National Geographic : 1949 Oct
U. M .Air lorce, Olllciai Men Push Ice Away So a PBY Can Take Off with a Sick GI A radio appeal brought the flying boat to Clyde, Baffin Island, to take a patient to the hospital. It landed in a lane of open water between drifting ice floes, but big cakes soon blew in around it, preventing take-off. After seven hours of hard rowing, the crew towed the PBY to open water. The Clyde weather station is now operated by Canada. cal centers in the Arctic (page 562). Thule and Cornwallis are not too hard to reach by ship. The U. S. Navy and Coast Guard annually send an icebreaker-led convoy to these places, bringing tons of new supplies for the coming year. Helicopters. dubbed "egg beaters" by crews of ships they fly from, are the new eyes of the fleet in ice-choked northern waters. Taking off from icebreakers' decks, they search ahead for strips of open water, called leads. A dramatic instance of the usefulness of copters in navigation and reconnaissance in polar waters was provided last year (1948). A Navy-Coast Guard task force penetrated Kennedy and Robeson Channels between Greenland and Ellesmere Island and cruised far out in the Arctic Ocean. A helicopter bearing Charles Hubbard of the U. S. Weather Bureau reached Cape Sheri dan, less than 525 miles south of the North Pole. There the little egg beater alighted, an anomaly in that crudely mapped area. In a rock cairn Mr. Hubbard found a sealed bottle containing handwritten records left there by Comdr. Robert E. Peary 43 years ago, three years before his triumphant dash to the Pole.