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Operation Deep Freeze III-1963 Antarctica-Step Dads Pictures-pic heavy

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posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 07:40 PM
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My step father passed away at 86 about 5 months ago. He was an engineer that handled micro-wave transmissions for a large television station here in Michigan along with working on the robotic cameras in the studio and oddly enough digging ear wax out of the little communication ear pieces that the news casters wear.
He was also a National Guardsman in the 1960's. He lived close to us so we visited often. On a blistering cold winters day my daughter and I were visiting him and while we were talking, she found an old stuffed penguin on a shelf in the living room. The heavy kinda scary looking penguin had a ribbon that said Deep Freeze III.


He saw the penguin and told us that was from his expedition to Antarctica. And all 14 men got a commemorative stuffed animal penguin when the 8 month expedition to Antarctica was complete. His team was working in tandem with an Argentinian crew that he had nothing nice to say about. I think the main reason he did not like the 10 Argentinians was they burned down the quonset hut with all the fresh vegetables in it. Unfortunately the Argentinians sleeping quarters was attached to the fresh veggys hut and they neglected to maintain the fuel oil stove that heated their little sleeping quarters, it caught fire burning all the fresh food. So the whole group had no fresh anything for 8 months. All canned food for the remaining 6 months he said.
My step dad described the quonset huts as about 45 feet wide and varied in length. One had nothing but stack after stack of plexi glass, I think they attempted to build a green house type building (1950's) but it failed miserably. Another hut had nothing but pallet after pallet of beer he said it was frozen and no good. Still another hut had pork and beef 1/2's froze solid and another had canned goods of all sorts. They also had a balloon filling hut that the doors were blown off at least once from the tech not grounding the hydrogen filled balloon properly when filling. No real harm other than blown ear drums and damaged pride.
My step dad's main responsibility was to maintain/repair the electronic devices that were attached to the big hydrogen filled Mylar balloons and keep the antenna array up. He also spent a pretty large amount of time on the hydrogen generator.
Funny story he told us, well sort of. He rode aboard a ice breaker to get to the Antarctica outpost (he told me what ice shelf it was on but sadly I can't recall) and they got stuck on the ice. So they had to dynamite the ice so the ship could get going again. So they stacked a "reasonable" pile of dynamite on the ice well in front of the ice breaker and ran the cords a safe distance away. While they were prepping the detonator a bunch of curious penguins ran up and started poking around the dynamite. Being 1963 and I'm sure on a schedule, they blew the pile and he said there were penguins flying 100's feet in the air. He said his friends, the Argentinians, flew absolute crap c-47's that he would not set foot on. And if I remember right the Argentinians landed at the outpost.
I was elected to go through the pictures so I was handed 3 big ass boxes full of pictures mixed with personal paperwork mixed in. Just an aside, if you are getting older take an afternoon and write who is who on the backs of pictures. It saves the person who gets 3 huge boxes of pictures from playing guess that relative leading to a huge pile of pictures and I have no clue to who is who.
Sorry, off track there for a minute. While digging in the last box I found a really old envelope that is not like all the others. Inside were 11 color photos and negatives for 12 photos. The only developed pic that is missing is one of the guy who blew his ear drum filling the hydrogen balloon that blew up. I will try to get this picture developed later and post. One of the printed pics is too fuzzy, it looks like a pic of the antenna array.
I scanned the pics and attached.
This is the negative of the missing picture. It is the picture on the right it seems to be a picture of the tech that had his ear drum burst when the balloon exploded from improper grounding.


I wish that I could have talked to my step dad before he passed so he could clue me in on what these pictures were. Here are the clear ones.




I think this is my step dad working on the antenna. He said he spent a lot of time on this sort of work.






Up until the point my daughter found the penguin I had no idea he had served in the Guard, let alone Antarctica. I do recall a full extreme cold weather gear out fit he had. We did find that too, but the mice had made meals out of it-that's sad. I'm just glad to have these few pictures.




posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 07:53 PM
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Wow! What an amazing family history, thank you for sharing...really, really cool. Great pics!



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 08:02 PM
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There's nothing like that "whaaaat!? so and so from our family did (insert story here)" feeling. Makes you imagine that your grandkids one day find a treasure trove of history that you've left behind.... A story worth telling hopefully!



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 08:41 PM
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a reply to: seaswine

Yes, this was quite a surprise. I don't know how many people on earth have been there, but it isn't too many.
edit on 25-8-2017 by seasonal because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 08:46 PM
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I like



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 08:49 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss.

Those are very cool pictures, I hope someone can help you identify what they mean.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: seagull

Thank you.
I don't even know if my step dad knew he had them. They were found in an OLD box with random papers, school pictures and news clippings that seem to be mean nothing to our family.
He also said they threw money away like he has never seen in that little camp. There was only a small window to get things in there, and the military brought supplies in by the ton.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 09:02 PM
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You may enjoy this passage from Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson..
Your step father was a great man if I'm to guess...

So I give this to you and thank him and all those who wander and remain ever seeking....

------------
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd
Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when
Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!
As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
---------------------

-Chris
edit on 25-8-2017 by Christosterone because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 09:16 PM
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a reply to: Christosterone

I wrote my senior thesis in the academy on Tennyson, thanks for that!



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:14 PM
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a reply to: Christosterone

Very nice thank you.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:22 PM
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Enjoyed the thread, sorry for your loss and the mystery laid before you. You are right about taking a minute and marking who's who in pictures.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:34 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing this, seasonal! What a cool thing. I loved the style of your narration, too- very engaging. Thanks again for the great story and fabulous pictures!



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

That is a cool story. Thanks for the interesting read. One of my life goals is to visit every continent, including Antarctica. Hopefully I can afford it someday.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: antar

Thank you, I am going to start searching the net tomorrow for info. I don't know how much luck I will have, it is a old operation well before the digital age.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:39 PM
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When I saw 1963 and Antarctica, I thought for sure this would be about Nazis. When I saw Argentina, I was certain it was gonna be about Nazis. Haha, glad I was wrong honestly, I enjoy it as-is.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:41 PM
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a reply to: face23785

One thing I asked my step dad was how cold it was. He said he remembered a -30 F day and he was up on a antenna but there with no wind and it was not bad. I imagine there was a good amount of acclimation.

I would imagine all that equipment is still in camp if the ice shelf is still there.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

When I was stationed in Alaska a few years ago there was one night where the ambient temp was -20F. Luckily, there was no wind, and honestly when I was properly dressed for it it was not bad. I was only out in it for a few hours, and part of that I was in front of the door to the climate-controlled F22 bays, so it wasn't quite -20 there. When I was filling my fuel truck was the worst part, because you're basically just standing in one spot for 15 minutes holding a steel deadman control.

That said, back in 1963 I'm not sure even the best gear would've been as warm as the moderate stuff the Air Force gave me. Kudos to your step-dad for his service. What an experience.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: face23785

His extreme cold gear was bulky and heavy. The new gear is defensively light years ahead. Like I said in the tread his gear was mouse ridden and ruined, and that was bad as my brother really wanted to keep it.



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Yeah I can definitely understand that. I find old equipment like that interesting.That is too bad it was ruined. The cold weather clothing I was issued wasn't top of the line, so it was still a little on the heavy side, not like the real fancy stuff available now that's thin and light but still somehow keeps you warm. I really don't get how that stuff works, but hey.
edit on 25 8 17 by face23785 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2017 @ 11:24 PM
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a reply to: face23785

Thank you.



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