W0hjl Bloom Kayla

Ice breaker USCG GLACIER clearing a channel in the Ross Sea so that the Navy supply ships can unload cargo at McMurdo Station.

the buildings sorting equipment and supplies, While some of the men worked on this task, others got the 19 house city called Little America coupleted with an interlocking tunnel, made of chicken wire and burlap, connecting every building. This work was finished none too soon as the buildings were snowed under so that the radar, radio and ground control antennas were all that showed above the snow,

With the buildings completed and the Naval communications center in operation, it was time to install the radio equipment for KC4USA. Under the guidance of Lt. Comdi\ T. N, Thompson, officer-in-cbarge of Little America, the amateur radio equipment was installed and on the air in a very short time. Contacts to stateside were good and before long KC4USA became a choice DX station for the radio amateurs. There was always a pile-up of stations waiting for a contact and, under favorable conditions, KC4USA could be heard in most any part of the United States. DX contacts were fine but these isolated and lonesome men were anxious to talk to their loved ones at home. Knowing the great value of morale, Lt,

Comdr. Thompson made sure that phone patching was the order of the day, and under favorable conditions many happy voices could be heard on the 20 meter band*

There was drama and humor in those phone patches. As you know a phone patch is nothing private especially when you are sitting at the rig with a shack full of fellows at one end talking across thousands of miles to the other end, from Little America. For humor, there was one incident on a phone patch, where a fellow at Little America who had a German wife who every now and then would hit him with a bit of Gennan in her conversation. The fellow was limited on his German and lie would ask for a repeat here and there and sometimes would ask for an English version of it, Sometimes she would not give it to him in English and he would still be trying to figure it out for days later. On the dramatic side, there was a phone patch which helped save the life of a mother of one of the men at Little America, lie mother was to have major surgery and her wish was to talk to her son before the operation. The patch was made and the doctors said after the operation that the mother, by talking to

Ihukup Gifs Images

After making connections with a ham in the states, Glenn K, Doebler, Jr. and John R. Haugh attempt to locate McMurdo personnel who desire a phone patch into the States; Official UJS, Navy Photograph.

Radio Shack Station

Ice cave. Great place for a ham shack

After making connections with a ham in the states, Glenn K, Doebler, Jr. and John R. Haugh attempt to locate McMurdo personnel who desire a phone patch into the States; Official UJS, Navy Photograph.

Ice cave. Great place for a ham shack her son, came through with flying colors, i iiere were many more humorous and dramatic phone patches but it would take a separate boo! to tell them all, A few common questions from the folks at home were, "Is it cold down there?" "When will you be home?" "Did you get the goodies I sent you?"

It was not easy to keep phone patches going through in bad weather. Antennas would blow down from the constant gale winds of the Antarctic. An idea and ambition came to the men at Little America to make a cubical quad antenna which was to improve their operation, both transmitting and receiving- Bamboo for the cross members was plentiful, so with a little welding, a few bolts, etc, not to mention some pure Navy talk, it was completed. !t was intended to do wonders on 10- L5 and 20 meters. This was mounted on the end of a 5 inch pipe which extended about 20 feet above the snow oil the radio shack roof. On the lower end. about 4 feet from the floor, were a couple of steel rods mounted horizontal on the pipe, making the set-up look like a rusty periscope. The idea was to be able to rotate this whole lashup simply by a bit of pressure on the steel rods, ft was a good antenna, but within a week, the cud of the 5 inch pipe above the roof had become solidly frozen to the Ross Ice Shelf. Needless to say, it was not rotated until the temperature got warmer and then it went round and round like a windmill, when the gale winds came up.

Several months after Little America V was in operation, KC4USV at Mc Murdo station started their amateur radio activities with KC4USW at Ellsworth, KC4USH at Hallet, KC4U3K at Wilkes, KC4USB at Byrd and KC4USN at the South Pole following a short time later, These outpost ICY bases were built to take scientific observations during the International Geophysical Year, With the increase of more scientists and Navy men to man these stations, the population in Antarctica had grown to 4200 men in support of Operations Deep Freeze III. This increase in population made the Antarctic look like the "Gay White Way" in New York City. Bright lights on the long winter snows glistened like jewels and the wastelands of the Antarctic became alive with men and machines. Phone patching and traffic increased with the growing population, and more state side stations volunteered to handle the phone patching and traffic. Traffic nets were organized especially to operate to and from the Antarctica stations.

