S: Chronicles of a Navy Photographer - Volume III
BC: Edward G. Martens served as a photographer in the United States Navy for over twenty-four years, documenting military operations and events around the world. He first joined the VXE-6 "Puckered Penguins" in 1991 as lead video production coordinator, producing two detailed documentaries of the squadrons mission during the Deep Freeze '92 and Deep Freeze '93 deployments. He returned for a second tour in 1996, leading the squadron's aerial photographic division. He oversaw the Polar Program's traditional photographic assets converted to an "all digital" process and instituted aerial flight procedures for South Pole Station to be utilized by the National Science Foundation after VXE-6 disestablished in 1999.
FC: Chronicles of a Navy Photographer | V o l u m e I I I | O P E R A T I O N D E E P - F R E E Z E | Antarctic Development Squadron Six (VXE-6)
1: Table of Contents | Chronicles of a Navy Photographer Volume III "OPERATION DEEP-FREEZE" Antarctic Development Squadron Six (VXE-6) | i | Forward.....................Page iv Mission......................Page 1 History.......................Page 5 Preserving the Past.....Page 7 Air Support................Page 9 LC-130 Aircraft...........Page13
2: The cold, mysterious continent located at the bottom of the Earth. It's majestic realm is filled with wondrous sights... snow and ice that seem practically endless, and natural wildlife in its purest form. A virtually inaccessible domain that less than one percent of the worlds population has been able to experience. Venturing deep with in its frozen terrain and unlocking many secrets of our planets history, the National Science Foundation heads up the program known as... "OPERATION DEEP FREEZE" | A n t a r c t i c a ... | ii
3: To perform such a unique mission, it takes special personnel who display courage, sacrifice, and devotion to the work they do in an environment that can be brutal and unforgiving; where temperatures average seventy degrees below zero and winds gust in excess of one hundred miles per hour. Some of the people supporting this task of exploration were part of one of the most unique squadrons in the United States Navy... a squadron known as ANTARCTIC DEVELOPMENT SQUADRON SIX | iii
4: Forward When I first found out the Navy had photographers working in the Antarctic Program, I remember hoping an opportunity to go would present itself for me. Several years later, due to circumstances with base reductions, my transfer orders in 1991 were changed, and the only choice available to me was VXE-6. This allowed me the privilege to travel to a place where so few people ever get to leave their footprints. Although I was only part of the "Puckered Penguins" for a portion of its forty-four year history, the impact of what I experienced will last a life-time. Was it cold? "YES!" Was it isolated? "YES!" But, the people involved with "Deep Freeze" were some of the best I've had the honor to work with. I put this publication together to share some of the images I was able to capture during the '92, '93, '97, '98 and 1999 seasons, and also to highlight what Antarctic Development Squadron Six was all about. I thank the flight crews, squadron support staff, and especially the photo teams I worked with... for playing a part in helping capture a special place in history! | iv
6: M I S S I O N | 1
10: H I S T O R Y | 5 | Through a letter of agreement between the National Science Foundation and the United States Navy, Air Development Squadron Six (VX-6) was commissioned at Naval Air station Patuxent River, Maryland on January 17th, 1955 to provide air support for scientific research and exploration on the continent of Antarctica. During early DEEP FREEZE seasons, the squadron operated a variety of aircraft, including the P-2V Neptune, DeHavilland Otter, C-57 Skymaster, C-117 Skytrain, C-121 Super Constellation, and the CH-19 Sikorsky helicopter. In 1956, VX-6 was relocated to Naval Air Station, Quonset point, Rhode Island and conducted seventeen annual deployments from that location. In January 1969, the squadron was re-designated to Antarctic Development Squadron Six (VXE-6), and in 1973 was reassigned to Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, California, where it remained based till the squadron’s disestablishment in 1999.
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12: 7 | One of the things to make VXE-6 stand out from all the military commands I’ve encountered was its amazing historical archive. It seems that the people attached to this unique command maintained a sense of pride in preserving the many accomplishments (and struggles) it encountered throughout its forty-four year mission. During my career, I’ve seen many places purge their image archives when deemed “necessary”, not the case with “The Word’s Southernmost Airline”. Articles, imagery and film - all maintained as best as it could. A projects I took on shortly after converting the traditional “Photo-Lab” to an all “Digital” facility was to electronically scan as much of the commands historical data as possible. Restoration was one of the key challenges my personnel and I encountered… Newspaper and magazine articles had discolored; slides, negatives and prints sustained damage over the course of time. Learning to correct for those imperfections and still maintain the integrity of the originals was a time consuming and painstaking process. Pictured are some examples of the original and restored files that are now maintained at the Naval Historical Archive in Washington D.C. | PRESERVING the PAST | Repairing worn and damaged photo of a P-2V Neptune during a JATO (Jet Assist Take Off).
13: 8 | Repairing a "Water Damaged Photograph. | Corrected and cleaned newspaper articles. | Discolored and worn Newspaper article. | Image of LC-130 in flight over Antarctica, cleand dust and scratches and color corrected for "yellowing of the aircraft.
