Permanent Palmer Station Commissioned

the permanent Palmer Station dedication
(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 Navy men.

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

[The above article and photo are from the Antarctic Journal, May-June 1968.]


Below, a set of photos from Jim Turner, a Navy Seabee who helped build Palmer Station during both the 1966-67 and 1967-68 seasons. Many thanks to him for sharing them, as well as to Chuck Amsler for putting them out there!

dedication speech
One of the dedication speeches. As the color of his trousers (khaki) matches what the seated military officers are wearing, I'd say none of them brought dress blues, so RADM Abbott is speaking.
another dedication speech
Another speaker, which I'm guessing is NSF's Phil Smith.
getting ready for the flag raising
After the speeches, getting ready to raise the flags. Hmmm, I've never before seen photos of those steel bollard posts on the pier, I guess they didn't last long.
raising the flags
The flag raising. I can't tell what's flying on the right yardarm, but the left yardarm appears to be flying the one-star Admiral (Commodore) flag. And the American flag is being hoisted to the peak. And notice the ribbon across the door into the boat shop (which became Lab 10 by 1988).
the dedication ribbon cutting
A dedication would be incomplete without a ribbon cutting.
immediately after the ribbon cutting
And the ribbon has just been cut, and the guests are invited into the station.