A Philatelic Introduction to B.A.E. III: The Postal History

United States Antarctic Service Expedition 1939-41


Joseph Lynch, Jr., ASPP
Murray Fishler, ASPP
Gary Pierson,ASPP



The First Trip


The USS NORTH STAR departed Boston, MA on November 15, 1939 while the USS BEAR left Boston on November 22, 1939. Both ships made one United States port-of-call enroute: The USS NORTH STAR stopped at Philadelphia (leaving November 21), while the USS BEAR called at Norfolk, VA on November 25 to take aboard one of the twin-engined Barkley-Grow airplanes to be used on the expedition (departing November 26).

Philatelically speaking, only the USS BEAR had an official post office and all mail sent from either of the two bases or USS NORTH STAR was canceled aboard the USS BEAR. However, much of her mail can be found with one of two circular type markings:

USS North Star Cachet TYPE I
USS North Star Cachet Type II (LA)
USS North Star Cachet Type II (Palmer)


The illustration below shows a cover posted with a double-circle cachet dated MAR 2, 1940. Various dates can be found in these double-circle markings, but all those seen by the authors indicate the year 1940 . . .


Our example was canceled in Antarctica.  January 17, 1940 found the U.S.S. Bear and the U.S.M.S. North Star at Little America III unloading supplies to establish West Base. On March 2, the U.S.M.S. North Star was back in Antarctic waters and looking to meet up with the U.S.S. Bear. The North Star was approaching Charcot Island from due north, while both ships were searching for a sight to establish East Base. Finn Ronne, who mailed this letter, was to lead his own expedition to the Antarctic in 1947. He was to use East Base as his own base and changed the name to OLEONA BASE.


. . . while all those with the single-circle cachet appear to have been used only in 1941 . . .


The U.S.S. (U.S.M.S.) North Star sailed from Seattle, Washington, December 11, 1940. She arrived at the Bay of Whales, January 24, 1941 to help evacuate West Base (Little America III), the second season. The U.S.S. Bear departed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 13, 1940. After several stops, the last at Dunedin, New Zealand, she arrived at Little America III on January 10, 1941 and began loading instruments, records and other material. Most of the equipment, including the Snow Cruiser, were left behind in the hope of reoccupying the base again in the future. The U.S.S. North Star was a 1434-ton wooden ice ship with diesel power, built for the United States Department of the Interior in 1932. It was under the command of Captain Isak Lystad with its regular crew.

This cover was canceled on the U.S.S. Bear on January 26, 1941, two days after the U.S.S. North Star arrived. The cover is signed by Captain Isak Lystad.

Philatelically, the most significant port-of-call enroute to Antarctica was made by the USS NORTH STAR at Pitcairn Island on December 13-14, 1939. The resultant covers, officially sanctioned by Byrd (who personally approved the commemorative cachet), are among the most prized philatelic gems in polar philately. The intricate pictorial cachet was designed by Richard B. Black (impending leader of East Base), Dr. Alfred B. Geyer (one of the medical doctors) and expedition official recorder Roger Hawthorne. The official expedition record states that the cachet's stencil was "destroyed" after printing of the 794th envelope.

The Pitcairn post office was quickly sold out of New Zealand stamps, but through special arrangements by Pitcairn's first postmaster, Richard Edgar Christian, payment was accepted in US currency ($27.25 total) for servicing of the covers, treating them as stampless, pre-paid letters. Postmaster Christian initialed the cancellation "R.E.C." to certify their pre-payment. Deposited mail later was picked up by a passing ship, entering the US postal system at San Francisco, California, on or about February 6, 1940.

When questioned in 1982-83, several authoritative members of the American Society of Polar Philatelists and Pitcairn Islands Study Group concurred that only about 15-20 covers are known, with twice this number probably being extant. There are instances of these having been bought at auction for over $1500.

Two types of mail from this stop exist -- mail left at Pitcairn for a stateside destination . . .


This cover was mailed to Dr. and Mrs. Mann at the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., sent by Malcolm Davis, a bird curator at the park. Davis participated on Byrd III as a biologist aboard the USS NORTH STAR and was the ornithologist during Operation Windmill, 1947-48.


. . . and mail canceled at Pitcairn and taken along for the journey south . . .


