a 200-man temporary tent camp (figs. 27, 28, and 29). Fifty pyramidal tents were erected to house personnel, four officers or five men per tent, and were arranged in five rows, tents being approximately 40 feet on center and the rows 200 feet apart with the kitchen and mess hall being about 300 feet,on the exten- sion of the first row. Eleven other tents were erected around camp mostly at base opera- tions and were of the same type construction. a. At the time the tent camp was being erected the temperature was only slightly below freezing and the surface would hardly support the weight of a man on foot. Quite often an individual would sink down to his ankles, and if he stepped into an already disturbed area he would often go in up to his knees. For this reason, care was taken not to disturb that area which the tent would occupy. h. Eighteen pieces of 2- by 6-inch lumber 12 feet long came bundled together so that one bundle would furnish the sills for one tent. The 2- by 6-inch pieces were scabbed together and placed flat on the snow so that there were nine 24-foot members lying ap- proximately 2 feet on center. After the first few tents this was changed to five sills lying 4 feet on center which were scabbed together with the remaining 2- by 6-inch pieces instead of 1-inch lumber. c. All floors had been prefabricated into 4- by 8-foot sections and bound together so that one bundle made a complete floor. Figure 27, Tent camp area looking at about 315°. Latrines are between tent rows,- GPN lower right. Mess hall area to left of first row of tents; above mess hall area is Seabee cache area. Just beyond tents is aviation gas dump. In upper right corner of picture is base operations area and aviation supply cache. 34 Figure 28. Tent camp area looking east. Motor pool, gasoline, and Diesel dump in foreground. The bundles for the 17- by 20-foot wall tents were the only ones that varied in number of floor sections in that they contained ten instead of the standard eight. These floor sections were placed so that the joists sup- porting the plywood flooring ran perpen- dicular to the sills and were 2 feet on center. Each section of flooring contained a loose 2- by 4-inch piece, 8 feet long which was nailed on to the joist so that it extended out 4 feet beyond the floor’s edge for outriggers, furnishing an anchor for the tent ropes. The tent was erected in the normal fashion with a tent stove being installed and ready for use. As is normal in any tent camp, inside frames, plywood doors of various types, etc., were added by the occupants. Some went further and put in ceilings and inside walls; anything to help as insulation and to make home more comfortable. d. The tent camp was adequate in this case and would be for any other operation of this kind, provided it is to be only for a very short period and will not encounter tempera- tures lower than from 0° F. to —10° F. 2. Kitchen and Mess Hall. a. The kitchen and mess hall (fig. 32) were made up of three 17- by 20-foot wall tents, one pyramidal tent, and one 16- by 50-foot 35 hospital tent all tied together. They were constructed in the same manner as were the living quarters with the exception that inside framework and doors were constructed by Seabee personnel. b. As one entered the pyramidal tent he picked up his metal tray and silverware, passed through the chow line at the far end of the tent where the field ranges were arranged in a line perpendicular to the line Figure 29. Officers’ row. Note snowdrifts which hove blown in between each tent/ note also that each tent has a different type entrance which was built by occupants. Figure 30. Floor panel bundles (one bundle was required per pyramidal tent). Figure 31. Assembling pyramidal tent floors. Note piles in background. Each is the required material for one pyramidal tent. 36 Figure 32. Erecting mess hall and kitchen tents Figure 33. Detail refueling tent camp. Average pyramidal tent used 8.3 gallons per day. OPERATION HIGHJUMP 1946-1947 ADVANCE BASE CAMP ROSS SHELF ICE GALLEY AND MESS HALL Figure 34. Advance base camp, Ross Shelf Ice: galley and mess hall. of entry, and on to the mess hall (men to the hospital tent on right, officers to the wall tent on the left). The actual kitchen reached from the back of the pyramidal tent (chow line) to the end of the first wall tent. The second wall tent, still farther back, sheltered a store or break-out room. About one- third of the officers’ wall tent was used as a 37 range storage and repair room. The mess gear washing was done at the far end of the hospital tent. This construction and ar- rangement worked very satisfactorily. 3. Headquarters Building. There was really no headquarters building for the base camp. The Seabees used a tool tent at first and later moved their tools, etc., to the motor pool tent. The standard Quonset hut (fig. 41) at base operations, which was erected with a little more diffi- culty than were the tents, carried on more administrative work in one of its corners than did the rest of the whole camp. 4. Quonset Huts. a. The huts were also erected while tem- peratures were slightly less than freezing, which caused quite a problem in leveling and squaring the floor frame. In order to aid in this operation, 1-inch dunnage was first laid on about 2-foot centers and perpendicular to the 2- by 10-inch and 4- by 4-inch sills which went on top. After the floor frame (fig. 42) Figure 35. Mess hall and kitchen. Figure 36. Garbage pit in snow which was at far end of mess hall. All kitchen waste was dumped in this hole, which grew deeper as it was used. Figure 37. Digging hole for frozen food storage. Note snow being sawed into blocks for easier handling. 38 Figure 38. Framework for frozen food storage house Figure 39. Storing food in frozen food storage house. Figure 40. Tarpaulin being pulled over framework of frozen food storage house. It was weighted down by putting dunnage and snow blocks on top Figure 41, Quonset hut floor at base operations just after a blizzard. had been assembled, it was trued by the use of an engineer’s chain and level, which took about four times as long as it would have under normal conditions. The other major difficulty in the erection was that the small nuts, bolts, and plates required bare hands to put into place. With the exception of these two difficulties, the latter hardly being an exception, the work progressed the same as it would have during any operation with the same temperature and wind conditions. The only difference between this hut and the standard Quonset hut is that there were two %-inch plywood floors which were sep- arated by 1-inch dunnage furring. Shortly after the hut had been completed a bliz- zard arose causing snow to blow in at the joint between the bulkhead and the cor- rugated sheet metal, leaving the snow lodged between the inner masonite wall and the outer corrugated sheets. Later heat from the inside of the building melted the snow causing the masonite to become wet and fall out of place. This incident could hardly be called a fault in the building design but should be credited to faulty construction. 39 Figure 42. Floor frame assembly for Quonset hut. Note near left corner metal sills are resting on 4- by 4-inch members, which are resting on 2- by 10-inch pieces, which are resting on and perpendicu- lar to floating dunnage foundation. Figure 43. Quonset hut at base operations under con- struction. Note inside wall of Quonset hut at far end, outside corrugated sheets on left end and insulation which goes between the two surfaces being applied in the middle of the building. b. A double hut 20 by 96 feet was erected at Little America III in very much the same fashion and encountering the same difficul- ties. This hut enlarged the old base so as to make it adequate if it became necessary to leave a party through the winter night. It had the following additions over and above a standard Quonset:

(1) Double bulkheads approximately 4 feet apart.

(2) Double “Kima!” insulation between inner and outer walls.

(3) Double floors, 3 inches apart, and so constructed that air circulated between them.

(4) Waterproof paper and %-inch Celotex which was inside and separated from the metal outside wall by a dead air space. Once erected, it is suitable for Antarctic and Arctic use, but the difficulty encountered in constructing it warrants a different design.

5. Wannigan Huts. Three prefabricated Wannigan huts having about 6-inch walls and inside dimensions of approximately 7 by 14 by 7 feet high with a door at one end, were taken on the expedition Figure 44, Looking southwest. Excavation for con- necting tunnel leading from double Quonset hut in background to Little America III, which is beneath the photographer who took the picture. 40 Figure 45. Southwest end of double Quonset hut at Little America III (35-man winter camp) showing es- cape hatch, short connecting tunnel, and generator house on right end. Figure 46. Inside of Quonset hut at Little America III. Note gap in floor on right side so that warm air can circulate to the left and come up through cracks in center of floor (cracks not visible). to be used as sled houses to transport men to and from the airstrip so they might have a place to warm themselves while drinking their midshift coffee. Instead, the six sec- tions—two ends, two sides, one sled bottom, and a top—were bolted together without much difficulty and used as quarters for the three ranking officers. This type of structure is suitable for Antarctic and Arctic use.

6. Construction Time Required. The construction of the 200-man tent camp required approximately 1,200 man- hours, the single Quonset hut at base operations required approximately 600 man- hours; and the double Quonset at Little America III required approximately 1,400 man-hours. SECTION V. Utilities 1. Water. Water requirements for the kitchen and mess hall were furnished by snow melters. Water for personal cleanliness, washing of clothes, etc., was obtained by the individuals concerned by using a bucket or large can and his own tent stove. The snow melters were protected on a wood floor with a tarpaulin windbreaker which was located about 100 feet east and to the rear of the kitchen and adjacent to an area which had been marked off with flags and maintained free from contamination (figs. 47, 48, and 49).

a. During the first couple of weeks, two Aeroil No. 98 Steam Thawing Units were used as melters, the steam lines were in- serted into a full G. I. can of snow and as the snow melted it was replenished until there was obtained a full 32 gallons of water. When the units were functioning properly it required from 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the temperature, to produce 32 gallons of water. The heat for these melters was furnished by a gas generator type burner which used kerosene and did not prove to be entirely satisfactory, the main trouble being 41 merits. The G. I. cans were maintained about one-third full of hot water.

b. As snow was added and became water, it was dipped out and poured into a covered container which, when full, was carried by hand to the kitchen. This operation was carried on by two men using four heaters who started to work at about 8:00 a. m. and by 3:00 p. m. (no time out for lunch) had obtained 14 or 15 32-gallon G. I. cans of water (448 to 480 gallons), the kitchen and mess hall require- ments for 200 men (2.2 to 2.4 gal. per man per day).

c. The snow which was porous and had a specific gravity of about 0,35 at the top, was usually cut into blocks and carried less than 100 feet to the melters which were on the downwind side. Apparently, this snow had no mineral content and was free from harm- ful bacteria. The water was not chlorinated or treated in any way. Occasionally soot was found to be floating on the top of water cans, but did not hinder the production of potable water.

2. Waste Disposal. Sanitation in the Antarctic where snow is extremely deep presents no problem so long as waste is not disposed of in snow melting areas.

a. Three latrines for the men and one for officers were suitably located throughout the camp. They were housed within 16- by 16-foot pyramidal tents and built similar to the ones for living quarters, with the boxes forming a U next to the back and two side walls. Urinals were not furnished and as a result conditions in front of tents became unsightly. b. Garbage was disposed of by dumping it into a hole which was started by pouring hot dishwater onto the snow. All kitchen waste was disposed of in this hole, which was about 3 by 2 feet and became deeper the more it was used. Figure 47. Pontoon snow melter which was designed to be used at 35-man emergency winter camp. Note exhaust from internal combustion engine furnishes heat for melter. Figure 48. Inside snow melting shelter. Behind steam is Aeroil No. 98 Steam Thawing Unit. Man on left is holding steam pipe in G. I. can partly full of snow; man on right is pumping air into tank for burner which is bottom of steam thawing unit. that it required considerable time to start the burners, especially in lower temperatures, and they required an excess of maintenance.

b. Army field immersion type heaters were used the majority of the time while on the ice and functioned properly without any mentionable trouble other than requiring a longer time to produce the water require- 42 3. Heat. Two types of heaters were used to heat the tent camp. Each pyramidal tent was equip- ped with one Army tent stove, Model 1941, and the standard oil burner, the mess hall and Quonset huts used 60,000-B. t. u. space heaters most of which were manufactured by The American Gas Machine Company, Albert Lea, Minnesota. Housing facilities remained comfortable at all times, except that the tents during high winds with low temperatures were uncomfortable even though the stoves were red hot. This was no hardship. Heating on Operation “High- jump” was adequate.

a. In order to reduce fire hazard, Diesel fuel instead of gasoline was used throughout and worked satisfactorily even though some of the stoves smoked at times. In case of the tent stoves, cleaning became necessary in about one-third of the cases. The average fuel consumption was about 8.2 gallons per day per tent stove and 125 gallons per day for the kitchen and mess hall (one tent stove, three 60,000-B. t. u. space heaters, and about seven kitchen ranges).

b. Standard hand type 15-pound C02 fire extinguishers were used throughout without any noticeable difficulties. They were dis- tributed throughout the tent area so that one extinguisher served three tents, six or seven were around the kitchen as well as on the crash fire fighting sled. Others were placed around dumps and such places where they might be needed. No serious fires re- sulted although a number of tent poles became scored, with a couple of them collapsing.

4. Electricity. The kitchen and mess hall were supplied electricity by two 5-kw., 120-v., single-phase generators driven by Wisconsin air-cooled motors which were housed in a tarpaulin .shack beside the kitchen. The generators Figure 49. Package shot (disassembled) snow melter. Figure 50. Two 5-kw. generators which were used for lighting kitchen and mess hall. Note they are resting on the base for a tarpaulin which was later erected. ran alternately in about 6-hour shifts and worked very satisfactorily. With the excep- tion of those tents which required electricity for special projects, no power was furnished within the tent area. Most occupants of tents modified their quarters with one or two plastic windows or skylights which pro- vided enough light for normal use. a. It was originally planned to use two 75-kw. generators at the 3 5-man emergency winter camp, which was reconstructed at Little America III. Instead two, 25-kw., 200- to 400-volt, 3-phase, GM generators, 43 Model 1-398 driven by 1,200 r. p. m. GM Diesel engines Model 3016 were installed and until date of departure furnished power for the high frequency radios. These genera- tors were moved from the ship to the sites while still in the heavily constructed box- type house. h. It was not planned to use these gen- erators on the expedition other than to fur- nish power for six large reefers (675 cu. ft. each) which were constructed on the deck of the U. S. S. Merrick in order to furnish more cold storage space while en route to Antarctica.

SECTION VI. Airstrips and Snow Tests

1. Airstrip. An airstrip, as originally planned, was not constructed, although three ski runways were prepared as well as a 150- by 350-foot plus 45- by 455-foot pierced steel plank test strip. The R4D (C-47) planes operated off the ski runways very successfully and with less drag than normally would be encoun- tered with tires on concrete. 2. PSP Test Strip. a. The PSP test strip (figs. 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55) was laid in the following sequence: 23 Jan 24 Jan Laid 150 by 75 feet of PSP on undis- turbed snow. 25 Jan Laid 150 by 75 feet of PSP on burlap which was on undisturbed snow. Laid 150 by 75 feet of burlap on un- disturbed snow. 1 Feb 3 Feb 150 by 250 feet, 2 rounds with D-6 and snow drag over area where burlap had been. Laid 150 by 40 feet of PSP on partially compacted snow. Detail of about 15 men started breaking open bundles and established center line. Night shift started 1830 and finished 0530 on the 25th. Inspection of mat at 2200 hours revealed that PSP on undisturbed snow settled about 1 % inches, whereas mat on burlap did not settle. Most settling took place between 1030 and 1430, while sun was out, with light winds.

Later inspection revealed no more settling. Started to remove 150- by 75-foot section of burlap. Removed burlap. 44 5 Feb Laid 150 by 160 feet of PSP on partially and compacted snow. 6 Feb 17 Feb 150 by 800 feet, 2 rounds with snow drag and D-6; 1 round with pontoon draa: and D-6. 18 Feb 150 by 800 feet, 1 round with pontoon drag and D-6. Laid 40 by 180 feet of PSP on partially compacted snow. 19 Feb Laid 40 by 275 feet of PSP on partially compacted snow. 20 Feb Removed snow from 150- by 350-foot strip Runway extension had about 2 rounds with snow drag and 1 round with pontoon drag High was —8° F. witli 16-knot wind, 7 men for 2){ hours! 114 sq. ft. 13 men for 3){ hours [man-hour 14 men for 6 hours equals 130 sq. ft./man-hour. Fork lift with 3-inch lumber as a dozer pushed the snow to the sides. b. The first 150 linear feet were laid about 25 January when temperatures were rela- tively high (25° to 30° F.) and the following difficulties were encountered:

(1) The small clips were difficult to handle in cold weather with gloves or mittens.

(2) Care had to be taken not to disturb the surface when the mat was to be placed (same as for construction of camp).

(3) The time required to carry each panel by hand from the runway shoulders to its final position was doubled, which was due to the soft neve. This work was performed mostly by the U. D. T. and ships’ personnel who had no previous training in this type of work. Later this mat required a dozer (for lift with 3-inch lumber as blade) to remove snow drifts which were caused by miscel- laneous bundles and odd pieces of PSP that were left within that area. c. When the 40- by 455-foot section was laid on partially compacted snow the only difficulty encountered was the handling of the small clips, temperatures being about — 10° F. with winds up to 16 knots.

This Figure 51. Laying PSP on burlap which was laid on undisturbed snow. work was performed by about 13 Seabees from the motor pool whose morale was very high.

During the 2-day period approxi- mately 125 square feet per man per hour were laid. 45 Figure 52. Junction of PSP direct on undisturbed snow (left) and PSP on burlap which is on undisturbed snow on right. Twelve hours after junction was laid, mat on left had settled from IV2 to inches while mat on right did not settle at all. 3. Ski Runways. The three ski runways were arranged more or less as an equilateral triangle, all work being performed by equipment, with no hand labor. The 4 days of construction for runway No. 1 (100 by 4,500 feet) started during the evening of 13 February and con- sisted of the following; Runway No. 1 {fig. 58) 13 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling heavy drag. 13 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor only. 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling light drag. 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling T-7 section of pontoon drag. 14 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling light drag. 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling pon- toon drag. (7% short tons, incl. 2 bdls. PSP). 15 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling pon- toon drag (a. m.). 46 15 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling light drag (p. m.). 16 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling pon- toon drag (a. m.). 17 Feb 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling drag (far end only). 1 round, D-6 tractor pulling pon- toon drag (far end only). The average temperature during this period was — 10°F. with winds at about 12 knots. Even after the first evening of work the sur- face furnished an adequate runway for skis. By 23 February this strip would almost sup- port an R4D (C-47) on wheels. Runways Nos. 2 and 3 were constructed alike in that their 2-day construction period started 15 Figure 53. Same junction as in figure 52, showing that difference in elevation at this point is 2V2 inches. Figure 54.

Cylindrical snow pillars were left standing from 1 V2 to 2V2 inches high as PSP, which had been laid direct on undisturbed snow, settled. They could be kicked over or scraped off very easily. Mat apparently did not settle any more after the first 36-hour period. Figure 55.

PSP test strip after a blizzard. Note drifts which were caused by bundles and odd pieces of mat left within area. This shows the runway areas must be policed as work progresses.

Figure 56. Tractor pulling pontoon drag on ski runway 47

Figure 58. Ski runway No. 1 running east and west. Picture was made before ski runways Nos. 2 and 3 were constructed.

Figure 57. Track left after R4D (C-47), with wheels, had been towed from PSP test strip to ski runway No. 1. Tracks were almost waist deep in places.

Figure 59. OY (L-5) taking off from PSP test strip. Note that very little snow is blown up by the propeller.

Figure 60. OY (L-5) stuck in newly compacted snow at end of PSP test strip. February and consisted of only the following: 1 round with a D-6 tractor pulling a wooden snow drag, and 2 rounds with a D -6 tractor pulling the pontoon drag. These were sat- isfactory for skis.

