Cape Hallett NZ/US Station, Antarctica


Antarctica Forums Forums Antarctic Memories Message Board OAE Crossroads Cape Hallett NZ/US Station, Antarctica

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  • #843

    Anonymous
    Member

    I am an Old Antarctic Explorer (OAE) from Operation DEEP FREEZE IV (ODF-IV) from Cape Hallett, the Joint US and New Zealand station due North of McMurdo Sound and just South of Cape Adare, the first point of land South of New Zealand.
    There were thirteen personnel and an Antarctic Husky named Hal at Cape Hallett Station. These included three New Zealand scientists , one U.S. Weather Bureau Meteorologist, and nine Navy personnel including a Naval Reserve Medical Doctor who was Commanding Officer, and eight Enlisted personnel. I was an Aerographer’s Mate Third Class (Radiosonde Operator (Upper Air Soundings)/Meteorologist/Weather Observer) and then Second Class for nine months. I was then assigned by the ODF IV Admiral to assist a New Zealand biologist named Brian Reed for five months. I assisted Brian with Adelie Penguin, Skua Gulls, Emperor Penguin, Snow Petrels, and Giant Petrels banding and studies, and fish tagging as well as Wendell seal branding and studies. We also assisted various research teams from around the world on field trips at and around Cape Hallett during the Summer (November thru January). These research teams included a Columbini (related to wingless mosquitos that are frozen solid for 10 months of the year) researcher from University of Kentucky, a Microbiologist from University of Texas studying microorganisms in the melt ponds at the foot of glaciers, study of how sea birds, i.e., penguins and others, can drink salt water and convert it to fresh water from a US university (Harvard?); and a South African geologist. Does anyone remember or where can I find who was at Cape Hallett for Operation DEEP FREEZE IV? Does anyone remember Doc; Chief; a NZ Ionosphere scientist, NZ semeiologist from Dunedin, NZ; US Weather Bureau Meteorologist named Charlie; two Navy Aerographer’s Mates; Smitty the Cook; a Navy Electronics Technician; a CB called Big Bopper; a short, like 4′ 8″, Electrician’s Mate assigned to Hallett named Al something; a CB named John Henry something; or a Navy Radioman named Chet? Do you remember the name of the ship that took wintering-over party from CBC Davisville, RI to Cape Hallett? I think it was an AP named Burton Island but that was probably the name of an ice breaker. I landed at Cape Hallet in December of 1958 from the AP and departed via an ice breaker (Burton Island?) in Late February or early March of 1960 for McMurdo with the NZ biologist. While at McMurdo, Brian and I took a helicopter to the penguin rookeries at Cape Roydes (spend the night in Shackleton’s Hut) and Marble Point. We then took a ship ( Don’t remember the name but it may have been the same AP) to Christ Church, NZ. Brian and I went to the NZ Southern Alps to climb Mount Cook from Gunnar or Gunther (?) Pass. Then I flew back to the States. Also, I have hundreds of slides and photos from late 1958 thru early 1960 at Cape Hallett, McMurdo, Scott Station (the NZ station) at McMurdo, Scott’s hut at McMurdo, Shackelton’s hut at Cape Roydes (?), and Marble Point as well as the trip down the Wendell Sea Coast from Hallett to McMurdo and helicopter flight from McMurdo to Cape Roydes and Marble Point. Do you know of any Global Warming Programs or other research projects that would find copies of value?

    Cheers from Las Vegas.

    Frank Davis
    OAE ODF-IV

    #8173

    Anonymous
    Member

    Hi Frank

    Hey you might be interested to know that over the last couple of years
    the NZ & US Programme have been cleaning up the remains of the
    Cape Hallet Camp.

    Here’s some information from Antarctica New Zealands website
    ( DSIR Antarctic Division was the original NZ govt organisation &
    it’s now a NZ Government Institute called “Antarctica New Zealand)

    ref: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz

    Antarctica New Zealand maintains a pictorial collection & also has
    expedition reports dating back to 1957 when Scott Base was established
    They may be able to help you out with your query on the names of people involved & may be interested in your collection of photo’s.
    (for science & historical interests)

    Emma Reid, the Communications Manager can be reached at
    e.reid@antarcticanz.govt.nz

    10 November 2005

    Media Statement
    For Immediate Release
    CAPE HALLETT ARTEFACTS HANDED OVER
    Several tonnes of Antarctic history were today gifted to Canterbury Museum by Antarctica New Zealand as part of their extensive clean-up efforts at remote Hallett Station, Cape Hallett in Antarctica over the past two summer seasons.

    The artefacts which include the station’s historic geo-magnetic dome and over 60 oil drums and day to day items such as crockery, bedding and ration packs, were shipped back from the ice in February and will form an important part of Canterbury Museum’s new Antarctic display.
    Antarctica New Zealand CEO Lou Sanson said he was delighted by the
    opportunity to transfer key parts of Cape Hallett Station to Canterbury Museum. “It preserves an important Antarctic story in a venue where future generations can understand and appreciate our strong scientific past.
    Tonnes of material were collected during the clean-up and we were thrilled when the Museum expressed interest in it all. This handover strengthens our close connection with Canterbury Museum and their Antarctic collection,” said Lou Sanson.

    Hallett Station was built to support the activities of International Geophysical Year, 1957-59 and was active until 1973 when it was abandoned. In 1984 a clean-up plan was devised and over the next three years New Zealand work parties dismantled the old station buildings, cleaned up rubbish and re-established three huts and the geo-magnetic dome for future field party use.
    These efforts were thorough, but not as environmentally sound then as today with waste material burnt on site and left on the sea ice to sink. Fuel from the station was also left and from 1993-1996 the United States Antarctic Program removed 21,665 gallons of liquid, all of which had to be transferred into 453 new drums.

