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George Dufek Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Dufek, George J. (George John), 1903-
Title: George Dufek Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1946-1971
Quantity: 5.5 linear ft.
Abstract: The career of Admiral George John Dufek (1903-1977) in the U.S. Navy included work with the U.S. Antarctic Service (1939-1941), Arctic Task Force 68 (1946), Antarctic Operation Highjump (1946-1947) and Arctic Task Force 80 (1948). After 1955 Dufek commanded Operation Deep Freeze, which provided support for US IGY research programs, and in 1956 he became also U.S. Antarctic Projects Officer. After retiring in 1959 he became Director of the Mariners' Museum in Virginia. Cf. Peter J. Beck, Polar Record, v. 23, no. 145 (1987). The collection includes clippings, photographs, official reports, draft speeches, personal and official correspondence, articles, and scrapbooks. Files relating to Operation Deep Freeze include chronologies, record books, reports, photographs and scrapbooks. There is also some material relating to Dufek's other Arctic and Antarctic expeditions, however these operations are less fully documented.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

George John Dufek (1903- ) was an American naval officer and arctic expert. Born in Rockford, Illinois, he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at his local high school and was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1921. Upon graduation in 1925 he received his ensign's commission and commenced his career aboard the battleship USS Maryland. In 1932 he entered flight training school at the U.S. Navy air station in Pensacola, Florida; after graduating as a naval aviator in 1933 he served as navigator and executive officer on three different ships

By 1939 Dufek had been promoted to lieutenant. That spring he requested and received an assignment with Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd's third expedition to Antarctica, where he served as navigator of the USS Bear, the flagship of the expedition. In recognition of his many hours of exploratory flying over the South Polar continent Dufek later received the Antarctic Expedition Medal.

During World War II Dufek commanded a flight training squadron, served as senior naval aviator in Algeria during the invasion of North Africa, assisted in the planning for the invasion of Sicily and Salerno and, after his promotion to captain and subsequent reassignment, the invasion of southern France. In September 1944 he assumed command of the USS Bogue, which sank the final German submarine lost in World War II.

After a brief post-war stint in Japan, Dufek was assigned as chief staff officer to a U.S. Navy-Coast Guard task force to establish weather bases in the polar regions. While there he participated in Operation Highjump, a Naval expedition to Antarctica under the command of Admiral Byrd, during which he made the first flight over the Thurston Peninsula and later rescued six survivors of another flight over the same area. He returned to Washington D.C. briefly but by 1947 was back in the Antarctic, this time commanding a task force sent to supply existing weather stations and to establish new ones near the Pole.

During the Korean War the Navy placed Dufek in command of the USS Antietam, then on Kwajalein Island in the Pacific and finally at Whidbey Island Naval air station in Oak Harbor, Washington. But in 1954 his cold-weather expertise was again in demand when he joined a special antarctic planning group preparing for the Navy's Operation Deepfreeze, a scientific polar research expedition. When planning was complete Dufek was given command of Task Force 43, which included more than 80 officers and 1000 enlisted men, three ice-breakers, and three cargo ships, was charged with logistics and support for the expedition. Among other accomplishments the task force established bases on Ross Island and in Little America, and on October 31, 1956 Admiral Dufek and six fellow travelers became the first Americans ever to set foot at the South Pole and to plant the American flag, and the first men ever to land on the pole from the air. After Admiral Byrd's death, Dufek was appointed to succeed him as supervisor of U.S. programs in the South Polar Regions.

Among the numerous recognitions and awards he has received are the Legion of Merit with two Gold Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, Croix de Guerre and the Korean Presidential Citation. He is a member of the Legion of Honor with the rank of chevalier, and in August 1957 he received the Distinguished Service Medal.

[Adapted from "Dufek, George J." in Current Biography (1957).]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George Dufek Papers are arranged chronologically beginning with his 1938 assignment aboard the U.S.S. Arneb, through his career in the U.S. Navy and appointment as Director of the Mariners' Museum. Dufek's career included work with the U.S. Antarctic Service (1939-1941), Arctic Task Force 68 (1946), Antarctic Operation Highjump (1946-1947), and Arctic Task Force 80 (1948). After 1955 Dufek commanded Operation Deep Freeze, which provided Support for U.S. participation, in International Geophysical Year research programs. Following his retirement in 1959, Dufek became Director of the Mariners' Museum in Virginia. Dufek's papers reflect his interests in both polar regions, and his role in Antarctic affairs between 1955 and 1959. (Cf. "The Papers of Admiral George Dufek ..." by Peter J. Beck from Polar Record, vol. 23, no. 145, 1987.)