There was one more amateur radio station in Antarctica during the winter of 195758 which was not at an IGY base. Father Daniel Linehan W1HWK, operated KC4USC at a reconnaisance base near the present site of the Me Murdo station. Father Dan with a group of U. S. Naval Construction Battalion men (SeaBees) was engaged in special studies of camp sites for the Navy.

Amateur Radio Equipment
Father Daniel Linehari WIHWK at the milce with Paul Blum W2KCR in Paul's shack.

The camp being a temporary one, no heavy amateur radio equipment was used and Father Dan brought his personal amateur gear with him. With 40 watts on AM phone and 50 watts CW, he had a lot of fun running messages for the personnel at the camp. At one tine, KC4USV, at Mc Murdo was out of operation due to trouble with their equipment, so Father Dan at KC4USC had to handle most of the traffic for them and send it back and forth by helicopter. Some of these messages were happy ones and

Radio Shack Station
Antarctica's great white way.

some were very tragic and it was difficult at times to determine which end of the message was the more lonesome. On one occasion, a Navy helicopter pilot called Father Dan from the 'copter on the sj up-to-shore radio, when he was five hundred miles from the base to see if Father Dan at KC4USC could get some news about his wife who had been in an auto accident in Kansas City, Missouri. The Lieutenant had tried through other channels to get in contact with his wife but was unable to do so. KC4-USC went into action and contacted an amateur in New Jersey who put the phone call through to the pilot's brother-in-law in Kansas City, who gave a full story o^ the condition of the wife and child who was also in the accident. At the time of the phone call, the wife was still on the danger list at the hospital but the baby was unharmed. With the 'copter still many miles away, the pilot got the report of his wile's condition from Father Dan, A week later, the pilot was aboard a ship about ten miles from the camp and again contacted KC4USC to ask, if he came ashore, would he be able to talk to his brother-in-law in Kansas City once again. With a prearranged schedule, a Syracuse station was contacted and the pilot came ashore with the ship's doctor and captain. The ship's doctor was able to talk to the doctor in Kansas City and, with a few moments conference, the news came that the wife was out of danger. The pilot was so overcome he was unable to speak to his brother-in-law or the doctor. Needless to say, amateur radio had helped another man's morale that day in the Antarctic.

Besides handling traffic and phone patches, there were other services that the radio amateurs offered to the isolated men in Antarctica. At Little America V, a newspaper was published called the Penguin which had the national and international news as soon as it happened, From the station of W2KCR in North Syracuse, New York, Paul Blum with four members of the Radio A m a t eurs of Greater Syracuse (RAGS) transmitted the first newspaper page by facsimile to Little America V5 011 May 5th, 1957, The transmission consisted of a cartoon, two pictures, news stories and a greeting. This was so successful that a one page newspaper sheet was transmitted twice a week, which now included more photos of people in the news, sports and of course, cheesecake (the girls usually wearing fur coats). About May 30th another news project was started called, "Operations Baby Face". Pictures of the new born babies were sent with each edition of the newspaper. Many happy fathers had their morale lifted by the picture of his new born child. One father received a picture of his son 18 hours after being born. This facsimile operation became so popular with the men at Little America, they gave it the title of "W2KCR Family Album",

Operation "Baby Face" with photo oi new born baby.

A bit of humor was also included in these facsimile operations. In the fall of 1958, the MiSs America Beauty Contest was being held in Atlantic City so Paul, W2KCR, conceived an idea, as a morale builder, to stage a beauty contest at Little America and call it the Miss Little America Beauty Contest The oniy difference between the two contests was that in the one at Little America the winner would be selected from the pictures instead of in the flesh, Pictures of the various state winners were transmitted to Little America and, as they were received, they were hung on a large bulletin board with

Miss Li+iie America beauty contest statistics of each of the Miss America contestants, To keep the selection of the winner completely impartial, the contestants were identified only by number. After heated voting in 67 below zero weather, Miss Massachusetts (36"-24"-36") was picked as Miss Little America of 1958. It was a close race with a hazeleyed blond from Tennessee but Miss Massachusetts won in the runoff. The winner was awarded a silver penguin which was paid for by the "residents" of Little America, All the news services carried the photograph of the Miss Little America winner and it hit the front pages of many newspapers throughout the United States.