4. Taxi, Take-Off, and Landing Tests. a. OT {Army L-5 on PSP, Subbase Partially Compacted, 20 Feb 47, -10° F., Wind 11 Knots. (1) Several landings and take-offs were made from the 40- by 455-foot end as well as taxiing on part of the 150-foot wide end. From all appearances no failure occurred. It is believed the weight was being carried by the mat instead of the snow base; there- fore, very little or nothing was learned. The props seemed to kick up very little snow from beneath the mat, although a little loose snow which was on top was blown back. (2) The plane taxied out over freshly com- pacted snow (2 rounds with D-6 tractor pulling snow drag, 1 round with D-6 tractor pulling pontoon drag) which, due to the surface failure, took considerable 48 power. When the plane tried to turn, one wheel went down and help was required to start plane moving again. b. OT {Army L—5) on Ski-Runway No. 7, 20 Feb 47, +10°F, Wind 7 7 Knots. Several land- ings and take-offs were made with quite a bit of taxiing. With one exception no dam- age was noted. The surface acted the same as any prepared surface would be expected to act, except that tires could easily be skidded by applying brakes. Once for dem- onstration purposes, the plane taxied back and forth with one wheel skidding about 80 percent of the time. The damage noted was on the first landing. As one of the tires touched the snow, it broke the surface, leaving a strip the tire’s width, about 10 feet long and 1 to 2 inches deep, of loose Figure 61. OY (L-5) taxiing on ski runway No. 1 Figure 62. R4D (C-47) taxiing on PSP test strip. Note that very little snow is blown up by the propellers. Figure 63. Indentations up to 2 inches left in PSP after R4D (C-47) taxied on test strip (PSP laid on undisturbed snow). Figure 64. R4D (C-47) stuck in partially compacted snow as it left PSP test strip. Fifty inches of mercury on both engines would not move plane. Note that no snow is blowing back as propellers rotate at high velocity. 49 granulated snow that could be raked out by hand. The snow beneath this was still com- pacted and no breaking through was noted. Apparently compacted snow will not stand abrasion. The tire pressure during these tests was 13 pounds per square inch and the total weight of the plane was about 2,100 pounds. c. R4D (C-47) 19,000 to 20,000 Pounds on PSP Test Strip, 22 Feb 47, T10°F., Wind 5 Knots. (1) The plane taxied over the entire PSP test section. The mat which was laid on the burlap had the greatest failure. In places it was bent up to 2 or 3 inches. The mat which was placed on partially compacted snow bent to about 1 or 2 inches. This should show that, in this particular case, the tan and loosely knitted burlap acted as an insulator rather than a conductor, therefore losing the qualities which it was hoped it might possess. Had the burlap been canvas similar to that of tents, the results might have been slightly different, but it is still believed that best results would be obtained without using any material between the PSP and the snow. It was interesting to note that very little snow was picked up or blown out of place by the prop blast, even while both en- gines were pulling 50 inches of mercury. This also leads one to believe that no ma- terial similar to burlap is needed beneath the mat. It was also noted the tires had a tendency to skid easily where the mat was partially covered with snow. (2) After taxiing on the PSP had been completed the plane tried taxiing off the end of the mat test strip and onto the partially compacted snow, but without success. The plane immediately sank about three-fourths of the way to the hub. Fifty inches of mer- cury on both engines would not move the plane. Later on during the night two D-6 tractors towed the plane over undisturbed snow to ski runway No. 1. This was accom- plished in the same manner that a plane would be dragged through any muddy held. At one time one of the wheels went down to the point that loose snow, which piled up in front of the wheel, touched the oil cooler at the bottom of the cowling. d. R4D (C-47) on Ski Runway No. 7, 23 Feb. 47, +7° F., Wind 4 Knots. (1) The plane taxied about 100 feet before the left wheel went down. In trying to get out, the plane made about a 300-degree turn with the wheel going down to the hub. At times while Figure 65. R4D (C-47) tracks on ski runway No. 1 which show that it was not evenly compacted. Figure 66. R4D (C-47) wheel after plane became stuck and had turned about 300°, using left wheel as pivot. 50 Figure 67. R4D (C-47) taxiing on main camp road leading to mess hall. No failure whatsoever was noted in surface. Figure 68. Plane taxied into close quarters. Men pushing it backward while engines still running shows that there is very little drag between tires and surface. Figure 69. Chocks were required to keep R4D (C-47) from rolling down main roadway, which had very little slope. This shows that there is very little friction between tires and surface. 51 taxiing the wheels would appear to ride on top, then one would break through and after running the engines up would come back on top. The surface definitely failed, but one could see that the minimum compaction for this type plane had almost been reached. (2) During the noonday meal hour, the plane was towed over a connecting road to the mess hall road. e. R4D {C-47) on Mess Hall Road, 2J Feb. 47, +7° FWind 4 Knots. (1) The mess hall road was part of the main camp road leading from the ships to the camp and had traffic continuously from 18 January through 23 February. The traffic consisted of every piece of equipment on the expedition, and no artificial compacting was done. There were occasional rounds with the snow drag which aided in keeping the area level. (2) The plane was taxied up and down the roadway without showing any signs of failure whatsoever. The only markings or tracks left were formed by the tire tread and the loose snow which was on the surface. Twice the plane taxied in too close to the flagpole and was easily pushed back around by eight or ten men. Figure 70. Plane with ski landing gear leaves from ski runway No. 1 for long mission. Figure 71. Ski track left by R4D on ski runway No. 1 Tracks are not usually this distinct. Figure 72. Ski track as R4D (C-47) left ski runway No. 1. Note difference in track depth on runway and on shoulder. Figure 73. Tracks on ski runway No. 1 left by a Jeep as it started from a halt. 52 ‘igure 74. R4D (C-47) with skis, parked on plywood covered with Diesel oil to prevent skis from freezing to surface. Figure 75. Removing snow sample for den- sity measurements. 5. Snow Tests. a. In-place density measurements, Proctor needle tests, and field load test were made on the following areas: (1) Undistributed snow. (2) Mess hall roadway. (3) Snow after PSP had been removed. (4) Ski runways Nos. 1 and 2. During the short period on the snow, condi- tions varied from a soft sandlike consistency 53 with hardly any supporting power (while temperatures were near freezing) to a dense hard crust which would allow a D-6 tractor to travel without track extensions (tempera- ture being near —10° F.). Due to circum- stances beyond control, controlled tests were not started until the first part of February; therefore, no data was obtained during the warmer days. b. The density measurements were made by weighing a carefully measured block of snow sawed from the neve. Successive seg- ments, 1 to 3 inches thick, were sawed from the block as it sat on the scale. The residue was again weighed and measured and the reduction in weight and volume was used to calculate the density of the segment which had been removed. When crusts were ob- served in a specimen, segments were cut so that one segment was composed entirely of the crust. It was found that compaction went to a depth of about 20 inches and that immediately after compaction the surface would not have the supporting power that it would after it had had a couple of days to freeze into place. Facilities were not avail- able to make a microscopic study of the crystal arrangement, but it is the belief of the observer that the original grains of snow were broken down into smaller ones and compressed and vibrated into place, leaving a more dense surface. c. In order to compare density measure- ments, the results of different tests were cal- culated and the value used in plotting specific gravity against depth. The average specific gravities for undisturbed snow, partially compacted snow (ski runways Nos. 1 and 3), DEPTH BELOW SURFACE IN INCHES UNDISTURBED SNOW (NEVE) 9 FEB. 1947, TEMP. 11° F. ROADWAY IN CAMP 8 FEB. 1947, TEMP. 19°F ROADWAY IN CAMP 8 FEB, 1947, TEMP. 19° F. PREPARED RUNWAY NO. 1 16 FEB. 1947, TEMP.-10°F. PREPARED RUNWAY NO. 3 15 FEB. 1947, TEMP.-12°F.— SPECIFIC GRAVITY Figure 76. Comparison of density measurements 54 DEPTH BELOW SURFACE IN INCHES UNDISTURBED SNOW 22 FEB. 1947, TEMP. 11° F. 16 FEB. 1947, TEMP. 11° F, 9 FEB. 1947, TEMP. 11° F. USAS OBSERVATIONS 1940 SPECIFIC GRAVITY Figure 77. Further comparisons of density measurements. 55 and the mess hall road were used in plotting a graph. d. Insufficient data was obtained to de- termine the degree of correlation between the bearing power indicated by the load applied to the small area under the Proctor needle bearing plate and the actual bearing power of the snow surface under working conditions, but it did indicate that a tech- nique could be developed to utilize the Proctor needle to determine the uniformity of the results of any compacting operations and the relative bearing power of the snow. e. Direct loads were applied to the snow by means of hydraulic jack using a D-6 caterpillar tractor to supply the load. The load was measured by means of a pressure Figure 78. Truing specimen for density measurement. figure 79. Weighing carefully measured specimen for density measurement. Figure 80. Running Proctor needle tests on snow after PSP had been removed. Figure 81. Field loading test using 50-ton jack and D-6 caterpillar tractor on snow after PSP had been removed. 56 gage. Knowing the pressure and the area calculated. The following table is a com- of the base of the jack (72.07 sq. in.), the parison of load supporting power, Proctor unit load in pounds per square inch was needle pressure, and density measurements. Proctor needle Specific gravity Load Location Lbs./sq. in. Ratio SP Rat.o Lbs. Lbs./sq. in. Ratio Undisturbed 27 1 0.332 1.0 1,300 18 1 Under PSP without burlap. . . 55 2 0.335 1 .Ox 2,000 25 1.4 Under PSP without burlap. . . 49 2 0.335 1,0x 2,000 25 1.4 Ski runway No. 3 257 10 0 396 1 2 Ski runway No. 1 855 35 0.432 1.3 *4,300 60 3.3 Mess hall road 1,905 70 0.469 1.4 13,000 180 10 Note. Reasonable average va lues, utilizing all available data. *C-47 wheel load calculated as 60 Ib./sq. in. over base area of jack (72.07 sq. in.). SECTION VII. Recommendations 1. General. The recommendations herein are based on assumption that an Army engineer aviation battalion would be given relatively the same task with the same period of time as was originally planned (24 hours per day for 8 weeks). In many instances the recommen- dations will be in line with that which was practiced on this expedition. Others, of course, will be from experience gained by officers, men, and observers while carrying out the mission. 2. Staff Work and Planning. a. It is recommended that planning be started far enough in advance to allow fabrication of special items and shipment, so that each unit will have ample time to familiarize itself with the items with which they are to work. b. The unit chosen for the operation should be a well organized and experienced one. c. It is recommended that the staff officer who is responsible for the planning be a member of the expedition. He will be able to note his own mistakes, and pass on to others to follow, more complete information as to how future operations should be planned. d. Plans should be flexible so that if at any time the over-all plan is changed, the operation could proceed uninterrupted. e. A large amount of extra small tools, such as hammers, saws, wrenches, etc., should be taken since they become lost or misplaced very easily in the soft snow. /. An extra amount of plywood, 2- by fl- inch, and 1-inch lumber should be taken, since additions must always be made. 3. Construction Equipment. The most essential item for Antarctic work is specialized construction and transporta- tion equipment. A certain amount was learned during the short 4-week period on the ice and it is felt that some of the answers were obtained, but there is still far more to be learned. No one or two pieces of equipment will answer all purposes. Each piece will vary in design depending upon the job it has to do. Some of the purposes for which equip- ment must be designed are as follows: 765274—48 5 57 a. A heavy duty tractor or prime mover capable of pulling large quantities of supplies on sleds over great distances. The tractor should have living accommodations for its crew and should have a fuel capacity to carry it long distances. b. A tractor similar to the ones used on this expedition which would be used in and around camp and on hauls for relatively short distances should be designed with following modifications: (1) The power unit should need no changes other than a winterized hood. (2) A cab that will protect the operator from low temperature and high winds. (3) Tracks with a maximum unit bearing pressure of 3 pounds per square inch. (4) Long tracks in order to prevent rough riding while going over the sastrugi as well as to aid in going over small cracks and cre- vasses. (5) Attachable grouser plates, or some- thing to give the tractor a foothold while working on ice, (6) Winches on tractors are highly desir- able. (7) Correct the tendency of the tractor to mire itself while pulling heavy loads, possibly by moving the center of gravity forward. c. Some type of light, fast-moving trans- portation suitable for transporting small numbers of personnel, etc., as the truck, %-ton 4×4. It should have sufficient room to allow the operator to function properly while wearing bulky clothes and it should be easy to enter and leave. A winch on the front would be desirable. d. Some type of cargo handling equip- ment, similar to a crane is most desirable. It is believed that a tractor crane would have been more suitable than was the forklift in that it would not be required to move around as much while unloading cargo. The 5-ton crane (Byer’s Model 65), taken on this expedition, or one of its type would not be suitable in that the center of gravity is too high and there would have been a great danger of its tipping over in the soft snow. e. It is believed that compaction equip- ment will necessitate a complete change in design. It is felt that the tractor with the combination of weight and vibration did 90 percent of the compacting on the expe- dition. Various types of rollers were not used enough to determine their usefulness, but the consensus is that they act similarly to the way they would while rolling washed gravel or sand. Some type of equipment mounted on tracks will vibrate the granulat- ed particles of snow into place, and after given time, the particles will freeze into position giving the desired results. Thought might be directed to something along the lines of a wagon, dirt or rock, bottom-dump, with a built-in vibrator and flat top so that weight could be added as the surface be- comes more compact. Something on the order of a combined pontoon drag and snow surface heater should be considered, but not for compaction in depth. /. Grading equipment will be necessary if airfields are to be built for extensive use by heavy planes. Several things have been Figure 82. Open snow roller. 58 Figure 83. Modified sheepsfoot roller (not used). Figure 84. Closed snow roller which proved unsatisfactory. discussed such as a towed grader mounted on skis instead of wheels, and motorized graders 4×4 with large dual tires front and rear. The skis would have the disadvantage of side slippage, and attachable skis would have to be furnished the motorized grader to transport the machine to the compacted surface where it is to work. Personally, the observer would like to try the latter. Due to the belief that it would be easier to grade a runway after it is partially compacted it is felt that the motorized grader would be more satisfactory even if assistance had to be given by a tractor towing for the first few gradings. Once the surface became hard (before ready for planes) the grader could work as it normally would as well as travel back and forth to the motor pool under its own power. g. The main suggestion on the sleds is that the runner contact area be increased so that when fully loaded there will be a unit bearing pressure of from 2 to 3 pounds per square inch. This, of course, will present a problem in that the larger the runner area the harder it will freeze in when left standing, A runner might be designed for a higher unit bearing pressure so that shoes could be attached which would bring the unit bearing pressure down to that which is desired during high temperature when the neve is quite soft. The QM 1-ton sled, which is definitely a good one, could be supplied with a tarpaulin similar to those on trucks so that while transporting personnel they would be protected from wind and snow which is kicked up by the weasel or towing vehicle. The “Go-devil” sled, as used on this expedition, could be redesigned with a toboggan undercarriage so that, when mired, snow would not pile up in front. The side-board recess could be lowered in order to allow large and awkward-shaped cargo and boxes to rest flat on the bed. 4. Cargo Handling and Unloading. a. Each unit should definitely check all items prior to leaving its home base or port. As before an invasion during the war years, the unit should assure itself that all items are present and that the boxes and crates have been properly and conspicuously marked with some color or symbol. b. Ships should be loaded in accordance with an established priority and with each unit’s supplies together, in order that one 59 permanent or semipermanent building in regions similar to those in the Antarctic. This design should provide the following: (1) Rapid and easy assembly, possibly with clamps or some type of fastener other than small items such as nails and bolts which are hard to manipulate while wearing gloves or mittens. (2) Maximum insulation, yet the panels should be light enough to allow three or four men to handle with ease. (3) Panels or sections of such size and weight for minimum shipping weight and cubage. (4) Floating foundations. (5) Double floors with air circulation between the two. (6) Plenty of headroom in order to allow for double bunks. (7) Skylights or windows to provide light until such time as they become covered with snow. Figure 85. When camp was evacuated caches were left well marked with high poles and identification on top so that they may be found if needed for later expeditions. group may be unloaded without disturbing the others. c. Men and officers should be transported on the same ships as their supplies and equip- ment. d. During the first stages of the operation each unit should cache its own supplies; that is, engineer troops should unload their own supplies as they arrive at the camp site, air corps personnel should unload their supplies, etc., for all branches of the service and their units. Within each unit it would be advis- able for cooks and KP’s to cache their own kitchen supplies, mechanics unload their supplies, etc. This would familiarize each person with location of his supplies and how they are stored. 5. Buildings and Structures. a. It is thought that the temporary camp construction could possibly have been a little more complete, even though it furnished adequate shelter. Inside framework and doors could have been erected by the Sea- bees which would in turn save individuals from taking time off to construct on their own. b. It is recommended that some new type of prefabricated building be designed for Figure 86. Early stages of crevasse in barrier slope Later it became about 5 feet wide in places. 60 water could be continuously circulating to prevent freezing. For large or more per- manent types, heat could be supplied from the exhaust of an internal combustion engine as was planned for in the 35-man emergency winter camp. As a morale factor and for convenience it would be advisable to furnish electric lights to all tents and buildings. 7. Airstrips and Snow Tests. The following recommendation for con- struction of an airstrip is by no means the cheapest or most expedient, but is a method which it is known will supply the needs. Future research and study of snow char- acteristics will undoubtedly develop tech- niques of construction which will enable units to prepare surfaces in less time and to carry heavier loads. The method suggested would probably not be carried out in its entirety, but would change as construction progressed, depending upon knowledge gained during this period. a. Suppose the specifications called for one runway 100 by 5,000 feet to accommodate C-47 type planes 1 month after starting date and heavier type planes later. Two areas side by side 500 by 7,000 feet each could be compacted by the use of tractors and drags running back and forth over the surface as was the method in compacting the ski run- ways. If a track laying type compactor were available it would aid considerably. In about 1 month the center 100 feet of these strips would be compacted to its maximum density, specific gravity of about 0.65 to 0.70 at the surface down to about 0.40 or 0.45 at 20 inches below the surface. It would be ready for C-47 type aircraft. The object of having two runways would be that while one was being used the other could be main- tained and worked for heavier type planes. The runways would then be strengthened by dozing snow from the ditch lines onto the 100-foot center strip and compacting in the Figure 87. Looking up from down in a crevasse. Cracks such as these are obstacles which may be encountered. (8) Strength to withstand winds up to 100 m. p. h., and snow and ice pressure which will be from the sides as well as from the top. c. If possible it would be advisable par- tially to compact the construction area be- fore erecting any buildings or even tents. This would enable the working parties to move around with greater ease, afford better footings for building, as well as keeping the construction area level. 6. Utilities. a. Water supply is the only utility which requires serious thought. The area from which snow is to be taken should definitely be on the windward side of the entire camp area and must remain a restricted area so that it will not become contaminated. Some type of semiportable snow melter is needed. It should be designed so that the water will be maintained at a given level. The water from the time the snow enters the hopper until it is ready for use should be in closed containers and changed from the melter to storage tank through pipes in which the 61 Figure £8 Crevasses such as these are encountered in the Antarctic. same manner. After this operation had been accomplished two or three times the run- ways should be capable of carrying the C-54 type aircraft. b. Total construction time for this opera- tion should take approximately 6 weeks. Due to surface winds and snow the ditch lines would become filled by drifts affording addi- tional material which could be dozed up on- to the 100-foot center strip. It is thought that eventually the depth of compaction would become great enough to afford ade- quate bearing pressure for larger aircraft in the heavy bomber type group. The reason for compacting the 200-foot shoulders on both sides of the runways at beginning of construction is that the undisturbed neve will not otherwise support construction equip- ment. Due to the fact that after compaction the snow requires a period in which to re- freeze it might be well to bear in mind that doubling the construction force does not necessarily mean cutting construction time in half. 62 c. Prefabricated landing mat should be available, even though it would not be planned to use it, due to the fact that once it is in place the depth of compaction could hardly be increased. It would also afford quite a problem in keeping the runway clean after blizzards, in that snow piles would ac- cumulate on each side of the runway which would cause drifts to grow larger the more the strip is cleaned. Even though a runway without a mat surface might show wear and become damaged during heavy operations it is believed that maintenance would be a relatively simple proposition. d. At this particular stage it is felt that the most important thing in connection with runway construction in regions similar to the Antarctic is that more experimental work be carried on similar to that which was carried on during Operation “Highjump.” The snow should be studied by constructing run- ways and performing such tests as those per- formed and planned to be performed on this operation. e. For more detailed information on this operation, it is suggested that the Navy’s BuDocks report on the operation “High- jump” be studied. 63 CHAPTER 4 TRANSPORTATION SECTION I. Introduction 1. Plans and Objectives. The plans and objectives of Operation “Flighjump” in the field of Transportation are set forth in paragraph III-B, Annex “J”, Commander Task Force 68, Operation Plan No. 2-46, Projects: (1) Performance and tests of powered vehicles under Antarctic conditions. 2. Scope. a. At the end of the shore based operations on the Antarctic Continent, the personnel who actually operated and maintained the motor vehicles used there returned to the United States in a different ship than that which carried the Army observers; hence, con- siderable valuable data which should logi- cally be contained in this chapter are not now available, but will undoubtedly be included in the final reports of Task Force 68. b. The time spent in the shore based phase was so short that it scarcely constituted a proper performance test for the vehicles con- cerned. The vehicles were placed ashore commencing about 18 January 1947, and final evacuation of the base camp was com- pleted on 23 February 1947, a period of only 36 days. 3. Vehicles. Powered vehicles placed ashore at the Bay of Whales for operational use and testing were as follows: a. Wheeled vehicles: 8 Trucks, %-ton, 4×4 (Jeep). 4 Trucks, 2%-ton, 6×6. 1 Truck, 1%-ton, 4×2. b. Amphibious vehicles: 8 Cargo carriers, M29C (Weasel). 2 Landing vehicles, tracked. c. Tractors: 10 Tractors, D-6. 1 Tractor, D-7. 2 Tractors, TD-9-6G (Fingerlift). 3 Tractors, MC-1 (Cle-track). Note. The vehicles listed in a, b, and c above were all new vehicles. d. The following drawn conveyances were used and are considered in this report: 20 sleds, 10-ton (Go-devil). 8 sleds, Army, 1-ton. 3 trailers, tank, 800-gallon capacity, mounted on skis. e. Also included were the following dogs and dog sleds: 27 dogs and 4 dog sleds. 4. Unloading Vehicles. The ships moored direct to the bay ice in the Bay of Whales, and all vehicles were unloaded direct onto the ice in the conven- tional manner by cargo slings. 5. Surface Conditions Encountered. a. The bay ice in the Bay of Whales was covered by hard packed snow (neve) varying in thickness up to 18 inches. There were two tide cracks or crevasses in the bay ice which had to be crossed. These tide cracks 64 were several feet wide and the interval was choked with pressure ice; the pressure ice in places was piled up 12 to 15 feet high over the tide cracks. These cracks were bridged for safety. Bulldozers pushed away the sur- plus pressure ice and the bridges were con- structed of planking, pierced planks (airfield matting) and other available materials. These bridges had to be constantly main- tained because of the heavy traffic over them and because of movement of the ice at the tide cracks. At the site selected for the as- cent of the barrier, the barrier was about 70 feet high and sloped down to the bay ice at an angle of 20 degrees from horizontal. This slope was about 200 feet long (fig. 89). The slope consisted of hard packed, drifted snow, covered with soft snow. On this barrier incline there were later discovered two crevasses, originally only about 2 feet wide but later opening up to about 5 feet. In- itially these crevasses had been covered by a natural snow bridge which gave way under the pounding of heavy traffic. b. The top of the barrier was covered with neve snow which was considerably softer than that found on the bay ice. The surface in some places was smooth; in others it was crossed by ridges and hard snow (sastrugi) varying in height from 5 inches Figure 89. D-6 in reverse towing working party up barrier incline on five Army sleds. 765274—48 6 65 to several feet. The spacing and height of these ridges varied from day to day. The surface texture, bearing power, and other physical characteristics of the neve vary with temperature, wind, sun, and other climatic influences; thus, conditions of opera- tions may change within a few hours. The general surface contours of the Ross Ice Barrier in the vicinity of the Bay of Whales are quite gradual; slopes of over 10 to 15 degrees are rare. The surface of the barrier contains many crevasses up to 10 feet wide and wider. These crevasses frequently are covered by a bridge of crusted snow which will give way under a heavy vehicle. Of the vehicles considered in this report only the LVT’s participated in an overland trail operation. Ability to cross crevasses must always be considered for a vehicle designed for Antarctic operations. 6. Wheeled Vehicles. No wheeled vehicles were able to operate efficiently ashore. All had to be towed from shipside to motor park. The larger trucks were never able to operate, although the Jeeps were able to operate to a limited degree on well packed areas when equipped with heavy chains on all four wheels. The Jeeps were so unreliable, however, from a transportation standpoint that they were useless. The snow acted very much like soft sand, causing the wheels to dig out great holes when power was applied. Four of the Jeeps were equipped with power generator units and were finally towed to the top of the barrier and used as power generators for the air operations office. Wheeled vehicles of conventional type are entirely unsatisfactory for personnel or cargo carrying purposes in the Antarctic. SECTION II. Cargo Carrier, M29C 1. General.* a. No trials were run in water, the Weasels operating exclusively on snow and ice throughout the operation. They were used as liaison vehicles and for towing the 1-ton Army (QM) sled. They were in almost con- tinuous operation and turned in a very creditable performance. They towed the Army sled with a 1 -ton load of cargo or per- sonnel with ease on the bay ice, up the bar- rier incline, and on top of the barrier itself. The principal complaint against the Weasel was that there were not enough of them. Eight Weasels could scarcely perform all the tasks desired of them. The demand for Weasels was never satisfied during the oper- ation. b. The following table shows the total number of miles of operation by each Weasel for the period 19 January 1947 to 23 Febru- ary 1947: Weasel No. Mileage 1 1,464 2 1,099 3 1,201 4 1,571 5 Lost in crevasse—figures not available. 6 38—Front suspension damaged and track broken shortly after landing. Never repaired or replaced. 7 1,464 8 1,027 2. Method of Use. Init’ally Weasels were assigned to various individuals or departments for use. There were, however, more interested agencies than there were Weasels. This resulted in a *See TM 9—772 for general description and technical data concerning Cargo Carrier, M29C. 66 Figure 90. Weasel in trouble in soft snow. Figure 91. Weasel comes in handy for photographic work. Figure 92. Weasel advertising cancer drive. Note QM 1-ton sled in rear. Figure 93. Photographic Weasel on airstrip. Note how tracks conform to irregularities of surface. bottleneck on these vehicles and controversy over the priority of the projects concerned. About 27 January 1947 the Weasels were placed in a common pool operated by the motor maintenance officer. Thereafter all requests for Weasels were handled by a dis- patcher, who, by coordinating individual requests, was able to maintain a much more efficient use of the vehicles. A scheduled “run” was instituted on a 30-minute basis between the ships, the base camp, and the airstrip. This greatly relieved the strain and operated as accommodation to observers, civilian scientists, correspondents, and other casuals. One exception to this arrangement was in the case of the Weasel permanently assigned to the camp surgeon. This Weasel remained on call at the air operations office near which the surgeon’s headquarters was located. This vehicle and an Army sled were used as an emergency ambulance and crash truck (fig. 94). The equipment in- cluded fire fighting equipment, stretchers, and other first aid and medical gear. This Weasel was the only one equipped with a radio. 3. Tracks. All Weasels were equipped with the con- ventional track. These tracks proved quite satisfactory in most respects. The only time a Weasel was deadlined because of track failure was in the case of one which was broken. However, it was noted that when a Weasel was parked on a rutted or uneven surface, wrinkles or ridges in the rubber belts would appear as the tracks conformed to the irregularities of the surface. After one or two hours in the same position, these wrinkles or ridges tended to stiffen in that position. It was feared that a break in the steel cables embedded in the rubber belts might occur if the vehicles were driven off immediately. It was therefore deemed ad- visable to move the Weasel a few feet forward and backward, repeating this move- ment several times until the wrinkles or ridges were ironed out. Further study into the possibility of cable breakage from these conditions is recommended. If such break- age might result, the feasibility of individual block type tracks with connectors might be investigated. 4. Serviceability and Performance. a. Of the eight Weasels placed ashore on or about 19 January 1947, six were service- able and in operation when the base camp was evacuated on 23 February 1947. As stated previously, No. 6 was disabled after 38 miles of operation by a broken track and a damaged support tube and carrier arm, resulting from a collision. As no spare parts were available this vehicle remained out of operation. No. 5 Weasel was lost in a tide crack, or crevasse, in the bay ice on 15 February 1947. After the cargo ships de- parted on 6 February the bridges were not maintained and soon became unuseable due to ice movement. The driver of No. 5 Weasel attempted to cross one of these crevasses near the bridge site. As the Weasel passed over the crevasse the pressure ice between the edges of the crevasse gave way and permitted the vehicle to drop into the water. For some reason the drain plugs had never been installed and the hull began to fill with water. Every effort was made to save the Weasel. Water was bailed out of the hull, planks and empty gas drums were lashed to the sides and eventually a tractor arrived at the scene. When the tractor arrived a cable was attached to the capstan of the Weasel and an attempt was made to drag the Weasel onto the bay ice This attempt failed when the capstan tore loose. The towing pintle could not be used be- cause by the time the tractor arrived the hull was almost full of water and the towing pintle was out of reach. Shortly thereafter the Weasel sank in over 200 fathoms of water. It is recommended that drain plugs be installed in all Weasels which have occasion to travel on bay ice. b. Two Weasels were temporarily disabled by damaged transmissions during the first 10 days ashore. In one case a tooth was broken from the low range gear. A new tooth was built up by welding and filed as near to size as possible. This enabled the vehicle to resume operation to a limited degree; how- Figure 94. Weasel and 1-ton Army sled used at airfield as combination ambulance and crash truck. Note fire extinguishers. 68 ever, the transmission could be shifted into low range gear only with difficulty, so to prevent further damage to this gear a lug was welded to the axle transmission lever in such manner that the transmission could not be shifted into low gear range. Thereafter the vehicle was limited to high range only. In the other case of a damaged transmission, the nature of the damage is not known, other than it rendered the vehicle inopera- tive. It was reliably reported that this trans- mission was replaced by the transmission of No. 6 Weasel (with the broken track). In any case the Weasel was placed back in operation. 5. Transmissions. As stated in the paragraph above, two Weasels were disabled by damaged trans- missions although both were repaired or re- placed quickly and placed back in operation. The general opinion of most individuals who worked with the Weasel is that it has a weak transmission. However, when operated by a trained driver it appears the transmission seems to perform satisfactorily. Weasels on the operation were frequently driven by amateur drivers with little or no previous experience. It is possible that the two damaged transmissions were caused by inex- perienced drivers placing undue strain on the transmissions by selection of wrong gear range, clashing the gears in shifting, or “jerky” take-offs. 6. Speed. Weasels operated at speeds up to an estimated 15 miles per hour both on the well packed roads and on the open snow of the bay ice and the barrier. It was a common tendency to drive the Weasel too fast, the speed being regulated more or less by the comfort of the driver and passengers. It is recommended that 10 miles per hour be considered as the maximum speed con- sistent with smooth operation. Beyond that speed the vehicle has a tendency to bob up and down quite forcibly from the axis of the drive sprockets. During this motion the rear part of the tracks maintains a more or less constant contact with the snow while the forward part of the tracks rises off the snow from a few inches to more than a foot. This “down buck” results in jolting the passengers and a jerking motion to a towed sled. It seems logical to assume that addi- tional strain is also placed on the tracks, track suspension, and power drive. It was observed that this “down buck” was more pronounced on uneven surfaces. Actually, there are no absolutely level surfaces in the Antarctic; even though a surface appears to be perfectly flat to the naked eye it is usually full of minor dips and swells. It is believed that the intermittent strain caused by high speeds over uneven surfaces causes a torque component to be built up which definitely aggravates the normal bobbing motion imparted to the vehicle in passing over these uneven surfaces. It is possible that if the drive sprockets were in front rather than in rear a smoother operation of this vehicle could be obtained. The feasi- bility of front drive should be investigated. 7. Engine. There was no ignition trouble, no carbure- tor trouble, and no trouble with engine starting. S. A. E. 10 oil was used in the crankcase. Sixty percent prestone was used in the cooling system. The electrical system functioned normally. No differential failures were encountered. 8. Feasibility of Use in Prolonged Opera- tions. No prolonged trips were made with the Weasels. The longest trip was to Little America I (1929), a distance of approxi- mately 12 miles. However, observations of the vehicle in operation indicate that it might be feasible for use in extended oper- 69 a dons, limited only by fuel, oil, maintenance supplies, and extremely unfavorable terrain, especially wide crevasses. 9. Drivers. There were regularly assigned drivers for each Weasel from the Seabee detachment. These drivers had had previous experience and were reasonably well trained. Flowever, quite frequently the Weasels would be oper- ated by individuals who had little or no previous experience. The performance of Weasels chauffeured by the regularly assigned drivers was much superior to that when chauffeured by amateurs. The chief char- acteristics of amateur driving were jerking the vehicle in starting off, selection of im- proper gears and driving range, a tendency to drive too fast and “lugging” the engine. 10. Observations. Several observations were made concerning possible modification of the Weasel: a. The high sides of the hull resulting from its amphibious feature make it rather difficult for driver and passengers to enter and leave the vehicle. If the amphibious feature can be considered unnecessary for operation on the Antarctic mainland, a portion of the hull could be cut out and doors installed. b. Present side curtains provide scant visibility to the occupants. The feasibility of a rigid cab with glass or plexiglass windows should be investigated. c. None of the Weasels were equipped with defrosters for the windshield. Frost did not form on the windshield except when the side curtains were tightly fastened. For pro- longed trips in extremely low temperatures requiring the side curtains to be closely se- cured for warmth, a windshield defrosting unit is indicated. d. When traveling at moderate to high speeds, the tracks kick snow very forcibly over the towed sled. This is a most uncom- fortable sensation for personnel riding on the sled. The feasibility of some type of guard over the rear of the tracks to prevent this from occurring might be investigated. e. The driver was definitely handicapped by the narrow space between the right steering brake lever and the engine cover. With heavy clothes and shoes it was very difficult to reach the foot throttle and the driver’s leg was pinched by the steering brake. This space should be made wider to accommodate the bulkiness of Antarctic footgear. 