The Dufek papers contain chronologies, personal and official correspondence, manuals, reports, press releases, speeches, internal memos, writings, and photographs. The twelve scrapbooks at the end of the collection document the years between 1956 and 1959, with special emphasis an Operation Deep Freeze. They are supplemented by an extensive clippings file which covers 1946 through 1971.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Papers are arranged chronologically by major topic and again chronologically within that.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this material.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Dufek, George J. (George John), 1903- , Archives.

Corporate Bodies

Antietam (Aircraft carrier)
Mariners' Museum (Newport News, Va.)
United States., Navy, Officers.
United States., Navy., Task Force 43.
United States., Navy., Task Force 66.
United States., Navy., Task Force 68.

Subjects

Admirals, United States.
International Geophysical Year, 1957-1958.
Scientific expeditions, Antarctica.
Scientific expeditions, Arctic regions.
Scientific expeditions, Polar regions.
Transportation, Military, Cold weather conditions, Research.

Places

Antarctica.
Arctic regions.
Polar regions.

Genres and Forms

Clippings.
Correspondence.
Photographs.
Press releases.
Scrapbooks.
Speeches.

Occupations

Admirals.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George Dufek Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Aug 1988
Revision history: 12 Nov 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Inventory

1938
Box 1 Press release - U.S.S. Arneb Feb. 1938
World War II
Box 1 Bogue Bulletin Mar. 1945
Box 1 Orders 1945
Task Force 68
Manuals and reports
Box 1 "Arctic Navigation" Oct. 1947
Box 1 "Arctic Warfare" - 2 bibliographies June, Oct. 1946
Box 1 Bibliography on Ice of the Northern Hemisphere 1945
Box 1 "Cold and Heavy Weather Operations" Mar. 1946
Box 1 "Development of Ice-Breaking Vessels for the U.S. Coast Guard" - article by Harvey F. Johnson ("advance copy of paper to be presented at annual meeting, November 14 and 15, 1946" of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers)
Box 1 "The German Antarctic Expedition of 1938-1939"
Box 1 "Landings on Ice at Cambridge Bay, Canada" June 1947
Box 1 "Report by U.S. Weather Bureau Observers on Arctic Activities" Summer 1947
Public Information Office
Box 1 Biographical sketches 1946
Box 1 Internal memos July-Aug. 1946
Box 1 Photographs 1946
Box 1 Press interviews Oct. 1946
Box 1 Press releases July-Dec. 1946, undated
Memorabilia
Box 1 Operation Nanook - photographs 1946
Box 1 Operation Nanook - leather scrapbook cover for Operation Nanook photographs
Box 1 "The Secret Land" - MGM movie promotional material
Task Force 80
Box 1 Correspondence 1948
Intelligence reports
Box 1 "Geographical Intelligence Report no. 5" undated
Box 1 "The Warming of the Arctic" - translation of Chapter 7 of N.N. Zubov's In the Center of the Arctic (1948) Jan. 1949
Internal memos July-Aug. 1948
Manuals and reports
Box 1 "The Arctic" undated
Box 1 "Climatology of Polar Regions" July 1948
Box 1 Cold weather training manuals, variously titled 1948 (5 items)
Box 1 "Ice Service in Finland" 1937
Box 1 "Manual of Ice Seamanship" 1948
Box 1 "Plan for Arctic Test Transportation Corps Equipment" Aug. 1948
Box 1 "United States Weather Bureau Plans and Instructions for Arctic Operations" summer 1948
Box 1 Miscellaneous fragments - "Air bedding bill"; "Flight quarters bill" undated
Box 1 Photographs 1948, undated (3 folders)
Published material
Box 1 "Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition 1946-1948" - article by Finn Ronne (reprinted from The Geographical Review, vol. XXXVIII, no. 3) 1948
Writings
Box 1 Untitled (2) about U.S. Navy interests in the Arctic and Antarctic; and a chronology of Task Force 80 departure undated (2 folders)
