January-2000 - COs Page...
Buz Dryfoose was a young Naval Aviator in the 1950s and made many tracks in the history of Air Development Squadron 6 in the Antarctic.
Watch for his bio sketch here soon.
He was a personal friend of the comic strip hero Buzz Sawyer....
One day in the dim, dark ages of the past in DF IV, the Navy saw fit to send four Navy captains (of the head-shrink variety) to the Ice to ascertain if wintering over had mentally affected any of the personnel. At the time, Navy four-striper Pat Mahier, senior Naval officer in the Antarctic and four-striper Bob Slagel, senior medical officer on the Ice, (both of whom wintered over at Little A-5), got wind of the impending visit. Little A-5 boasted one of the finest saunas in the Antarctic. There were members of the "Over 300 Club" in the wintering over party. Membership required a 300 degree spread from inside the sauna to outside temperatures. An individual would soak in the heat, then go outside and roll in the snow. As long as you had booties on to protect your feet, depending on temperature, you were good for 15-20 minutes outside. Your skin temperature, not your body temperature, would raise about 10 degrees while you were heat-soaking. In a no-wind condition outside, it took 15-20 minutes for that extra 10 degrees to wear off.
Now, this is what happened: the two wintering over captains had been heat-soaking for about 30 minutes before the arrival of the head-shrinkers. They had it timed from Kiel Field back to Little A-5 and had one of the airfield personnel call the base when the head-shrinkers departed Kiel Field.
After about 20 minutes or so, Mahier and Slagel donned their bridge caps (with scrambled eggs all over them) and pulled on some bunny boots, then climbed the ladder to the outdoors. Up through the snow came these two men with almost nothing but boots and hats.....who greeted the snow cats as they arrived from Kiel Field. The driver stopped and Pat Mahier opened the door and said, "Welcome to Little America 5, Gentlemen. I'm glad you could get here on such a balmy day [the temperature was about -20]. If you'll step out of the snowcat, I'll take you on a tour of the facilities that are above snow level." At this time, all of the buildings built in DF 2 and DF 3 were under about 15 feet of snow......and were reached by tunnels. The interior temperature of the tunnels was a constant 18 degrees. The cubicle temperatures were kept at about 45 degrees. Captains Mahier and Slagel walked the four shrinks through the snow, around the camp, through the antenna farm, and finally, after about 15 minutes, down the ramp into the tunnels..... Captain Mahier saying, "I'm terribly sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. You gentlemen would probably like a good, hot cup of coffee."
With this, they proceeded to the galley where the six captains sat around a table (the four shrinks in full, winter protective clothing, shivering up a storm.......while Mahier and Slagel were still in their caps and boots). The steward approached and Captain Mahier says, "Please bring four hot cups of coffee for these gentlemen. We'll have our usual." At this point, the steward retired to the kitchen, returning moments later with four steaming cups of coffee.......and two glasses of iced tea. After this, the conversation dwindled off to nothing. The four head shrinkers never did get the respect they thought they deserved during their visit.
I have more at a later date......
Buz (member of the 200 Degree Club)
I took the same four head shrinkers to Cape Hallet in R4D-8 99853.
When flying this aircraft, the crew always carried their own survival gear in
backpacks. We got to Hallet and the captains (of the head shrinker
variety) had questionnaires for station personnel to complete. The station
was manned by US Navy and Kiwi personnel. This station ran the finest
still in the Antarctic. All canned fruit eaten during winter or summer was
served with no juice. All went into the still. It was really FINE
stuff...!! Burned with an almost invisible flame when ignited in a spoon.
Very smooth going down and when it hit bottom, it was like a small explosion.
This is merely a background to fill out the picture of the
There were 19 men sitting around a table, each with a questionnaire in front of him. The questions were VERY personal. Each man, after having numbered off 1-19, proceeded to answer his respective numbered question. One man got two questions. At the end, the questionnaire in front of a man was signed by that man and given to the captains. Some of the wildest answers you can possibly imagine.......similar to things I've heard/read these last couple of months on this Onelist!!
The captains were getting no respect here, either. They were still shaking their heads when they boarded the flight back to McMurdo. Upon arrival at McMurdo (about three hours later), we landed, taxied to the bottom of the hill. It was early in the season and we were parking the planes there as the ice was still thick enough. The captains disembarked and were standing around outside the hatch. The crew, meanwhile, was securing the aircraft and preparing it for the next day's flight. When this was completed, the crew picked up their survival backpacks and started for the walk up the hill to our quarters. At this, one captain called out and said, "Lt., where is our transportation? " My response: "You're standing on it, Sir.", after which I turned and continued walking up the hill.
They got minimum respect from us, as well.....:)
Attn: All Hands
This photo just in of your CO on opening day at South Pole Station DF-60. You can tell that the civilian dude has been there too long. Look at that look in his eyes. He is afraid that Buz is going to take the doll away from him. OK CO did you?
In a message dated 12/27/1999, 2:30:34 PM, BUZSAM writes:
This is attempt #1 to send you....in some workable fashion.....the promised photo of Miss South Pole. The caption from the Navy blurb on the back of the photo reads: "Lt. Earl D. Dryfoose, Pilot of the first plane to land at the South Pole on DF 60, is introduced to Miss South Pole by Clarence McKenny civilian meteorologist at the South Pole Station Antarctica."
Hope this works!
I've always had excellent crews and no crew member proved more valuable to all of us than our expert navigators....usually Marines. Case in point-
AMSGT Art DeBolt was my navigator on 99853 in DF 59-60. We took a party of Iggys out to the middle of the Ross Ice Shelf and dropped them off about 2- 2 1/2 hours from McMurdo. The weather was beautiful, the landing area uneventful.....like being in the middle of a white billiard table. No landmarks in sight in any direction.
We dropped them off, made sure that they made camp, and bid them fond adieu....to return in three days to collect them again. Back to McMurdo for plane and crew. The weather was crystal clear and we could see for miles. As soon as I saw Minna Bluff, still probably 100 miles away, I told Art I had the nav and for him to track me.
As we approached Minna Bluff, he came up to the cockpit and asked me what heading I was flying. I told him I had no idea, I'd been eye-balling it and Minna Bluff was right in front of me, McMudro slightly off to the left. When I asked him why the question, he said, "Our compasses have precessed between 35-40 degrees" and when we landed, he wanted a compass check on the runway.
This we did and we were all wondering just where the Hell we'd dropped those people.
Art set the compasses and told me the only thing he could do was to attempt to recreate the flight utilizing a constant rate of precession to determine exactly where we'd dropped the party.
Three days later, we were ready to go pick them up and I asked Art if he knew where we were going. He said he was pretty certain and for me to fly right over Minna Bluff and he'd give me a heading. The weather was excellent and he tracked me with a drift sight. About an hour and forty five minutes out, he gave me a 2 degree port course correction and told me that at 25 past the hour the party should be about a half mile out my port window abeam the aircraft. So, I took him at his word and continued as per his instructions.
At 25 after the hour, there was the party just off my port wingtip. We landed uneventfully, packed them up, and....after we were in the air.....told them what had happened. They were very thankful.
Art would always say, " Mr. Dryfoose, I have never in my life been lost." he would add, "Sometimes a little unsure of my position.....but NEVER lost!" And I can verify that.
To which It has been known to happen that the pilot of 318 would turn to the co-pilot and say, "Is you ready, Speed King?" to which the co-pilot would duly answer, "Let 'er go, Daddio!" . At this time I'd two block the power levers and tell everyone to start praying.
More as we receive word... please standby...