Permanent Palmer Station Commissioned

a big crowd
(U. S. Coast Guard Photo)

The United States has established permanent facilities at Arthur Harbor on Anvers Island to replace the temporary structures used since 1965 to support U. S. research in the Antarctic Peninsula region. The new station, which bears same name as the one it has replaced--Palmer Station--was officially commissioned at 1730 on March 20 [1968], following the arrival that morning aboard USCGC Southwind of Rear Admiral J. L. Abbot, Jr., Commander, U. S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica, and Mr. Philip Smith, National Science Foundation representative.*

The move to the station's new main building from the original Palmer Station--a distance of 1 miles--was begun on March 14, one week after all of the internal utility systems had been made operational, and it was completed on March 17, three days before the commissioning. In this operation, much assistance was rendered by the crews of the Coast Guard icebreakers Southwind and Glacier, which transferred cargo by landing craft and helicopter, delivered supplies from the ships to the station, and aided in preparing the station for the commissioning ceremony. Previously, members of Platoon Alpha had hurried to finish flooring so equipment could be moved into it while helicopter support was still available from the icebreakers.

Wintering over at the station during 1968 are three USARP personnel and six Navymen.

*The name "Palmer Station" now encompasses both the new and the old facilities, the latter of which will serve as an emergency camp.

[from the Antarctic Journal, May-June 1968]