My dad Cmdr. Archer E. Church (Seabee) was Chief of Staff for Civil Engineering on the ice from 1967-68. He died on 7/7/2006 and I’ve not had a days peace since.
My youngest daughter and I were extremely close to him and she also cannot attain closure to his death.
We have an idea that may be sound crazy, but we would like to travel to the ice, to travel in his footsteps and visit the places and facilities he was responsible for while in Antarctica. I believe there is even a place on the ice named after him!
I’ve travelled the globe so the long trip would not be a problem for me. This is a life long dream for my daughter, and I’d like to go with her to be a part of this healing experience. Can anyone help with the logistics of this type of trip? I would appreciate any help or ideas you can offer.
I don’t have details about where he was while he was on the Ice. If I had to guess, I’d say he was probably stationed either on a ship visiting McMurdo or, more likely, as part of the crew at McMurdo Station. To see what was going on around the time he was there, you might want to read through the SouthPoleStation.com web site. Try: http://www.southpolestation.com/trivia/igy2/igy2.html
As far as travelling in his footsteps, the simplest way would be to get on a cruise ship that is headed to McMurdo and the Ross Sea. There’s a couple of these trips every year and any good travel agent should be able to help you book it. Chances are your father deployed to Antarctica on a ship himself, so that would give you a good idea of the conditions he experienced at sea too. These kind of cruises are expensive but they’re also highly recommended as you’ll see some really incredible things.
If you find out more details about where he was (perhaps look through his photos or scrapbooks?) we could suggest some more-specific travel ideas.
I’m the guy who runs southpolestation.com. In the past I’ve been in touch with your father’s predecessor Steve Kauffman, and all I can say is that your father probably traveled all over the continent to places that don’t exist today or are rather inaccessible to tourists.
Glenn’s advice about visiting McMurdo is probably the best. If I can be of further help, ask away on here or send me a private message.