In 1959, Little America V was closed, but Mc Murdo, Byrd and the South Pole stations were designated as permanent scientific observation stations. Mc Murdo Station became the hub of all communication activities both Navy and amateur radio. With Mc Murdo Station as the communications center, amateur radio activities also became a center of communications at KC4USV. In the summer months, the arrival of scientists from all parts of the world made Mc Murdo station look like some large city hotel with a "full house". Each night there was "standing room only" in the ham shack, waiting for phone patches to stateside, KC4-USV operated around the clock, with two or more operators 011 a shift ,to take care of this peak load of traffic and phone patches, As the summer months came to an end, the scientists returned to their homes and the "wintering-over" Navy personnel settled down for a long hard winter ahead. Antennas and equipment had to be checked before 100 knot gales with snow whip into the Antarctic, Even with the best of care,

Radio Shack Small Electric Generator

KC4U5V . . These call fetters are beamed from the Navy ham station at McMu rdo over 6,000 times a year. The steel cables over the ham shack are needed to hold it down during frequent Antarctic gales,

Official Navy Photograph, very often the antennas were damaged by severe storms,

From 1960 to 1962, Mc Murdo, Byrd and the South Pole stations took on a new look with a modernization program of antennas and equipment. At Mc Murdo station, a nuclear atom electric power plant replaced the fuel burning generators which had been in use since the IGY year. A new tower and a new Mosley TA 33 beam was installed and in the ham shack the complete 32 S Line (Collins) took the place of older equipment. With this work finished at Mc Murdo station, new antennas and equipment were installed at the South Pole, Byrd and Hallet stations. Highly directional conical monipole and uhf antennas were part of the antenna replacements at Byrd station. Upon completion of this modernization program, the capability of these stations improved considerably.

Through the years from 1962; Navy personnel were relieved of duties and others came to take their places. Amateur radio activities were much the same until this present year when Operations Deep Freeze .968 got under way. With the summer season here again, operations at the Antartica stations are again at high peak. At KG4USV, amateur radio activity is increasing and some facts just received from there might give you a picture of their amateur radio operations. An average of 19,7 phone patches a day are put through to the United States and the world. The record number of phone patches for this summer season is 56 patches in eight hours. From October to March (the summer support season) approximately 3,000 patches are made, During the winter season, March through September, a total of 2800 patches were completed- An average of fifteen states are covered each week in the patching. A years total in phone patches averages about 6,000. Emergency phone patches are received and transmitted at any time as there are six regular ham operators at Mc Murdo. "Marathon" phone patch transmissions are held on major holidays; beginning on the holiday (Mc Murdo time) and ending at Midnight the next day. Besides all this phone patch activity, Mc Murdo station is also a member of the Navy MARS network with the call, N0ICE+ They operate with the east coast from 0100 to 0300 Zulu time. The midwest from 0300 to 0430 Zulu and the west coast from 0430 to 530 Zulu. Several thousand MARSGRAMS are transmitted and received each month. The outpost stations, KC4USB at Byrd and KC4USN at the South Pole, although .staffed with smaller crews, participate in these amateur radio activities as well.

There are many radio amateurs to be commended for their participation in handling all the traffic and phone patches from and to the isolated men in the Antarctica. Some have participated in this dedicated work for more than ten years, Space does not allow a complete list of everyone who has had any part of the communication link between the men in the Antarctica and their loved ones at home. We wil1 however i ■' ■ ■ ■ ■ .. ■ ■ . - _ ■

list several of the radio amateurs who have been mentioned in the letters we received from the men who are now in the Antarctic or from those wjhq have done duty there in past years. Topping the list (ladies first!) is Betty Gillies, W6QPI, who for the past ten years has seldom missed a schedule with the Antarctic stations to pick up traffic and phone patches. Her record of phone patches and ham grams, during these years, total

Radio Shack Station
Betty Gillies W6QPI picking up traffic from one of the Antarctic stations.

several thousands, Betty is also a member of Navy MARS and her call is N0AYT. Kayla Bloom, W1EMV, formerly W0HJL and KK6CKO, just happens to be the new editor of 73. Besides being editor, Kayla has done a lot oi traffic handling with the men at the South Pole station, KC4USN. When she lived in ICailua, Oahu, many hours were spent in this work but now being editor of 73 keeps her busy into the wee hours of the morning.