Dr. Thomas C. Poulter was the leader of the tractor party, to Bolling Advance Base, to rescue Admiral Richard E. Byrd, during the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition. He later became the scientific director of the research foundation of the team that designed the Snow Cruiser. It was built at the Pullman Company, at a cost of $150,000, which was paid for by private contributions. It was found out in Antarctica that the Snow Cruiser could not climb out of it's own tracks in the snow, so it was parked at Little America, a failure!!

This cover is addressed to the governor - a magistrate of the island. He was one of only two white men living on the island. He was a French viscount, that was accused of murdering three men in Paris. He was then sent to spend his life on Rapa Island.

Mail posted at Pitcairn and carried onward usually has at least one additional cancellation besides the Pitcairn postmark. Most all of this mail is canceled with a Pitcairn 14 December 1939 date, however three examples have been found with a December 13 cancellation (Vogel, Ice Cap News, Jan-Mar 1997). One of the three examples has both a Wellington, New Zealand (27 December 1939) and USS BEAR (14 January 1940) cancellation on a cacheted envelope signed by Miss Alta Christian, descendant of mutineer Fletcher Christian. As can be seen in the illustrations above, two distinct Pitcairn cancellation types were used on Byrd III covers.

Cristobal, CANAL ZONE was the first stop of the U.S.M.S. North Star outside the United States. This attractive cover received the Cristobal cancel on November 29, 1939. The Cristobal cancel is hard to find as the North Star did not land, but dropped anchor considerably off shore. Four men, including Ted Petras, went ashore in a launch. This cover then was carried to Pitcairn where it received the rare December 13 cancellation (before they ran out of stamps). It was then canceled at Rapa Island (before they ran out of stamps) on December 17. On December 27, 1939, at Wellington, New Zealand, he mailed the cover to himself at Dunedin and it was held there until the ship arrived on December 29, 1939. (Back-stamped "Delivery" before arrival). The final cancellation came on February 1, 1940....the departure date of the U.S.S. Bear from Little America III.


On December 17, 1939, three days after it left Pitcairn Island, the U.S.A.S.E.'s command ship stopped at Rapa Island (Ile Rapa) in the South Pacific. There are at least three different types of covers extant from the stop. The first has French Oceanic postage stamps canceled at Ahurei, Ile Rapa . . .


USASE ... December 17, 1939 ... at the south sea island AHUREI, ILE RAPA

This cover was mailed by Finn Ronne, second in command at East Base. The cover was carried to New Zealand and placed into the mail system at Wellington.


. . . the second is sans postage and canceled similarly . . .


This piece was handed back to expedition member Arnold Court, the meteorologist for West Base. Rapa Island ran out of stamps shortly after the arrival of the expedition ship.


. . . the third type was mailed and canceled there without postage and forwarded on to Papeete, Tahiti, where a French Oceanic stamp was added; the stamp was canceled there while in transit . . .


The U.S.M.S. North Star stops at RAPA ISLAND.....no stamps are left! Stamps were added at Papeete, TAHITI and canceled again there. This cover was from crewman Boston B. Hunt.

Mail ships evidently don't stop too often at Rapa Island. A variety of "combination" covers exist with additional cancels from other stops of this expedition, as illustrated by this cover sent by the ship's Captain I. Lystad . . .

Pitcairn Island cancel (no stamps available), initialed "REC" by Postmaster Richard Edgar Christian to show postage was paid. (December 14, 1939). AHUREI, ILE RAPA canceled with stamps (December 17, 1939). Wellington, New Zealand (December 30, 1939). U.S.S. Bear at Little America III with 5¢ postage overseas rate (January 17, 1940). U.S.S. North Star "Double Circle" cachet .... departure from East Base (March 20, 1940).

Backstamped at Balboa, Canal Zone, where it was deposited into the U.S. mail system (April 12, 1940).

Some covers also have a straight line cachet that has been seen on the different types of covers (see above), reading "AHUREI - ILE RAPA". The vessel made a stop at Wellington, New Zealand for three days in late December, 1939. Pieces with only a Wellington cancellation are very rare.

The fleet entered the Bay of Whales in January, 1940. The first to arrive was the USS NORTH STAR on January 12, followed by the USS BEAR two days later. Little America III was established under Station Leader Dr. Paul A. Siple, and several exploratory flights were made. Master Technical Sergeant Theodore A. Petras, U.S.M.C. sent a letter with the USS NORTH STAR when she left Little America on January 24, 1940, on her way to Valparaiso, Chile to pick up supplies for East Base . . .  