11. Conclusion. The Weasel proved to be a most satisfactory vehicle for operation on the Ross Ice Barrier. The expedition could have efficiently used more of these vehicles. The four chief fail- ures of these vehicles, i. e., one broken track, one vehicle lost in a crevasse, and two damaged transmissions, cannot be directly attributed to inherent weakness in the vehicle. SECTION III. Tractors 1. General. Tractors were the mainstay of the shore based phase of the operation as far as trans- portation was concerned. Over 3,000 tons of cargo were moved from the ships to the airstrip, the base camp, and the 35-man emergency camp. The great bulk of this cargo was hauled by tractors. Except for the Cle-tracks, all tractors were found to perform with reasonable efficiency under all conditions encountered. 70 2. Fingerlifts (Figs. 95, 96, 97, and 98). The two fingerlifts were so seldom used as transportation in the sense of towing drawn conveyances that they are considered in this report only from the standpoint of their performance under prevailing conditions in view of their similarity in many respects to the D-6 and D-7 tractors. The finger- lifts were equipped with wooden track ex- tensions and operated most efficiently both on the bay ice and on the barrier. They were extremely valuable in unloading cargo from sleds at the various caches. The fingerlifts were too light for some of the heavy loads they had to handle. The tracks on both fingerlifts became slightly sprung due to bending of the bogie and idler shafts. This was probably due to leverage exerted by the track extensions when heavy loads were lifted. Both fingerlifts continued opera- ting throughout the operation. Figure 95. Fingerlift distributing pierced plank on the airfield. Figure 96. Load of lumber and tarpaulins on fingerlift. Figure 97. Fingerlift digging out pierced plank buried in snow. Figure 98. Laying out cache with fingerlift, 71 3. D 7 Tractor. The D-7 Tractor would probably have turned in a much more creditable perform- ance than it did, had it been given a proper trial. Its chief contribution to the trans- portation cause was in being used as an anchor or “deadman” (fig. 99) at the top of the barrier. The bulldozer blade was dropped and forced into the snow and two large timbers were thrust into the snow to assist in firmly anchoring the tractor. To the firmly anchored tractor were attached two snatch blocks. By means of a 1,200- foot length of cable operating through the snatch blocks a D-6 tractor at the base of the barrier was able to tow loaded sleds up the face of the barrier incline (fig. 101). The D-7 tractor was used as a “deadman” at the top of the barrier from 20 January 1947 until the cargo-hauling from the ships was completed on 6 February 1947, when it was evacuated. The wooden track exten- sions provided for the D-7 were 60 inches long (fig. 102). Although not given a thorough test it was considered that these extensions were longer than necessary. 4. D 6 Tractor. The 10 D-6 tractors were the work horses of the entire shore based operation, and from the transportation standpoint they were responsible for the success of the operation. 5. Winterization. All the tractors had been winterized at Port Hueneme, California, prior to embarka- tion. This winterization included enclosing the driver’s compartment in a cab, covering the hood and radiator with sailcloth, 60 percent prestone in the radiator, and winter oil (Naval equivalent of S. A. E. 10). In anticipation of traction difficulties in the snow, wooden track extensions were prepared for installation after the landing in Ant- artica (fig. 102). Figure 99. D-7 as “dcadman’’ for hauling loaded sleds up barrier. Figure 100. Looking down barrier incline. Tractor on bay ice is towing loaded sled up barrier w ith cable towing device. Figure 101. D-6 in reverse towing Norseman plane up the barrier. 72 6. Cab. The driver’s cab was a wooden frame and top with safety plate glass puttied in in front and with plexiglass bolted in on the sides and rear. The door opened on the left side. The door was rather poorly made, especially the latch, which failed to hold the door closed until field expedients were utilized. The cab provided ample vision for the driver. Very little difficulty was experienced with glass frosting over but occasionally visibility would be lessened by snow or sleet. The plexiglass on the sides and rear would fre- quently tear loose from the bolts which secured it. An escape hatch 2 feet square was built into the top of the cab. All in all the cabs were satisfactory. Certainly a cab of some type is needed for Antarctic opera- tions. 7. Track Extensions. All tractors could operate efficiently on the bay ice without track extensions, although occasionally one would stick from turning too sharply or in starting a heavy load (fig. 104). Tractors which operated exclusively on the Figure 103. Parked tractors. Note broken and missing track extensions. bay ice were therefore not equipped with track extensions. They were able to tow two Go-devil sleds each carrying 3 or 4 tons of cargo with ease. a. In general, none of the tractors could operate on top of the barrier without track extensions. The snow on the barrier was much softer and deeper than on the bay ice. After track extensions were installed a D-6 tractor could tow three Go-devil sleds each carrying 4% tons of cargo with ease (fig. 105). All tractors operating on top of the barrier were therefore equipped with track ex- tensions. b. The incline from the bay ice to the top of the barrier was quite a different proposi- tion. The 20-degree incline approximately 200 feet long proved to be a major obstacle. Tractors without track extensions were not able to climb this incline even without loads. Tractors with track extensions could climb the incline without a pay load but experi- enced the greatest difficulty in towing a single loaded Go-devil sled. When these initial attempts were made on 19 January 1947 the snow on the incline was quite soft. The tractors tended to mire in on one side and corkscrew about at right angles to the Figure 102. Layout of track extensions, showing both 60-inch and 30-inch types. D-6 tractors used only 30-inch extensions on Operation Highjump. 73 original direction, then being unable to resume the original direction. By reversing the tractor and pulling backward, better results were obtained. An experiment with two tractors in tandem, both pulling back- ward, proved that one Go-devil sled with 2l/2 tons of cargo could be hauled up the incline. c. Before any appreciable amount of cargo had been hauled up the incline, the tractors had badly chewed up the surface, gouging out deep holes in the snow. This activity broke the natural snow bridge, or snow crust, over the two large crevasses which ran parallel to the barrier across the track. These crevasses were about 2 feet wide when discovered, but had widened out to about 5 feet at the end of the operation. Hauling cargo witti tractors was suspended after one tractor bogged down in one of these crevasses and had to be towed out. Then the prearranged plan of using a cable towing device was used. The D-7 tractor was installed on top of the barrier as a deadman and by means of two pulleys attached to the deadman and 1,200 feet of wire cable, the loaded sleds were towed up the incline by a tractor operating on the bay ice. The crevasses were filled up with snow by bulldozers. This snow supported sleds and Weasels. Tractors were kept off the incline for some time because it was feared they would break through the snow filled crevasses. After the track had become firmly packed and smooth, tractors again resumed operation on the incline but only for towing the Army sled for personnel carrying. After the cable towing device was installed on 20 January 1947, cargo hauling followed this pattern: tractors without track exten- sions towed loaded sleds from the ships to the base of the barrier; the loaded sleds were then detached and hauled to the top by the cable arrangement; at the top of the barrier the loaded sleds were towed to their destination by tractors with track extensions. Empty sleds were returned to the ships by a reverse process. d. The track extensions for the D-6 trac- tors were of oak, 30 inches long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches thick. They were secured to the tracks by two spring loaded C washer type connectors (fig. 106). A %-inch car- riage bolt through the 6-inch dimension about 2 inches from the inside end of the extension was installed to prevent splitting. The spring loaded connectors did not prove satisfactory. The washers came off, either Figure 104. D-6 in trouble on boy ice about to be winched out by another D-6. Figure 105. D-6 in reverse towing three Go-devil sleds each carrying 24 drums of gasoline. 74 by breaking or sliding off the connectors, within a few hours of operating time. In addition snow tended to pack between the tracks and track extension in such manner as to throw individual track extensions out of line. This resulted in an uneven bearing surface and ultimate breakage. The con- tinuous maintenance thus imposed indicated another means of securing the track exten- sions to the tracks. Ordinary carriage bolts with a single nut were tried with consider- able success. This made the track extensions extremely rigid, lacking the flexibility given by the spring loaded connectors. One dis- advantage of the nut and bolt fastening was the difficulty in keeping the nut tight. The natural resiliency of the wood, freezing and thawing of ice between the track and track extension, and the vibration of the tractor caused the nuts to become loosened, when if not retightened they often came entirely disengaged from the bolt and resulted in lost or broken extensions. The extensions were checked and all nuts retightened about every 4 hours. The final solution was to use a lock nut on every bolt. After lock nuts were installed, inspection and maintenance of track extensions was reduced to once each 12-hour shift. Some breakage of extensions resulted from the rigidity imposed by the nut and bolt fastening in passing over extremely uneven terrain or hard objects buried in the snow. Extreme pressure would thus be placed on one or two individual extensions and resulted in breakage. Sharp and fre- quent turning, especially on uneven surfaces, placed a great deal of horizontal strain on the track extensions and sometimes resulted in splitting. Track extensions of some type were definitely necessary for the successful Figure 106. Layout of hardware provided to secure track extensions to tractor. This type of fastener proved unsatisfactory and was replaced by ordinary nut and bolt. Figure 107. Track support blocks and hardware. Figure 108. Installation of track support block. 75 operation of the tractors used on the expedi- tion. The feasibility of a flexible metal type of track extension should be investigated. 8. Track Support Rollers. The track support rollers were removed from all D-6 tractors prior to leaving the United States. Previous experience indi- cated that ice and snow would accumulate around the rollers to a degree sufficient to interfere with efficient functioning of the tracks. Wooden track support blocks were used in lieu of the rollers on all tractors except the Cle-tracks 9. Engine Starting. There was no difficulty in starting the engines due to low temperatures. The trac- tors were never stopped long enough to present a starting problem. During the 15- day cargo unloading phase they were in operation practically 24 hours a day. After the cargo unloading was completed and the tractors were relegated to routine duties within the base camp they were left idling when not in actual operation. 10. Hours of Operation. Total hours of operation are available on only four D~6 tractors at this time. These four tractors were left in the base camp when the cargo ships left the Bay of Whales on 6 February 1947. The following table shows Figure 109. Cle-track (without extensions) in reverse and Go-devil sled loaded with baggage. Figure 110. Cle-track equipped with extensions. Figure 111. Broken track on Clc-frack, showing extensions laid out. 76 the actual hours of operation by these four tractors from 19 January to 23 February 1947: work. They were brought along for similar use around the airfield constructed at Little America. These tractors were seldom used as transportation in the sense of towing drawn conveyances. They did not prove very satisfactory for operation in the snow. When track extensions had been installed (fig. 110) they could tow a loaded 1-ton Army sled, but could not be depended upon to tow a loaded Go-devil sled. After a few hard packed trails had been established some little use was derived from them in towing small pay loads about the camp and airfield. One Cle-track was equipped with all rubber tracks, one of which broke completely in two after a few days of operation and was never repaired or replaced (figs. Ill and 112). These tractors were underpowered and hand- icapped by being unable to operate at the high speeds for which they were designed. 13. Effect of Temperature and Sunshine. a. Temperature very definitely affects the consistency of surface snow. For example, when the temperature was above zero degrees Fahrenheit D-6 tractors could not operate on the barrier without track extensions, whereas when temperatures of minus 10 degrees were experienced these tractors could operate quite effectively over the same area without track extensions. b. Temperature and sunshine also affect the drawbar pull of loaded sleds. On warm, sunshiny days the drawbar pull of a loaded Go-devil sled was considerably less than for the same loaded sled on cold, overcast days. Thus on cold, overcast days, although the tractor itself operated more efficiently, it could not tow as large a pay load as on warm, sunshiny days. No specific data were com- piled on this matter but general observations bear it out. In unloading gasoline, for ex- ample, the loads placed on sleds would vary by as much as 6 drums due to changes in the weather. Hours of Hours of Tractor No. operation Tractor No. operation 4102 505 4059 506 3670 523 4099 520 Average hours of operation 514 Average daily hours of operation 14 11. Maintenance. Maintenance on tractors was negligible except for minor adjustments, chiefly on master and steering clutches. The only major failure was one Cle-track which suf- fered a broken track after a few days of operation and was never repaired. (The Cle-track vehicles were of little value any- way.) Organizational maintenance was per- formed after each 12-hour shift. 12. Cle-track Tractors. The three Cle-track tractors (fig. 109) were of the general type found around airfields and used for towing airplanes and general Figure 112. Abandoned Cle-track. Tools left about equipment in this manner are soon covered by drift snow and lost. 77 SECTION IV. Drawn Conveyances 1. Types Used. The following types of drawn conveyances were used: 20 Go-devil sleds. 8 Army sleds, 1-ton. 3 Tank trailers, 800-gallon capacity, mounted on bobsleds. 2. Go-devil Sled. a. The Go-devil sled was designed and manufactured by the Michler Sleigh and Wagon Company. The sled weighs 3tons, has a 10-ton load capacity, and is double ended. It has two runners of wood and welded steel box sheathed construction about 10 inches wide with 3 inches of camber and a center height of 16 inches. The cargo deck is planked with oak timbers 12 inches wide and 6 inches thick, the loading platform being 8 feet wide and 13/2 feet long. It is equipped with a chain bridle and a steel drawbar. The drawbars were never used on this operation, the sleds being towed ex- clusively by the chain bridle. It has three stake pockets on each side and two on each end. It is altogether a sturdy, well con- structed sled (fig. 113). b. The Go-devil sleds were towed almost exclusively by the D-6 tractors except on the overland trail party to the Rockefeller Mountains when two of these sleds were drawn by LVT’s. Go-devil sleds trans- ported the bulk of the cargo unloaded from the ships to the base camp. c. With an estimated 8- to 10-ton load it was found that the runners cut into the neve of the Ross Ice Barrier sufficiently to permit the cargo platform to rest on the surface, thus materially increasing the drag. On relatively hard packed tracks this did not occur. However, it was discovered that with such a load, even on hard packed snow, this Figure 113. Attaching towing bridle of Go-devil sled to front of tractor. Figure 114. Pumping gas from drums to tank trailer. Note ski mounts. 78 Figure 115. Loaded Go-devil sled and LVT ready for 240-mile trip. Figure 116. Go-devil sled loaded for trip to Rockefeller Mountains. Figure 117. Army sled as cargo carrier Figure 118. Sideboards added to Army sled keep airplane cameras from falling off in transit. sled presented a major problem in moving off from a halt because of the runners’ freez- ing to the surface. A D-6 tractor could easily start a sled loaded with less than 3 tons under similar circumstances. d. During the cargo unloading phase the loads placed on Go-devil sleds averaged 3 to 4 tons each. A typical load was 24 drums of aviation gasoline on each sled. A D-6 tractor could tow two sleds with such a load without difficulty. By reversing the tractor and towing backward, the D-6 tractor could tow three sleds thus loaded. The loads placed on the sleds were always limited by what the tractors could tow. The sleds could therefore have been of considerably lighter construction for use on this operation. e. When loaded sleds were being towed down grade and the tractor stopped or slowed down, the sleds would frequently run forward and strike the tractor. The sleds would also swing sidewise and slither 79 all the way about coming up against the side of the tractor. No damage to tractor, sled, or cargo is known to have resulted from these incidents; however, damage could easily have occurred. It is believed the sleds would have towed much more docilely on down grades had the drawbars been in- stalled. /. In addition to cargo hauling the Go- devil sleds were used for personnel hauling. As many as 30 men could find accommoda- tion on each sled for the short runs about the area. g. At the end of the operation all the sleds were in excellent condition and showed little if any sign of wear. With one exception they were used only for local hauling in the immediate vicinity of the Bay of Whales: On the 240-mile round trip to the Rocke- feller Mountains one Go-devil sled was towed behind each of the two LVT’s (figs. 115 and 116). These two sleds returned in first-class condition. 3. Army Sled. a. This is the standard 1-ton Army sled designed for towing by cargo carrier M29 and M29G. This sled was used almost ex- clusively for towing by Weasels. Both as a cargo and personnel carrier it proved to be most satisfactory (fig. 117). These sleds were not used as part of the bulk cargo carrying program. Since the Weasels were used so much as liaison vehicles, they could not be depended upon for scheduled caigo hauling. They were used, however, to haul special equipment and personnel (fig. 118). b. The Army sled is well constructed and sturdy. At the end of the operation, all Figure 119. Box built on Army sled for personnel protection. Figure 120. D-6 towing tank trailer. Figure 121. Tank trailer at aviation gas headed for the airstrip. 80 sleds were still in first-class condition, ex- cept for the wooden slats on the cargo plat- form. A great many of these slats were broken or split. It is not known whether this breakage resulted from overloading, from improper loading and lashing, or from carelessness in dropping heavy items of cargo onto the loading platform. c. A large wooden box of plywood was built on one sled to shelter personnel while riding (fig, 119). The box was approxi- mately 4 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 5 feet high, closed on all sides except the rear. This box was left on the sled throughout the operation and used in transporting small working parties, especially for the long trip from base camp (Little America IV) to the emergency camp (Little America HI). d. The eye on the drawbar is too small to be attached to the pintle hook of the Go- devil sled. When such an arrangement was desired for the overland trail party to the Rockefeller Mountains, the eye had to be enlarged. It would be desirable for the eye on the drawbar of the Army sled to be of sufficient size that this particular sled could be attached to any type of pintle hook in common use. e. The space between the false deck and the slats of the loading platform tends to become packed with snow, thus increasing the weight of the sled. /. For hauling miscellaneous odds and ends of equipment for short distances without elaborate loading and lashing, sideboards of 2- by 6-inch lumber were built on the sleds to prevent the cargo from spilling in movement (fig. 118). g. The 800-gallon capacity gasoline tank trailer mounted on skis functioned satis- factorily (figs. 120 and 121). The capacity was not sufficient for refueling the airplanes, therefore it was necessary to tow a sled loaded with gasoline behind the tank trailer and pump from the sled to the tank trailer with an auxiliary pump. SECTION V. Landing Vehicle, Tracked (LVT) The following report on the operation of the two tracked landing vehicles used on Operation “Highiump,” the LVT3 and LVT4, is based on a report prepared by Marine Corps personnel, submitted to the Commandant, United States Marine Corps. PART 1 Narrative of the Operation of the Landing Vehicles, Tracked, {3) and {4), Operation HIGH- JUMP The Marine detail assigned for the opera- tion of the LYT’s on Operation HIGHJUMP was composed of 1st Lt. Roger B. Thompson, M/Sgt. Ralph O. Inman, T/Sgt. George H. Bigelow, T/Sgt. James L. Thomas, Sgt. Ernest B. Hatch, Sgt. Dwight P. Smith, and Corp. Thomas A. Strock. One LVT3 was received on 26 November 1946 with the following identification; Reg. No. C-91676 Eng. No. Starboard—44077 Eng. No. Port—44076 This vehicle had been winterized previous to shipment from storage at Barstow, Cali- fornia. However, the tractor was completely rechecked and it was found that the port batteries and generator were not functioning correctly and minor repairs were made. The winterization of this particular vehicle consisted of using lighter weight oil (SAE 10) 81 motor, and it was found necessary to reset the gap of all the spark plugs. Steps were welded onto the sides of the vehicle. The armor plate hatch directly in front of the driver was replaced with safety glass to increase the vision of the driver. Handles were welded on the overhead hatches for ease in opening. The LVT4 was equipped with one SCR 508 radio, plus vehicular spare parts. By the 5th of December 1946 both LVT’s had been loaded aboard the U. S. S. Merrick, the LVT3 being loaded below the main deck in number 3 hatch, and the LVT4 on the square of number 4 hatch. The LVT3 being below decks could not be started during the southward trip but before the temperature reached a freezing point the bilges were drained to prevent their freezing. The LVT4, being accessible, was started and allowed to run for about an hour per week on the southward trip. A greater amount of time was consumed in traversing the ice pack than had been anticipated, and upon arrival in the Bay of Whales, Antarctica, a period of 6 weeks was left in which to unload the ships, establish a temporary tent camp for 300 men, a per- Figure 122. Checking over LVT the first day ashore. in the engines, transmissions, oil breathers, air cleaners, and power take-off. The liquid cooling system tested at 60 percent Prestone antifreeze solution and 40 percent water. Some minor changes were made at Port Hueneme, such as welding steps on the pon- toon armor plate, and mounting a Delco Remy “Little Joe” gasoline driven battery charger on the gunner’s platform. A tar- paulin was cut to fit the vehicle, and hooks were welded 18 inches apart on the lower outside of the sponsons in order to fasten the tarpaulin down securely to provide at least partial protection during inclement weather. This vehicle was equipped with one SCR 508 and one TCS radio, plus vehicular spare parts. On 29 November 1946 one LVT4 was received from Barstow, California, with the following identification; Reg. No. G-61072 Army No. USA 9139851 Engine No. 46610 Mfrs. Eng. No. 72747 The winterization of it consisted of SAE 10 mineral oil in the engine and air cleaners. The LVT4 was checked, and some minor work done, such as tightening the push-rod housings, rocker box covers, and the starter Figure 123. LVT4 after unloading cargo. Note how tracks are sunk in snow. 82 manent 35-man emergency camp, plus an aviation operations center. Since explora- tory flights and work allied with them were of such high priority, many lesser projects were necessarily curtailed. Due to the fact that the LVT’s were considered to be an unknown factor, insofar as usefulness in the successful completion of the primary mission was concerned, they were given a low priority, and consequently were not immediately unloaded. On 20 January 1947, however, the FVT4 was unloaded onto the bay ice in the Bay of Whales, and given a trial run which proved to be quite successful, except that after making two trips to the site of the 300-man temporary camp it was decided that the vehicle was destroying the established routes of travel, especially going up the ramp of the barrier ice. Consequently, an order was given which restricted both LVT’s to the vicinity of the bay ice until the unload- ing of the ships was completed. The snow had practically no crust at this time and was very soft. The machine was operated in second gear except when more power was required. On 22 January it became necessary to remove the carburetor of the LVT4. The engine had shown a tendency to cut out or misfire on acceleration. This necessitated the raising of the engine at least a foot and one-half, which was accomplished by the use of timbers stacked up alongside the engine overhead opening, and a 3-inch steel pipe reinforced with a steel rod for a crossbar. For a chain hoist, the “track jack” of the LVT3 was used. After the carburetor was removed, it was discovered, as had been previously surmised, that the accelerator pump was not functioning due to having been stored for too long a period, and also that it was the older model which was made of brass, and the metal had become slightly corroded. After completely freeing the com- ponent parts of the pump, and thoroughly checking the rest of the carburetor, it was replaced, and the engine was remounted in its original position. Except for some leakage at this time around the rocker boxes and push rod hous- ings, the engine performance and accelera- tion was very good. This repair, although it sounds quite simple, consumed the better part of 2 days due to adverse conditions and the necessity to avoid frostbite from the com- bination of cold weather and gasoline. As much operating time as possible was put on the LVT4 from the 23 January to 30 January, when the LVT3 was finally un- loaded. During that time, however, a bliz- zard and some bad weather limited the operations to some extent. As soon as the LVT3 was unloaded, and the spare parts had been removed from the cargo compartment, an attempt was made to ascertain the feasibility of ship to shore movement under conditions peculiar to this region. The air temperature was +6° F., and the water temperature was 29.5° F. A straight edged portion of the bay ice was selected which had a long approach of smooth, snow covered ice. The surface of the bay ice was approximately 1 % feet above the water line. The total thickness of the bay ice varied from 12 to 15 feet. The transmission selector lever was placed in high range, and the control differential lever in low range. The approach was made at about 10 miles per hour at a right angle to the ice edge. The bow of the vehicle was about 1 / feet lower than the stern at the moment of contact with the water. A slight amount of water was shipped over the bow, amounting to about 1 inch on the deck of the cargo compartment. This water was quickly disposed of by the bilge pumps. No great amount of shock was experienced going into the water. 83 An attempt was then made to exit from the water onto the bay ice (fig. 124), The approach was made slowly to the straight edge of the ice and on contact the engines were accelerated (fig. 125). This resulted in the tracks’ digging into the edge and no appreciable rise was noted in the bow. A second approach was then made at ap- proximately 6 miles per hour. On this attempt the bow rose up to the top of the ice but the tracks cut into the edge until the hull bellied down (fig. 126). Two more attempts were made and on the third try the bow armor scab caught on the edge at the same time the tractor bellied down, making it impossible to back the vehicle away, or proceed further without aid from an outside source. It was finally pushed off by the LVT4, interposing a 4- by 4-inch timber approximately 22 feet in length between the two machines. For the fourth attempt, a 50-foot tow cable was used between the two machines, with the LVT4 on the bay ice being used as the prime mover. The LVT3 was towed ahead at about 7 miles per hour with the tracks stopped. On contact with the ice, the towed vehicle applied only sufficient power to the tracks to maintain contact and reduce drag until traction was gained. The LVT3 came up over the edge due to the tow of the LVT4 (see fig. 127), and when its tracks had trav- eled less than one-half of their length the vehicle proceeded under its own power. This test required several hours and no unusual operating temperatures or condi- tions were noted. On 31 January during the operation of the tractors on the bay ice a “sinkhole” was encountered by the LVT3 which resulted in rendering the vehicle immobile. The port track went below the surface of the snow some 3 to 4 feet. This caused no par- ticular trouble, and the vehicle was extri- cated by towing it with the LVT4. On the second day of February the two LVT’s were utilized to transport high ex- plosives from the ship’s side to a point about 1Y2 miles away on the bay ice. To reach the appointed location it was necessary to cross a high pressure ridge and also a tidal crack which was approximately 3 feet wide. Each vehicle carried a pay load of about 4% tons, and no trouble was encountered. It was decided on 3 February to conduct another landing test in view of the fact that Figure 124. LVT3 in the Bay of Whales before attempting to climb out on bay ice in background. Figure 125. LVT3 approaching bay ice to test feasibility of amphibious ship to shore operation. 84 Figure 126. LVT3 fails to complete landing attempt and is about to receive a tow a better approach from the water was found. A spot was selected which had an “ice foot”, or tongue protruding from the front of the bay ice a distance of approximately 7 feet, and at a depth of about 3% feet below the surface of the water. The top of the bay ice was still about 1% feet above the water line. The entrance to the water was ac- complished in the same manner as in the previous test. To exit, an approach was made at about 4 miles per hour, and the ice foot was easily attained. The tracks then broke down the top edge of the bay ice and dug in until the Figure 127. LVT3 is assisted ashore by LVT4. 85 machine bellied down at an angle of 15 or 20 degrees. The vehicle was then towed out, using the LVT4 as a prime mover. Just enough power was applied to overcome track drag until the LVT3 attained a more horizontal position, when it applied more power and proceeded on its own. No attempt was made to put any load in the cargo compartment of the vehicle during these tests. A conference was held during the first week in February by Rear Admiral R. E. Byrd, U. S. N. (Ret), the Base Camp Com- mander, Commander C. M. Campbell, U. S. N., and his staff. It was determined that an advance weather observation post and emergency aircraft fuel cache in the interior to the southeast was desirable. This was to be at a distance of approxi- mately 300 miles airline from the Bay of Whales, the exact latitude and longitude to be determined by the existing surface condition in the area. Captain V. D. Boyd, U. S. M. C., was designated as leader and navigator for the party to lay the proposed base. It was decided by Captain Boyd that an attempt should be made to use the LVT’s as prime movers for the trip. On 5 February, due to the scarcity of space on the last outward bound ship, Lt. Thompson was ordered ashore with only two of the original six enlisted personnel in the detail. Taking T/Sgt. Bigelow and T/Sgt. Thomas and the two LVT’s, they transferred to the 300-man temporary camp and began preparations for the inland trip. A 4- by 4-inch ridge pole was secured from the cab aft to the ramp of the LVT3. This had been previously provided in conjunction with the especially cut tarpaulin, thereby roofing over the cargo space for living quar- ters. (See fig. 128.) The cargo space of the LVT4 was covered over with plywood, and a tarpaulin lashed over it to keep the drift snow out. A plywood deck was also installed in each vehicle by cutting the ply- wood to shape and laying it in place. A hatch with a plastic window was installed in the center of the improvised roof just aft of the engine compartment in the LVT4, to permit access to the interior, and also to afford more light in that location. Cooking and eating facilities were installed in both vehicles, using Army “Yukon’- tent stoves having downdraft burners. These stoves were quite efficient, and used kerosene as fuel. Gasoline may be used, but it is more hazardous from the standpoint of hre, and is less efficient. Folding cots, mattresses, and sleeping bags were used for bunking. One of the most difficult preliminary problems, and at the same time one of the most important, was the “swinging” and adjusting of the magnetic compass. Only the LVT4 had a compass mounted, and fortunately it was of a good type. An unsuccessful attempt was made to mount a compass in the LVT3. With a magnetic variation of 104.5° east, plus the steel hull, the magnetic compass in the LVT4 oscillated a great deal. This was due to the weak Fisure 128. LVT3 and LVT4 just prior to departure on 240-mile round trip to Rockefeller Mountains. Note tarpaulin cover roofing on LVT on left. 86 horizontal component of the earth’s terres- trial magnetism in the high latitude of the Bay of Whales area (78° 34’ S.). It is generally conceded that the magnetic com- pass is much too unreliable to be used with safety in the higher latitudes. The magnetic compass in the case of the party under discussion was to be a secondary instrument, since it was planned to navigate with the astrocompass. The astrocompass uses the sun or other celestial body, and as it turned out there was so little sun that the greater part of the trip was navigated by dead reckoning, using the recorded mileage of the sledge-meters, and the magnetic compass in the LVT4. This proved to be quite a problem since the compass oscillated from 15° to 20° to each side of the desired heading. The cargo for the trip, including the weight of the sleds, amounted to a little over 8 % tons per vehicle. The LVT3 towed one so- called “Go-devil” sled, and the LVT4 one “Go-devil” sled plus one Army cargo sled of 1-ton capacity. The Army cargo sled was fitted with a box to afford personnel protec- tion, and was towed at the rear. One man was stationed in the box, and from this position trail flags were placed at one- quarter mile intervals, to mark the trail for the return trip. The sledge meters were also towed from this sled. Emergency equip- ment in the way of tents, man-hauling sleds, skis, pack boards, alpine line, portable radio, and cooking gear was also loaded on this sled to be used in the event the party was forced to walk back. The following medical supplies were taken on the LVT trail trip into the interior: Medical officer’s kit, empty 1 Units, plasma 3 Units, albumin 3 Package, bandaids 1 Flashlight batteries 1 Foot powder, can 1 Tr. Benzoin (4 oz.) 1 Camphor. Tinct. of Opium, 4 oz 1 Sulfathiazole tablets, 7% gr 100 Brandy, 2 oz 10 Boric acid ointment, tubes 2 Petrolatum, #1 1 M. S. syrettes, gr. iss 25 Chap sticks 12 Tongue depressors 12 CO detector ampoules 20 Butyn Sulf. 2% and Metaphen, %oz, tubes 4 Mercuric oxide, yellow, oint. % oz 4 Catgut suture, plain #1, tube 4 Silk suture, plain #0, tube 4 APC tablets 100 Phenobarb. gr. iss 100 Ammonia ampoules—2 cc 4 Ephedrine HC1 1:1000 1 Opium and glycyrrhiza tablets 100 Cascara sagrada gr. % tablets 50 Cod. sulf. tablet gr. ){ 100 Tr. iodine, 10-cc vial 6 Tourniquet 1 Safety pins, 1 package 2 Gauze compress 2-in 6 Gauze compress 1-in 2 Canvas litter case 1 Procaine HCl (syringe type) 8 Adhesive tape, roll 2 in. by 3 yd 2 Pencil 1 Needle, surgical, curved, cutting 6 Needle, surgical, tapered point 6 Needle, surgical, cutting edge 6 Hypodermic needle #23, 1-in 5 Instrument case, pocket, surgical 1 Hemostats, 1 plain, 1 rat 2 Scalpel, with blade 1 Forceps, tissue, toothed 1 Shears, bandage 1 Clinical thermometer 1 Pkg. basswood splints 1 Leg splint, Thomas 1 Blankets 2 Folding litter 1 Gauze, plain 36 in. by 25 yd. bolt 1 Battle dressings, Carlisle Model (Navy) 18 Battle dressings, medium 2 Bandage, cotton elastic, 3-in 1 Triangular bandage 3 Splint, wire ladder 1 Bandage, gauze, 3-in. roll 10 Gauze, compressed, plain 2% by in 4 Cotton, absorbent, roll 1 87 Before starting, some tests were conducted to determine the maximum practical load to haul on the “Go-devil” sleds with the LVT’s. These sleds had two runners which were double ended, and about 15 feet long. The runners were made of wood, encased in a welded steel sheathing. The width of the runners was 10 inches and center height of 16 inches, with 3 inches of camber. The top was a wood construction of oak timbers, 4 inches thick and 6 inches wide. The total top load area was 13% by 8 feet. The weight of these sleds was a little over 3% tons, with a capacity of 10 tons. They were towed by means of a chain bridle made of 1 -inch round steel bar, which weighed about 600 pounds. With a capacity load and an atmospheric temperature of plus 25° F., on a wind packed neve surface, the runners of this type sled sank to the full depth, thus causing the sled to be supported by its top planking. The LVT’s were able to tow the sleds in this fashion, but it put a strain on both the sled and the LVT. When the snow built up in front of the sled in a snow plow fashion, the LVT of course would bog down. The test load was gradu- ally decreased until it was determined that approximately 5 tons would be the optimum load for existing temperatures and surface conditions. This condition was taken to be the most adverse to be anticipated at that particular season of the year. The trail party personnel consisted of the following: Captain V. D. Boyd, U. S. M. G., leader and navigator. First Lieut. R. B. Thompson, U. S. M. G., second in command, and officer in charge of LVT operation and photography. Major Dan Crozier, U. S. A., medical officer and weather observer. Chief Warrant Officer A. J. L. Morency, U. S. A,, Army observer and assistant LVT driver. T/Sgt. J. L. Thomas, U. S. M. C., LVT4 crew chief and maintenance. T/Sgt. G. H. Bigelow, U. S. M. C., LVT3 crew chief and maintenance. T. W. McGovern, Aviation Radioman Second Class, U. S. N., communications. The party was divided into two groups. Lt. Thompson, Sgt. Bigelow, and Radioman McGovern were assigned to the LVT3; Captain Boyd, Major Crozier, Mr, Morencey and Sgt. Thomas were assigned to the LVT4. The LVT3, as previously stated, was equipped with a TCS radio in addition to the standard SCR 508 radio, and was the only means of communication with the base camp. Fortunately the TCS was very satis- factory, although beyond a distance of 50 miles the whip antenna had to be replaced by a Marconi type dipole antenna cut to length for frequencies of 6430 and 4125 kilocycles, and having a horizontal wire of equal length as a counterpoise. (All radio antennae in the Antarctic must have a counterpoise since there is no ground near the surface of the ice and snow.) The boathooks of the LVT’s were used as masts for the antennae. Com- munications were conducted mostly by Figure 129. LVT’s return after successfully completing 240-mile trip. 88 “CW”, as beyond 35 miles voice contacts were unreliable. The SCR 508 radios had been expected to be very useful in inter- vehicular communications, but actually proved to be useless due to the high noise level, and also the fact that several weak tubes showed up after departure from the camp. It was also noted that the micro- phones had a tendency to freeze due to breath moisture. It was difficult to use the ear phones as the particular type headgear issued was not fitted for them, and it was too cold to do without headgear. For inter- vehicular communications, standard arm and hand signals were finally reverted to and were found satisfactory. The vehicles traveled in echelon the entire trip (fig. 129) to avoid breaking through the

