Oct 31

Navy Arrives at South Pole, 31 October 1956

Monday, October 31, 2011 12:01 PM


On 31 October 1956 an R4D Skytrain named “Que Sera Sera” landed on the ice at the South Pole carrying seven Navy men – pilot LCdr. Conrad S. Shinn; copilot Capt. William. M. Hawkes; navigator Lt. John Swadener; crew chief AD2 John P. Strider; radioman AT2 William Cumbie; Rear Adm. George J. Dufek, Commander Task Force 43 and Commander Naval Support Forces, Antarctica; and Capt. Douglas L. L. Cordiner, Commanding Officer of Antarctic Development Squadron 6.

As the crew disembarked they became the first men to stand at the South Pole since Capt. Robert F. Scott of the British Royal Navy had accomplished the feat in January 1912.

The party remained at the pole for 49 minutes setting up navigational aids to assist the future delivery of materials and equipment for constructing a scientific obser¬vation station at the South Pole as part of Operation Deep Freeze, the Navy’s support of scientific missions in Antartica.