United States Antarctic Service Expedition "U.S.M.S. North Star" at Valparaiso, Chile. Canceled "N.Y. & VALP. S.S. SANTA CLARA U.S. SEA POST" . . . this is the first mail dispatch from West Base.

Master Technical Theodore A. Petras, U.S.M.C., sent this cover with the U.S.M.S. North Star when she left Little America III (West Base), on January 24, 1940. She sailed for Valparaiso, Chile, to pick up supplies that were waiting to be used to establish East Base. She arrived February 15, 1940. The S.S. Santa Clara was there on her usual run from New York. This cover was mailed the next day through her U.S. Sea Post.

The vessel arrived in Valparaiso on February 15, 1940. The SS SANTA CLARA was there on her regular run and the cover displayed above was mailed the next day. It was canceled N.Y. & VALP. S.S. SANTA CLARA / U.S. SEA POST / FEB 16, 1940. This was the first mail from Little America on the United States Antarctic Service Expedition. The SS SANTA CLARA departed Valparaiso, Chile on February 16 and arrived at New York City on Tuesday, March 5, 1940. Mst. Tech. Sgt. Ted Petras was the pilot for the Beechcraft airplane that was to be carried on the roof of the Snow Cruiser on her trip to the South Pole. Ted Petras remained at West Base (Little America).

Mst. Tech. Sgt. Ted Petras and the Snow Cruiser

The second example from this stop represents mail sent from West Base (Little America), canceled on the USS BEAR on January 14, 1940. J. Gambole, a crewman on the USS NORTH STAR, retrieved his mail and carried it with him to Valparaiso, Chile. He mailed it at a post office in Valparaiso on February 20, 1940. J. Gambole, in his return address, correctly uses "U.S.M.S. (UNITED STATES MOTOR SHIP) NORTH STAR" as she was not yet a U.S. Navy ship since she belonged to the U.S. Department of the Interior during this expedition. Incidentally, she officially became a U.S. Navy ship during the Second World War, when on January 13, 1944, she was assigned to the First Naval District . . . she was decommissioned June 15 and was returned to the Department of the Interior.

The top line of the West Base Cachet reads "Byrd-U.S. Antarctic Expedition I." In the year (194 ) on this cachet, the last number was to be added by hand as they intended to use this cachet for more than one year.

Backstamped February 20, 1940

This cover was originally mailed on the U.S.S. BEAR at West Base (Little America III) on January 14, 1940, by J. Gambole. When he realized it could be delivered faster, he took back this mail and carried it with him on the U.S.M.S. NORTH STAR to Valparaiso, Chile. He mailed it there on February 20, 1940, five days after they had arrived. J. Gambole, a crewman on the NORTH STAR, correctly used the ship designation in his return address which is one of the few times that the ship was correctly referred to as the U.S.M.S. (United States Motor Ship) NORTH STAR.


The primary purpose for the visit of the NORTH STAR to Valparaiso was to retrieve supplies and equipment for East Base. Here, too, waiting to join the ship were Lieutenants 1st Class Ezequiel Rodriguez and Federico Bonert of the Chilean Navy and Lieutenant 1st Class Julio Poch and Lieutenant (jg) Emilio L. Diaz of the Argentine Navy, who at the invitation of the United States Government had been appointed to join the ship as observers on the voyage. The USS NORTH STAR sailed for Antarctica on February 23, 1940.


1st Class Lt. Julio R. Poch, of the Argentine navy . . . "our correspondent in Byrd's Expedition to the Antarctic continent." *


1st Class Lieutenant Julio R. Poch
Argentine Navy

(At Little America) " . . . Admiral Byrd boarded the BEAR and on January 20 initiated an exploration journey towards the east, returning afterwards to the base. Once the base was provisionally installed, he proceeded to the magnetic pole and on February 8 headed east for Palmer Land.

Meanwhile, having finished unloading at the new Little America, the NORTH STAR set out for Valparaiso on January 25. There Dr. Poulter, director of the Chicago Armour Research Foundation, veteran of the Antarctic expedition, disembarked and returned to the United States, and we went on board: two officers of the Chilean Navy and two from Argentina who joined the American personnel in this new stage. On February 23 the NORTH STAR left Valparaiso heading south.

On March 2 both ships were in the Bellingshausen Sea. The BEAR had completed an interesting exploration campaign in its voyage from Little America, navigating south of every point ever reached before by any ship in that area.