natural snow bridges of crevasses, which 
may have been weakened by the first vehicle 
crossing them. 
The party departed on 12 February on the 
first leg of the journey to the Rockefeller 
Mountains, in King Edward the VII land, 
approximately 123 land miles to the east. 
The temperature was +20° F., and the snow 
surface smooth but fairly soft. The tracks 
of the vehicles cut in to a depth of about 
10 inches. 
The first day 22 miles were logged, 
with frequent stops to check the course 
due to the lack of sun and zero visibility. A 
so-called “white” condition prevails under 
overcast conditions in the Poiar regions due 
to the lack of a horizon to contrast one’s sur- 
roundings. The effect is similar to being 
suspended in a bowl of milk. This makes 
travel hazardous, and bearings extremely 
difficult to maintain, particularly in the 
absence of any landmarks such as mountains. 
Under such conditions, a yawning crevasse 
may be driven into without any foreknowl- 
edge of its presence. It was also possible to 
drive headlong into huge snowdrifts or 
It was on the first day’s travel that the 
LVT4 showed evidence of using an excessive 
amount of oil (7 gals. SAE 20 in 22 miles). 
However, the oil was not being burned, but 
“thrown” out through various joints and 
connections, such as the rocker box covers, 
and the push-rod housings. The oil pressure 
and temperature readings remained normal, 
so the condition did not cause any great 
alarm, but was a particular nuisance under 
the prevailing conditions. 
The visibility was still very poor on the 
second day, and the temperature +8° F. 
The surface was quite soft, and the LVT3 
became bogged down. (This was never 
definitely ascertained but it is believed that 
this was a “bridged over” crevasse.) It had 
to be towed out. In general it was rather 
heavy going. On this day’s run the party 
reached a position 66 statute miles east of the 
base. By this time it was estimated that the 
distance the LVT4 could travel would de- 
pend upon the available oil supply. 
The third day out the average temperature 
had dropped to —10° F. The surface snow 
was soft and fluffy, and about 10 inches deep. 
However the decreased temperature had 
hardened the undersurface, and travel was 
much easier. 
Visibility improved, and several good 
sights were taken with the astrocompass to 
check the course of travel. The engine of 
the LVT4 was using about 1 gallon of oil for 
each 2% miles made good. Attempts were 
made to improve this condition with the 
limited quantities of SAE 30 and SAE 50 oil 
on hand. These attempts were not highly 
At 1300 on this day (15th of Feb.), the 
western end of the Rockefeller Mountains was 
reached. A distance of 108.6 statute miles 
was registered on the sledgemeters. A large 
crevasse was hit at this point by the LVT4, 
which was in the lead. It crossed safely due 
to its long tracks. The snow bridge over the 
765274—48 ' 
89 crevasse was crushed down, but did not 
break all the way through, so that the 
sleds were also towed safely across. The 
width of this crack was about 10 feet from 
wall to wall. A shorter vehicle would have 
undoubtedly crushed through this crevasse, 
even though it may have been lighter in 
The fifth actual day away from the base 
being Sunday (16 Feb.), no travel was made. 
However, the day was spent giving the 
engine of the LVT4 a thorough inspection 
and tightening up. Particular attention was 
paid to the push rod housing, bushing nuts, 
and check nuts. These were found to be 
very loose, and upon tightening them, the 
packing was found to have deteriorated to 
the point where it was practically useless. 
All hands had a badly needed wash and 
shave. Visibility being extremely good, 
bearings were taken on several known moun- 
tain peaks, using the astrocompass, and the 
position was definitely determined. 
A complete reorganization of gear was 
made both on the sleds and in the tractor 
cargo spaces (living quarters). Captain 
Boyd and Major Crozier built entire new 
bunking facilities in the LVT4. Using avail- 
able lumber and the standard government 
cots, double bunks were constructed along 
the bulkheads of the rear of the cargo space 
for four men. This gave an added amount 
of space just aft of the engine and produced 
a much more comfortable atmosphere, in 
spite of the film of oil smoke which adhered 
to the clothing and bedding. With the 
exception of Mr. Morencey, no one could 
stand upright in this improvised living com- 
partment because of the low overhead. 
At this point of the trip a dispatch was 
received directing the party to return to the 
base camp, and informing them that the 
flight plans had been changed. Instructions 
were requested concerning the laying of an 
emergency cache at the base of Mt. Helen 
Washington, a few miles farther on, and an 
affirmative was received. During the night 
the temperature dropped to —25° F. 
The party departed at 2240 of the 17th 
for Mt. Helen Washington and arrived there 
at 0100 of the 18th without incident. The 
LVT4 was still using an excessive amount 
of oil. The distance traveled to this point 
was 123.6 statute miles. The cache of 
aviation gasoline, food, and emergency 
equipment was established. This cache was 
marked by a large red flag secured to the 
upright end of a piece of 4- by 8-inch 
lumber approximately 20 feet in length. 
After the cache was laid, the entire party 
boarded the LVT3 for a trip to the top of 
Mt. Helen Washington, which rises to an 
altitude of over 1,800 feet. The purpose of 
this trip was to collect geological samples, 
and to test the reaction of the vehicle on 
the hard ice of the glacier. The ascent was 
made in second and third gear with the 
transfer case in low range at an average 
speed of about 7 miles per hour. No diffi- 
culties were encountered in the ascent of 
the glacier. Near the very crest of the slope 
where the glacier ice joined the “fast ice” 
of the mountain, there existed a large 
crevasse covered by its natural bridge. 
The vehicle crossed this unseen crevasse, 
due to the length of the tracks, with 
only a good bump. It was not until the 
driver went back to investigate what caused 
the bump that the crevasse was discovered 
for its true size, being approximately 10 feet 
across and of unknown depth. 
A side trip was made across the face of the 
glacier to Mount Franklin, about 1 mile west 
of Helen Washington, to visit the site of a 
seismographic station established in 1940 by 
the U. S. Antarctic Service. 
At 0440 (18 Feb.) the party departed from 
the base of Mt. Helen Washington for the 
return trip to the Bay of Whales, and at 0900 
arrived at the 88-mile depot of fuel and food 
90 which had been laid on the way out. Upon 
arrival at this point all hands turned in. At 
2245 (18 Feb.) the party departed for the 
final run to the base camp at the Bay of 
Whales. This run of 88 miles was accom- 
plished in 17 hours, stopping only to pick up 
fuel which had been cached on the outward 
trip. It will be noted that much better time 
was made on the return trip. This was due 
in part to the fact that the party was retracing 
the original route under conditions of good 
visibility, and no stops had to be made for 
checking the course. 
The round trip totaled 245 statute miles. 
The LVT3 consumed 430 gallons of 72- 
octane gasoline and 2 quarts of oil; the 
LVT4, 480 gallons of 100-octane gasoline 
and 80 gallons of oil. The suspension sys- 
tems were both serviced after 45 hours of 
operation. The engine and power train on 
the LVT3 was checked and serviced every 
day and on long runs sometimes 2 to 3 times 
per day in order to avoid any major trouble. 
However, the right angle drives, control dif- 
ferential, and final drives used no oil during 
the entire trip. The LVT4, because of the 
leakage of oil in the engine, required con- 
stant attention and frequent additions of oil. 
On 23 February a trip from the base camp 
to the point on the bay ice where the U. S. S. 
Burton Island was moored, was attempted. 
Carrying 12 people the LVT3 successfully 
crossed the then enlarged crevasses in the 
“Barrier Ramp,” but in attempting to cross 
a tidal crack in the bay ice the vehicle 
crushed through the rotten edges and wedged 
itself into the crack (fig. 130). Had this 
vehicle not been of the amphibious type, it is 
quite certain it would have gone through the 
crack and sunk with all hands. While 
floating in the water it was impossible for the 
tractor to gain sufficient traction on the ice 
to pull itself out without some outside help. 
Using a D-6 bulldozer as a “deadman,” two 
50-foot lengths of 1-inch cable were attached 
Figure 130. The LVT3 crushes through rotten edges 
of tidal crack in bay ice. 
Figure 131. Practically clear now and going strong. 
Figure 132. LVT3 now safe on bay ice 10 to 15 feet 
thick. Note broken ice where vehicle was floating. 
Pressure ice in right foregound locates trace of 
crevasse (tide-crack). 
91 (fig. 131) one to each LVT track, and run out 
to the “headman.” With this source of 
traction and using reverse power, the LVT 
was slowly backed out under its own power 
(see fig. 132), the tracks acting as winches. 
This method is recommended only when the 
obstruction to be surmounted is not of 
sufficient height to cause the vehicle to tip 
beyond the point of balance. 
Various methods have been improvised to 
increase traction of these particular vehicles 
in difficult circumstances depending, of 
course, on the conditions involved. 
The two LVT’s were secured for storage 
on 23 February 1947 at the emergency base 
erected at the site of Little America III 
referred to as West Base Camp of the U. S. 
Antarctic Service Expedition of 1939-41. 
Recommendations and Conclusions for the Improve- 
ment of Landing Vehicles, Tracked (LETT) 
for Polar Use 
1. Introduction. 
It is pointed out that this report on the 
performance of the LVT’s is based on work 
which was executed at the beginning of the 
most advantageous season of the year in the 
Bay of Whales area. From the last of Jan- 
uary to the first of November, the tempera- 
ture is sufficiently low to harden the surface 
and the subsurface of the wind-packed neve 
snow, which facilitates the operation of 
tracked vehicles. In general however, ve- 
hicles may be required to operate over a 
wide variety of surface conditions in the 
Antarctic. The surface may vary from ex- 
tremely hard ice to neve snow, which is 
quite comparable in consistency to coarse 
beet sugar. Under certain conditions it will 
not take any compaction, and compaction 
is generally attained only after long arduous 
efforts have been expended over a given 
area. Under normal conditions the neve 
snow found in the Polar regions is capable 
of supporting a load of only a few pounds 
per unit of area. The surface may be very 
smooth, or it may at times be broken up by 
hard ridges of wind packed snow called 
“sastrugi.” These ridges vary in height 
from a few inches to several feet. They 
generally run parallel, and indicate the direc- 
tion of the prevailing wind. The height and 
spacing of sastrugi may vary with existing 
wind conditions from hour to hour, or day 
to day depending on existing meteorological 
2. Lubrication and Fuel. 
a. The LVT3 was winterized and main- 
tained with the following lubricants during 
the entire operation; SAE 10 oil in the en- 
gines, transmissions, oil breathers, air clean- 
ers, and power take-off. SAE 50 oil in the 
right angle drives, control differential, and 
internal final drives. The fuel used was 72- 
or 80-octane, depending on availability. No 
difference could be noted in performance 
between the two ratings. 
b. The LVT4 was winterized with SAE 10 
oil in the engine and air cleaners. The 
transmission, differential, and internal final 
drives were filled with SAE 50 oil. The fuel 
used in the engine of this vehicle was 100- 
octane aviation gasoline. 
c. The totals of fuel and lubricants versus 
hours of operation for the LVT’s 3 and 4 are 
as follows: 
Engine hours 
149 hrs. 30 
1 31 hrs. 
Vehicle hours 
1 09 hrs. 50 
95 hrs. 
1,400 gals. 
880 gals. 
Lubricating oil 
1 46 gals.. . 
2 qts. 
10 lbs 
5 lbs. 
Average fuel consumed 
9.37 gal . . 
6.72 gals. 
per hour. 
Average oil consumed per 
.97 gal . . . 
.0153 qt. 
92 d. No trouble was encountered with the 
grease seals on either tractor, and from that 
standpoint both vehicles were entirely satis- 
factory. However, it is recommended that 
low temperature nonchanneling types of 
grease be investigated for future cold weather 
3. Rubber Components, Reliability and 
Very few difficulties were encountered 
with either the LVT3 or the LVT4 insofar 
as the rubber components were concerned. 
Elasticity was well retained in the various 
rubber components of the suspension system. 
In the LVT4, however, due to the fact that 
the oil used was light weight, the neoprene 
seals of the “rocker boxes” and push rod 
housings failed and subsequently allowed 
a great deal of oil to escape from those 
particular places. In the LVT3, the only 
noticable change to rubber was the water- 
tight covering over the starter switches on 
the control panel, which became so stiff at 
times, they required some type of blunt 
instrument to depress them. 
4. Power Train. 
a. Starting and Operation of Engines. (1) As 
has been previously stated the temperatures 
encountered on this operation were not the 
extremes that might be expected at other 
times, and as a consequence little or no 
difficulties were experienced, especially with 
the LVT3. The LVT4 was being operated 
with a lighter weight oil than is customary 
or recommended and consequently gave no 
particular trouble in starting. 
(2) It is believed that should the LVT 
type vehicle be employed for extended 
periods in frigid zones, some type of engine 
preheater would be very necessary. 
(3) The Herman Nelson type of preheater 
is highly recommended, principally for the 
LVT3, since due to the construction of the 
vehicle the entire power train could be 
quickly and efficiently heated, thereby re- 
ducing the possibility of breakdowns in the 
field which would undoubtedly be encoun- 
tered should the forward portion of the 
power train be operated on standard weight 
oils without sufficient “warming up.” 
(4) Operator fatigue from constant gear- 
shifting in the LVT4 was experienced, in 
traversing rough, wind-blown surfaces or 
(5) The particular engine of the LVT4 
did not perform satisfactorily in relation to 
oil consumption; however, this was possibly 
due to the fact that it was a reconditioned 
engine, and had obviously been in storage 
a long period of time. Aside from the en- 
gine of the LVT4 no repairs were found 
(6) The LVT3 performed extremely well 
throughout the expedition with only minor 
adjustments to the engines, and no repairs to 
the remainder of the power train. The car- 
buretor “butterfly” valve on the port engine 
froze on one occasion, but required only a 
short time for freeing, and caused no damage 
or trouble. The tachometer flexible drive 
shaft parted, and although repaired (brazed), 
it parted again when the vehicles were out of 
range of any facilities. This, of course, pre- 
vented keeping the engines synchronized as 
well, perhaps, as they should have been, but 
caused no inconvenience or breakdowns. 
b. Electrical and Ignition Systems. (1) No 
difficulties were experienced with the 
ignition systems of either type of engine, with 
the exception of one magneto on the Con- 
tinental engine of the LVT4. It gave no 
serious trouble and still functioned in spite 
of being weak. 
(2) Storage batteries functioned as any 
storage battery will under cold weather con- 
ditions. A fully charged battery will not 
freeze at sub-zero temperatures, but an 
uncharged one will freeze at about -j-5° F. 
93 The efficiency of storage batteries drops very 
rapidly at sub-zero temperatures, and at a 
solution temperature of — 30° F. the battery 
becomes practically useless. At a solution 
temperature of +35° F. the battery will not 
accept a charge efficiently. Because of these 
factors, the batteries of the LVT3 required 
frequent chargings. The drain on them on 
the starboard side was very heavy due to the 
command radio equipment installed in the 
vehicle. It is recommended that in opera- 
tions of this kind, when additional radios or 
electrical equipment are installed, the instal- 
lation also of an auxiliary gasoline driven 
charger be made. 
c. Engine Cooling and Personnel Comfort. (1) 
The air cooling system of the LVT3 is not 
suitable for Antarctic or Arctic use as it now 
stands, principally because of the personnel 
factor. In damp climates this could prove to 
be not only uncomfortable, but highly injuri- 
ous to the operating personnel. As it is now 
equipped, the source of air for the cooling of 
the entire power train is in the direct vicinity 
of the driver of the vehicle. This, combined 
with the comparative inactivity of the driver 
during long hauls, will definitely decrease 
efficiency of personnel, and in time even 
incapacitate them, 
(2) It is recommended that the area in the 
vicinity of the driving compartment be sealed 
from air blast under the driver, and some type 
of outside adjustable air ducts for a source of 
air be incorporated in the LVT3 for this 
particular type of work. Other minor instal- 
lations would be necessitated in conjunction 
with this, such as defrosters on the vision 
ports, etc., but it is believed they would be 
relatively minor in scope. 
(3) The above change would facilitate the 
closing in of the vehicle in order to make it a 
livable machine, in the event it might be 
used for living quarters, hospital evacuation 
vehicle, and other uses of a like nature. 
5. Track and Suspension Systems. 
a. Mechanically the track and suspension 
systems of both vehicles functioned very well 
except that a wider track will be necessary 
in order to transport a load approaching 
maximum. For soft snow as well as the thick 
bottomless mud encountered in the northern 
regions, the surface bearing pressure must 
be reduced in order to operate the machine 
with dependability. Two to four pounds per 
square inch of bearing pressure with the 
vehicle loaded to capacity, would be the 
ideal for all types of snow operation in the 
Antarctic regions with the LVT’s. 
b. Due to the conditions encountered in the 
area, one of the most difficult problems rela- 
tive to the track and suspension system was 
the packing in and building up of snow and 
ice under the tracks along the top surface 
of the pontoons. This caused immobility 
of the support rollers to the extent that the 
forward support rollers on both sides of the 
LVT3 froze, and were worn flat within about 
1 hour. The necessity to clear the suspension 
system completely at every available oppor- 
tunity was not overlooked, but the above 
incident occurred during an interval between 
stops. There was also a noted amount of 
congestion around the return idler wheel, 
which caused an excessive but not a hazard- 
ous amount of wear to the rubber tires. 
c. The grousers on both types of tracks 
(LVT3 and LVT4) were constantly being 
packed with snow which would turn into 
hard ice due to the friction of the track and 
to the constant digging motion of the track 
into the surface. It was necessary to chip 
this ice out of the grousers frequently to 
prevent loss of traction. 
6. Hull and Components. 
a. The hull, basically, is the closest ap- 
proach to the type of vehicle needed for this 
use to be found in any of the present day 
military vehicles, but for a strictly cargo 
94 carrying vehicle it still needs to be lightened 
as much as possible. This can be done 
to some extent by the removal of all scab 
armor, but to obtain maximum efficiency a 
further reduction in vehicular weight would 
be highly desirable. It is recommended that 
the possible incorporation of some type of 
aluminum alloy be investigated to further 
reduce the weight of the LVT. 
b. In cold climates and under adverse 
conditions, an electrically operated ramp 
winch is highly desirable. This will not only 
save labor, but reduce the time needed for the 
raising of the ramp to a remarkable degree. 
c. If engine preheaters are installed in the 
LVT’s, it would be necessary to insulate the 
engine compartments, in order to maintain 
d. Drain plugs for the crankcase and trans- 
missions should be made more accessible. 
A man wearing heavy cold weather garments 
finds it very difficult to gain access to these 
points, as well as the engine itself. In view 
of this it is recommended that some means 
be provided whereby the engines would be 
made more accessible. Inspection plates on 
the outboard sides of the engines, or a type of 
sliding tray unit for the engines would serve 
this purpose. 
e. In line with modifications on the present 
LVT3 for Arctic or Antarctic use, it is recom- 
Figure 134. Keeping track and rollers Free of ice and 
snow is important in the Antarctic. 
mended that the possibility of a pre-set 
friction type clutch arrangement on the 
power bilge-pumps be investigated. Al- 
though no trouble was encountered, it was 
only because great caution was exercised to 
prevent it. If the vehicle has been operating 
in water, and then allowed to stand idle only 
for a short time, it is very possible that water 
could freeze in the bilge pump and render it 
useless if the engines are started. 
7. Navigational Gear. 
a. Because of the difficulty to be experi- 
enced with the magnetic type compass in 
the higher latitudes, it is recommended that 
the installation of a gyrocompass of a non- 
precessing type be investigated. 
b. It is also recommended that considera- 
tion be given to the installation of some type 
of odometer to be used as an aid in naviga- 
tion over unmarked and unknown land or 
ice, for extended journeys. 
Figure 133. LVT running a surface penetration test 
95 8. Tools and Equipment. 
The tools with which the LVT’s are ordi- 
narily equipped are usually quite adequate, 
but when a small detail is sent out as an 
independent unit, some additional fifth eche- 
lon tools would be highly desirable. Also, 
for this type of use the pioneer tools should 
be added to. 
9. Conclusions. 
a. This report and the recommendations 
are not to be construed as condemning the 
Landing Vehicle, Tracked. It already has 
proven itself in the various fields for which 
it was primarily designed. Now it shows 
tremendous possibilities in another environ- 
b. In its present form the LVT is not the 
ideal vehicle for Polar use. It is far too 
heavy per unit of area on its tracks. Further- 
more, there is very little personal comfort 
insofar as the operator is concerned. Reliable 
engine starting, due to the lack of engine 
preheating devices, would also cause con- 
siderable concern at low temperatures. In 
spite of these and many other faults, the 
vehicle is basically the best military vehicle 
available for carrying cargo, and to act as a 
prime mover for extended operations over 
a polar surface a great distance from a base. 
c. From a military standpoint, there are 
requirements for two distinct types of these 
amphibious vehicles for polar use: 
(1) One type to be used for cargo handling. 
(2) A combat type, armored and carrying 
weapons, or troops. 
From these might be evolved vehicles de- 
signated as mobile machine and repair 
shops, hospital units, administrative units, 
and many others requiring great mobility. 
d. Based on experience, the full track 
laying, front wheel drive type of vehicle is 
superior in snow covered areas. From this 
may be drawn the conclusion that if the 
vehicle is suitable for snow conditions, it 
also would be suitable for swamps and/or 
hard surfaced roads. 
e. The recommendations in summary in 
view of these tests are as follows: 
(1) Increase the width of the tracks. 
(2) Modify the engine cooling air intake 
(3) Manufacture a removable cowling or 
(4) Install a nonprecessing gyro type 
(5) Modify the suspension system for the 
clearance of ice. 
(6) Install a friction clutch on the bilge 
(7) Install inspection plates on outboard 
sides of pontoons. 
(8) Install engine preheaters. 
The above recommendations are concerning 
the LVT3. It is further recommended that 
with the present type power train, the LVT4 
should not be used to any extent in the 
regions of higher latitude. 
SECTION VI. Observations 
1. Maintenance. 
a. Organization. The motor vehicle main- 
tenance establishment at Little America con- 
sisted of 1 warrant officer, 1 chief petty officer, 
and 10 mechanics. Maintenance was car- 
ried out during the cargo unloading phase on 
a 24-hour-a-day basis in two 12-hour shifts. 
The warrant officer and 5 mechanics com- 
prised one shift and the chief petty officer 
and the remaining 5 mechanics comprised 
the other shift. 
96 Figure 135. Maintenance work on carburetor being 
performed in open. 
Figure 136. Jeep engine after blizzard 
b. Equipment. 
1 Battery charger, powered with a small gas- 
oline engine. 
1 Greasing unit (Lincoln) mounted on a 
%-ton trailer, trailer mounted on skis. 
1 Welding unit (Hobart) 300-amp.; powered 
by a Chrysler gasoline motor, unit 
mounted on skis. 
A normal complement of hand tools. 
No grease racks or pits were constructed. 
c. Housing. (1) From 19 January 1947 
until 6 February 1947 the motor pool and 
maintenance shop was located at the base 
of the barrier near the lower terminal of the 
cable towing device. When the cargo ships 
left the Bay of Whales the motor park and 
maintenance shop were moved to the base 
camp on top of the barrier. 
(2) At the first location the only shelter 
was one pyramidal tent with an oil heater 
and a wooden floor. This tent served as a 
combination maintenance shop, dispatcher’s 
office, and headquarters of the transportation 
officer. All maintenance work on vehicles 
was performed in the open (figs. 135, 136, 
and 137). As the weather was relatively 
mild during this period no hardship on per- 
Figure 137. Maintenance on track 
extensions performed in open. 
sonnel occurred. The temperature never 
went below zero degrees Fahrenheit during 
this period. Much of the time delicate work 
could be performed barehanded for short 
periods of time without danger of freezing 
the hands. 
(3) At the second location in the base 
camp the housing consisted of one pyramidal 
tent with an oil heater and wooden floor, 
and one wooden shack, approximately 20 
765274—48 8 
97 feet by 10 feet, with a wooden floor and a 
canvas roof. The tent was used as head- 
quarters of the transportation officer and as 
a dispatcher’s office. The shack was heated 
by an oil burner and served as a tool shed 
and as shelter for vehicles requiring main- 
tenance. During this phase the weather 
began to turn colder. The lowest recorded 
temperature was —23° Fahrenheit. Hence, 
the very definite need for a sheltered area in 
which to perform motor maintenance, A 
large shelter, closed and heated, and capable 
of housing the largest type vehicle in use is 
desirable for maintenance activities. 
(4) At no time was any provision made for 
housing parked vehicles, even to the extent 
of covering them with tarpaulins. It would 
seem desirable to provide housing for vehicles 
if time, material, and labor are available for 
construction, which was not the case on this 
operation. However, the tractors, Weasels, 
and LVT’s did not suffer any apparent ill 
effects from being in the open and con- 
stantly exposed to the elements; whether this 
would hold true during the winter season is 
d. Spare Parts. Spare parts were limited 
to those of first and second echelon nature. 
No major replacement units were provided. 
Lack of replacement for major units per- 
manently deadlined only two vehicles: A 
Weasel and a Cle-track, both with broken 
tracks. It is recommended that a number 
of replacement units of third echelon nature 
be included in the supplies of any Antarctic 
e. Conclusions. The personnel and equip- 
ment seemed adequate to maintain properly 
the vehicles used in the operation. The 
lack of replacement units did not seriously 
impair efficient maintenance as it turned out. 
The chief maintenance problem was in 
keeping the track extensions of the tractors 
properly secured to the tracks. Otherwise 
maintenance was for the most part limited 
Figure 138. Unmarked cache. 
to minor first and second echelon adjustments 
and repair. 
2. Storage of Fuels, Oils, and Lubricants. 
a. Containers. Included in the ships’ cargo 
and hauled to the top of the barrier for stor- 
age were hundreds of drums of fuels, oils, and 
lubricants. These included gasoline for mo- 
tor vehicles and airplanes, Diesel oil for the 
tractors and stoves, and other miscellaneous 
petroleum products. These drums were all 
properly marked according to their content, 
the markings also signifying the location of 
the cache in which they were to be stored. 
This type of marking is essential for Antarctic 
operations, because eventually all cached 
supplies are covered with snow, often to a 
depth of several feet. 
b. Caches. A recommended method for 
caching petroleum products is to line the 
barrels up on end in a double row with a 
98 12-foot pole stuck into the snow at each end 
of the row. The top of each pole will be so 
marked as to identify the one particular type 
of supplies cached, “72-octane gasoline” for 
example. Then if the cache becomes covered 
the poles will stick up out of the snow with 
the proper identification. Thus a detail 
looking for 72-octane gasoline can readily 
