12 February 2008

Operation Deep Freeze: Charting Antartica!

Post WW2 America has come to stand for Rock&Roll, Levittown, McDonalds and the rise of the "Man in the Grey Flannel Suit".

What is less known is the transformation and exploration of the US military during this time. While our forces were shadows of their former selves from a numerical standpoint, they were rapidly undergoing major change in technology and force projection. A component of this, and primarily driven by competition with the Soviet Union, was the continued exploration of the seas and parts unknown.

Operation Deep Freeze was part of this.

Charged with supporting the scientific goal of learning more about this frozen, uncharted part of the planet, the Navy assembled Task Force 43 to assist with the mission. Ships and forces included:

  • Ice Breakers
  • Attack Cargo Ships
  • Tankers
  • Cargo ships

This was not totally unfamiliar territory for the US, however, as there had been earlier missions in the 1920's by Byrd and the establishment of Little America.

There was quite a bit of military art for this operation. The first picture above shows an Albatross, while the picture below shows a bit more of the operational side of the mission:

(Source: Navy Art Gallery-Operation Deep Freeze)

This is a facinating part of our history and seemingly overlooked by many. For more details, hit the links and enjoy the artwork!

See you tomorrow!

Navy Historical Center: Operation Deep Freeze

Wikipedia entry for Operation Deep Freeze

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