OPERATION DEEP FREEZE FATALITIES - Billy Ace Baker
Operation Highjump: Four USN personel were killed during Operation Highjump. They were the first Americans killed in Antarctica after World War Two. I have listed the Highjump casualties, but this spreadsheet deals mainly with those American personnel and Kiwis killed in Antarctica during the period when the Navy was in operational control of Operation Deep Freeze from (19551999).
Title Name Acty Date Details/Comments
Ensign "Maxwell A. Lopez, USNUSS Pine" Island 30 Dec 46
ARM1* "Wendell K. Henderson, USN " Ditto 30 Dec 46 "
AMM1* "Frederick W. Williams, USN" Ditto 30 Dec 46
PBM-5 (George I) Crash. CO of Pine Island was aboard and survived the crash. The other survivors were medevac'd home but the CO had to stay and finish the operation. Frederick died two hours after the crash.
SN "Vance N. Woodall, USN" USS Yancey 4647
Ship unloading accident during Highjump (Polar Times June 47)
LT "John P. Moore, USNR" USS Atka 22 Jan 55
Helo Pilot. Killed in Helo crash at Kainan Bay near Little America. Pre DF site survey. (Polar Times June 55)
CD3 "Richard T. Williams, USN " CB Spec 1 Jan 56
Tractor broke through ice at McMurdo. Williams Field named in his honor.
CD3 "Max R. Kiel, USN" CB Spec 5 Mar 56
Tractor fell into crevasse en route from Little America to establish Byrd Station.
(Polar Times June 56)
LT "David W. Carey, USNR" VX-6 18 Oct 56
Capt "Rayburn A, Hudman, USMC" VX-6 18 Oct 56 Ditto
AD1 "Marian O. Marze, USN" VX-6 18 Oct 56 Ditto
AT1 "Charles S. Miller, USN" VX-6 18 Oct 56 Ditto
P2V crash at McMurdo during whiteout. Three killed. Hudman dies later.
CD "Ollie B Bartley, USN" CB Spec 14 Jan 57
Weasel went through ice at Hut Point.
AD2 "Nelson R. Cole, USN" VX-6 12 Jul 57
From burns in helo crash in vicinity of McMurdo during austral winter.
(Polar Times Dec 57)
SA "Richard T. Oppegaard, USN " ?? 8 Nov 57
A C-124 en route from CHCH crashed in Admiralty Mountains on way to
make a mail drop at Hallett Station.. The Globemaster got lost and
crashed into a mountain. The aircraft was loaded with 8 tons of
construction timbers. The seven men on the flight deck survived.
The six men in the cargo area of the aircraft perished.
SSGT "Leonard M. Pitkevitch, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58
TSGT "Iman E. Fendley, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58
TSGT "Nathaniel Wallis, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58
A1C "Richard De Angelo, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58
A2C "Robert L. Burnette, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58
A2C "Kelly Sloan, USAF" 52nd TCS 16 Oct 58 Ditto
LT "Harvey E. Gardner, USN" VX-6 4 Jan 59
Otter take off at Marble Point. (Polar Times June 59)
LTJG "Lawrence J. Farrell, USN " VX-6 4 Jan 59 Ditto
LT "Tom Couzens, Armored Corps" NZA 19 Nov 59 Crevasse accident.
(Polar Times Dec 59)
BU "Paul V. O'Leary, USNR" ASA 28 Nov 59
Accidental Poisoning. Drank methyl alcohol at a party.
SW1 "Orlan F. John, USN" ASA 2 Nov 60
Accidential explosion at McMurdo.
P2V Neptune crash and burn on take-off from Wilkes Station. A range of mountains was named after Dr. Thiel. The other victims have individual mountains in this range named for them. (Polar Times Dec 61)
Civilian Edward C. Thiel Seismologist USARP 9 Nov 61
LCDR "William D. Counts, USN Pilot" VX-6 9 Nov 61
JTJG "Romauld P. Compton, USN" VX-6 9 Nov 61
AMH1 "William W. Chastain, USN" VX-6 9 Nov 61 Ditto
ADR2 "James L. Gray, USN" VX-6 9 Nov 61 Ditto
Civilian Carl R. Disch Ionospheric Phy. USARP 8 May 65
Disappeared at Byrd Station.
LC-47 crash on Ross Ice Shelf
LCDR "Ronald Rosenthal, USN Nav" VX-6 2 Feb 66
LT "Harold M. Morris, USN Pilot" VX-6 2 Feb 66
LT "William D. Fordell, USN Co-pilot" VX-6 2 Feb 66
AT1 "Richard S. Simmons, USN" VX-6 2 Feb 66
ADR2 "Wayne M. Shattuck, USN" VX-6 2 Feb 66
ADJ3 "Charles C. Kelley, USN" VX-6 2 Feb 66
SK2 "Andrew B Moulder, USN" ASA 13 Feb 66
Crushed between Herc ramp and cargo sled at South Pole.