locate same by digging down at one end of 
the row. After taking out the required num- 
ber of drums the detail should then move the 
marking pole over to the new end of the row 
and the cache will still be properly marked 
and located for the next detail. Some of the 
petroleum caches on this operation were not 
stored and marked in this fashion (fig. 138). 
3. Tarpaulins. 
a. The trail party which made the trip to 
the Rockefeller Mountains made some inter- 
esting observations on the use of tarpaulins 
to protect the cargo of towed sleds. Initially 
heavy tarpaulins were spread over the cargo 
and lashed securely down as protection from 
snow. It was soon discovered that some 
snow would find its way under the tarpaulins 
on the trail in spite of every method of lash- 
ing. The rays of the sun reflecting from the 
tarpaulin would frequently melt the snow 
which collected on the tarpaulin, eventually 
resulting in ice. This freezing made the 
tarpaulins extremely difficult to handle. It 
frequently required two men from a half hour 
to an hour to roll back the tarpaulin in order 
to get at the cargo, or to readjust the tar- 
paulin over the load. The trail party made 
frequent stops to cache supplies. The difficul- 
ty encountered in handling the heavy, frozen 
tarpaulins soon discouraged their use and 
the tarpaulins were folded up and carried as 
b. It is recommended that some light, 
strong, water-resistant canvas be used in lieu 
of heavy tarpaulins for protecting loaded 
sleds, especially if the load must be gotten at 
frequently. The feasibility of installing brack- 
ets and bows on sleds to support a cover 
similar to that of a cargo truck should be 
4. Dogs and Dog Sleds. 
No report on transportation in the Ant- 
arctic would be complete without some men- 
tion of dogs and dog sleds. Twenty-seven 
dogs and four dog sleds were placed ashore 
at the Bay of Whales. The dogs did not play 
an important part in the operation, although 
they might have proven invaluable for rescue 
work had circumstances so required. Actual 
use of the dogs on Operation “Highjump” 
was generally limited to lending atmosphere 
and hauling seal meat for use as dog food. 
SECTION VII. Recommendations 
1. General. 
a. The question arises as to whether stand- 
ard construction or military vehicles should 
be used, with modification in some cases, or 
whether specialized vehicles should be de- 
signed for transportation in the Antarctic or 
in areas where similar conditions are en- 
countered. All vehicles used on Operation 
“Highjump” were standard construction or 
military vehicles. Of these, only the Weasel 
and LVT’s were able to operate satisfactorily 
under all conditions without modification. 
Observations indicate that some standard 
construction or military vehicles can be 
modified so as to operate efficiently in the 
Antarctic without drastic changes in design. 
99 b. It is recommended that the following 
general requirements be considered in the 
design of any vehicle for use in the Ant- 
(1) Heavy duty prime movers capable of 
moving heavy loads of cargo on sleds for 
long distances. These vehicles should pro- 
vide living accommodations for the normal 
operating crew. 
(2) Heavy duty prime movers for short, 
local hauls. 
(3) Light duty, fast vehicles for moving 
small quantities of material and personnel 
and for liaison and reconnaissance service. 
This type of vehicle is required in several 
sizes, roughly to fulfill the duties performed 
by the %-ton truck, the command and recon- 
naissance car, and the scout car in normal 
ground operations. 
(4) Ability to operate on snow and ice is 
the prime consideration for vehicles in the 
Antarctic. A few isolated mountain peaks 
project through the icecap; otherwise the 
entire interior is covered with ice or snow 
except for limited areas on the Palmer 
Peninsula which are relatively free of snow 
during the summer season. 
c. It is recommended that the following 
technical requirements be considered in the 
design of vehicles intended for use in the 
(1) Tracklaying vehicles are the only type 
of mechanized vehicle suitable for use in 
the Antarctic. 
(2) The maximum length of track bearing 
surface consistent with the size and weight 
of the vehicle is required for smooth opera- 
tion over uneven surfaces and to enable the 
vehicle to cross crevasses. 
(3) The drive sprockets should be in front 
to provide the most efficient operations. 
(4) Width of the tracks should be such that 
the ground pressure per square inch is less 
than 3 pounds. 
2. Wheeled Vehicles. 
No wheeled vehicles should be considered 
for transportation purposes in the Antarctic. 
3. Cargo Carrier, M29C (Weasel). 
a. A longer track is required for smoother 
operation over uneven terrain and to facili- 
tate crossing crevasses. 
b. The feasibility of front wheel drive 
should be investigated. 
c. The feasibility of individual track blocks 
with connectors should be investigated. 
d. If the vehicle is not to be used amphibi- 
ously, doors should be cut into the hull for 
easy access and an enclosed body provided 
for passenger comfort. 
e. The feasibility of replacing the present 
type spring with volute springs should be 
/. The space between the right steering 
brake lever and the engine cover should be 
widened to permit easy access to the foot 
throttle when wearing heavy boots or shoes. 
4. Tractors. 
a. The length of the tracks should be in- 
creased to facilitate travel on rough or 
crevassed areas, 
b. The width of the tracks should be in- 
creased to decrease the ground pressure per 
square inch to 3 pounds or less. If increasing 
the width of tracks is accomplished by track 
extensions, the feasibility of a flexible metal 
extension should be investigated. 
c. The support rollers should be replaced 
by a plate or wooden block to prevent snow 
and ice building up in the track mechanism. 
d. Ice type grousers should be used on all 
tractors in the Antarctic. 
e. Cabs should be provided to protect the 
f. Each tractor should be equipped with a 
g. In some instances an independent nig- 
gerhead would be desirable. 
100 h. The feasibility of front wheel drive 
should be investigated. All tractors on Op- 
eration “Highjump” performed more effi- 
ciently in reverse. 
i. The present power plant appears to be 
5. Sleds. 
a. The Go-devil sled should be higher off 
the ground to allow more clearance when 
operating in soft snow. 
b. The Go-devil sled could be considerably 
lightened for an operation like “Highjump”. 
c. The loading platform of the 1-ton Army 
sled should be improved. The present slats 
should be sturdier or else replaced by a 
solid deck. 
6. Landing Vehicle, Tracked. 
a. All surplus weight should be removed. 
Armor plate, for example, is unnecessary 
(military operations excepted). If not to 
be used amphibiously the hull could be 
h. The perforations now let into the 
front of the driver’s compartment to cool 
the differential should be eliminated and an 
Figure 139. Jeep almost snowed under by a blizzard. 
air scoop installed with a duct leading direct 
to the differential. The present system 
makes the driver’s compartment uncom- 
fortably cold. 
c. A windshield should be installed in the 
vision hatch of the driver’s compartment 
and the windshield equipped with a defroster. 
d. The tracks should be widened to de- 
crease the ground pressure per square inch. 
A 24-inch track should be satisfactory. 
SECTION VIII. Comments by U. S. M. C. Observer 
Captain Vernon D. Boyd, U. S. M. C., 
who was in charge of transportation opera- 
tions ashore and is a veteran of two previous 
Antarctic expeditions, made the following 
comments on transportation, vehicles, etc.: 
1. Types Required. 
From the standpoint of transportation the 
job must be divided into two general types 
or classes. We must be constantly aware of 
the fact that we must have transportation 
which can be used in small areas, plus trans- 
portation to be used for handling heavy 
cargo over long distances. By small areas is 
meant that transportation be available that 
cgn be used to handle cargo and possibly 
personnel in rather limited space—for in- 
stance, alongside a ship tied up at a dock or 
in the case of the Arctic regions, possibly a 
ship unloading direct onto ice. After an 
operation of this type is accomplished and 
the materiel has been unloaded by smaller 
types of transportation, to get it into the 
interior we must have a larger machine 
101 which must be used for more than one pur- 
pose. In the first class of machines, that 
which would be used over small distances, 
we would probably use tractors of the 
present commercial type and design similar 
to the D-6 class of caterpillar. I would not, 
however, recommend anything larger than 
the D-6, as that appears to be about the 
largest that can be used on the snow surface. 
Also, it must have certain track modifications 
to be used on any type of snow surface. 
Secondly, the machine which is most adapt- 
able for long-distance cargo and personnel 
handling will be a tracked vehicle of the type 
which the Marines used in the Pacific called 
the Landing Vehicle, Tracked, or LVT, 
This is strictly a cargo vehicle and has a hold 
which makes it a small boat. Therefore, it 
can be used as an amphibious vehicle, and 
it can land from shipside with cargo or with 
personnel and make landings on beach- 
heads, etc., and go on into the interior. 
For snow operations, however, as with all 
the other vehicles which we presently have, 
it must have some modifications to make it 
more adaptable. 
2. Vehicle Track Modifications. 
In regard to modifications, the width of 
the track seems to be the greatest problem. 
We have quite a number of vehicles that 
might be suitable, while not necessarily ideal, 
but due to the narrowness of the track they 
present a very great problem. This has been 
partially overcome by application of various 
modifications to make them wider. During 
the war we used extended end connectors 
on our tanks and vehicles of that type to give 
them a greater area of spread on the ground 
to hold the weight. These will work, but 
they are merely expedients. Tracks to be 
used in polar areas must be wider. We have 
tried to modify the tracks of commercial 
vehicles by the application of planks bolted 
through on the grousers and on the ground 
plates to make them wider. It works but 
it is not satisfactory. We must go into 
machines of wider tracks. 
3. Front Versus Rear Drive. 
Another thing that is very common, par- 
ticularly in the commercial type tractors, is 
the fact that they all have rear wheel drives. 
There are many arguments pro and con about 
this, but through years of operation on snow 
surfaces, and in my own experience, it was 
found that the rear wheel drives were the 
more impractical type, due to the fact that 
the machines build up a torque component 
on the rear axle which forces the rear of the 
tread down into the soft snow and the front 
of the machine up into the air. The rear end 
consequently digs itself down in. We have 
made some experiments in building plat- 
forms on the front end of the machine and 
loading them down with a couple of tons of 
coal to hold the front end down, but we still 
had the same results. We tried passing 
cables underneath the tractors and taking 
the drawbar pull from the front of the 
machine, thinking we could hold the front 
end down that way. That was not success- 
ful. It appears, on the surface at least, that 
the front wheel drive is really the only answer 
to vehicles for soft snow surface transporta- 
4. Track Loading. 
In the matter of track width the practical 
load limits in pounds per square inch run 
from a minimum of about 2 pounds per 
square inch to an absolute maximum of 5 
pounds per square inch. When 5 pounds 
per square inch are exceeded then difficulty 
may be expected, as the machines seem to 
bury themselves, especially if they have the 
rear wheel drive. The higher limits can be 
used to better advantage with the front 
wheel drive. Now the matter of the lower 
limit. If too low a limit is established, in 
102 other words from 2 pounds on down, then 
the gripping factor of the track becomes less 
and less, and a point is reached where 
hauling or using a machine as a prime mover 
becomes impossible. 
5. Cargo Handling Machinery. 
There has been found a need from time to 
time for methods of handling cargo in the 
snow other than by manpower, and it has 
been discovered that the fingerlift is a very 
handy item provided it is not too big and 
heavy. In other words, we go right back to 
having a big heavy machine which might 
get stuck versus a lighter one. The tracks 
will have to be made sufficiently wide on a 
machine of this type so that when the load is 
put on the front end it will not bury itself. 
A small beam type crane is another item that 
can be used to great advantage, but it, too, 
must not be made too large in order to 
handle it easily on a snow surface. There 
are limits on all of these things due to the 
type of surface on which one operates. 
Another thing which is rather important and 
which was mentioned previously is the size 
of the machines to be used. In general it is 
better practice to use two smaller type 
machines which we know will operate 
rather than one big one about which there 
might be some question as to its operating 
efficiency. In other words, a small machine 
is less liable to get itself buried in and get 
into difficulty when handling heavy loads. 
It requires very little more fuel to haul four 
sleds, let us say, with two lighter tractors 
than three sleds with one big tractor. 
6. Cargo Sleds. 
The 1-ton quartermaster sled is a very nice 
item. It is limited because it is made of 
wooden construction and has to be treated 
with considerable care. It is not what 
might be termed an ideal type of sled for 
ship unloading since in an operation of that 
type, where cargo is being dropped from the 
ship’s side by booms, etc., the wooden type 
sled is liable to get crushed and the mortality 
rate runs high. For shipside unloading a 
very simple type of sled is needed—nothing 
big and heavy. A type of scoop or something 
on the order of a farmer’s stoneboat is nearer 
the ideal; it is low down so that men can 
work around it and lift cargo off and on 
without having to lift everything up 2 or 3 
feet to get it onto the sled. This can be made 
with an upturned steel plate in the front, with 
about half a dozen 3- by 12-inch or 3- by 8- 
inch planks bolted to them, internally braced 
with a cross bolt running through the full 
width, possibly with a couple of skids on the 
bottom to keep it from going sideways. A 
terrific amount of cargo can be handled on a 
sled of that type. There is no point in 
hauling 3/ tons of sled with 5 tons of cargo 
on it, when it could be done by putting 7 
tons of cargo on a sled which weighs 1% tons. 
7. Light, General Purpose Vehicles. 
In the matter of vehicles which are nearer 
the ideal for over-the-snow transportation, 
we come to the cargo-carrier M29C, or 
“Weasel”. This machine is probably the 
nearest approach to an ideal machine for 
over-the-snow travel for general purpose, 
reconnaissance, and errand-running. It takes 
the place of the “Peep”, or “Jeep”, as some 
people call it. However, there are several 
things that are wrong with this machine 
that need to be rectified to make it one that 
could be trusted for a longer journey and one 
which would have a lower mortality rate. 
In the first place, it is a rear wheel drive 
machine. Consequently, as it runs along, a 
torque component is built up which forces 
the front end of the machine up in the air and 
after it reaches its climax it falls and its nose 
drops down and then immediately rises up 
again, so that it has about the same action 
as a bucking bronco. Every time it pitches 
103 like this it throws a terrific strain on the trans- 
mission. The transmission of the machine ap- 
pears not to be too heavily constructed, and it 
is only a short time before teeth of the gears be- 
gin missing and all sorts of things happen to the 
inside of the transmission. They go bad in 
general. Another thing which seems to be 
weak on this vehicle is the tracks, plates, etc. 
They are held together by a steel band and 
rubber band combination which does not 
appear to be too satisfactory a method of 
bonding the individual plates together, par- 
ticularly in colder temperatures, since this 
combination of rubber and steel becomes 
very stiff and fractures are very likely to 
occur. Sometimes it is necessary in starting 
these machines in cold temperatures to rock 
them back and forth for several minutes to 
get the initial bend out of the tracks so that 
they will fall around the idlers and get going. 
8. Fuel. 
The matter of operation of motorized 
equipment for polar transportation is very 
little different from operation in any other 
part of the world. There are a few precau- 
tions which must be taken, however. One 
of the most important is in the matter of fuel. 
All fuel should be filtered very, very carefully 
and if possible run through a chamois skin or 
filter of that type to strain out all the mois- 
ture, particularly any snow which might have 
gotten into the drum while it was open. 
Another extremely important thing in cold 
weather is attempting, as far as possible, to 
keep the fuel tanks full or nearly full at all 
times. Fuel tanks have a tendency to sweat 
when only partially full, and a rind frost 
forms on the inside of the tank. As the 
vehicle progresses the slosh within the tank 
washes this rind down and in a short time it 
gets into the fuel. It is liable to lodge at 
the first elbow or bend in the fuel line, and 
in a short time the fuel line will be stopped up. 
9. Ignition Systems. 
The ignition system on gasoline operated 
vehicles is also very important, particularly 
to make starting easier. A great deal of 
attention should be paid to the clearances of 
spark plugs, ignition points, or distributor 
points, and the ignition system in general. 
Batteries have a tendency to run down very 
quickly. In colder weather the life of a 
battery is in general not quite as long as it is 
under normal operating conditions in tem- 
perate climates. Operation as a whole, how- 
ever, is very little different from anywhere 
else except for the personal discomfort 
104 CHAPTER 5 
SECTION I. R4D (C-47) Operations in the Antarctic 
1. Airplanes Employed. 
The aircraft used by the Central Group 
on this expedition consisted of six C-47 
type aircraft (designated R4D’s by the Navy), 
one Norseman C-64 (Navy designation JA), 
and two L-5G aircraft (designated OY-1 
by the Navy). Helicopters were used by 
the ice breakers for reconnaissance. PBM 
type aircraft were used by the Eastern and 
Western Groups. Helicopters were also used 
by the Eastern and Western Groups. In 
addition to these aircraft the Coast Guard 
had at least two small biplanes (Navy J2F) 
which are standard equipment aboard their 
ice breakers. The remainder of the discus- 
sion is concerned primarily with the six 
C-47’s or R4D’s which flew from the U. S. S. 
Philippine Sea to Little America and then 
continued their operations from Little 
2. Special Equipment. 
The R4D’s were standard C-47 type 
aircraft as used by the Navy with certain 
exceptions in the way of special equipment. 
First, the aircraft were rigged for JATO. 
Second, they had a combination ski-wheel 
landing gear. This will be described later. 
Third, they were equipped with tri-netrogon 
cameras. In connection with this they had 
“gremlin” recorders, which were simply an 
05-A type camera photographing an alti- 
meter and a clock at regular intervals. 
Each aircraft carried two fuselage gasoline 
tanks. Each of the tanks was of 402-gallon 
capacity, identical to those already mounted 
within the wings. The total gasoline capac- 
ity of the aircraft was thus 1,608 gallons. 
Special equipment installed in the aircraft 
for this particular mission consisted of the 
following items: Two “bird-dogs,” which 
are a pair of radio directional finder equip- 
ments, connected through a single indicating 
panel with two needles, one red—one green, 
indicating each separate radio; an APS-4 
radar set, SCR-718 radar altimeter, APM-1 
radio altimeter, and 05-A radar recording 
camera which was jury mounted for the 
APS-4 radar. 
3. Flight Personnel. 
The standard crew that was used with 
these aircraft consisted of three rated naval 
pilots, one being the first pilot and com- 
mander, one being the co-pilot, and the third 
one the navigator. These men were all 
NATS (Naval Air Transport Service) pilots 
and had had considerable experience. In 
addition to these a radio operator and a 
photographer were carried. The three pilots 
of each aircraft all had obtained considerable 
flying experience with NATS upon runs 
where the radio aids were good. The result 
was that the navigation was not as good as it 
should have been for this type of a mission. 
Navigational training was given to these men 
on the way down aboard the Philippine Sea 
but they still were not thoroughly familiar 
with the grid system of navigation which is 
a prime requisite for any exploratory flying 
either in the Arctic or the Antarctic regions. 
105 4. Landing Gear. 
a. The landing gear set-up on the G-47’s 
consisted of standard wheels as used on all 
G-47’s with the addition of large skis. This 
large metal ski was mounted so that it 
straddled the wheel, the cut out portion of the 
ski surrounding the wheel (fig. 140). Im- 
mediately in front of the wheel hole in the 
ski was an additional cut so that when the 
ski retracted with the wheel the oil cooler of 
the engine could protrude through the ski. 
When in the retracted position the toe of the 
ski curved up around the cowling of the 
nacelle behind the propeller. The ski was 
fastened to the axle of the wheel and was 
retracted or lowered as the wheels were 
pulled up or let down. When in the fully 
down position one bungee shock cord and 
restraining cables were properly rigged, but 
during the time that the wheels and skis 
were coming up or going down these devices 
Figure 141. Tail ski-wheel combination. Note tail 
wheel protruding through ski. 
would be loose so that the ski would be free 
to tilt unless an additional restraining mech- 
anism was used. This restraining mechanism 
was built in the form of an airfoil. This air- 
foil was mounted upon the tail of the ski on 
an extension arm and served as a stabilizing 
influence to keep the ski in a level attitude 
during retracting or lowering. The ski was 
adjustable in relation to the wheel so that 
from 2 to 6 inches of wheel could be made to 
protrude through the bottom of the ski. The 
tail ski was mounted similarly with the small 
tail wheel protruding through the ski (fig. 
141). It had no stabilizing fin, however, as 
the tail wheel is nonretractable. 
b. There was much discussion aboard the 
Philippine Sea as to how much the wheels 
should protrude through the skis for the 
carrier take-off. One stand on this was that 
2 inches of protrusion would allow plenty of 
clearance for the skis, and even if the skis did 
touch the deck no damage would result, 
either to the deck or to the skis, as the deck is 
smooth and there would be very light loading 
on the skis. The other line of reasoning was 
that 4 to 6 inches of clearance should be 
allowed so the ski could not possibly touch 
the deck. The disadvantage of much wheel 
protruding would be felt more upon landing, 
Figure 140. C-47 ski-wheel combination. Note 
cut out portion of ski surrounding wheel 
106 especially if a light crusted snow were en- 
countered at the base. In this case the wheel 
would break through the crust, continually 
chopping holes, making the landing very 
rough, and increasing the drag of the wheel 
considerably. This also was not thought to 
be a serious point in actuality, as the drag on 
the wheel could not become excessive enough 
to cause the airplane to nose over. After 
considerable discussion the Commanding 
Officer of the Philippine Sea finally agreed 
that the amount of protrusion would be left 
to the individual pilot. This was done and 
they all chose approximately 2 inches of 
protrusion, being more concerned about the 
landing than they were about the take-off. 
5. Preparation for Take-Off. 
Because of the wing span of the airplanes 
the take-off could not be made using the full 
deck of the Philippine Sea. The wing tips 
would not pass the island of the ship without 
making the airplane run excessively close to 
the far (port) side of the deck. The take-off 
run was therefore started from the central 
elevator, or that portion of the flight deck 
which is the widest on the carrier. A bright 
orange line was painted at a slight diagonal 
from the middle of the elevator to the center 
of the forward end of the flight deck. This 
gave the pilots a guide which they could 
follow while traveling at a slight diagonal 
across the flight deck. The total take-off 
runway was approximately 400 feet. Two 
schools of thought existed on the use of the 
JATO. The first held that the engine 
should be revved up and at the time the 
wheel brakes were released the JATO should 
be ignited. This would get the plane off the 
deck of the carrier as soon as possible. The 
second insisted that the airplane should 
start its roll, possibly going halfway down the 
deck before the JATO was ignited. The 
first would give rapid take-off ability at the 
expense of using the JATO power almost 
completely before any airborne flight was 
obtained. The second system gave very 
good safety protection in case of an engine 
failure during the final part of the run or 
immediately after take-off before the air- 
plane would attain enough altitude and 
speed to have good single engine control for 
ditching. The airplanes could not return to 
the carrier once they took off. It should be 
added that the take-off characteristics of the 
aircraft, with the carrier causing at least 35 
knots of relative wind across the deck, would 
ordinarily be considered a safe procedure 
even without the assistance of JATO. The 
JATO was used as an added safety precau- 
tion in case of engine difficulties. This 
means that the second school was probably 
the safer in that during the first part of the 
run if the engines were not right there was 
still room to stop. With the first method, 
there would be no possibility of stopping in 
the event of trouble during the run with 
JATO in operation. 
6. Flight to Little America. 
The flight from the U. S. S. Philippine Sea 
was made safely by all aircraft. A 40- to 
43-knot relative wind was prevailing across 
the deck at the time of take-off. The first 
five aircraft all used the technique of letting 
the run start and then kicking off the JATO. 
All the take-offs were very nicely made and 
no concern was felt after the first one had 
taken off, showing that the procedure worked 
out as planned. The last aircraft, however, 
used the method of igniting the JATO before 
releasing the brakes and some concern was 
caused since the pilot forgot to release the 
brakes until considerable time after the 
JATO had been ignited. His take-off, how- 
ever, was made with no further difficulties 
and he was away adequately. The position 
of the U. S. S. Philippine Sea in relation to 
Little America was such that approximately 
a 4-hour flight was required. The first two 
107 aircraft took off' from the Philippine Sea and 
climbed to approximately 2,000 feet. They 
flew as a pair, holding from the Philippine Sea 
direct on the radio transmission from the 
U. S. S. Mount Olympus, which at that time 
was tied up in the Bay of Whales. The ice 
breaker U. S. G. G. C. Northwind was 
stationed about a third of the way between 
the U. S. S. Philippine Sea and the Bay of 
Whales and thus gave an intermediate radio 
direction. After numbers 1 and 2 aircraft 
had landed at Little America, numbers 3 
and 4 took off. A relatively short time 
thereafter numbers 5 and 6 took off. The 
flights of numbers 3 and 4 were as expected 
and went direct in to Little America. 
Numbers 5 and 6 encountered bad weather 
shortly before rendezvousing with the North- 
wind. Just after passing over the U. S. C. 
G. G. Northwind, number 6 airplane began 
experiencing radio trouble and very soon 
became lost. Number 5 aircraft reported 
losing number 6 almost immediately upon 
entering the overcast. Number 5 continued 
on until it found an open place and circled 
there for 20 minutes trying to get radio 
contact with number 6. During the trip 
from the Philippine Sea to the U. S. C. G. C. 
Northwind number 6 aircraft had not made a 
gyro precession check nor had it made a 
compass direction deviation chart. Either 
one of these would have allowed it to con- 
tinue on with its heading toward the Bay of 
Whales so that it would have had no diffi- 
culty picking up the ice barrier upon arrival 
there. Number 6 did, however, continue on 
in a guess direction, eventually found the 
barrier, and flew down the barrier until it 
came to Little America. The ski landings 
at Little America were fairly typical of any 
well made ski landing of an aircraft with the 
exception of number 5 airplane. The pilot 
did not realize that stopping at the end of 
the landing run would permanently stall the 
aircraft. An aircraft must keep taxiing to 
keep from freezing its skis to the surface. 
Number 5 stopped before turning around 
and became frozen to the surface. 
Note. The actual flight plans, the areas covered, and 
