The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Operation Deep Freeze
Beginning in 1955, annual Operation Deep Freezes were conducted in the Antarctic for scientific studies and exploratory expeditions of the region.  At least one icebreaker was involved in each operation, with the majority accompanied by two icebreakers.  Their primary responsibility was in breaking the ice from the paths of the conventional vessels carrying the bulk of personnel and equipment.  Beyond breaking the ice, these vessels also conducted search and rescue missions and participated in meteorological and oceanographic studies.  Helicopters launched from the icebreakers also provided a range of services: surveying, meteorological data gathering, transportation, and logistical support.

Photograph: USS Wyandot (KA-92) mooring at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, as part of Operation Deep Freeze I.  Crewmen are “burying the deadman” to anchor the ship to the ice shelf.  December 27, 1965.  (Source: William D. Tribble, LTJG, U.S. Navy)