The northern coast of Charcot Island and Alexander I Land was explored. On March 5 both ships met at the mooring area of Horseshoe Island. In the following days the vessels sailed along the coast of Marguerite Bay and from the hydroplane on the BEAR all its extension was explored. It was decided to install the new base on an isle close to the coast and connected to it by an ice bridge on the northern edge of Neny Fiord.

In this time of year the temperature is not rigorous, reading only 12° C below zero; winds are strong but the location offers good shelter for anchorage. Ice formations are rare and icebergs not very numerous. For all these reasons the unloading of over 500 tons of supplies becomes feasible, if not easy.

The unloading operations have been paralyzed for two days now ... today is March 19 ... because of the hurricane wind that blows from the east. Last night the two anchors of the NORTH STAR were dragging in spite of the good shelter offered by this corner of the Neny Fiord.

Dawn breaks. The sky is almost clear. It is cold. The wind keeps blowing but with no strength. At 9, the unloading resumes and the five men that have been stranded for two days on the isle of the future base return on board.

The idea of spending the night on Antarctic land occurs to me and I talk about it to my good friend, veteran Finn Ronne. Ashore, in one of the trips of the boat, I discover that our tidal measurement instrument has become an artistic but useless ice monument. In the afternoon Lieutenant Diaz and I clear it.

In the camp there are fallen tents covered with snow. They are removed with great effort.

I visit the dog villa where "Silver" welcomes me showing his joy with the rapid movement of his legs. His eighty companions produce a commotion evidently vying for my attention.

I am then told that the Commander, Mr. Black, has ordered me to stay at the camp for the night in a tent shared with Donald Hilton, an excellent boy who works as hydrographer and sledge driver.

So, I go on board for dinner and return to the beach with the motorboat of the last cargo.

At sunset everybody leaves on the boats and I take alone the path of the tents. The view of the bay is beautiful and quiet, quite different for sure from the idea I had of the coasts of Palmer or Graham Land, misled by exaggerated descriptions and photographs of frozen landscapes. It is true that I step on ice and that there are some icebergs close to our ship, but the mountains that surround us show their dark slopes and they extend themselves in rocky "restinga" vegetation on the clear water of the bay.

The tent is small, of the kind meant for sledge journeys, of thin windproof material and canvas floor. My companion has lit a gas lamp and a good heater. My friend Harry comes to visit. He lives in the plane with no light or heat. He is youthful and pleasant. He is writing a letter that I will take to his sister who lives in Buenos Aires and whom I met in Bermuda (proof of the smallness of the earth). We talk with Hilton about our astronomic positions and we comment cheerfully in spite of my doubtful English.

I go out to accompany Harry. The dogs have become quiet. The night is clear with little wind; the temperature is 5° C below zero. The plane, 100 miles away, resembles a stain in the milky continuity of the ice.

I go again through the funnel of fabric that acts as the door. The water in the jar on the floor of the tent is frozen and we can eat like ice cream a soup left over from this afternoon. We prepare our sleeping bags and I make myself comfortable in one. By indication of my companion I put on the thick hood lined with wool that seems unnecessary now but will become essential later. The fires burn out. A moment later a choir of lamentations is heard from "dog town." They must be saluting the moon that appeared through the clouds. Then, an Antarctic silence that every "porteño" (inhabitant of the city of Buenos Aires) would envy and then ... nothing else.

Our eighty neighbors bark furiously. Hilton has already lit the "primus." It is morning. My deep sleep has not allowed me to appreciate the Antarctic night in more detail.

As we go to the embarking point, the boat with the first load is already approaching. Soon the powerful tractor snores, skillfully driven by Morency. The tasks for the installation of East Base resume.

Displayed below is a cover from Julio Poch, addressed to his mother, while aboard the USS NORTH STAR. The cover received the appropriate TYPE I NORTH STAR cachet. Admiral Byrd subsequently invited Poch to join him on the BEAR for the return trip to Magallanes (Punta Arenas). The lieutenant retrieved his letter and upon boarding the BEAR, his letter received a strike of the USS BEAR's Little America canceller. The cover also received a strike of the East Base penguin cachet.

A gorgeous example of this rare leg of the expedition.

Reverse with the USS NORTH STAR Type I and EAST BASE penguin cachets

On March 21 (a record date for ships navigating in the area) both ships left in succession. The NORTH STAR went directly to Valparaiso to proceed later to Panama and Seattle, her registration port. The BEAR, taking the Admiral and the four Latin American officers at his invitation, made a detour first to the south to the coast of Alexander I, and then to the west looking for a bank called Pactolus Bank. Then by invitation of the Chilean Government she proceeded to Punta Arenas and Puerto Montt, then to Valparaiso and later to Boston via Panama, experiencing during the journey two of the most violent storms that the southern region of the continent usually offers."