the photographs taken will be thoroughly covered by 
the Navy report of this mission. The operation of the 
Norseman was rather limited, being primarily a rescue 
vehicle. It was, used however, to give Navy pilots 
their required flying time. The airplane was damaged 
on several occasions so that it could not be used for 
the majority of the time that it was in the Antarctic. 
The helicopter operations in the Antarctic were 
quite impressive, giving a very fine demonstration of 
their ability to operate from small ships over ice pack 
for exploration or rescue purposes. The two heli- 
copters that were lost were both lost through pilot 
error and not through anything that is unique to the 
Antarctic in itself. The operation of the L-5 and the 
place for small aircraft in Antarctic exploration and 
in scientific support of an expedition are covered 
elsewhere. The use of a towed aircraft for long 
range exploration and for rescue is likewise covered 
SECTION II. Technical Observations 
1. Aircraft Loading. 
At maximum total aircraft loading (about 
32,000 lbs.) the loading on the skis came to 
about 750 pounds per square foot. Ordi- 
narily 250 pounds per square foot is con- 
sidered about the right amount of loading on 
aircraft skis. The excessively high 750 
pounds per square foot loading on this 
particular design caused some concern. 
Therefore, on the trip down aboard the 
U. S. S. Philippine Sea, it had been planned 
that the wheels would be removed from the 
middle of the ski and an additional plate 
would be added in this area. The slot in the 
108 forward part of the ski had to be retained 
because of the oil cooler as noted above, so a 
plate was made that would cover up just the 
wheel hole itself. This plate had a turned 
up forward edge or toe just as on a normal 
ski. The addition of this plate would theo- 
retically lower the loading to approximately 
450 pounds per square foot if the distribution 
of loading on the ski remained the same. 
There was much discussion as to whether the 
balance of the ski would be changed, that is, 
whether the loading would be unevenly dis- 
tributed so the resultant 450 pounds per 
square foot loading was really not a true 
value. The wheels were removed from the 
aircraft and the additional area plate in- 
serted. The plate became a detriment 
rather than an aid, as the snow which accum- 
ulated in the front of the turned up part or 
the toe of this additional plate could not pass 
around to the side, and therefore just accum- 
ulated until the ski was pushing a pile of 
snow ahead of it. These plates were sub- 
sequently removed and the remainder of the 
R4D flights made with neither the plate 
nor the wheels—using only the original ski. 
2. Use of JATO. 
The first take-offs from Little America 
were made with the JATO, but as the surface 
became hardened with the colder weather 
the use of JATO was of no material advan- 
tage and it was abandoned. 
3. Stabilizer Arms. 
The stabilizer arms of the skis began breaking 
loose from their mountings after a fair amount 
of flying had been accomplished. The arm 
would break loose from the mounting on the 
inside, and then the other side would come 
loose. Two reasons were suggested for this 
failure. First, that vibration of the engines 
while airborne induced a continuous vibra- 
tion in the arms which eventually cracked 
the structure. Second, that the very high 
loading resulting from landings and take- 
offs on the rough surface pounded the arms 
until cracks started. The first developed as a 
result of the breakage of the first arm during 
an approach for landing at a high r. p. m. 
operation of the engine. The second was 
advanced because visual observation showed 
a great deal of hammering of the skis during 
4. Skis. 
After cessation of operations at Little 
America it was noticed that some of the main 
skis were beginning to crack at the toe turn- 
up stiffening section. This was the result of 
the many landings on the ice shelf which 
were very rough and involved tremendous 
5. Parking Aircraft. 
To prevent the difficulties experienced in 
getting the heavy aircraft moving they were 
parked on oiled plywood anchored to the 
snow. This meant that an airplane would 
land and taxi to the plywood platforms, 
where it would stop. It could then be started 
under its own engine power with a slight 
amount of movement (of the tail, etc.), 
whereas if it were stopped on the snow 
surface, a great deal of difficulty was had in 
making the airplane move. It was also 
found advisable to drag a runway take-off 
area. This is more fully covered in the engi- 
neering report. 
6. Warming Engines. 
Cold weather air operations during the 
summer in the Antarctic are not materially 
different from cold weather operations in 
any part of the northern hemisphere where 
the temperatures range down to minus 20 or 
30° Fahrenheit. Herman-Nelson heaters, 
one for each nacelle, were used for starting 
(fig. 142). Inadequate covers were supplied. 
Some of these were fabricated aboard the 
109 was not as good as it had been hoped that it 
would be. The result was that no systematic 
set of gyro logs were made and no good navi- 
gational tries were had. There were only a 
few flights that attempted to go over the top 
of any bad weather to get on the other side 
of it. This was primarily because the navi- 
gation was not reliable enough to allow that 
to be done. The original plan had called for 
both GCA and GPN and UPN-Ts (portable 
radar navigation beacon) to be operated at 
the base. The GCA had to be removed to be 
evacuated on the Mount Olympus before it had 
a chance to be used. The GPN was retained 
and did help very materially in getting 
the aircraft in during periods of low visibility 
or near-blizzard conditions. The UPN-4’s 
had been planned as beacons for marking 
the ends of the landing strips. They were 
not used for this because maintexiance on the 
radar was not adequate. 
8. Icing. 
It had previously been claimed that no ic- 
ing would be met. This came from the situa- 
tion on previous expeditions where no flying 
was attempted unless CAVU conditions 
existed. With the advent of larger aircraft, 
flights were attempted with less insistence on 
perfect weather, and when conditions were 
not CAVU icing was encountered. This 
corresponds to experience in the northern 
parts of the world. 
9. Emergency Equipment. 
The emergency equipment which was 
pre-planned in the United States and that 
which was carried aboard the U. S. S. 
Philippine Sea was not acceptable by the 
command upon the ice. Thus, Dr. Siple 
and Captain Homey, U. S. N., had to replan 
and reassemble all the survival equipment 
and emergency rations. These are covered 
in chapters 6 and 7. The difference between 
the Arctic and the Antarctic or the North 
Figure 142. Herman-Nelson heaters are standard 
U. S. S. Philippine Sea on the way down. 
Ample covering would have materially aided 
in the starting of the engines. On a very 
cold day inadequate heating of the nacelle 
resulted in rupture of the lubricating oil 
lines upon starting. The standard heaters, 
properly maintained and properly used, 
make a very good method of warming the 
engines for starting. 
7. Navigation. 
The original navigational plan had de- 
pended upon having the U. S. S. Mount 
Olympus with its high powered transmitter 
as a homing aid. The original plan of the 
air operation assumed that flights would not 
be made beyond the range at which they 
could home on the Mount Olympus. This 
range actually was less than the range of the 
aircraft that had been used on previous 
expeditions to Antarctica. The U. S. S. 
Mount Olympus had to leave the bay, however, 
because of the bad ice conditions and was 
not available for this purpose. The naviga- 
tion then reverted to a sort of pilotage using 
mountains and the known landmarks pri- 
marily. A few of the pilots actually did use a 
good system of navigation, but the navigation 
110 Pole area and the South Pole area is very 
marked. The safety problems in the Antarc- 
tic are much different and in many respects 
more simple than those of the Arctic Ocean. 
Airplanes in distress can almost always 
find a place to crash land in the Antarctic, 
a place where the plane can be set down 
with relative safety. This is especially true 
if the navigation is good. The reasons for 
bailing out are much less valid than they 
would be in the north. The possibility of 
getting an airplane down with the structure 
mostly intact is very good. This also changes 
the aspect of the emergency equipment to 
be carried. 
10. Radius of Operations. 
In considering the range problem it must 
be realized that a 500-mile radius about 
Little America had already been well covered 
and that 800-mile flights had already been 
made into several areas. That meant that 
with a 1,900-mile total range, and an 800- 
mile radius of action with reserve, there was 
not a great deal of new territory that could 
be covered. It turned out that the amount 
of flying accomplished just about covered 
the territory that could be covered within 
800 miles. Had a normal year been met, 
however, it would have been advantageous 
to establish one or two staging bases which 
would have tremendously increased the 
area accessible to exploration. Especially 
would this create an opportunity to explore 
that area between the Ross Sea and the 
Weddell Sea, one of the big remaining 
question marks in the Antarctic. It would 
also allow one or two trips to be made on to 
the polar plateau or perhaps a more thorough 
investigation of the mountains running from 
the plateau toward the east. A trip or 
trips across the continent could have been 
accomplished in this manner. The problems 
concerning staging are, of course, consider- 
able. It is pointed out, however, that those 
bases could have been established and 
transcontinental flights could have been 
made. In this regard it was considered that 
flights could be made with two aircraft 
going out, landing, transferring all the fuel 
to one aircraft, and abandoning the other 
aircraft. Or, the refueling aircraft could 
have been flown home, A staging plan 
with radii up to 1,700 miles was considered, 
with 1,700 miles still leaving a safety margin 
with a single staging point. Another prob- 
lem which must be considered in this are 
the cold starting if aircraft are to be on the 
surface longer than the necessary refueling 
period. Two additional problems must be 
considered when it is extremely cold: The 
rescue problem would become more difficult 
and the navigation problem would also 
SECTION III. Recommendations 
1. Recording Observations. 
It is recommended that for any future 
operation of this nature the planning and 
training be such that complete systematic 
recordings of the following instruments and 
procedures be made: 
a. The electric gyro and the vacuum gyro 
should have complete logs kept on every 
flight. This will materially aid the naviga- 
b. The compass reading vs the grid head- 
ing should be systematically kept. This 
permits better navigation and also helps 
greatly to facilitate magnetic studies. 
c. The complete navigational log with all 
corrections should be kept as the flight is 
111 made. This allows reconstitution of the 
flight after the return to the base and thus 
helps with the placing of any observations 
and of the placing of geographic features. 
Only in this manner can good reconnais- 
sance photography be accomplished unless 
complete ground controls are used. 
d. A complete photo log should also be 
maintained. This also allows interpreta- 
tion, placing, and mapping of the picture. 
Systematic 05-A recordings should be made 
of the radar and of the radio and radar 
altimeters. These should be synchronized 
and perhaps synchronized with the visual 
camera so that complete understanding of 
all returns and of all the visual photographs 
can be attained after the mission is accom- 
plished. It is therefore recommended that 
careful preselection of crews be made before 
starting on a trip of this kind—to get men 
thoroughly competent to accomplish their 
job, to get men who are eager and who 
understand why flights should be made and 
why missions should be accomplished, men 
with a will to accomplish, not just men 
completing an assigned flight. It is sug- 
gested that a system of briefing should be 
instituted so that each man before each 
mission is given a detailed outline upon 
which are his designated duties, a detailed 
instruction of when camera should be turned 
on or when observation should be made, the 
amount of film to be exposed, the type of 
things to look for, and other data of this 
nature. By having each man responsible 
for certain assigned duties the loss of scientific 
information will be held to a minimum. 
2. Starting Engines. 
It is suggested that the following system of 
cold weather engine starting would materi- 
ally aid cold weather operations: the nacelle 
should be insulated internally and the air 
duct should be supplied with built-in covers 
so that when an engine is warm the air duct 
covers can be closed and the engine will stay 
warm without a lot of air circulating through 
it. This will also facilitate the original heat- 
ing of the engine when it is cold. A small, 
portable gasoline driven cranking heater 
unit could be designed for heating and start- 
ing engines. A small engine could be cooled 
with the oil from the large aircraft engine, 
thus heating the aircraft engine oil. The 
exhaust from the cranking unit can be used 
to heat the nacelle. A properly designed 
unit of this type would be a man-carried 
unit which a man would carry out to the 
wing and set in position with the spline of 
the cranking engine engaging the cranking 
shaft on the main engine, the positioning 
pins holding the cranking engine in position. 
The small engine would then be cranked 
and allowed to run for a short period, heating 
itself and heating part of the oil on the big 
engine. The aircraft engine would then be 
very slowly turned over by engaging a 
clutch between the little engine and the 
spline. While the big engine is allowed to 
warm up from heat of the little engine, it 
will turn faster and faster until eventually it 
is warm and ready to start. After the air- 
craft engine starts the cranking engine is 
moved to the next engine. The first engine 
started is thoroughly warmed up and then 
shut down while the second engine is started 
and warmed up, the insulated nacelle main- 
taining the heat in the first engine so that it 
will start with its regular electrical starter or 
with a very short push of the starting engine. 
3. Landing Gear. 
It is recommended that a thorough study 
of tracked type landing gear -be instituted. 
When considering Antarctic or neve or sas- 
trugi surface operations, wheels are at a big 
disadvantage in that any single small hole 
will stop the wheel and cause serious incon- 
venience or damage to the aircraft. Wheels 
also require well prepared, large runways. 
112 Wheels are not versatile; they can land only 
on prepared areas and these landings cannot 
be made away from base. Nor are skis as 
versatile as required for good operations in 
the Antarctic regions. When the toe of a 
ski strikes a ridge the whole ski must rise, 
thus raising the aircraft. This makes the 
ski a rough mechanism on rough terrain 
such as sastrugi. In addition to that, skis 
have a tendency to stick. Their use is lim- 
ited primarily to the type of surface for 
which they are designed. Tracks, on the 
other hand, could be used to fly from air- 
craft decks, could be used to fly from ordi- 
nary runways, and could land in snow or 
the neve as the case dictated. Being a flex- 
ible sort of structure any single bump is more 
or less absorbed by the track rather than 
transmitted to aircraft and this is a consider- 
able advantage when operating on sastrugi. 
SECTION IV. Log of L-5 in the Antarctic 
The following log covers the flying of the 
aircraft No. 120462, an L-5G (Army desig- 
nation) or OY-1 (Navy designation). The 
aircraft was a Navy furnished item for this 
expedition. The primary base for opera- 
tions was the Navy Gamp at Little America, 
known as Little America No. 4. The pilot 
on each of the flights was R. N. Davis. The 
flight log gives the history of each flight made 
from the Little America base at which the 
L-5 was assembled, after having been dis- 
mantled and crated aboard the Philippine Sea, 
brought to the barrier aboard the U. S. Coast 
Guard Cutter Northwind, and transported to 
the base camp on a Weasel-drawn sled. 
After assembly the L-5 was thoroughly 
checked, properly lubricated, and skis were 
fitted. The skis were of dural, manufactured 
by the Federal Ski Company. It should be 
noted that two sizes of skis are recommended 
by the Federal Ski Company for the L-5. 
The first recommendation is their smallest 
ski which is used on all small aircraft. The 
particular set here used was the next larger 
size and it proved to be a wise decision. 
The slight amount of additional weight is 
small in comparison to the advantages to be 
gained from having a longer, more substan- 
tial ski of greater bearing area. The log will
 explain why a steerable tail wheel is a very 
valuable adjunct to a light aircraft operating 
in the Antarctic. In all other respects the 
L-5, No. 120462 was a standard L-5G with 
no modification. The log now follows: 
10 Feb No passengers. Landings: None. 
Time in flight: None. 
The purpose of the test was to determine 
the functioning of the skis upon the surface 
of the snow then existing and to explore the 
abilities of the aircraft to taxi and to turn, also 
to get a check on the engine performance 
under taxiing conditions to indicate the cool- 
ing of the engine in this climate. The air- 
craft was taxied at various speeds across the 
different surfaces to be found close to camp. 
No difficulty was experienced with turning 
either right or left, upwind, downwind, or 
acrosswind. The ease with which the air- 
plane turned is attributable primarily to the 
steerable tail ski which is a great asset on a 
small plane, especially where it is required 
to do precise maneuvering to miss some holes 
blown in the surface of the snow and other 
obstacles which result from the maze of 
equipment deposited during blizzards. 
11 Feb No passengers. No landings. No time. 
The object of this operation was again to 
test the ability of the airplane to taxi, 
113 especially at speeds approaching take-off and 
in crosswinds. These tests indicated that the 
aircraft was thoroughly ready for flight. 
During these tests no difficulty was found in 
starting the engine or in controlling the en- 
gine, everything being in good working order. 
During the tests on the first two days, the 
engine was very easily started by the applica- 
tion of heat from a Herman-Nelson engine 
heater until the oil temperature registered in 
the normal operating range of approximately 
50° C. The heater brought the engine to 
this temperature in approximately 10 to 15 
minutes, depending upon the wind conditions 
more than upon the air temperature. 
12 Feb No passengers. 1 landing. 0.25 hours. 
The purpose of this flight was to test fly 
the aircraft and to ascertain, in flight, the 
characteristics of the control section action. 
12 Feb No passengers. 3 landings. 1.50 hours. 
The purpose of this flight was to test air- 
plane during ski landings and to familiarize 
the pilot with the characteristics of the land- 
ing area and the aircraft in its use upon that 
area. The first landing was made directly 
into the wind, as was the second landing. 
The third landing was made slightly cross- 
wind. The landing area was just a large 
open space away from camp with no marked 
runways or specially prepared landing area 
of any nature. The normal radio of the air- 
craft was properly functioning during this 
and the remainder of the flight tests. 
13 Feb No passengers. 2 landings. 1.45 hours. 
These flights were made to test the aircraft 
and to become familiar with emergency pro- 
cedures, especially in regard to emergency 
landings, and to test the difference between 
landing with partial flaps, full flaps, and with 
no aileron droop and complete aileron droop. 
The take-offs were also made to test the 
difference between partial flaps and two 
turns of the aileron droop in comparison with 
no flaps and no aileron droop. The effect of 
flaps and aileron droop was determined to 
be quite significant, reducing the take-off 
run very appreciably and giving a take-off 
speed quite low in relation to that of no flaps 
and no droop on the ailerons, particularly in 
contrast to other light airplanes. The aileron 
droop feature was determined to be desirable. 
13 Feb No passengers. 1 landing. 1.45 hours. 
This flight was made for trim test and for 
practice in turns close to the ground and at 
altitude. The airplane was found to trim 
very nicely and to maintain straight flight, 
indicating that the rigging of the wings and 
the tail empennage had been properly 
13 Feb No passengers. 1 landing. 1.50 hours. 
This flight was made to familiarize the 
pilot with the area immediately surrounding 
the camp area to give an idea of the area to 
head for in case of power failure on take-off 
or upon landing approach to gain a compre- 
hensive idea of that area immediately sur- 
rounding camp so that in case of bad weather 
the barrier could be found and followed until 
recognizable marks approaching the camp 
and the Bay of Whales could be recognized. 
14 Feb Navy photographer. 1 landing. 1.45 hours. 
Flight was made to allow an official Navy 
photographer to make a historical record of 
the camp and the ice structure immediately 
surrounding the camp. 
14 Feb Lt. Roscoe. 1 landing. 1.60 hours. 
U. S. M. C. Lieutenant Roscoe was official 
geographer for the expedition. This flight 
was to give him an opportunity of observing 
the ice structure and ice conditions surround- 
ing the camp area within a radius of 50 miles. 
This flight explored the Bay of Whales, the 
camp, and the crack structure running from 
the Bay of Whales toward Roosevelt Island, 
giving especial attention to Roosevelt Island 
and to the area immediately surrounding the 
area known as Seal Creek. 
114 14 Feb Stem. 1 landing. 1.70 hours. 
The purpose of this flight was to take color 
movies of the R4D JATO take-off. A steeply 
banked turn was maintained beyond the end 
of the take-off runway. At the time the R4D 
started its take-off run the L-5 was dived out 
of its turn to come down parallel to the take- 
off runway. This was anticipated to bring 
the L-5 alongside the R4D during the time 
the R4D had its JATO burning. The first 
attempt resulted in the L—5’s running away 
from the R4D during the R4D’s take-off run. 
The second attempt resulted in the L-5’s 
maintaining fairly close proximity during the 
take-off. The third attempt was also suc- 
14 Feb Cosco. 1 landing. 0.45 hours. 
Navy Captain Cosco was the senior Navy 
officer in charge of the scientific program. 
The purpose of this flight was to allow 
Captain Cosco to observe seal life and seal 
actions in the neighborhood of Seal Creek 
in which approximately 250 seals, adult 
seals, were sunning themselves. In addition 
the route for an expedition to Seal Canyon 
was shown to Captain Cosco and the parti- 
cular points of danger along that route were 
pointed out. Also indicated was an area 
upon which the L-5 could be landed at 
Seal Canyon. 
15 Feb No passengers. 1 landing. 2.10 hours. 
The purpose of this flight was to examine 
the Little America area and to further 
examine the Seal Canyon area and to make 
reconnaissance of the ice in the intervening 
area. Practice approach landings and ski 
touchdowns were made in the area of Seal 
15 Feb Navy photographer. 1 landing. 2.60 hours. 
The purpose of this flight was to allow the 
Navy photographer to make historical records 
of Little America tent camp and of the ice 
and activities in the area surrounding the 
camp. The flight continued past Seal Can- 
yon toward Amundson Arm. The photo- 
grapher expressed his satisfaction with the 
ability of the L-5 to fly either low or high 
and to be maneuvered into the most desirable 
position for the taking of air records close 
to the desired object. 
16 Feb Siple. 1 landing. 3.50 hours. 
This flight was made to enable Dr. Siple 
to examine the ice structure, the Bay of 
Whales, and the surrounding area. The 
flight went from the take-off area to Seal 
Canyon, continued up the rough ice struc- 
ture to the bottom end of Roosevelt Island, 
flying west down one of the long ice valleys 
then turning and flying east up across 
Amundson Arm until a high cloud bank was 
encountered. Motion pictures were made 
during this flight with a Cine Kodak Special 
16-mm camera. “Stills” were also made 
using 35-mm Kodachrome and Ansco color 
film. The visual observations made on this 
flight by Dr. Siple resulted in a very complete 
story of the directions of motion of the ice 
and of possible pivot points of the ice in its 
flow. Upon landing, Dr. Siple said that 
this flight in itself had amply repaid the 
effort of bringing this particular aircraft to 
the Antarctic. He pointed out that the 
ability of the airplane to be flown safely at 
close range to objects under study was one of 
the valuable assests of this particular air- 
craft. Dr. Siple was the senior War Depart- 
ment observer and consultant to Admiral 
Byrd on Antarctic and exploratory matters. 
The pilot made a rough study of cruise 
control and determined that 4 hours of 
flight was a safe duration with some reserve 
under the particular conditions of flight 
encountered on this mission. 
16 Feb 1 passenger. 1 landing. 3.60 hours. 
This flight was made primarily to allow 
the pilot to make aerial studies of the ice to 
determine the pattern and ascertain certain 
structures pointed out by Dr. Siple on the 
115 previous flight. In addition, it was thought 
desirable to make a further cruise control 
test using conditions varying from those in 
the first test. On this flight it was shown 
that at high cruising speeds, essentially those 
of approximately 100 to 105 miles an hour, 
the gasoline consumption increased materi- 
ally. This led to the conclusion that a 
good cruising speed with the particular 
engine and propeller on this aircraft and with 
the skis mounted would be in the order of 90 
to 92 miles an hour and the fuel consumption 
would allow then approximately a 450-mile 
range. It is noted here that the Aeromatic 
propeller gave this airplane good take-off 
performance without sacrificing good climb 
and airborne performance. During all of 
the flying done no difficulty of any nature 
was encountered with this propeller. 
17 Feb Navy photographer. 1 landing. 1.35 hours. 
This flight was again made to allow an 
official Navy photographer to photograph 
camp, changes that had occurred on the ice 
structure surrounding it, and to photograph 
the work being done at Little America Three, 
sometimes referred to as West Base. Here 
again the left window was opened many 
times to allow better photography and it was 
again demonstrated that good vertical pho- 
tography could be accomplished by flying 
the airplane in a nose high power slip, thus 
allowing the wing to be lowered (in this case 
the left wing), but also to get that wing far 
enough forward so that the photographer 
could take pictures vertically down aft of the 
wing. This particular tactic is especially 
desirable where vertical pictures down cracks 
are required. In this case flights were made 
directly over Seal Canyon taking pictures 
which would show both of the vertical walls 
and the entire bottom of the canyon. This 
particular technique was previously dis- 
played during several flights and found to be 
entirely satisfactory. The flight speed of the 
aircraft could be well maintained, thus mak- 
ing the maneuver an entirely safe one as long 
as the pilot is careful not to put the left wing 
into the ground or to run into an obstruction. 
17 Feb No passenger. 3 landings. 4.10 hours. 
This particular series of flights was made 
for fuel and load tests to determine how well 
the aircraft could fly with overload, how well 
it would take off, and how it would climb, 
especially in an overloaded condition. It 
was also desired to ascertain the fuel range of 
the aircraft where a series of landings would 
be made away from the base such as would 
be encountered in making a series of explor- 
atory landings up or down the barrier. The 
overload tests were made in anticipation of 
the installation of an air-borne magnetometer 
weighing in the neighborhood of 250 pounds. 
These tests showed that the airplane could 
fly under these conditions at least 4 hours and 
10 minutes and still maintain a safe fuel 
margin in good weather conditions. These 
flights were made using information gained 
as to cruise control conditions. 
17 Feb 1 passenger. 2 landings. 2.05 hours. 
The two flights were purely local in nature 
and were made to allow eager workers to see 
the results of their endeavors. 
18 Feb Stein. 1 landing. 1.20 hours. 
The air temperatures on the 16th of 
February had dropped as low as 28J below 
zero and some discomfort was felt, especially 
when the rear window was opened for photo- 
graphic purposes. On this trip of the 18th 
the ground temperature before and during 
take-off ran down to about 28° below 
zero. No difficulty was had in ground han- 
dling of the airplane or in starting it, the 