Joint staff
Box 1 Correspondence
Box 1 Navy, Official 1948-1949
Box 1 Personal 1948-1950
Report
Box 1 "A Study Involving a New Design of Icebreaker" Nov. 14, 1950
Task Force 66
Preliminary material
Box 1 "Second Staff Study" Dec. 28, 1948
Box 1 Conference report an Highjump, Planning Group Two Jan. 12, 1949
Box 1 "Third Staff Study" Mar. 14, 1949
Box 1 "Preliminary Statement of Scientific Missions to be Undertaken by the 1950 Navy Antarctic Developments Project (Highjump II) Task Force 66" Aug. 1949
Correspondence
Box 1 Navy, Official 1949
Manual
Box 1 Untitled - procedures used for parachuting sled-dogs
Report
Box 1 "Antarctic Research Elements of a Coordinated Program" May 1949
U.S.S. Antietam
Correspondence
Box 1 Letters of appreciation written to the Captain 1951-1952
Box 1 Numbered correspondence 1-131 1951-1952 (3 folders)
Printed material
Box 1 Antietam - vol. 1-2 1951-1952
Memorabilia
Box 1 Photographs - U.S.S. Antietam Guest Cruise April 26-May 2, 1952
Box 1 Program - U.S.S. Antietam Cruise - Pearl Harbor/San Francisco 1952
Box 2 Yearbook - photo-narrative album 1951-1952
Naval air bases commander
Box 2 Correspondence, personal 1952-1953
Box 2 Dispatches 1952
Box 2 Memos 1952
Task Force 43
Box 2 Correspondence 1955-1959
Box 2 Dispatches and memos 1957, 1959
Box 2 Journals 1956, 1958
Manuals and reports
Box 2 "Expedicion Argentina al Mar de Weddell" - translation from Spanish
Box 2 Selected Maps and Charts of Antarctica 1959
Box 2 "Staff Instructions" Aug. 1955
Miscellaneous
Box 2 "Seismic Observations of the Bird Station Traverse Party" Feb. 1958
Box 2 "Traverse Operations on the Ross Ice Shelf" Mar. 1958
Photographs
Box 2 Dr. Fuchs' party at the South Pole Jan. 19-20, 1958
Box 2 Miscellaneous undated
Public Information Office
Box 2 Press releases 1956
Miscellany
Box 2 "All Seven Survived" - manuscript by George Moss
Box 2 "Operation Plan no. 1-56" - Knox Coast Task Group
Box 2 "Passenger List of 'Bravo Detachment' Personnel Embarked on USS Curtiss"
Box 2 "Receipt for Special Clothing and Gear" Aug. 1956
Task Force 43 – Operation Deep Freeze
Box 2 Chronology 1957-1958
Box 2 Interview transcripts undated (3 items)
Manuals and reports
Box 2 "Operation Plan no. 1-55" 1955 (2 folders)
Box 2 "Report of Operation Deep Freeze IV" 1958-1959
Box 2 Photographs 1956, undated (3 folders)
Public Information Office
Box 2 News fillers Apr. 26, 1957
Speech
Box 2 Rough draft speech outline
Writings
Box 2 "Operation Deep Freeze Fits Out" - manuscript by George Dufek with Joseph E. Oglesby (published in Pegasus, Oct. 1956) 1955
Miscellaneous printed material
Box 2 "Aviation in the Antarctic" - a survey by Henry M. Dater July 1959
Box 2 "Antarctic Photography" undated
Box 2 "Deep Freeze Communications" undated
Box 2 "How McMurdo Gets Its Water" undated
Box 2 "Rear Admiral David M. Tyree, USN Commander, U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica" May 1961
Box 2 "Some Cold Facts About the Antarctic" by Captain Edwin A. McDonald undated
Box 2 "USNS 'Eltanin' to Become Antarctic Research Ship" undated
Box 2 "What's in a Name" undated
Box 2 Untitled undated (2 items)
International Geophysical Year
Published material
Box 2 Antarctic Program of the United States National Committee for the International Geophysical Year, 1957-58 Sept. 1957
Box 2 Antarctica in the International Geophysical Year 1956
Box 2 "Nations Participating in the IGY (1957-1958)" Nov. 1954
Box 2 U. S. National Committee Report (United States National Committee for the International Geophysical Year) June 1954
Reports
Box 2 "International Geophysical Year" Sept. 2, 1955
Box 2 "U.S. Geological Survey Post-IGY Scientific Program, FY 59" Apr. 1958
U.S.S. Glacier
Printed material
Box 2 Gazette "News of All Sort" - vol. 2, no. 79 Jan. 7, 1957
