Google

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Life At The Sourth Pole



                                     MY LIFE AT THE SOUTH POLE
                                          And Operation Deepfreeze


Dedication
I dedicate this book to my Godfather, CWO Oliver T. Henry, USCG (Ret.).
Chief Warrant Officer Oliver T. Henry, USCG, "who through his relentless pursuit to serve the Coast Guard as a skilled petty officer on board the CGC Northland during World War Two, successfully moved from the wardroom as a steward to the engine-room as a motor-machinist's mate."  [Quoted from "A Call to Serve", a pamphlet published for the U.S. Coast Guard's Anniversary Worship Service on 8 August 1999].  CWO Henry was one of the first African-Americans in the Coast Guard to successfully transfer to a line rating from that of stewardsmate and did so well before the full integration of the Armed Forces.

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M4tUx4HNZoY/TzAxG9fzvdI/AAAAAAAAEtM/f3kENCojeY0/s200/OliverTHenryUSCG.JPG

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5ol6YMW-aI/AAAAAAAABRE/wHhVQv4TXjU/s200/DSC01094.jpg


Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5okVIMW-YI/AAAAAAAABQ0/g0CaaoBdrWI/s200/DSC01054.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5onfYMW-bI/AAAAAAAABRM/R_Yy7bMysEI/s200/DSC01120.jpg


Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5ojhYMW-XI/AAAAAAAABQs/IjwxifnktTo/s200/OliverThenryLSteverson.jpg

CWO2 Oliver T. Henry was LCDR. London Steverson's Godfather.
Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5ok44MW-ZI/AAAAAAAABQ8/96o4qRDI8U4/s200/OliverTHenry_sm.jpg

INTRODUCTION.
Outer space and Antarctica are the last frontiers. The original Star Trek series made space junkies and Trekies out of the Baby Boom generation. I worship and adore Captain James T. Kirk, Doctor Spock and Lieutenants Sulu and Uhuru of the Star Ship Enterprise. I think of them in the same breath as Robert F. Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Admiral Richard Byrd. But, it was the later that I followed to the Last Frontier at the bottom of the globe, Antarctica. This is the story of my life at the South Pole during Operations Deep Freeze 1968-69 and 1969-70.
    The U. S. Navy’s Operation Deep Freeze was established to provide logistical support for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in the peaceful pursuit of unlocking the secrets of the Last Frontier on earth. Scientists from the United States and 11 other nations gathered in Antarctica on July 1, 1957  and began the systematic scientific study of the ice, water and the atmosphere of Antarctica.
      National Geographic Magazine in the February 1907 issue said that there is a land south of the Straits of Magellan twice the size of the United States that is called the most mysterious land in the world. I can say of this land just as the Queen of Sheba said of King Solomon, the half has never been told. After having spent about two years of my life in pursuit of her secrets, and having traveled the length and breadth of Alaska, I can say that Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest, emptiest, and the most remote place on the earth that I have ever visited. It has no native human population, and no flora or fauna except for a few mosses and four species of seals and penguins.


(Belanger, Dian Olson: DEEP FREEZE, The United States, the International Geophysical Year, and the Origins of Antarctica’s Age of Science. University Press of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 2006)

Preface
Trying to write a book about my life is like trying to describe the landscape by looking out the window of a moving train. The events continue to unfold faster than one can describe them. My life is a work in progress. For this reason I have decided to look at my life in phases that have a clearly defined beginning and an end. In this book I intend to describe the most adventurous and satisfying part of my life immediately after graduating from the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in June 1968.

There were xxx people in my graduating class. I was #xxx out of xxx. The number one man in my class was the top graduate. His name was Tom Jenkins, and we ended up serving on the same ship as our first duty station. That is the USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4). That is quite amazing considering there were xxx between me and the top man.

The top graduate was given the first choice from the List Of Available Billets that had to be filled from my class. The number two man was given the second pick from the assignments left on the List. This continued consecutively until all the billets were filled. Needless to say, some of the people further down the precedence list did not have much of a choice. They were forced to choose among what was left.

