National Geographic : 1963 Feb
KODACHROMES(ABOVE AND UPPER RIGHT) AND HS EKTACHROME ButIam notthere tobepartofit.LastNo vember I turned over the command of Task Force 43, the Navy's Antarctic Support Force, to Rear Adm. James R. Reedy, after almost four years at the most interesting and challenging job of my career. In these years, I feel, we have brought a new era to Antarc tica, and this is what I wish to tell about. We Are in Antarctica to Stay When the United States built "the seven cities of Antarctica" as part of the Interna tional Geophysical Year, those stations were regarded as temporary bases for 18 months of intensive study. But by early 1959, when I took over the Antarctic command from Rear Adm. George J. Dufek, it was already abun dantly clear that our scientific investigation of the White Continent must continue.* The years since then have witnessed the transition from the IGY's program of tem 270 porary occupancy to a long-term program of scientific effort. Without question, we are in Antarctica to stay. In the three complete seasons the Antarctic task force was under my command-Deep Freeze '60, '61, '62-our ships steamed nearly three-quarters of a million miles. Our planes flew almost 8,000,000 miles. Scientists on their traverses and tractor trains carrying sup plies and equipment slogged almost 12,000 miles, crisscrossing Antarctica's hinterland. Nearly 4,000 men took part in last year's program alone, using 11 ships and 41 aircraft. The scientists took home nine tons of records and specimens-geological, glacial, and bio logical-from one summer's investigations. These figures are startling, and I ask my self what they mean in terms of accomplish ment. What is different as I leave compared to when I took over at the end of the IGY? *See "What We've Accomplished in Antarctica," by Rear Adm. George J. Dufek, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, October, 1959.