Box 2 "Plan of the Day" Jan. 7-8, 1957
Antarctic Conference Preparations
Box 3 Correspondence July 1958-Apr. 1959 (2 folders)
Reports
Box 3 Proposals for the management of the Antarctic programs July 1959
Retirement
Box 3 Naval internal memos Apr. 1959
George Dufek Day
Box 3 Alco Products, Inc. - Nuclear power plant Apr. 16, 1959
Articles
Box 3 "New Skipper of the Mariners' Museum" - William Shands Meacham, The Commonwealth May 1961
Box 3 Correspondence 1959-1972, undated (2 folders)
Box 3 Journal 1959, Dec. 1962
Box 3 Press releases Nov. 23, 1959
Box 3 Antarctic Commission, statements before the House June 14, 1960
Writings
Articles
Box 3 "Arctic Ice Breaker Operations" - draft, summer 1948; The Oni Review, Feb. 1949
Box 3 "Gold Discovered in Antarctica!" - holograph undated
Box 3 "Operation Deepfreeze Nine Great Flights" - Pegasus Oct. 1956
Box 3 "Penguins and People" 1939
Box 3 "What We Accomplished in Antarctica" - The National Geographic Magazine Oct. 1959
Box 3 Biographical Sketch
Box 3 "Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Bird" Oct. 4, 1969
Book
Box 3 "Great Polar Explorations" - typescript draft 1962
Galleys
Box 3 Operation Deepfreeze - p. 180-209, with corrections and insertions
Reports
Box 3 Report to the Secretary of Defense 1959
Reviews
Box 3 New Zealand in Color, by John Pascoe - "Those Beautiful Islands Down Under, " Daily Press, Newport News, Va. New Dominion Magazine Jan. 24, 1970
Box 3 Remembrances of Rivers Past, by Ernest Schwiebert - typescript Apr. 1972
Speeches
Box 3 "Lecture delivered to CNO Conference" Feb. 3, 1949
Box 3 1948, undated
Memorabilia
Box 3 Articles in Oriental script undated
Box 3 Certificates
Box 3 "Commendation of Dr. James Elliott Mooney" Mar. 2, 1966
Box 3 Gramophone records of Czech music (3 items)
Box 3 Interview with Dufek - reel-to-reel tape Apr. 14, 1959
Box 3 Invitations
Box 3 Maps
Box 3 Photographs (personal)
Box 3 Photographs (military) (2 folders)
Box 3 Poetry - "McMurdo Lament or the Penguin Chorus" undated
Box 3 Speech - "New Views of the Antarctic" - by Finn Ronne 1958
Box 3 Miscellaneous names, addresses, telephone numbers
Box 3 Miscellaneous notes for writings, speeches
Box 3 Miscellany
Printed material
Box 3 Articles about Antarctica 1955-1960
Clippings
Box 3 1946, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1955-1960 (11 folders)
Box 4 1961-1962, 1971, undated (5 folders)
Box 4 Deep Freeze scrapbook - The Press 1957-1958
Box 4 Deep Freeze scrapbook - The Christchurch Star-Sun 1957-1958
Box 4 Deep Freeze scrapbook - miscellaneous 1958-1959
Box 4 Resignation of Sir Anthony Eden - The Christchurch Star-Sun Jan. 10, 1957
Box 4 Berlin Crisis - The New York Times Nov. 1958
Box 4 Galleys - Polar Flight, by Ian Allan undated
Box 4 Magazines, miscellaneous (3 items)
Box 4 Report, "Construction of the Army Nuclear Power Plant PM-2A at Camp Century, Greenland" - final report 1961
Box 4 Transactions - American Geophysical Union Mar. 1959
Scrapbooks
Oversize 1 Scrapbook #1 Aug.-Oct. 1956
Oversize 1 Scrapbook #2 Oct.-Dec. 1956
Oversize 2 Scrapbook #3 Mar.-July 1957
Oversize 2 Scrapbook #4 Oct.-Nov. 1957
Oversize 3 Scrapbook #5 June 1957-Dec. 1958
Oversize 3 Scrapbook #6 Nov. 1957-Mar. 1958
Oversize 4 Scrapbook #7 Oct. 1958
Oversize 4 Scrapbook #8 Aug. 1958-Jan. 1959
Oversize 5 Scrapbook #9 - "The Story of the Deepfreeze as it Appeared Daily in the NYT" 1955-1956
Oversize 5 Scrapbook #10 - "vol. 3 - Deepfreeze Adm. George Dufek" Dec. 7, 1956-Jan. 1957
Oversize 6 Scrapbook #11 - "Rear Adm. Dufek's Deepfreeze Scrapbook"- v. 4 Jan. 15, 1957-Feb. 23, 1957
Oversize 6 Scrapbook #12 - "Rear Adm. Dufek's Deep Freeze Scrapbook" v. 5 Feb. 25, 1957-Mar. 26, 1957
Oversize 7 Wall plaque - "Admiral Byrd's Greatest Discovery"

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