I was really fortunate because not many people in my class relished the thought of 7 or 8 month patrols to the South Pole. And there was always the threat of have to spend the entire winter on a ship frozen in the multi-year pack ice. Also, some of my considerate friends who were helping to manage the selections let it be known that I wanted to be assigned in Long Beach, California where a large portion of my family lived. The Glacier was tied up in Long Beach, California. So, it is possible that some officers who would have chosen the Glacier did not out of deference to me.

I do not think there were many in that category for several reasons. Many of my classmates were getting married within days of graduation. Their brides to be did not want them to go aboard ship that would be away from home for 6 month to a year. They wanted ships that were in large metropolitan areas that would go out for a day or two at the most and return to home port.

Not all of my classmates were married. Many of the single members, most wanted to be assigned to units that would deploy to Viet Nam. They were the ones we considered the most gung-ho. They thought that operational assignments to Viet Nam would improve their chances for fast promotions and give them more leverage in future assignments. Many of these were the off-springs of military members. They knew more about service life and what was required to have a successful career. All academy graduates were convinced that we would serve in the military for 20 years or more. Most of us thought we would be promoted to Flag Rank of at least Rear Admiral.

My first duty assignment after graduating from the United States Coast Guard Academy was in Antarctic research logistical support. In July 1968 I reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Glacier (WAGB-4), an icebreaker operating under the control of the Commander Naval Support Forces, Antarctica, U.S. Navy, and served as a deck watch officer and the head of the Marine Science Department. I traveled to Antarctica during two patrols from July 1968 to August 1969, supporting the research operations of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Research Project in and around McMurdo Station. During the 1969 patrol the CGC Glacier responded to an international distress call from the Argentine icebreaker General San Martin, which we freed from being icebound in multi-year pack ice.

The trip from Long Beach, California required the ship to cross the International Date Line, the Equator and the 50 Degrees south Latitude. Each Line Crossing is steeped in nautical history. Any sailor crossing these Lines is required to undergo an initiation ritual.

The ceremony of Crossing the Line is an initiation rite in the Coast Guard which commemorates a sailor's first crossing of the equator. Originally the tradition was created as a test for seasoned sailors to ensure their new shipmates were capable of handling long rough times at sea. Sailors who have already crossed the equator are nicknamed (Trusty) Shellbacks, often referred to as Sons of Neptune; those who have not are nicknamed (Slimy) Pollywogs.
The two-day event is a ritual of reversal in which the older and experienced enlisted crew essentially takes over the ship from the officers. Physical assaults in keeping with the 'spirit' of the initiation are tolerated, and even the inexperienced crew is given the opportunity to 'take over'. The transition flows from established order to the controlled 'chaos' of the Pollywog Revolt, the beginnings of re-order in the initiation rite as the fewer but experienced enlisted crew converts the 'Wogs' through physical tests, then back to, and thereby affirming, the pre-established order of officers and enlisted. Like the old physically- and emotionally-intensive boot camp, the "Crossing the Equator" ritual deconstructs then reconstructs the initiates' experience from newbie outsider into the experienced military fraternity.
The eve of the equatorial crossing is called Pollywogs' Revolt and, is a mild type of reversal of the day to come. 'Wogs' - all of the uninitiated - are allowed to capture and 'interrogate' any shellbacks they can find.
After crossing the Equator, Pollywogs receive subpoenas to appear before King Neptune and his court (usually including his first assistant Davy Jones and her Highness Amphitrite and often various dignitaries, who are all represented by the highest ranking seamen), who officiate at the ceremony, which is often preceded by a Beauty Contest of men dressing up as women, each department of the ship being required to introduce one contestant in swimsuit drag. Afterwards, some wogs may be "interrogated" by King Nepture and his entourage, and the use of 'truth serum' (hot sauce + after shave + ?) and whole uncooked eggs put in the mouth. During the ceremony, the Pollywogs undergo a number of increasingly disgusting ordeals (wearing clothing inside out and backwards; crawling on hands and knees on nonskid-coated decks; being swatted with short lengths of firehose; being locked in stocks and pillories and pelted with mushy fruit; being locked in a water coffin of salt-water and bright green sea dye (fluorescent sodium salt); crawling through chutes or large tubs of rotting garbage; kissing the Royal Baby's belly coated with axle grease, hair chopping, etc), largely for the entertainment of the Shellbacks.
Once the ceremony is complete, a Pollywog receives a certificate declaring his new status. Another common status is the Golden shellback, a person who has crossed the equator at the 180th meridian (international date line). When a ship must cross these lines, the ship's captain will usually intentionally plot a course across the Golden X so that the ship's crew can be initiated into the Golden Shellbacks.
In the 19th century and earlier, the this Equator-crossing ceremony was quite a brutal event, often involving beating "pollywogs" with boards and wet ropes and sometimes throwing the victims over the side of the ship, dragging the pollywog in the surf from the stern. In more than one instance, sailors were reported to have been killed while participating in a crossing the line ceremony.
As late as World War II, the line crossing ceremony was still rather rough and involved activities such as the "Devil's Tongue" which would be an electrified piece of metal poked into the sides of those deemed pollywogs. Beatings were often still common, usually with wet firehoses, and several World War II Navy deck logs speak of sailors visiting sickbay after crossing the line.



Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdfmLn6m0XI/AAAAAAAAAVo/PG3MVVLIlWc/s200/USARPSonGlacierDeepFreeze19694b75.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R1YfVN0zgzI/AAAAAAAABCA/1u22KXZUpWM/s200/DeepFrezEquatorCrossingDSC09661.jpg


Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkCvH6m0eI/AAAAAAAAAXQ/xGu8XEb1CnQ/s200/DeepFrez85baa.jpg
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkDC36m0fI/AAAAAAAAAXY/Zt8KPM2UyDQ/s200/DeepFrez451ac.jpg
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkDO36m0gI/AAAAAAAAAXg/4_D1Ufq-M3Q/s200/DeepFrez10a58e6.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R1YfF90zgyI/AAAAAAAABB4/6Tx4dclchM4/s200/DeepFrezVappraisoChileMarisolBreonesDSC09636.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C4OoMW_5I/AAAAAAAABc8/7guM5rO4pbk/s200/DSC01074.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C39oMW_4I/AAAAAAAABc0/i-T16fx_-e0/s200/DSC01078.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C3nYMW_3I/AAAAAAAABcs/EnADrz4Lt-U/s200/DSC01067.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C3PoMW_2I/AAAAAAAABck/VqZGx7M2N5c/s200/DSC01080.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C2_4MW_1I/AAAAAAAABcc/doArVwlmJQo/s200/DSC01081.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C2sYMW_0I/AAAAAAAABcU/iSGi9s2dawQ/s200/DSC01086.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C2ZoMW_zI/AAAAAAAABcM/-50Egp0tvJ8/s200/DSC01088.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C2CYMW_yI/AAAAAAAABcE/1ONpRyJMZlA/s200/DSC01089.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C1pIMW_xI/AAAAAAAABb8/w3X6FU9uahE/s200/DSC01091.jpg

Operation DeepFreeze, Life On An Icebreaker, Duty at The South Pole Antarctica.
Single Up All Lines. Starboard engine back one-third.
Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rao4MW_NI/AAAAAAAABXc/XI9kroF3fKE/s200/DSC01025.jpg

USCGC Glacier leaves Long Beach, California for DeepFreeze 1968-1969.
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5raToMW_MI/AAAAAAAABXU/cQ_Qsr41AXo/s200/DSC01028.jpg

Lt. Bill Thompson, Operations Officer.
Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C5p4MW_7I/AAAAAAAABdM/0H8aubrDLcU/s200/DSC01075.jpg

Ensign London Steverson, Marine Sciences Department Head and Deck Watch Officer.
Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C5VYMW_6I/AAAAAAAABdE/AX7EflS3Ciw/s200/DSC01053.jpg


Entering Panama Canal locks.
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rZuoMW_LI/AAAAAAAABXM/vivXkfxFvj8/s200/DSC01099.jpg

Rodman Canal Zone, Panama Canal.
Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rZBIMW_KI/AAAAAAAABXE/Z02dRiD3zZc/s200/DSC01100.jpg

Balboa, Panama
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rYuoMW_JI/AAAAAAAABW8/6RNcNC96fXM/s200/DSC01101.jpg

Papaete, Tahiti
Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rYSYMW_II/AAAAAAAABW0/VX69kFRggZc/s200/DSC01041.jpg