VX-6 Helo crash near Mount McLennan. Six survivors. Helo slid 700 ft after crashing. Berg wintered at McMurdo during DF61
Civilian Jeremy Sykes NZ film director NZARP 19 Nov 69
Civilian Thomas E. Berg Geologist USARP 19 Nov 69
ADC "William D. Decker, USN " VXE-6 11 Oct 71
Died in his sleep at McMurdo CPO Quarters. Decker was VXE-6 LCPO.
Civilian Wolf V. Vishniac Microbilogist USARP 11 Dec 73
Fell off mountain in Asgard Range
Civilian Greg Nickell Lab Manager USARP 15 May 74
Truck wreck between McMurdo & Scott Base. Truck rolled down 600 foot cliff.
Civilian Jeffrey D. Rude Oceanographer USARP 12 Oct 75
Drowned when tracked vehicle broke through ice in McMurdo Sound.
SN "Gerald E. Reily, Jr., USCG" Glacier 22 Jan 76
Electrocuted aboard ship while operating in Amundsen Sea. 43rd U.S. fatality since 1946 (PT June 76)
?? "Raymond C. Porter, USCG" ?? 8 Feb 79
Offloading USNS Bland, forklift he was operating turned over and crushed him.
Civilian Casey A. Jones H&N USARP 9 Jan 80
Cook at South Pole Station. A column of snow/ice fell on him while in intake shaft.
Cremated in New Zealand and remains dumped on the Beardmore Glacier.
BM1 "Raymond T. Smith, USN " ChapGru 8 Feb 82
Knocked overboard while offloading SS Southern Cross. His hardhat
was made into a memorial.
Civilian Matthew M. Kaz ITT Employee USARP 23 Nov 86
Civilian John E. Smith ITT Employee USARP 23 Nov 86
Fell in crevasse while walking two miles east of McMurdo.
Civilian Mark T. MacMillian Diver USARP 14 Nov 87
Diving accident at McMurdo. 50th American line-of-duty death since WWII.
LCDR "Bruce Bailey, USN" VXE-6 9 Dec 87 C-130
AK2 "Donald M. Beatty, USN" VXE-6 9 Dec 87 Ditto
Crash while landing at D-59. Eleven SOBs.
AMS1 "Benjamin Micou, USN" VXE-6 31 Oct 92
Civilian Garth Varcoe Kiwi DSIR TSO NZARP 31 Oct 92
Civilian Terry Newport Kiwi DSIR GFE NZARP 31 Oct 92
Helo crash near Cape Royds. First fatal Helo crash since 1969.
?? "Name Unknown, USN" ChapGru 30 Jan 95
TAD to NAVCHAPGRU for ship offloading. Killed near Castle Rock.
FCCM "Charles Gallagher, USN (Ret)" ASA ? May 97 Apparent heart attack during pneumonia and dehydration. Gallagher worked for the contractor, but had been NSFA CMC. 48th American death since 1955.
(Polar Times Volume II, Number 9)
These references were used in the development of this list:
"US Army Observer's Report of Operation Highjump, Siple, et al, 1947"
"CASA Final Report DF-61, Chaplain's MWR Input"
"Antarctic Journal of the United States (AJUS), Vol I (1966), Mar-Apr #2"
Notes: *ARM1 as listed in the Army Observers Report
"AJUS, Vol II (1967), May-Jun #3"
RM1 as listed in Antarctic Sun "AJUS, Vol IXI (1974), Jan-Feb #1"
AT2 as listed in Assault on Eternity"AJUS, Vol XXVII (1993), #1"
"AJUS, Vol XXX, (1995)"
"20 Years on the Ice, VXE-6 Cruise Book, 1975"
*AMM1 as listed in the Army Observers Report
"Assault on Eternity, Lisle A. Rose, 1980"
MM1 as listed in Antarctic Sun
"Antarctica, An Encyclopedia, Volumes I and II, John Stewart, 1990"
AD1 as listed in Assault on Eternity
"New Zealand Antarctic Society Bulletin, Volume 12, #1, 1991"
"Moments of Terror, The Story Of Antarctic Aviation, David Burke, 1994"
"Geographic Names of the Antarctic, Second Edition, 1995"
"NASU Christchurch, Decommissioning Ceremony Brochure, 13 Feb 1998"
E-mail from Harold Herles to Jim O'Connell dated . Jan 2000
Various issues of the Polar Times with appropriate entries annotated.