A Postal History Gallery of Related Events


The Glacier Priest Flies Over the North Pole


Father Hubbard traveled as chaplain for the 10th Air Force Rescue Squadron in 1949 as they prepared for emergencies from polar flights.

Mail Dropped by Parachute

The 1949 French Research Expedition to Greenland lived in quarters carved into the ice cap. Mail was limited to air deliveries because of surface conditions. Special postcards were parachuted from supply planes operating from Iceland during August 1950. The cards were returned to Iceland for a validating postmark.



A Polar Airmail was Flown by the Seat of His Pants

Captain Charles Blair carried a "Polar Airmail" from Norway to Alaska over the pole in 1951. His single-engine P51 aircraft carried 2900 special cards that were canceled on leaving Oslo and canceled again upon arrival at Fairbanks. Due to a lack of space, the pouched mail was used as a seat cushion on the flight.

Even Steel Ships Gave Way to the Ice

The British Greenland Expedition of 1952 was supplied by the Norwegian sealing ship TOTTAN. Severe ice damage forced the ship to withdraw early. All mail addressed to the ship was held over until spring and mailed through Denmark to the addressees. Later mail arrangements were through Daneborg.

(Exhibition pieces courtesy of George Hall)