starting procedure still being to warm the 
engine with the Herman-Nelson and then 
to start the engine with the regular electrical 
starter. It should be noted that at no time 
during the stay did the battery freeze or was 
any difficulty experienced with the electrical 
system. This particular flight was made for 
116 the benefit of Navy Lt. Stein who was an 
official Navy photographer. The technique 
of a short as possible take-off was demon- 
strated to Lt. Stein on this day, the take-off 
being made into an approximately 15-knot 
wind directly across the main runway which 
was in the neighborhood of 200 feet wide. 
This runway had been dragged and had two 
ice ridges, one on either side. The take-off 
run was started from the ridge on the North 
side of the runway. The pilot warned Stein 
that there would be a considerable jolt as the 
ice ridge on the other side of the runway was 
struck. However, the L-5 was airborne 
before striking the second ridge, the skis 
never touching that ridge. Stein experienced 
quite a bit of discomfort due to the cold 
which went to about 30° below on this 
particular flight. The temperature was re- 
corded upon the centigrade indicator built 
in the roof of the cabin of the aircraft. It 
should be noted that Stein had the rear win- 
dow open the majority of the time. 
18 Feb Goby. 1 landing. 1.00 hour. 
Navy Chief Goby, one of the dog drivers 
and caretakers, desired to see the distribution 
of the seal, as they are starting to dive under 
the ice and it is becoming increasingly 
difficult for him to find seal meat for the dogs. 
Instead of the great number, approximately 
400 seals, to be found in the immediate area, 
only twelve were spotted this late afternoon. 
18 Feb Johnson. 1 landing. 1.00 hour. 
Johnson is Goby’s helper on the dog 
teams and the purpose of the flight was to 
allow him to map a safe route to the remain- 
ing seals and to make certain of the location 
so they could be easily found. 
18 Feb No passengers. 3 landings. 3.20 hours. 
This series of flights was made to deter- 
mine the feasibility of using a weight upon 
the end of a trailing cord to determine the 
roughness of the surface and to determine 
if this method could be used for judging 
surfaces before a landing upon those surfaces. 
The technique involved was to find a reason- 
able area, drop a marker, preferably a 
black soot marker at the beginning of the 
area that looked good, then to time the 
aircraft’s flight at a given speed until a 
reasonable landing distance had been estab- 
lished and then to drop the second marker. 
This would normally be done after full 
reconnaissance of the area by making five 
or six flights and taking into regard the 
direction of the wind. If smoke bombs or 
smoke flares could be dropped, that would 
be an advantage. After the area had been 
chosen a pass would be made across that 
area with the weight hanging on the end 
of the cord. The airplane would let down 
in the approach attitude at slightly above 
landing speed, making what would ordinarily 
appear to be a power-on landing approach. 
The airplane, however, would be flared out 
at an appropriate height above the ground 
and power maintained to keep the appro- 
priate speed across the area. The aircraft 
height would be lowered until the weight 
dragged on the surface, and by observing 
the action of the weight, the surface could 
be judged to determine its roughness. Sharp 
ridges or slowly rising ground would be 
indicated. While these tests were made 
without a passenger, it is recommended 
that this procedure be used with an observer 
to observe the action of the string and the 
weight while the pilot pays particular atten- 
tion to passing directly across the area upon 
which he intends to land and in maintaining 
his height correctly as indicated to him by 
the observer. These tests were not conclusive 
but were indicative, and the pilot expressed a 
desire to make more tests to determine the 
limitations and the abilities of this system. 
19 Feb Navy photographer. 1 landing. 1.00 hour. 
This was again an official flight to take 
pictures of the camp area, the bay ice, and 
the ice barrier surrounding camp. 
117 19 Feb Navy photographer. 1 landing. 1.50 hours. 
The object of this flight was to make official 
Navy photographs of the return of the trail 
party which consisted of the two LYT’s. 
The aircraft was flown out along the trail 
over which the LVT’s would return until 
the LVT’s were met, whereupon many circles 
and passes were made taking pictures of the 
LVT’s as they progressed toward camp. 
19 Feb Siple. 3 landings. 2.30 hours. 
This flight was made to transport Dr. Siple 
to various areas for the study of the motion 
of the ice. The first flight was made to East 
Gape where the markers there installed were 
cleared of snow. The amount of motion 
between these markers and the ones on West 
Cape was measured and observed. It was 
at this point that the interesting mirage of 
camp appeared and motion and still pictures 
were made of that. From here the aircraft 
was flown to the markers which had been 
laid beyond West Base. During the flight 
from East Cape to West Base a ground haze 
developed and the landing at West Base was 
made by a let-down through this ground 
haze. The approach and landing in the 
haze demonstrated the great difficulty with 
which things can be seen obliquely through 
a haze of this type even when they can be 
relatively easily seen vertically. It was noted 
that no horizon could be seen during the 
final stages of the landing and that a pilot’s 
ability to judge solely by visual means may 
be seriously impaired. 
19 Feb No passengers. 1 landing. 1.25 hours. 
This particular flight was made as an alti- 
tude test to test the rate of climb of the air- 
craft, the operations of the propeller at alti- 
tude at low temperature, and to determine 
the fuel consumption during a climb. It was 
determined that the aircraft climbed well to 
altitudes in excess of 10,000 feet. The fuel 
consumption control was lost during this 
test, so no conclusive data was obtained. 
The action of mixture control was tested and 
its operation with this particular propeller 
and carburetor was determined to be satis- 
20 Feb Dustin. 6 landings. 2.10 hours. 
The first two landings were made without a 
passenger. Take-offs and landings were made 
from a pierced steel plank mat laid on an 
unprepared snow surface, that is, an un- 
packed snow surface. The particular section 
of mat in use was approximately 30 feet wide 
by 400 feet long. The wheels had been re- 
placed upon the aircraft. Following the 
second landing the passenger was picked up 
and the next landing made on wheels on the 
surface used by the R4D’s for take-off and 
landings (fig. 143). The action of the wheels 
under these conditions and under taxiing 
conditions was thoroughly recorded by of- 
ficial Navy photographs. The action of the 
mat and of the airplane was thoroughly 
recorded by Army engineers assigned to the 
Army observers’ group. Braking action of 
the wheels on the snow was demonstrated. 
These tests were all made to determine the 
feasibility of operations of larger aircraft on 
Figure 143. L-5 on wheels taking off from snow 
118 prepared surfaces. The action of the wheels 
was deemed satisfactory. 
20 Feb No passenger. 3 landings. 3.50 hours. 
The purpose of this series of flights was to 
make experimental landings away from base 
but within the immediate area of base. The 
landings were made on various kinds of sur- 
faces to determine the limitations and abilities 
of the ski on this particular aircraft. One of 
the landings was made on a surface so hard 
that only the keel of the ski left a mark. 
This particular landing was made on an area 
that had sastrugi of approximately 6 to 10 
inches’ height. The airplane was shaken 
but not damaged. While the landing felt 
rough and the take-oflf was relatively rough 
no difficulty with control of the aircraft was 
experienced at any time and the action of the 
skis was very satisfactory. From these land- 
ings and from the previous one of the trailing 
weight, the pilot concluded that great num- 
bers of areas could be safely landed upon for 
any needed purpose such as rescue, resupply, 
or exploration. In particular this test demon- 
strated that the concept of a towable small 
aircraft was a valuable concept. 
20 Feb No passenger. 4 landings. 3.10 hours. 
This flight was made for several purposes, 
one being an examination of the barrier on 
the ocean side, the other as a cruise control 
21 Feb Stein. 1 landing. 3.50 hours. 
This flight was made to allow an official 
Navy photographer, Ft. Stein, to take pic- 
tures with a large airborne camera of the ice 
structures, particularly those in the Amund- 
son Arm area. The flight was successful in 
spite of very cold temperatures encountered. 
The photo coverage, being the lowest level 
coverage yet obtained on a single flight, 
covered areas not previously photographed, 
especially those on the eastern side of Roose- 
velt Island. 
21 Feb No passenger. 1 landing. 0.80 hours. 
This was a local flight to test a classified 
22 Feb 1 passenger. 1 landing. 3.10 hours. 
This flight was made in search for Em- 
peror Penguins to be returned to the United 
The total number of landings made during 
this series of flights was 47. The total num- 
ber of hours flown, 57.70. 
It is advisable to have good shoulder straps, 
of the standard Army type during this type 
of flying. Strict attention should also be 
paid to loose objects in the airplane, espe- 
cially when making landings and take-off’s 
away from the base airstrip so that in case of 
a broken ski or perhaps falling into a 
crevasse or any other reason that might 
result in a nosed up or turned over aircraft, 
the minimum amount of injury would result 
to the pilot or passenger unless of course an 
object is struck while in full flight, but during 
landing or take-off operations the safety of 
the occupants of the aircraft is relatively 
high if these precautions are taken. For this 
type of operation skis should be carefully 
rigged in addition to the rubber bungee 
snubbing cord. The cable limits should be 
carefully inspected and adjusted. This will 
prevent the stubbing of the toe of the ski or 
the inability to make an appropriate landing. 
The right rigging of the skis is especially im- 
portant in long range operations requiring 
the utmost efficiency. No concern was felt 
at any time about any inadequacies in the 
particular set of skis. Their structural 
strength was good, their keels were well 
designed and well placed, and no damage 
was encountered upon the skis even with 
some landings in very rough icy surfaces. 
Particular attention must be paid to any 
safety or survival equipment. If at any time 
it becomes moist it must be dried, inspected, 
and repacked. For instance, a parachute 
which was brought down by sea had become 
119 moist and this parachute failed to open after 
it had become cold. All of the above-men- 
tioned flights were made using 100-octane 
gasoline instead of the 70 to 80 normally 
recommended. No difficulty was apparent 
from the use of this gasoline. It should be 
added that no engine dilution was used at 
any time and all startings were made using 
the electric system. During landing opera- 
tions away from base a maximum of 1 hour 
was never exceeded without the engines 
being run up to maintain adequate heat in 
the engine for starting. On real cold days 
this time was reduced to one-half hour. 
SECTION V. Comments on Air Operations 
by U. S. N. Observer 
The following is a verbatim account of an 
informal discussion on Antarctic air opera- 
tions. Those participating in the discussion 
were the Army observers and Lt. Comdr. 
James C. McCoy, U. S. N., Base Air Opera- 
tions Officer, Central Group. 
Dr. Siple. 
This is in reference to Antarctic Air opera- 
tions. We have asked Lieutenant Com- 
mander McCoy, Base Air Operations Officer, 
to explain to us, in view of the fact that 
we did not have an air operations officer 
among our Army observers’ group, the lessons 
learned and performances carried out with 
the aircraft, also to recommend what he 
would advise if the Army were to come down 
and attempt an operation similar to opera- 
tion “Highjump,” Lieutenant Commander 
McCoy was Senior pilot with the United 
States Antarctic Expedition in 1939-41 and 
has therefore had broad experience in Antarc- 
tic aviation. 
Lt. Comdr. McCoy. 
The remarks I had in mind will be for the 
R4D type (Army C-47) aircraft, as that was 
the type used for our long exploration 
flights. To begin with, operating aircraft in 
the Antarctic presents certain problems 
which are not normally met with in more 
temperate climates. Preheating strikes me 
as being one of the items which must be 
prepared for and taken care of prior to any 
flight. On this particular operation the 
Herman-Nelson heater, with air ducts lead- 
ing to the nose section and through the 
accessory section for a period of time, based 
on the outside temperature and wind con- 
ditions, would give sufficient heat for the 
engine to be turned over and started success- 
fully. Very few failures were met with due 
to the engine’s being too cold. The Herman- 
Nelson heater was satisfactory while used 
around camp; however, other facilities had 
to be prepared in event an aircraft was 
forced down and heat had to be applied 
to enable it to restart its engines for the 
return flight. That was taken care of by an 
engine warming tent being placed aboard 
the plane and various types of heating units 
such as the fire pot or plumber’s blowtorch 
which was considered sufficient for such an 
emergency. Oil dilution was used at all 
times. The oil was well diluted after the 
engine had started to cool and the oil- 
dilution system was turned on anywhere 
from 1 to 2 minutes, which seemed to be 
sufficient. Speaking of instruments, there 
was a noticeable lag in the reading of both 
pressure and temperature instruments while 
the plane was being warmed up, where 
normally the oil pressure would become 
operating pressure within very few minutes 
after the engine started. In the Antarctic 
120 we found the lag sometimes would extend 
to 15 minutes or more. That we feel was 
due to congealed oil in the lines which had 
to be warmed sufficiently for the oil to cir- 
culate through the various instruments at 
the pliable temperature and pressure. That 
at first would hold many pilots back where 
take-off or taxi could be begun before the 
gage was sufficiently high; however, in time 
the pilots became wise to that and as long as 
instruments would record satisfactory per- 
formance, allowance was made for that lag. 
The ski-wheel combination used for the 
C-47, made by the Federal Ski Company 
of Minneapolis, was made more or less as a 
compromise due to the fact that the plane 
had to take off from the deck of a carrier. 
These skis were approximately 12 feet long 
by approximately 48 inches wide, a slot in 
the ski being sufficient for the wheel to 
extend beneath the surface of the ski and 
also the oil cooler which is mounted on the 
bottom of the engine nacelle to extend 
through the ski when in the retracted posi- 
tion. This resulted in a double ski effect 
with the wheel extending between the two. 
The pressure bearing of the skis was such 
that in soft snow they would sink down to 
where operation would be questionable with 
a heavy load. This was counteracted by 
removing the wheel and placing a plate in 
the wheel slot for softer snow operations. It 
was not an entirely satisfactory arrangement 
because the resistance caused by such a wide 
area had a tendency to retard the movement 
over the ice surface of the ski. The plates 
were discarded in some cases and we re- 
sorted to just the double runner ski, which 
I believe is the most efficient. I would 
recommend that if aircraft of this type were 
used again that a ski be designed along the 
same principle, but allowance be made for 
greater bearing surface, increasing the length 
of the ski more than increasing the width. 
Based on the principle of a large truck, it 
is more efficient with a double wheel than 
with one large wheel, causing more re- 
sistance. The sticking of the ski, or the 
plane being broken loose so it could taxi, 
presented quite a problem. Possibly re- 
search could be made in devising some 
method by which the ski could be broken 
loose from the surface—by a wire dragged 
under the surface of the ski or some means 
that could jar it loose. We conquered that 
problem to a great extent while operating 
from the base by having the planes taxi upon 
a large piece of plywood under which were 
some 2- by 6-inch planks. The plywood was 
covered with a coating of Diesel oil which 
made the sticking far less than on the normal 
ice surface. In addition to that, it is highly 
recommended that large wooden mauls or 
sledges be carried along to strike a ski and 
break them loose. These had been used 
on previous expeditions down here and I 
would recommend that they be carried as 
regular plane equipment. The mechanic 
or one of the members of the crew, at the 
last moment, can strike the skis with the 
maul and so break them loose. Once the 
ski was broken loose and the plane taxied, 
you had little or no trouble maintaining 
headway, and the take-off itself was no great 
problem. JATO was used and no doubt 
was a great help. However, take-offs could 
be made with loads exceeding 32,000 pounds 
in some cases without the aid of JATO, 
which presented a problem inasmuch as it 
was considered unsafe for use at 30° below 
zero, F. Our operations were never quite 
that low, but we were getting down to the 
point where its safety was questionable. 
Maintenance of planes presents a problem 
in Arctic and Antarctic conditions, inasmuch 
as the work is slow and uncomfortable. 
The efficiency of the men is slowed down, 
regardless of how willing workers they may 
be. A certain recommendation along that 
line could be considered: provide an engine 
765274—48 9 
121 work tent which could be placed over the 
entire engine, coming down and including 
the ski assembly, and hanging down over the 
wings. Heat applied either through a Her- 
man-Nelson or through various types of 
blow-pots or stoves, would make it a much 
more comfortable operation. The actual 
mechanics of maintenance checks present no 
real difficulty when the men are comfortable 
and when sufficient tools are available. In air 
operations navigation presents an entirely new 
problem. The inverse grid Magrader chart 
with the inverse grid computer was used suc- 
cessfully. The astral or sun compass was the 
final means of check. The question be- 
tween the astral and sun compass is still a 
moot question. There are several advan- 
tages to both types. The magnetic compass, 
although sluggish and slow to react in a 
great many cases, especially near the mag- 
netic pole, is nevertheless a valuable instru- 
ment. The variations are fairly well known 
in this area and by applying the best known 
variations, a fairly good course can be set. 
Sun sights were relatively accurate. A line 
of position could be varied greatly, but as a 
means of check, I would say it is definitely 
worth considering. The communications for 
our particular set-up were not as efficient as 
we would have liked them. Whether this 
was due to being based on the ice itself, I am 
not in a position to say. Possibly if the ships 
had been in the immediate vicinity we would 
have had a greater range for our communica- 
tions. CW work was fairly reliable; we 
could communicate by CW to a distance 
exceeding 600 miles. But for the homing 
and for voice communications the set-up at 
that time was not used very much, as we 
could not get the range desirable. 
It is highly recommended for future air 
operations that great care and planning be 
given to establishing radio range of sufficient 
strength of 200 to 300 miles. In addition 
to the radio range, the YR should be of 
sufficient power that the radio compass could 
pick up the stations 200 to 300 miles distant. 
The greater the range the better, and for let 
down a GCA or GPN, preferably GCA 
equipment should be installed and set up 
with sufficient range to allow for the phe- 
nomenal area of navigation coming back. 
The percent overcast days is great in the 
Antarctic and the GCA would be of the 
utmost value in bringing the pilots in. A 
GPN was installed at Little America and on 
numerous occasions proved of great value in 
bringing the planes in and orienting the pilots 
prior to sight contact of the landing area. 
In this connection some remarks should be 
recorded as well as some of the difficulties 
encountered in flight due to icing or mechan- 
ical difficulties and material failures. Icing 
was encountered when entering clouds or in 
icing conditions, snow crystals, moisture, etc. 
Even at extreme low temperatures when 
flying through clouds, icing would collect on 
the propeller. Incidentally there were few 
cases of wing icing except when over the 
water areas or when the temperature was 
such that moisture could form in the air. 
The props, however, did pick up some ice 
and ice formed on the inner and outer sur- 
faces of the windshield. The inner surfaces 
iced up due mainly to the pilot’s breath. 
This could be combatted if the defrosting 
unit had sufficient heat thrown against the 
surface to melt it away. In a great many 
cases this was not the case and we had to 
resort to chamois skins soaked in alcohol to 
wipe the ice away from the windshield. The 
carburetor heat was used wherever condi- 
tions indicated its necessity and no case of 
carburetor icing-up was recorded on this 
operation. We had certain instrument fail- 
ures due to lines carrying away, possibly 
caused by particles of ice forming and rup- 
turing the line; we had considerable trouble 
with the winter propellers, surging of the 
propellers, and in one case tendency to 
122 flatten out the pitch of the propeller, causing 
delayed force action. We had various mate- 
rial failures with the ski, mainly the ski 
stabilizer. The material used on the ski 
stabilizer and the arms supporting it was 
too thin a gage of metal, and in one case we 
had as many as five failures after landing. 
I say after landing, because the stabilizers 
dropped off after the landing on the run- 
way, either while completing the landing run 
or taxiing back. They completely broke or 
fell off. The failure of that type was foreseen 
and preventives were installed on the ski as 
a safety measure, which in this case proved 
a very wise precaution. 
In connection with flying, I would like to 
point out the desirability of having advanced 
weather stations 200 or 300 miles out if pos- 
sible, and if the scope of the operation would 
allow, have these weather stations equipped 
to act as rescue bases with sufficient food, 
clothing and a supply of fuel to enable a 
plane, if forced down in the vicinity, to be 
replenished with supplies, or at least rescue 
personnel. That comes under the scope of 
the operation plan. To make a successful 
weather station, communication facilities 
should include a portable range or facilities 
for the pilot’s finding the station and letting 
down, as the overcast is such that he may 
fly over it many, many times without actu- 
ally sighting it, and also facilities at this sta- 
tion for extended ground rescue operations. 
Another subject which possibly should be 
considered in planning an operation of this 
type is the spare tools and equipment to be 
carried. I will not go into detail about the 
spares or the equipment, but I would like to 
point out that such articles as starters, car- 
buretors, generators, etc., do fail when oper- 
ating under conditions such as this. The 
accessories should be readily assembled to 
replace an entire unit rather than to try to 
make field repairs. As an example, starters 
are under great strain when turning over an 
engine that is stiff. These spares should, of 
course, be kept in a cache near a shop ready 
for use when the occasion demands or 
available to send out to a plane if forced 
down, using aircraft or tractors and sleds 
if they are sufficient to haul out the necessary 
equipment. A word in marking supplies 
should be placed here. When unloading 
from a ship, the method of checking material, 
keeping track of it, protecting it from the 
elements, and placing it in position where it 
can readily be found, even though a blizzard 
should cause enough snowdrift to cover it 
over, are all questions which must be consid- 
ered and prepared for. Tools, for instance, 
are very easily lost; a tool laid carelessly 
alongside a plane where work is being 
carried on could easily be covered over with 
snow in a very short time if drift conditions 
occur, and once it is lost it is lost forever. 
The percent of tools and equipment lost 
under any condition in the Antarctic is 
extremely high. 
As executive officer of the base, one of the 
big problems I had to contend with was 
mustering the men and keeping track of their 
whereabouts. Mustering the men presented 
quite a difficulty. We had very poor com- 
munication facilities, and for any one person 
to call around to each tent individually was 
really a morning’s work. I would highly 
recommend that field communications be 
set up—telephones, walkie-talkies, or other 
sufficient means of communication. Trans- 
portation presented quite a problem, mainly 
from the aviation standpoint. Tractors and 
vehicles must be made available to haul 
supplies and equipment and to tow gasoline 
and oil to the aircraft. Many times, planes 
coming in for refueling or to be supplied 
would have to wait, men would have to be 
rounded up, tractors or vehicles made avail- 
able to take care of their wants. All in all, 
I believe a more efficient set-up for commu- 
nication and transportation could be devised. 
123 I believe there are great possibilities for 
gliders in the Antarctic. I am not prepared 
to go into the mechanics of glider operation; 
however, I do feel that for supplying advanced 
stations or assisting men from a wrecked 
plane, or in bringing in supplies to a stranded 
party, they have great possibilities, and 
I am firmly convinced that the glider has a 
place in Antarctic or Arctic operations and 
Army observer. 
In regard to the plane crew, what is your 
feeling concerning trained observers for 
exploratory flying? 
Lt. Comdr. McCoy. 
Trained observers are necessary. If you 
had planes which could possibly carry a 
crew of six, the ideal crew would include the 
pilot, co-pilot, navigator, observer (trained), 
radio operator, and photographer. How- 
ever, as we were handicapped by the limita- 
tions on the weight, we had to restrict our 
crew to five. Had the pilot or co-pilot, for 
instance, been a trained observer, a great 
many observations could be made and 
recorded in such a manner it would have 
been of far greater value to us than the 
recordings which we received, which in a 
great many cases were vague and unreliable. 
SECTION VI. Air Operations Logs—Central, Eastern, 
and Western Groups 
1. Air Operations Log, Central Group. 
Times and dates are G. c. t. 
Flight objective 
23 Jan 
Campbell - Shirley; 
Photo famil.... 
First flight from snow field at LA. 
24 Jan 
24 Jan 
25 Jan 
26 Jan 
Mini- A 11 isnn 
Fam i 1 
Fam i 1 
No flight—JA down for starter 
27 Jan 
28 Jan 
29 Jan 
No operations due to weather. 
Snow test hop by JA—McCoy. 
30 Jan 
Philippine Sea 
to Little 
30 Jan 
.... do 
30 Jan 
.... do 
30 Jan 
.... do 
30 Jan 
.... do 
30 Jan 
Commo trouble. Cockpit fog. 
31 Jan 
1 Feb 
2 Feb 
3 Feb 
4 Feb 
No operations due to weather. 
124 Date 
5 Feb 
5 Feb 
Various hops by 
Flight objective 
Photo famil.... 
Para jump 
Shot of Bay of Whales, etc. 
Jump by 1st Sgt. London. 
5 Feb 
Checking out. 
6 Feb 
Check out and 
famil. hops. 
Check nut nnrl 
6 Feb 
Jump by C. B. M. Johnson. 
No hops—preparing all planes for 
No operations—all planes ready for 
take-off. Test take-off JATO— 
1,200 gal. 
No operations. 
First operational flight out. 
No operations due to weather. 
6 Feb 
7 Feb 
famil. hops. 
Para jump. 
Check out and 
famil. hops. 
8 Feb 
9 Feb 
10 Feb 
10 Feb 
11 Feb 
11 Feb 
1 2 Feb 
1 3 Feb 
1 4 Fc>b 
14 Feb 
1 4 Fc>b 
1 4 Fc>b 
15 Feb 
1 5031 5 
1 51 321 
1 5 Feb 
1 51321 
1 5 Feb 
1 5 Feb 
1 6 Feb 
So. Pole. 
1 6 Feb 
1 7 Feb 
Ret. due weather. 
1 7 Feb 
Ret., eng. trouble. 
Photo Mt. Erebus. 
1 7 Feb 
1 8 Feb 
Ret., eng. trouble. 
Photo Discovery Inlet. 
No operations due to weather. 
Ret. due weather. 
1 8 Feb 
1 9 Feb 
20 Feb 
20 Feb 
20 Feb 
99 Feb 
Made M. A. D. 
hop in area 
of Rockefeller 
22 Feb 
Ret. due weather. 
2. Air Operations Log, Eastern Group. 
Times and dates are G. c. t. 
Type Name 
Flight objective 
25 Dec 
26 Dec 
27 Dec 
28 Dec 
29 Dec 
Ice recon (Pine Is.) 252102. 68.3. 
No flights due weather. 
G1 NR1 
Recon photo 
CTG 68.3 Observer. 
125 Date 
(1946) Type 
Flight objective 
30 Dec 
Recon photo ... 
30 Dec 
CO P. I. Observer. Overdue since 
31 Dec 
Last est. posit, at 301 948-71-22S, 
99-30 W. No flights due wea. 
Overdue. Preparing for rescue 
1 Jan 
No flights due weather. Assem- 
bling PBM—3G. Estimated time 
completion 051700Z. 
2 Jan 
Preparing for flight. Hoisted out G2. 
Boat failed alongside ship, causing 
plane to strike ship, damaging 
part wing tip, part aileron, and 
part deicer. Estimate in commis- 
sion by 030900Z. 
6 Jan 
Returned due to weather. 
6 Jan 
68.3 on board. Negative Search 
and Rescue (68.3 070902) Ob- 