Sunday, March 31, 1940 at the race tracks in Magallanes (Punta Arenas)
L to R: Adm. Huber (Chief of the navy station in Magallanes), Adm. Byrd,
the mayor of Magallanes, Lt. Julio Poch
April 4, 1940, in Cabo de Hornos
L to R: Lt. Bonert from Chile, Adm. Byrd, Lt. Julio Poch


* Translated from the Thursday, April 4th and April 25th, 1940, editions of the Buenos Aires newspaper, "La Prensa"


. . . and from a radio transmission received by his mother on Monday, March 18, 1940 . . .


"On Monday March 18 at 9:30 p.m. begins the transmission on RADIO SPLENDID. Admiral Byrd speaks first, from the BEAR, in English. His kind and praising words for Chileans and Argentines are translated. He tells an anecdote: "An explorer was asked after a long time in isolation away from civilization what he missed the most and he answered, "Temptation."

Then from the NORTH STAR, Julio and Lieutenant Diaz spoke. At first there were loud discharges and we could barely hear but the transmission got clearer and clearer. Diaz described the simple and pleasant life on board: one course and dessert to eat, and a choice of tea, coffee or chocolate to prepare themselves at any time of day. It is not very cold: 12° C below zero minimum, 2° C over zero maximum. Then Julio's voice was heard, clear and so animated and cheerful that he left us the most agreeable impression. It seemed to us that we could see him in his best enthusiastic and optimistic days.

He talked about the ice, about the first icebergs, the encounter with the whales (the ship collided with one) and the blizzards. Surrounded by ice the ship goes forward slowly breaking it. They seize the opportunity to practice ski with the Chileans. He names the islands they find; they can see many earth mountains, not very high, and incredibly beautiful bays that remind him of Funchal. He dedicates this memory to Leon, Franzini and Rodriguez. He says that Diaz collects flora and fauna samples, directed and aided by the specialists. Julio helps them with the digging but he mainly acts as their pet. He speaks of the pleasant life on board, of the excellent American and Chilean companions, of the admiration that Byrd arises in them when they meet him and he invites them to eat in his company.

Then Mr. Black speaks in correct Spanish, very charming. Then they say goodbye. Julio says, "I send my love to those at home, to Uncle Julio, to the people I love in Montevideo. I salute the navy officers, my companions at the navy school and the cadets. Greetings to my friends and love to "X". This was heard with an admirable clarity and naturally we were all intrigued. For how many "X's" was the greeting meant? That is the real mystery.

When the transmission was over I immediately called Transradio and spoke with the operator that was still communicating with Julio. I was able to tell him of our joy at having heard him so well and to send him all our love.

The operator holding the receiver to one ear listened to me and relayed to Julio what I said while listening to him with the other ear.


Lt. Poch aboard USS NORTH STAR


A special "thank you" to Patricia Poch (daughter of Lt. Julio Poch) for your contribution of newspaper articles and radio transmission log, as well as for the translation of these documents. I am also grateful for the cover displayed above, along with the photos from your personal estate.

The Webmaster



Following the USS NORTH STAR'S resupply run to Chile, both ships anchored off the Palmer Peninsula and unloaded supplies for East Base from 11-21 March.

U.S.S. Bear and U.S.S. North Star cancellation. The March 8, 1940 cachet of the North Star is the date of the landing on Stonington Island to establish East Base at Neny Fiord.

The "Standing Bear" cachet, dated March 20, 1940, was the last day in Antarctica.


Unloading the NORTH STAR at East Base

Following completion, the USS BEAR sailed for Boston while the USS NORTH STAR headed for Seattle, from whence she was scheduled to make here regular summer cruise to Alaska for the Department of the Interior. Admiral Byrd left with the fleet and did not return to Antarctica until Operation Highjump in 1947.

After leaving East Base on March 21, 1940, the U.S.M.S. North Star stopped at Balboa, Canal Zone, on her way to her home port at Seattle, WA. The Fourth Officer, William Schroeder, sent this letter to his parents in Newton, MA. He mailed it the day they landed, April 12, 1940.



Snow Cruiser Covers


Where did they store the 10,000 covers? Probably between the rear wheels.


