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OPERATION HIGHJUMP 1946 US NAVY ANTARCTIC RESEARCH EXPEDITION ADMIRAL RICHARD E BYRD 83274
Published on 22 sep. 2019
In this issue of the Army Navy Screen Magazine series (N° 85), viewers are treated to A short documentary on the US Navy S Antarctic expedition Operation Highjump, A 1946 – 1947 mission to Antarctica to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV, assess the feasibility of maintaining A permanent base, and further American understanding of the continent. The film begins with aerial footage of Antarctica, A map of the continent, and footage of men framing buildings and carving ice blocks during construction of the first Little America exploration bases (1929 – 1941).
Rear Admiral Richard E Byrd and men gather in A tent during one of the early expeditions (00:48).
A plane taxis on A snowy runway (01:30)
A dogsled moves across the snow. Admiral Byrd, heading the Navy S Task Force 68, and Real Admiral Richard H Cruzen prepare to leave on Operation Highjump in 1946 (02:05).
Viewers see the expedition S ships, planes (including the amphibious Martin PBM Mariner), and helicopters (what appears to be A Sikorsky R 4). Men pose with equipment and arctic clothing. Several men work with huskies and wrap their paws (03:00)
The film shows the huskies at their kennel in New Hampshire. The first units of the expedition set sail for Antarctica. A ship (presumably the flagship USS Mount Olympus, passes A massive iceberg (03:58).
Whales swim in the arctic waters. A ship passes through an icefield (04:37).
A helicopter takes off from one of the ships to go scout. The USCGC Icebreaker Northwind breaks through ice so other ships can follow (05:10). The USS Mount Olympus is frozen stuck in the ice (05:27).
The Navy submarine USS Sennet is stuck in ice; footage shows the freed Sennet returning to the US after it is determined that it isn T safe for the sub to continue on the mission. The Central Group ships make landfall in Whales Bay near the Little America base (06:53).
Men anchor A ship into the ice by freezing A large piece of timber in the ice. A Navy man offers his hand to A penguin. Scouts head out on cross country skis and find the previous Little America base buried in snow and ice (07:55).
Men dig out ice and snow and enter the below ground base. A Navy captain locates the main entrance. Dog teams pull sleds (09:15).
Steel mats are laid down to bridge A crevasse. A penguin watches as men set up tents. Douglas R4D transport planes (Navy designation for Douglas C 47) take off from carrier USS Philippine Sea (09:56).
The large planes land on air strip at Little America. Byrd climbs out of the plane and greets the men of the task force. Alligator LVT S, modified for cold weather, head to rock pillar mountains, presumably the Transantarctic Mountains (10:50).
There is A good aerial shot of Little America IV (11:20).
On the snowy ground, seals scoot around for photographers. Divers of the Navy S Underwater Demolition Team drop into the icy water and pose for the camera (11:55).
There is A shot of A massive iceberg floating into the Bay of Whales (12:30).
The film then cuts to the sailing ships of the Eastern Group, where Captain George J Dufek crosses A line between the USS Brownson and Pine Island (12:50).
But the line breaks and he falls into the sea. A motor whaler retrieves the captain from the icy water. A Mariner mapping plane flies overhead. A Navy man pretends to box with A penguin (14:22).
With summer coming to a close, the men prepare to depart. The Douglas R4D S are left behind as planned. Aboard A ship, men review the aerial photographs of Antarctica. Task Force 68 sails through the icy waters heading back to the US, concluding the film. Operation Highjump, officially titled The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program, 1946 – 1947, was A United States Navy operation organized by Rear Admiral Richard E Byrd JR, USN (Retired), Officer in Charge, Task Force 68, and led by Rear Admiral Richard H Cruzen, USN, Commanding Officer, Task Force 68. Operation Highjump commenced 26 August 1946 and ended in late February 1947. Task Force 68 included 4,700 men, 13 ships, and 33 aircraft. Operation Highjump S primary mission was to establish the Antarctic research base Little America IV.
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