Byrd-Pole Traverse 1960-61

Byrd-Pole traverse team arrives at Pole

This is how 2 orange D-8's made it to Pole (one was destroyed in the October 1964 fire and replaced with the black one). This traverse consisted of two D-8's with sleds, 1 weasel, and a total of 11 men including leader Army Major Antero Havola. The tank on the front of this D-8 carries extra fuel for the traverse, hence this was known as a "bow tanker." Since it didn't have a lot of usefulness without a blade, one was ordered, and eventually this machine was parked next to the garage. In 1963-64 the folks wondered why they received a D-8 blade in the resupply since their only D-8 already had a blade. Then the mechanic noticed that he'd been tripping over something next to the garage, it was the top of this beast. The blade was installed, and it was reworked during the 1964 winter, only to be destroyed in the garage fire.

Byrd-Pole traverse arrival
Another photo of the arrival. Major Havola is sitting atop the wanigan... This was the first US surface traverse to reach Pole.
Byrd-Pole traverse members at Pole
Above, 8 members of the traverse team in front of their sign and some of their equipment (these 3 photos courtesy PK Swartz).
map of the 60-61 Byrd-Pole traverse
Above, a route map of the traverse, extracted from an article in about the traverse in the January 1961 Bulletin of the U.S.
Antarctic Projects Officer
. The full article, which includes the summary traverse log, can be found here.

Below, a hero shot of the traverse team before their departure from Byrd (U.S. Navy photo).
Byrd-Pole traverse team