There is also Captain Haud Gillis, W4UEL, pilot for Pan American Airways, who has. for the past ten years, been one of the regular scheduled stations picking up phone patches and traffic from all the Antarctica stations when not flying. W2KCR/W1CED, Paul Blum, mentioned earlier in this story, still does a lot of phone patching for the men in the Antarctica, W7ARS, Walter Nettles has had R'l FY skeds with Me Murdo and Byrd stations for some several years. Also on RTTY skeds with Bvrd and Mc Murdo stations are KLHVK, Kenneth Nokes and John Terry, KL7DRZ. Kenneth Nokes is QSL manager for Byrd and South ^ole stations. His address is Island Park Road, Ipswich, Mass, Charles Morgan, K1CZL does considerable phone patching for the men at Byrd station, during the winter months. Again to all amateurs contributing to this dedicated work, the men in the Antarctic ''Thank You"!

It is now the middle of the summer season in the Antarctic and this brings more radio amateur activity. Scientific parties in remote areas are accompanied by ham gear. Picket ships and research vessels, USCG ice breakers and supply ships all have ham stations aboard, The call letters of these and the other Antarctic stations may be useful for reference in traffic handling and we list them as follows: KC4USV . . Mc Murdo KC4USX . . Williams Field, Mc Murdo KC4USB .. Byrd KC4USN . , South Pole KC4USJ . . Plateau KC4USH . . Hallet KC4USP . . Palmer KC4USL * , Little Brockton KC4USG ,. USCG Glacier KC4USD , . Burton Island (USCG) KC4AAA . . Research Vessel Eltonin KC4USS . . Picket Ship USS Mills KC4USO . . Picket Ship Thos, J, Gary KC4USC . , Army Helicopter Squadron KC4USM . . Satelite near Bvrd Station KC4AAO . . Byrd Satellite, long wire

Some of these stations are closed during the 'wintering-over" period and the USCG ice breakers return to their home ports in the states.

Before we bring this story to an end, we wish to relate a human interest story of a radio amateur who lias spent a good part of his life in the Antartica. Julian P. Gudmun-son, K0OEE/NOANU, now stationed at Mc Murdo station, has recently returned for his fifth tour of duty in the Antarctic and looking forward to his sixth, next year, Julian arrived tile first time at Little America in 1956 and wintered-over till 1957, He was one of the operators at KC4USA that year. In 3960-61 and 1961-62, Julian was one of the operators at KC4USV Mc Murdo and operated KC4USX at Williams Field. During the wintering-over period 1962-63, he was one of the operators at KC4USN at South Pole Station and also operated at KC4USB that year. In January, 1967, the National Science Foundation honored Julian Cud-munson by naming a mountain in Antarctica, Mount Gudmundson.

Through the years anateur radio and the radio amateur have contributed willingly to science and public service and a recent letter from Rear Admiral Robert H. Weeks, ass't Chief of Naval Operations (communications) expresses the importance of amateur radio to the morale of Navy personnel, "The contributions which amateur radio makes to the morale of Navy personnel throughout the world are numerous and varied, Unfortunately, many incidents involving amateur radio have been lost to history because of documentation. 'There is a definite story to tell regarding the importance of amateur radio to personnel connected with naval operations in remote areas such as those in Antartica."

This is the story, in a brief way, about Operations Deep Freeze and the radio amateurs who participated in it. To those men of the Antarctic who are part of this story, we hope it has been a little insight of the many hours of happiness which amateur radio has brought to them,

I wish to thank Betty Gillies, W6QPI, Paul Blum, W2KCR, Julian Gudmundson, K0OEE, Father Daniel Linehan. W1HWK, Commander T. N, Thompson and all the Navy personnel who iielped make this story possible,

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