lique Photo. 
7 Jan 
7 Jan 
8 Jan 
. . Test 
Recalled due to weather. 
. ■ Test 
No results, fog ceiling. 
9 Jan 
. . Search 
Turned back—bad weather. 
10 Jan 
11 Jan 
No flights due weather. 
Ice recon. 
Ice recon 
11 Jan 
Search and res- 
Found Gl and 6 survivors 111729 
(DNR) at 71-03S, 98-47W. 3 
dead. Survival gear dropped by 
G2. Survivors 10 miles from open 
water. Trail marked by G2 to 
open water over survivors at 
120000. Landed 120207. 
Howell and Conger ashore in raft. 
Party 2 miles from beach. Fog 
set in at 0614Z. Thin ice necessi- 
tates shifting of plane occasion- 
ally. Fog between plane and 
beach. 1 21 257 commenced pick- 
ing up survivors. 121424 air- 
borne. 121643 landed at P. 1. 
11 Jan 
12 Jan 
1 3 Jan 
1 4 Jan 
1 5 Jan 
16 Jan 
17 Jan 
18 Jan 
19 Jan 
No flights due weather. 
Ice rccon 
H03S-1 Bu No 57996 settled in 
water on approach due icing main 
rotor. No injury personnel. HO 
total loss. Crash boat rescued 
personnel within 1 minute. 
20 Jan 
21 Jan 
22 Jan 
23 Jan 
24 Jan 
No flights—due weather. 
Desp 241145 met walker circled 
1 5000 chart V30-107 coast south. 
126 Date 
24 Jan 
25 Jan 
26 Jan 
26 Jan 
27 Jan 
28 Jan 
29 Jan 
30 Jan 
31 Jan 
1 Fob 
Flight objective 
Desp 241 351 sighted Mt “X” range. 
No flights. 
Filling in gap between 11 0° W and 
Norville range. 
No flights—maint and weather. 
No flights—weather. 
1 . . 
9 Fob 
3 Fob 
4 Fob 
5 Fob 
6 Fob 
7 Fob 
8 Feb 
2. . 
. , Photo 
Photo hop to Charcot Is. 
Turned bnrk duo tn wonthor 
9 Feb 
9 Feb 
1 0 Fob 
2. . 
1 . . 
Photo—returned due to weather. 
No flights—due weather. 
11 Feb 
1 9 Fob 
1 3 Feb 
Do. Moving to Marg Bay. 
3. Air Operations Log, Western Group. 
Times and dates are G. c. t. 
Flight objective 
24 Dec 
. . Rernn 
Limited recon: Test of comma, aerol- 
ogy, etc. Fueling drill. 
25 Dec 
No operations. 
31 Dec 
1 Jan 
Recon of Blleny Grp. Weather 
prevented reaching Cont. 
Recon Oates Coast. Found moun- 
2 Jan 
2 Jan 
tains of 10,000-ft. Mountains 
between capes Cheetham and 
Williams 8,000 ft. Secured flight 
—both radio altimeters went out. 
3 Jan 
4 Jan 
4 Jan 
5 Jan 
No operations—weather. 
First mapping,- anoxia causes fatigue 
at 1 3,550 feet. 
. . Photo 
. . Photo 
Capt Bond Observer—sec CTF 68.2 
051 340. 
6 Jan 
060250 061010Z 
Capt Clark Observer. 
7 Jan 
Attempted flight. Operations to 
scout pack ahead of 68.1. No 
results due weather. FHoisted out 
3 times. 
9 Jan 
1 0 Jan 
I 0 Jan 
II Jan 
12 Jan 
No flights—weather. 
Ret due weather. No practical 
recon made. 
. . 1 rc> rprnn 
. . !rc> rc>ron 
No flights. 
Eastern search to 74°S. 
Ice recon 
127 Date 
Flight objective 
1 2 Jan 
Ice recon 
Western search to 74°S. 
Nn Flights—dnc> wenther. 
1 4 Jnn 
Nn flights—due wenther. 
1 S Jnn 
1 7 Jnn 
1 Q Jnn 
20 Jan 
Flnisted out Nn operations due 
21 Jan 
Photo . 
Mapped coast 1 36° to 1 29-30. 
21 Jan 
Rugged nav. Burst rotor on FH03S 
during strong wind. 
99 Jnn 
24 Jan 
9S Jnn 
FHnisfed in—due wenther 
26 Jan 
No report on results. 
26 Jan 
Dcsp 270256. Featureless plateau. 
26 Jan 
Desp 270838/ object 68-1 8,142-40 
E. Ice cap 8,500. 
27 Jan 
Cilnrier vnl|eys etr Fet 19. 
28 Jan 
Photo coast.... 
Coastal mapping in area 111 -1 30 E. 
28 Jan 
Coastal mapping in area 111-1 30 E. 
Desp 281 320. Fet 1 3. 
29 Jan 
30 Jan 
Coastal and continental rccon. 
31 Jan 
1 Feb 
No flights 
2 Feb 
Turned back—weather. 
3 Feb 
Nn flights—wenther 
4 Feb 
5 Feb 
6 Feb 
7 Feb 
8 Feb 
9 Feb 
1 0 Feb 
11 Feb 
Photo coast.... 
Coastal search 106° E. and 88° E. 
11 Feb 
Cont search 97° E. and 101°. to 
depth of 68° S. 
12 Feb 
1 3 Feb 
Photo coast. . . . 
Continental photo. 
1 3 Feb 
14 Feb 
No flights. 
21 Feb 
22 Feb 
. . Map coast 
Princess Raghnild coast from 16° E. 
to 50° E. 
22 Feb 
23 Feb 
No flights. 
24 Feb 
25 Feb 
26 Feb 
Map coast 
56° E. to 70° E. coastal. 
27 Feb 
Map coast 
27 Feb 
Photo coast.... 
69° to 71-30°. 
128 CHAPTER 6 
Since Army observers assigned to Task 
Force 68 included communications and trans- 
portation (Tank Corps) officers, this chapter 
will not go into details regarding these 
subjects relative to search and rescue opera- 
tions. Emergency communications and util- 
ization of ground vehicles available for 
rescue operations within Task Force 68 are 
well covered respectively by the observers 
mentioned above. 
In setting down a rescue plan for any future 
Army venture to the Antarctic similar in 
scope and nature to Task Force 68, this 
chapter does not go into the technical 
aspects or recommendations on both subjects 
mentioned above. This observer feels that 
these topics should be covered by those who 
have a better technical understanding of 
these subjects. 
SECTION I. Task Force 68 Search and Rescue Plan 
The plan for search and rescue operations 
outlined in this section is as given in Opera- 
tion Plan No. 2-46, Operation “HIGH- 
JUMP,” U. S. Atlantic Fleet, Commander 
Task Force SIXTY-EIGHT. 
1. Communication Plan. 
a. Rescue Frequencies. 
Primary Secondary Purpose 
3965 kc. 4125 kc. Rescue circuit. This 
frequency will be 
guarded by all 
ships, planes, Wea- 
sels, dog teams, 
boats, and the base 
when involved in 
rescue operations. 
8280 kc. 500 kc. Gibson Girl emer- 
gency transmis- 
b. Rescue Communications and Aids. (1) All 
plane emergency kits will be equipped with 
Gibson Girl radio transmitters operating on 
500 and 8280 kc. All ships and planes 
engaged in rescue operations during the 
search period will maintain a watch on these 
frequencies as well as on the regular rescue 
(2) Plane emergency kits shall also carry a 
radar corner reflector so as to assist the search 
units in locating by radar any unit forced 
(3) In event rescue operations become 
necessary, four Weasels and two dog sleds 
are radio equipped for communication on 
the rescue circuit. A number of Walkie 
Talkie sets are also available as may be 
required for short range work. All planes 
and ships involved in rescue operations will 
put a watch on the rescue circuit. 
(4) Boats involved in rescue 
will carry Walkie Talkie equipment, as well 
as SCR-610 equipment, to enable them to 
communicate with planes in the immediate 
129 vicinity on the rescue circuit. In event long 
range operations are required of the boats, 
they must be equipped with field equipment 
as, for instance, a TBX equipment for com- 
munication outside the range of the SCR- 
c. Base Operations. Four Weasels will be 
radio equipped for construction, trail, and 
rescue operations. 
d. Radar. Air search radars will be manned 
by parent vessels whenever planes are air- 
borne. The senior ship expecting planes in 
their area, even though passing by, will have 
air search radars manned. Radar plots of all 
planes will be maintained insofar as possible. 
2. Rescue Plan for Eastern and Western 
Rescue of personnel shall be effected by the 
most appropriate of the following methods: 
a. In Water. (1) Employing DD using a 
rescue basket. 
(2) Employing ships’ boats. 
(3) Employing SOC or PBM aircraft if 
water landing area is available. 
b. On Sea Ice. (1) Employing ships’boats. 
(2) Employing helicopter landing on ice. 
(3) Landing a rescue party from boats. 
c. On Continent. PBM to locate downed 
plane, report its position, and make supply 
drops as necessary. Request assistance of 
ski-planes of Central Group and for dog 
teams if within 900 miles of Little America. 
Using parachute drops of extra gasoline 
from PBM, making use of H03S helicopter 
to evacuate forced-down personnel. 
3. Rescue Plan for Central Group. 
Rescue of personnel shall be effected by 
the most appropriate of the following 
a. In Water. (1) Employing ships’ boats 
(fig. 144). 
(2) Employing J2F from Northwind (fig. 
b. On Ross Shelf Ice. (1) Employing trac- 
tors and/or dog teams (fig. 146). 
(2) Employing Norseman (JA) on skis 
(fig. 147). 
(3) Employing helicopters and J2F (figs. 
148 and 149). 
c. On Antarctic Continent. (1) Employing 
Norseman on skis. 
(2) Employing R4D on skis carrying dog 
teams and sled (fig. 150). 
(3) Employing H03S helicopter and fuel 
parachute drops from R4D. 
(4) The R4D’s and PBM’s will be equip- 
Figure 144. Personnel and cargo small boat from the 
U. S. S. "Mount Olympus." 
figure 145. Navy J2F type aircraft attached to 
U. S. C. G. "Northwind" (ice breaker). 
130 ped with sufficient survival gear and food 
so that in case of a forced landing on the 
Antarctic Continent the crew of the plane 
will be self-sufficient for at least 30 days. 
(5) It is planned to carry portable radio 
equipment on rescue boats, Weasels, and dog 
sleds, using 3965 kc. as primary rescue 
frequency and 4125 kc. as secondary com- 
munication between planes, sleds, and 
(6) In case rescue operations become 
necessary, the Operations Duty Officer will 
notify the Task Force Commander, the Chief 
of Staff, and the Air Operations Officer and 
await instructions. 
4. Flight Safety Measures. 
a. Flight operations shall be conducted to 
pursue aggressively the exploration of the 
Antarctic Continent with minimum risk to 
b. It is planned to conduct most opera- 
tional flights with not more than five or less 
than two planes, in which case the following 
safety measures will apply: 
(1) Maintain half-hourly radio contact 
between adjacent planes. 
(2) As long as contact with adjacent plane 
is maintained continue flight plan even 
Figure 146. Dog team (nine dogs to team) showing 
cargo type sled with gee pole. 
Figure 147. Norseman (C-64) type aircraft. This 
was the only aircraft specifically designated for 
search and rescue operations. 
Figure 148. R-4 type helicopter scouting for leads in 
the ice pack to aid ship navigation through pack. 
Figure 149. R-5 type helicopter landing on flight deck 
of aircraft carrier U. S. S. “Philippine Sea." 
131 Figure 150. R4D (Army C-47) type aircraft on skis. 
though communication with CTG 68.1 is 
(3) If plane-to-plane contact is lost both 
by direct communication and via relay 
through CTG 68.1, plane shall return to base. 
(4) In the case of a. single plane flight, 
half-hourly contact will be maintained with 
CTG 68.1. Should contact be lost but radio 
equipment be in good operating condition, 
flight should be continued along planned 
(5) If it becomes necessary for any plane 
to deviate from flight plan because of weather 
or terrain and his intentions cannot be com- 
municated to base, plane shall return to base 
via reverse track. 
(6) Rescue measures will be initiated by 
CTG 68.1 for any plane one-half hour over 
E. T. A., that is not in radio contact with 
CTG 68.1. 
c. Lost planes will be guided to base by 
use of appropriate equipment as indicated 
in paragraph 5. 
d. For all seaplane take-offs and landings, 
parent vessels will have a crash and rescue 
boat manned and standing by approximately 
132 halfway down and well clear of the landing 
or take-off run. Crash and rescue boats shall 
be equipped as follows: 
(1) Medical equipment and personnel as 
per CTF 68 instructions. 
(2) Two life rings and lines. 
(3) Rescue kit containing metal shears, 
bolt cutters, and snips for quick extraction 
of trapped personnel. 
(4) Radio equipment tuned to rescue 
5. Lost Plane and Low Visibility Pro- 
a. If a plane should become lost due to 
weather or other navigational difficulties, 
the following equipment will be available 
for homing by planes: 
(1) Two YR beacons at base (continuous 
MO’s) used in conjunction with plane ADF. 
(2) Beacon at base used in conjunction 
with plane radar. 
(3) ZB/YG on ships in Bay of Whales. 
(4) MO transmissions by ships in Bay of 
Whales (414/444 Kc). 
b. In case plane desires that ship take over 
homing the following equipment may be 
used as appropriate: 
(1) Plane send MO’s on 414/444 Kc. (Use 
trailing wire antenna.) 
(2) Ship conn planes in using SK or SP 
c. In case the weather at base necessitates 
a low visibility approach, the GCA unit at 
the base will be given control by CTF 68 at 
an appropriate time and planes will be landed 
using standard GCA “Talk Down” pro- 
d. Voice communications will be used 
when possible, 
6. R4D Aircraft Emergency Equipment. 
a. Emergency equipment to be carried on 
flights when flight is to be made away from 
immediate vicinity of the base camp. 
Item Unit 
Sleeping bags 1 per man. 
Parachutes 1 per man. 
Skis and ski poles 1 pr. per man. 
Ski boots 1 pr. per man. 
Extra socks 2 pr. per man. 
Extra mitts and liners 2 pr. per man. 
Mountain tents 1 for every two 
Alpine or Manila rope, 8 oz. per 100 ft. 
ft. or 1 2 thread. 
Sled and man harness 1 set. 
Engine warming tent* 2, 
Engine warming stove* 2. 
Can, 5-gal. for oil drain* 16. 
Funnel and hose* 2 sets. 
Stoves, cooking 1 for every three 
Mess gear 1 set per man. 
Rations for 30 days 1 per man. 
Trail radio or Gibson Girl 1. 
Waterproof matches 1 carton. 
First aid kit 1 kit. 
Tool kit 1 kit. 
Shovels 2. 
Saws 2. 
Maul (wooden, circle)* 1. 
*ln case skis are not used, these items may be omitted. 
b. Survival gear to be carried in JA-1 
(Norseman, C-64) at all times. 
Quantity Item Weight 
1 Shovel 4 lbs. 
1 Saw 2 lbs. 
4 5-gal. oil cans 8 lbs. 
1 Funnel and hose 2 lbs. 
1 Engine tent and cover. ,. . 10 lbs. 
1 50‘ length Manila line. . . 7 lbs. 
1 Plumbers blow pot 10 lbs. 
1 2-gal. can clear gas 14 lbs. 
1 set Deadmen and lines 5 lbs. 
1 First aid kit 2 lbs. 
1 set Dye markers 3 lbs. 
1 Cook stove 6 lbs. 
1 box Waterproof matches 1 lb. 
1 set Tools 20 lbs. 
1 Mountain two-man tent. . 10 lbs. 
Total weight 104 lbs. 
For each person in plane (including pilots) 
the following survival gear will be provided: 
(Pilot/passenger) 200 lbs. 
30-day ration 105 lbs. 
Sleeping bag 5 lbs. 
Skis and boots 15 lbs. 
Additional clothing 5 lbs. 
Total weight. 330 lbs. 
133 Weight 
Basic weight of plane, including 
NavGear 5,000 lbs. 
Permanent survival gear 104 lbs. 
Two pilots and gear 660 lbs. 
242 gal. gas and 20 gal. oil 1,602 lbs. 
Total weight 7,366 lbs. 
Gross weight permissible 7,400 lbs. 
Useful load remaining 44 lbs. 
With the above loading there would be 
insufficient pay load left to carry one 
passenger with attendant gear. Pay load 
must be obtained at the sacrifice of range 
(reduction of gas load). 
Rescue conditions will dictate variations 
in the above loading as deemed necessary 
by the officer conducting the mission. 
c. Emergency gear for ship-based planes. 
1 life raft. 
1 Gibson Girl.* 
1 emergency rations for 1 week for each passenger. 
1 set skis and boots for each passenger.* 
1 first aid kit. 
1 set dye markers. 
1 cook stove. 
1 box waterproof matches. 
1 set tools. 
1 shovel. 
1 mountain 2-man tent. 
*Need not be carried in HON/H03S or HOS unless flight to 
extend beyond line of sight distance. 
d. Radius of action for aircraft. 
R4D—As ordered. 
JA—300 miles. 
J2F—200 miles. 
HOS—Sight contact with parent vessel. 
H03S—50 miles. 
Emergency flights may require an exten- 
sion of above limitations if within safe fuel 
limitations. Helicopter must be accom- 
panied by planes equipped for polar naviga- 
tion if operated beyond above limitations. 
Helicopters will not be permitted to take 
off if weather is below standard contact 
minimums (3-mi. vis., 1,000-ft. ceiling). 
7. Instructions for Pilots Operating the 
1A-1 Aircraft (Rescue Aircraft). 
Presumably the first plane to be operated 
extensively by the Central Group will be 
the Noorduyn Norseman (JA-1) on skis. It 
is anticipated that familiarization flights, 
photo flights, reconnaissance flights, etc., 
will be requested soon after our arrival. 
After the arrival of the R4D’s and the com- 
mencement of normal photo missions, the 
Norseman will be primarily a rescue plane and 
all other flights by the JA will, of course, 
be secondary in importance. Therefore, the 
character of flight performed by the Norse- 
man may be broadly categoried as “routine” 
and “rescue” and the instructions pertaining 
thereto are as follows: 
a. Routine Flights. (1) Plane shall not leave 
on any flight other than a test flight without 
two pilots. 
(2) Test flights shall not exceed gliding 
distance of base landing area. 
(3) All flights, other than tests, shall be 
cleared with both ship and base operations. 
Base must clear all test flights and inform ship. 
(4) Senior pilot of plane shall submit 
detailed flight plans to both ship and base 
operations, including time of take-off, elapsed 
time, track, speed, hours of fuel, altitude, etc. 
(5) Senior pilot shall insure that plane 
radios are operative and tuned to assigned 
(6) Survival gear indicated in the appendix 
hereto shall be carried as instructed therein. 
b. Emergency Rescue Flights. (1) After the 
commencement of flight operations with the 
R4D’s, the JA-1 may be used for routine 
flights only at the discretion of the officer in 
charge of the base camp. 
(2) Inasmuch as any rescue flight will 
present special problems, the loading of the 
Norseman will be as determined by the officer 
in charge of the base camp. 
(3) Pilots on all flights must constantly 
bear in mind the limited navigational gear 
available in the Norseman and plan their 
flights accordingly. There is no ADF, DF, 
or nonprecessing gyro in the Norseman: An 
astro compass provides the only dependable 
means of navigation, hence all flights will be 
restricted to CAVU weather. 
134 SECTION II. Aircraft Accidents 
1. Inasmuch as no aircraft accidents oc- 
curred within the phase of aircraft operations 
of the Central Group of Task Force 68 to 
which this observer was attached, it was not 
possible actually to witness and personally 
observe any search and rescue operations. 
However, three major aircraft accidents did 
occur within the Task Force. These are 
described in the following paragraphs. 
2. While on a photo reconnaissance mission, 
a PBM (Martin Mariner) type aircraft (fig. 
151) attached to the U. S, S. Pine Island 
(seaplane tender) of the Western Group of 
the Task Force crashed and burned, killing 
three of the nine crew members. Shortly 
after completion of the rescue operations, it 
was found necessary to amputate both lower 
legs of one of the survivors (Lt. LeBlanc, 
U. S. N.) at the site of election. The com- 
bined effects of freezing and fire resulted in 
a dry gangrene of sufficient magnitude to 
necessitate the operation. The following ac- 
count of the search and rescue operations is 
derived from messages received aboard the 
U. S. S. Mount Olympus of the Central Group, 
Flagship of the Task Force, located approxi- 
mately 1,800 miles west of the U. S. S. Pine 
Island at the time of the crash. 
Position of U. S. S. Pine Island at time of 
take-off of missing aircraft PBM-1: 
Latitude 66° 30' S. 
Longitude 98° 00' W. 
Take-off time: 301040Z (Dec 1946). 
ETA U. S. S. Pine Island: 302040Z 
Nine crew members aboard aircraft. 
Purpose of flight: Photo reconnaissance. 
Fuel supply: For 20 hours of flight. 
Estimated position 301225Z: Lat. 71° 22' S., 
long. 99° 20' W. 
Last msg. received from missing aircraft: 
600-1,000-FT. CEILING. WIND 
All times in Zebra. 
PBM-1: crashed aircraft. 
PBM-2: search and rescue aircraft from 
U. S. S. Pine Island. 
PBM-3: search and rescue aircraft from 
U. S. S. Pine Island. 
Due to bad weather searching flights were 
not possible until 6 January 1947. On this 
Figure 151. Navy type PBM (Martin Mariner) 
135 date one PBM took off from U. S. S. Pine 
Island on searching mission but results were 
The second flight for this same purpose 
was made on the day the crashed aircraft 
and survivors were located as related in 
following account of rescue operations: 
January 1947: 
111300Z PBM-2 (departed U. S. S. Pine 
Island (seaplane tender) on search 
for missing aircraft. 
111729Z PBM-2 reports burned wreckage 
and alive men at 71° 03' S., 98° 
47' W. 
111732Z Five men alive. 
111745Z Dropping survival gear by para- 
111748Z Lopez, Henderson, and Williams 
dead. Six alive and on feet. 
Plane disintegrated and burned. 
111823Z- PBM-3 ready for flight to join 
PBM-2. Plane contains extra set 
JATO bottles in electrically heat- 
ed jackets, large quantity dye 
markers and flags for marking 
trail, and additional aerial de- 
livery survival equipment. 
111858Z Crashed aircraft on edge of land 
10 miles from open water. Suit- 
able to land PBM in open water. 
111958Z PBM-3 departed U. S. S. Pine 
Island with two PhM/lc (Phar- 
macist Mate 1st class) on rescue 
111959Z Survivors communicating with 
PBM-2 by visual signals. Sur- 
vivors advised that PBM-3 en- 
route and bringing adequate 
emergency radio equipment to be 
dropped by parachute. 
112159Z Survivors departed crashed air- 
craft and walking 10 miles toward 
open water where rescue will be 
112342Z PBM-2 returning to U. S. S. 
Pine Island due shortage fuel. 
Permission granted PBM-3 to 
land in open water to effect rescue 
of survivors. 
120113Z PBM-2 returned to U, S. S. Pine 
120149Z Following information derived 
from PBM-2 crew: PBM-1 
crashed and burned. Port engine 
15 feet ahead of fuselage. Star- 
board engine ahead of plane in 
snow. Wings off. Fuselage broken 
in two near forward bunk room. 
Fuselage 60 percent burned amid- 
ship. Tail section crumpled. 
Wing tip floats and struts scattered 
over 150-yard radius. Survivors 
apparently living in forward com- 
partment of fuselage using para- 
chute silk for additional tent ma- 
terial. Appearance of sled and 
paint indicates food was salvaged. 
Believe no radio equipment was 
salvaged. Six men first sighted 
standing around fire waving flags 
and rubber life raft. On star- 
board wing tip, “Lopez, Hender- 
son, Williams dead” in yellow 
paint noted. Survivors were in- 
formed open water adequate for 
landing PBM aircraft 8 miles north 
of their position. Further advised 
that trail leading to open water 
would be marked for them from 
airplane. Advised to join hands 
if this message was understood. 
Survivors joined hands and stood 
on their heads to indicate they 
understood. Five of survivors ob- 
served walking, one being dragged 
on sled. At 112220Z when PBM- 
2 departed survivors for U. S. S. 
Pine Island, survivors had made 
good one-quarter distance to coast 
and open water. 
136 120204Z Plane crashed on Barrier of Thurs- 
ton Peninsular at 1,000 feet alti- 
tude on course 130° true. 
Note. Following survival equipment para- 
chuted to survivors from PBM-2 prior to 
return of aircraft to U. S. S. Pine Island: 
Item Unit 
Coleman heater . . 1 
Cans safety fuel 2 
Pyrotechnic projector 
Dye marker 1 
Box matches 1 
Goggles, pairs 6 
Rations, emergency cans 74 
Ammunition, rounds 100 
Nestles, large box 12 
Cigarettes, carton 7 
Whiskey, quart 2 
Acid, ascorbic tablets 900 
Vitamin, tablets 500 
Sulfadiazine, tablets 300 
Compass, wrist 
Knife, sheath 
Cooker, pressure 
Aspirins, bottle 
Surgical kit 1 
Rifle 1 
Item Unit 
Rations, life raft and boat 1 can 
Blankets 4 
Item Unit 
Socks, heavy 9 pr. 
Masks, face 5 
Mittens, leather 9 pr. 
Mittens, wool 9 pr. 
Underwear, heavy 9 suits 
Books, pocket 8 
Toilet paper 4 rolls 
Item Unit 
Gasoline 5 gal. 
Item Unit 
Tent, two-man 1 
Tent, pup 1 
Shovels, snow 2 
Thread line, 15-pound 100 feet 
120207Z PBM-3 landed in vicinity of sur- 
vivors in open water mentioned in 
above dispatch from PBM-2. 
120227Z Two crew members departed from 
PBM-3 in life raft for shore. Air- 
craft standing by in calm water. 
Weather perfect. 
120437Z PBM-3 on water took six sun 
shots, reported PBM-1 crashed 
approximately 20 miles from last 
plotted position when radio failed. 
Barrier edge 10 feet high. Lined 
with inquisitive penguins. 
120552Z Survivors approximately 2 miles 
from coast. Slow progress due 
rough terrain. 
Note. Additional information derived from 
PBM-2 crew following return to U. S. S. 
Pine Island: 
111629Z Wreckage sighted. Survival gear 
dropped before ground route to 
water edge decided upon. Plane 
looked as though it had skidded 
approximately 100 yards in snow. 
PBM-2 plotted safe course to 
water’s edge for survivors by drop- 
ping eight flags and four dye 
markers to indicate northward 
course. Survivors told to take 
time and conserve energy while 
proceeding to open water. Sur- 
vivors set out at brisk pace with 
occasional stops for rest. Route 
to water edge mostly downhill. 
Survivors following trail perfectly 
until time PBM-2 had to leave 
scene due to fuel shortage. 
120454Z PBM-3 finds it necessary to taxi 
plane occasionally to prevent thin 
scum of ice forming around air- 
craft while awaiting survivors. 
120614Z Lt. Comdr. Howell and PhM/lc 
Conger waiting on beach for 
arrival of survivors. 
121250Z Survivors aboard PBM-3. 
121335Z Survivors and injuries as follows: 
Caldwell, fractured nose; LeBlanc, 
face, hands, legs badly burned; 
765274—48 10 
137 Kearns, fractured right humerus, 
McCarty, laceration of scalp; Rob- 
bins, O. K.; Warr, laceration of 
121424Z PBM-3 airborne with survivors 
and all hands aboard. 
121643Z PBM-3 landed alongside U. S. S. 
Pine Island. 
Note. Report of events leading up to crash 
(as told by Lt. (jg) Kearns, who was at 
controls at time of crash): 
Immediately after number 7 track report 
Cape Dart, sighted one point on port bow, 
distance about 12 miles. Radar unreliable. 
After sighting land, changed course from 
180° to 160°. Increased altitude from 600 
to 1,000 feet. At this time sighted land dead 
ahead on starboard bow, with ceiling on 
mountain tops. Numerous snow squalls. 
To avoid flying into mountain, change 
course to 090°. On east heading, no dis- 
tinguishable horizon. Snow blended into 
overcast. Appeared as though plane flying 
into clouds. Plane put into shallow left 
turn and suddenly struck snow ledge. Plane 
bounced into air and full power was applied 
to engines. Plane was then flying under 
control. Plane put into further left turn 
to set course for U. S. S. Pine Island when 
suddenly plane exploded in air. Time ele- 
ment between striking ridge and explosion 
about 3 seconds. Believe friction on bottom 
of hull tank exploded gas in hull tank. 
Plane disintegrated in air as follows: 
a. Both wings, connected together, were 
separated from fuselage in air following ex- 
b. Fuselage blown apart in air and sepa- 
rated aft of aft deck. Forward section 
headed north 40 feet west of aft section. 
c. Wings, still held together, landed 80 
feet west of aft fuselage in new direction. 
d. Port engine landed 16 feet ahead of aft 
section fuselage. 
e. Starboard engine landed 18 feet west 
of wings. Wing tip floats and struts scat- 
tered about wings. Various parts of plane 
scattered over 100-yard area. 
/. Gasoline fire around forward section 
burned for about an hour, wing tanks burned, 
bomb bay tanks scorched but not burned. 
About 600 gallons of gasoline in bomb bay 
tanks available and later used for cooking. 
Note. Position of men in plane and what 
happened to them when plane crashed is 
described as follows by Lts. (jg) Kearns and 
a. Capt. Caldwell, in bow, was thrown 
backward by impact and then thrown clear 
of plane. 
b. Lt. (jg) LeBlanc was strapped into seat 
and was rendered unconscious by striking 
head against throttles. He remained in 
burning cockpit until removed by Lts. Kearns, 
Robbins, and Warr. LeBlanc’s clothing was 
on fire at this time. Entire pilot’s cockpit 
was in flames. Kearns unfastened LeBlanc’s 
safety belt and Robbins and Warr brought 
LeBlanc from the burning plane. 
c. Lt. (jg) Kearns in co-pilot’s seat and in 
control of the aircraft did not have his safety 
belt secured and was thrown clear of the 
cockpit through the windshield. 
d. Robbins, ARM/2c (aviation radioman, 
second class) at his position by the radar 
screen was thrown clear of the plane. 
e. Ensign Lopez, at the navigator’s table, 
was killed instantly. 
/. Henderson, ARM/lc (aviation radio- 
man, first class) was at the radio panel and 
was killed instantly and thrown clear of the 
g. Williams, AMM/lc (aviation machinist 
mate, first class), standing at flight engineer’s 
panel, was thrown clear of plane, but died 
from multiple injuries approximately 2 hours 
h. Warr, AMMAC/2c (aviation machinist 
mate, combat crewman) was at flight engi- 
138 neer’s control panel. His safety belt was not 
secured and he was thrown clear of the plane. 
i. McCarty, CPhoM (chief photographer’s 
mate), was at his station in tunnel of plane. 
Was rendered unconscious but recovered 
sufficiently to drag himself from tunnel to 
waist compartment after crash. Further 
questioning revealed that top of forward 
fuselage section was blown off. 
Note. Following information disclosed by 
Lt. Comdr. Howell, pilot of PBM-3 which 
returned survivors to U. S. S. Pine Island: 
PBM-2 was directed to return to the U. S. 
S. Pine Island before PBM-3 arrived over the 
survivors. This was due to fuel shortage of 
PBM-2. PBM-3 navigation problem to 
location of survivors made easy by informa- 
tion supplied by PBM-2 on position of crash. 
Arrived over survivors 35 minutes after 
PBM-2 had departed. Survivors first seen by 
PBM-3 one-quarter distance from crashed 
plane to open water. Five men were ob- 
served to be dragging sled. Several passes 
were made between survivors and evacuation 
point. Survival gear, along with “Walkie- 
Talkie” radio was parachuted along route. 
Thirty-five American flags on metal shafts 
and twenty-two dye markers were dropped 
along route to mark route. It was learned 
later that flags on staffs made good markers 
but only one dye marker was seen by 
the survivors. Survivors instructed, visually, 
to continue on marked course to water’s 
edge. PBM-3 then landed to conserve fuel. 
Comdr. Howell and Conger rowed ashore 
in a seven-man life raft with selected sur- 
vival gear and twenty-five additional flags .

End of Part 1