French sailors from French The Atomic Test Center want to player an American basketball team.
Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rYAIMW_HI/AAAAAAAABWs/ubnNHKtJCnw/s200/DSC01040.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rXlIMW_GI/AAAAAAAABWk/BdzG1L90T2g/s200/DSC01029.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rXRIMW_FI/AAAAAAAABWc/tykUlA3rzrc/s200/DSC01031.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rW_IMW_EI/AAAAAAAABWU/Kenh_7SQxRo/s200/DSC01032.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rWtYMW_DI/AAAAAAAABWM/_M-v0WYYxxY/s200/DSC01033.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rWcoMW_CI/AAAAAAAABWE/GpKvu28LMQo/s200/DSC01034.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rWM4MW_BI/AAAAAAAABV8/rbqLpBBoRxI/s200/DSC01035.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rV2YMW_AI/AAAAAAAABV0/kdrq8WCD58Y/s200/DSC01038.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rUQoMW-9I/AAAAAAAABVc/JLQAbOq1zsg/s200/DSC01121.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rUAoMW-8I/AAAAAAAABVU/HCvQKK9M7kQ/s200/DSC01122.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rTu4MW-7I/AAAAAAAABVM/ZOfN05DVZP4/s200/DSC01123.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rTc4MW-6I/AAAAAAAABVE/RqPQeihcKEo/s200/DSC01124.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rTJYMW-5I/AAAAAAAABU8/wLyvGjkGEVo/s200/DSC01125.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rS4YMW-4I/AAAAAAAABU0/EcJ5YXSQmJ8/s200/DSC01126.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rSioMW-3I/AAAAAAAABUs/EFaTkRpbCSw/s200/DSC01127.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rSQoMW-2I/AAAAAAAABUk/Rcx9iBkB66g/s200/DSC01128.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rR-4MW-1I/AAAAAAAABUc/CulG6ULRg2A/s200/DSC01129.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rRuYMW-0I/AAAAAAAABUU/8qzLV8zsoYA/s200/DSC01130.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rRaYMW-zI/AAAAAAAABUM/Il7N6koVMJo/s200/DSC01131.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rRKIMW-yI/AAAAAAAABUE/w1HTQ4tgrh0/s200/DSC01132.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rQ4IMW-xI/AAAAAAAABT8/J459TZX9xTM/s200/DSC01133.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rQooMW-wI/AAAAAAAABT0/5XhkEMhF6co/s200/DSC01134.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rQXYMW-vI/AAAAAAAABTs/JXAYtyGoIKc/s200/DSC01135.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rQGYMW-uI/AAAAAAAABTk/RIcpPmYz04M/s200/DSC01136.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rU6oMW--I/AAAAAAAABVk/KCAqbZ4gd5Y/s200/DSC01036.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rVVYMW-_I/AAAAAAAABVs/9tNhR6wrkdg/s200/DSC01037.jpg



Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rP0oMW-tI/AAAAAAAABTc/20NNp3dxlBA/s200/DSC01137.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rPiYMW-sI/AAAAAAAABTU/1x1dD6qoNhM/s200/DSC01138.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rPRYMW-rI/AAAAAAAABTM/cvhFMi8sXkI/s200/DSC01139.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rOuIMW-qI/AAAAAAAABTE/ua1n8nVaUDQ/s200/EquatorcrossingCert917.jpg

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rOhIMW-pI/AAAAAAAABS8/TRWF9p5UmrM/s200/EquatorcrossingCert917.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rOV4MW-oI/AAAAAAAABS0/rCqOAunPpPQ/s200/EquatorAntarcticCert913.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R5rOJoMW-nI/AAAAAAAABSs/YoR76pe6ehQ/s200/EquatorPanamaCanalCert946.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkDjH6m0hI/AAAAAAAAAXo/S2GVc_7Cx9o/s200/DeepFrez33e9b.jpg











Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C0RoMW_wI/AAAAAAAABb0/b4F5-eYnzS4/s200/DSC01077.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6C0AYMW_vI/AAAAAAAABbs/oQ4I246j8NI/s200/DSC01076.jpg