14: A I R S U P P O R T | 9
15: 10 | The LC-130 Hercules is a turbo-prop transport made by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Utilizing a combination wheel & ski tricycle landing gear, the Hercules is capable of landing on concrete, asphalt and ice runways with its wheels down, and on snow surfaces (finished or unfinished) with its skis down. This aircraft was used principally for direct delivery of cargo, and to "air-drop" suppliesto the various camps and stations throughout the continent. It also flew reconnaissance and photographic mapping missions, as well as search and rescue missions. The U.S. Air Force introduced the ski-equipped Hercules during Deep Freeze ’60. The U.S. Navy obtained four improved models during Deep Freeze '61, improving the mission supporting science exploration in Antarctica. Six additional models were brought into service through 1976, operating a total of ten LC-130’s throughout the command's forty-four year tenure. | LC-130 "Hercules"
16: SQUADRON AIRCRAFT | 11 | LC-130 “Hercules” Legnth - 97ft 8 in Wingspan - 132ft 7in Height - 38ft 4in Maximum Gross Weight - 135,000lbs Average Payload: Maximum Cargo - 25,000lbs Maximum Fuel - 10,000lbs Cargo Compartment - 3,700 cu/ft. Fuel Consumption - 672 gal/hr Fuel Capacity - 7,150 gal Additional fuselage tank - add 3.600 gal Maximum Cruising Speed - 340mph Crew - 9 Engines - 4 Allison T56-A-16 Turbo-Prop Rated horsepower - 4,591
17: 12 | UH-1N “Huey” Length - 57ft 3in Width (elevator) - 9ft 4in Height (Tail Rotor to ground) - 14ft 7in Diameters: Main Rotor Diameter - 48ft 8 in Tail Rotor Diameter - 8ft 6in Maximum Gross Weight - 10,500lbs Maximum Internal Payload - 1,600lbs External Payload - 2,150lbs Forward Max Speed - 130 knots Sideward Max Speed - 35 knots Rearward Max Speed - 30 knots Fuel Consumption - 90 gallons per hour Crew – 3 Engines - 2 Turbine Rated Combined Horsepower - 1,800
18: AIRCRAFT XD-01 LOCKHEED LC-130R-2 US Navy Buno: 160741 Build date: 1976 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, operated by VX-6 / VXE-6 from 1974 to 1997. Transfered to AMARC in 1997, removed in 1999 for NSF / NYANG conversion to LC-130H specs.
19: AIRCRAFT XD-01 LOCKHEED LC-130R-2 US Navy Buno: 160741 Build date: 1976 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, operated by VX-6 / VXE-6 from 1974 to 1997. Transfered to AMARC in 1997, removed in 1999 for NSF / NYANG conversion to LC-130H specs.
20: AIRCRAFT XD-02 LOCKHEED LC-130R-2 AIRCRAFT US Navy Buno: 160740 Build date: 1976 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, operated by VX-6 / VXE-6 from 1974 to 1997. Transfered to AMARC in 1997, removed in 1999 for NSF / NYANG conversion to LC-130H specs.
22: AIRCRAFT XD-03 LOCKHEED LC-130F AIRCRAFT US Navy Buno: 148321 Build date: 1959 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, Operated with VX / VXE-6 from 1961 - 1971, crashed and left in place for 17 years in Antarctica, recovered and repaired, returned to VXE-6 from 1993-1999. Placed into storage at Davis-Monthan AFB 29 Mar 99.
24: AIRCRAFT XD-04 LOCKHEED LC-130R-1 AIRCRAFT US Navy Buno: 159130 Build date: 1973 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, Operated with VX / VXE-6 from 1974 - 1999. Placed into storage at Davis Monthan AFB | on 29 March, 1999.
26: AIRCRAFT XD-05 LOCKHEED LC-130R-1 AIRCRAFT US Navy Buno: 159129 Build date: 1973 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, operated by VX-6 / VXE-6 from 1974 to 1995. Transfered to AMARC 1995. Selected for the NSF / ANG conversion to LC-130H.
28: AIRCRAFT XD-06 LOCKHEED LC-130F AIRCRAFT US Navy Buno: 148320 Build date: 1959 History: Operated with VX/ VXE-6 from 1961 to 1999. In 1996 ownership was transferred from the US Navy to the National Science Foundation. Stored at AMARC Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ 09 Mar 99 to June of 2002. | Removed from AMARC in 2002 for reasignment to VX-30.
30: AIRCRAFT XD-07 LOCKHEED LC-130F US Navy Buno: 148319 Build date: 1959 History: Owned by the National Science Foundation, Operated with VX / VXE-6 from 1961 - 1971, crashed and left in place for 17 years in Antarctica, recovered and repaired, returned to VXE-6 from 1993-1999. | Placed into storage at Davise-Monthan AFB on 10 March, 1999.
38: 5 | H I S T O R I C A L H U T S
46: 5 | Antarctic Wildlife
66: 5 | During the final season for VXE-6 to deploy to "The Ice", a project came to mind as I was restoring many of the images in the historical archive. By conincidence, some of the pictures I had taken in recent times had an amazing similarity to images taken in the past. | "T H E N & N O W"
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76: 5 | "T H E N & N O W"