Ted Petras was the pilot and navigator for the Snow Cruiser and it's Beechcraft stagger-wing (MODEL D17A) airplane. The photo of Dr. Russel G. Frazier, M.D. and Ted Petras was taken in 1940 on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.


Since the Snow Cruiser was carried to Antarctica on board the main deck of the USS NORTH STAR, it was fitting that covers commemorating this large vehicle be associated with the vessel in the manner shown below . . .

Anyone who has ever tuned up the family vehicle or repaired the broken household washing machine will appreciate the mechanical beauty of the Snow Cruiser . . .


With it's crew's quarters, mess hall, dark room, etc., it was a self-contained luxury liner (by polar standards) designed to travel to the South Pole and return under its own power. It saddens a do-it-yourselfer like myself that there were insufficient facilities and materials at Little America III to change the deficiencies built into the cruiser. Chains were applied to the tires but it did not help her poor traction. A regearing ratio was required but the limited resources at Little America prevented such major changes to be made to her design. The very best this beautiful machine could do was to travel the few miles from the sea-ice to the base and there she was eventually buried in hopes that she could be used at a later date and time. Unfortunately she sailed out to sea many years later (1964) when the section of the Ross Ice Shelf in which she was buried broke off along with the base. The moment, strangely enough, was captured on film by Naval personnel during Operation Deepfreeze.

The cruiser's airplane did yeoman service for the U.S.A.S.E. at West Base but never got a chance to ride "piggyback" over the ice-shelf or polar plateau.

Fidelity Stamp Company, of Washington, D.C., issued several types of advertisements for the cruiser covers it intended to sell. Postcards and printed envelopes indicated to prospective buyers the departure date and cost per item. The semi-finished product for sale, which was carried south by the USS NORTH STAR, had space reserved for a later addition of wording which proposed to give the time and date of a successful arrival at the South Pole. Unfortunately, the 4-line cachet, as illustrated above, had to be added instead. An additional "Registered" marking was added to the reverse of the covers with individual numbers for each cover returned to the States (see above). The latter, as well as the "DEFENSE PLANS HALTED" cachet were, of course, untrue. No cover would ever have reached the Pole on the Snow Cruiser under the circumstances and none of the covers were ever sent by registered mail to this writers knowledge.

Upon departing the Antarctic in 1941, West Base members retrieved many of the envelopes which were on board the cruiser and these were returned to Fidelity for the above-mentioned cachet. A very rare example exists from this date which was canceled on the USS BEAR . . .

Thousands of covers were canceled at Boston, MA by machine (see color example above) on May 6, 1941, and others, which are more uncommon, were canceled by hand on the same date . . .




The covers were all returned on the USS North Star. A few random covers had blocks of stamps, rather than singles, put on the covers. The ones with blocks were hand canceled instead of machine canceled and are quite rare.


A number of envelopes were apparently left behind on the cruiser, buried under the snow, to await the arrival of the next visitors to Little America. In 1946-7 the Central Group of ships of OPERATION HIGHJUMP moored to the ice in the Bay of Whales and built Little America IV. During the time of their stay, visits were made to Little America III and, of course, to the buried Snow Cruiser. Some of the remaining envelopes were taken by the searchers and canceled aboard ships of the Central Group. When Little America V was established during the early Deepfreeze years further visits were made to the Snow Cruiser and even more envelopes were retrieved. These can be found with a variety of annotations, cancels and cachets. Deepfreeze 1957-8 apparently cleaned out the cruiser of old envelopes because she did not go to her watery grave until 1964 yet covers are not known to this writer after the 1957-8 season.


USASE Snow Cruiser cover retrieved during OPERATION HIGHJUMP

Retrieved during OPERATION DEEPFREEZE III and flown south to the Pole



The crew of the Snow Cruiser in 1940-1 did have access to some printed stationary all their own (i.e. the Ted Petras and Pitcairn Island examples illustrated earlier). Writing paper with a Snow Cruiser letterhead was also used by Ted Petras, the Marine sergeant who piloted the Snow Cruiser's Beechcraft airplane. Other examples surely exist.

Perhaps this will clear up for the collector that puzzling question of why envelopes which were originally designed for use with the United States Antarctic Service Expedition 1939-41 appear on the scene with cancels dated during Highjump and Deepfreeze. It would be difficult, I would think, to find a more available source of covers which overlap three different Antarctic expeditions.