Description: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6Czu4MW_uI/AAAAAAAABbk/xsEmEhvif4E/s200/DSC01155.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6CzdIMW_tI/AAAAAAAABbc/cmH-l24ZTFY/s200/DSC01152.jpg

Please, God, send down those golden rays and make me brown like the Australians, but don't burn me.
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6Cy2IMW_sI/AAAAAAAABbU/M-4B0SEdB90/s200/DSC01171.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6CySYMW_rI/AAAAAAAABbM/1ZQcnkoG8zc/s200/LondonOnGlacierDSC01169.jpg

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6CyAYMW_qI/AAAAAAAABbE/B_TgNevUqjU/s200/DSC01147.jpg

Merry Christmas in Punte Arenas, Chile.
Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R6CxpYMW_pI/AAAAAAAABa8/-xprRXd0EGs/s200/DSC01145.jpg



Description: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7862/2758/320/EnsignOnice6378.jpg
Description: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7862/2758/320/CGCGlacierc06b.jpg
Steverson's first duty assignment out of the Academy was in Antarctic research logistical support. In July of 1968 he reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Glacier
[2] (WAGB-4), an icebreaker operating under the control of the U.S. Navy, and served as a deck watch officer and head of the Marine Science Department. He traveled to Antarctica during two patrols from

U.S. Coast Guard to the rescue. Freeing the Argentine icebreaker, SanMartin, from the Antarctic pack ice.
Description: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7862/2758/320/SanMartinOnboard920e.jpg
Description: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7862/2758/320/SanMartinThanks3d3d.jpg
He traveled to
Antarctica during two patrols from July 1968 to August 1969, supporting the research operations of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Research Project in and around McMurdo Station. During the 1969 patrol the CGC Glacier responded to an international distress call from the Argentine icebreaker General SanMartin, which was stuck solidly in the multi-year pack ice. the CGC Glacier was able to loosen the ice around the San Martin and allow her to break free. A Boarding Party was put aboard the San Martin. The Commanding Officer showed his appreciation by presenting a bottle of fine Argentine wine to the Marine Science Officer, Ltjg Steverson.

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkBsH6m0cI/AAAAAAAAAW4/uFabosDh0wQ/s200/DeepFrez1bf5f.jpg
Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/RdkB736m0dI/AAAAAAAAAXA/SnE2FTJ6nl0/s200/DeepFrez2f454.jpg

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_w9V1Lyk29j8/R1Yekd0zgxI/AAAAAAAABBw/oGrLuryl_jM/s200/DeepFrezBuenosAiresDSC09660.jpg


A foreword From The Captain, Eugene E. McCrory, USCG.

Chapter 1

We departed Long Beach, California onboard the USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) on October 20, 1969. This was the beginning of Operation Deepfreeze 1969-1970. Departure Day, D Day, was a day of mixed emotions. We were sorry to leave our families and friends, but we were excited about the journey ahead. We had been anticipating this day with dread and excitement. The pier alongside the ship began to fill up early with friends, family, and well wishers. The old salts, who were the veterans of many past Deepfreeze Patrols, stayed ashore until the last minute before boarding the ship. They knew better than the first timers how long a seven month patrol can last. It feels a lot longer than seven months. It feels like an eternity. As the hour of departure approached, we witnessed a plethora of emotions. Parents shed tears for their sons; wives were crying for their husbands; and children were wailing for their fathers. It was truly a bitter-sweet occasion.

We were scheduled to depart at 1600 hours. At 1530 visitors onboard the ship were asked to go ashore. The wives and sweethearts of the officers and crew were kissing, hugging and shaking hands. Crewmembers were lined up along the railing waving goodbye. Finally the Officer Of The Day (OOD) was satisfied that all officers and crew were onboard and all visitors were ashore, the deck watch was shifted from the main deck to the bridge. Orders were given to take in the gang plank, and the mooring lines were taken in. The Deck Watch Officer ordered one prolonged blast of the ship’s whistle. This signaled that the GLACIER was free from Pier B, Long Beach Naval Station and officially enroute “Deepfreeze 69”. Many continued to stand on deck and man the railing until the last images of the Naval Base and the City of Long Beach, California faded away on the horizon.


Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home