    In 2003/04 a New Zealand team of six dismantled the huts and collected a large amount of debris. The following summer rubbish collection continued and preparation was made for the removal of the bulk fuel tanks. In January 2005 the Italian vessel MV Italica removed 28 metric tons of material including the artefacts and buildings handed over to Canterbury Museum.
    “Many objects of potential historic interest were assessed on their return to New Zealand for inclusion in the Museum’s collections and for display,” said Anthony Wright, Director, Canterbury Museum.
    “We value our close relationship with Antarctica New Zealand and we are proud to be the repository for the buildings and artefacts from Hallett Station. These items are an important part of Antarctica’s recent history and will be a significant addition to our existing collection.”
    The international Antarctic community recognised that the remnants of the Station were of significant historic interest. Clean ups in various forms have been a feature of the station since its beginnings, and it is fitting to finish the job. Many people will be able to appreciate the historic structures and artefacts in the Museum long into the future, while the Adélie penguins can finally reclaim the breeding grounds they lost almost 50 years ago.
    The only structures left standing at Hallett Station are fuel storage tanks
    scheduled for removal next summer.

    For further information on
    remediation activities please
    contact:
    For further information on the
    artefacts and handover activities
    please contact:

    Emma Reid
    Communications Manager
    Antarctica New Zealand
    Phone: (+64)3 358-0200

    Paula Granger
    Communications Coordinator
    Canterbury Museum
    Phone: (+64) 3 66 9429 ext 869

    Background notes for media:

    • Cape Hallett is located on the northeast coast of Victoria Land approximately 375 miles north of McMurdo Station, at 72°19’S 170°13’E. Hallett Station was located on Seabee Hook, on the eastern side of Cape Hallett.

    • Fossil evidence suggests Adélie penguins have lived at Cape Hallett for
    around 2000 years.

    • The station was intended for Cape Adare, but poor landing conditions made this an undesirable location.

    • The purpose of the station was to provide weather data for the US aircraft flying between Christchurch and McMurdo, and to undertake a programme of meteorology, geomagnetism, aurora, ionospheric and seismology research as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). Biology later became a main feature of the work carried out at the site.

    • Hallett Station was the only IGY station established as a multi-national effort. The US built and maintained the station but three of the first four scientists to winter were New Zealanders and the Station Leader alternated between the two countries. Until the recent establishment of Concordia (French and Italian), it remained the only base planned and operated as a fully joint venture.

    • The Station was occupied year-round until 1964, when the main scientific laboratory was destroyed by fire. It was then used as a summer only research facility until 1973 when it was closed.

    #8175

    Griff
    Member

    I was with the last U.S. Navy team that participated in the mothballing of Hallett in 1973. We shut the station down in a manner that ensured that a new crew could simply bring in batteries for the gensets and equipment, food, and other personal items and Hallett could be occupied again. The decision to close ultimately rested with Navy command. Given the fact that only two Hercs flying at the time had external fuel tanks, we were a critical weather link in determining the status of the high level winds between NZ and McMurdo. By 1973 much of the penguin work had already been conducted with many of the residents having been banded 3-4 times.
    Hallett was a great outlying station; right on the ocean with a beautiful view of Mt. Herschel and the surrounding mountains and opportunities for exploring the lands down the bay. The station crews were small numbering less than 10 enlisted men during the 70s summer seasons. When the ice thickness dropped to less than 5 feet till the breakers came we were essentially isolated. No time for stupid actions because getting a helo in was a very expensive venture.
    The last crew left Hallett on 19 February 1973. I requested from the Chief and received the last American flag to fly at Hallett while it was an active U.S. Navy station-a memento I cherish to this day. My only regret is seeing how the station was shut down. We maintained all the station equipment the best way we could given scarce resources and I’ve always wondered what happened to all that equipment during shutdown.
    As soon as I make the time, I intend to make copies of many of my station slides from 1971-1973, add caption,s and get them to the museum in Christchurch. There is a lot of Navy history on those slides from 40+ years ago.
    Earl F. Griffith AG2

    #8176

    Griff
    Member

    I was with the last U.S. Navy team that participated in the mothballing of Hallett in 1973. We shut the station down in a manner that ensured that a new crew could simply bring in batteries for the gensets and equipment, food, and other personal items and Hallett could be occupied again. The decision to close ultimately rested with Navy command. Given the fact that only two Hercs flying at the time had external fuel tanks, we were a critical weather link in determining the status of the high level winds between NZ and McMurdo. By 1973 much of the penguin work had already been conducted with many of the residents having been banded 3-4 times.
    Hallett was a great outlying station; right on the ocean with a beautiful view of Mt. Herschel and the surrounding mountains and opportunities for exploring the lands down the bay. The station crews were small numbering less than 10 enlisted men during the 70s summer seasons. When the ice thickness dropped to less than 5 feet till the breakers came we were essentially isolated. No time for stupid actions because getting a helo in was a very expensive venture.
    The last crew left Hallett on 19 February 1973. I requested from the Chief and received the last American flag to fly at Hallett while it was an active U.S. Navy station-a memento I cherish to this day. My only regret is seeing how the station was shut down. We maintained all the station equipment the best way we could given scarce resources and I’ve always wondered what happened to all that equipment during shutdown.
    As soon as I make the time, I intend to make copies of many of my station slides from 1971-1973, add caption,s and get them to the museum in Christchurch. There is a lot of Navy history on those slides from 40+ years ago.
    Earl F. Griffith AG2

    #8174

    edward746
    Member

    Actually i’m little bit agreed with griff
    By the way my name is edward & i’m new here

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