In 1955, The USS Wyandot set out for Antarctica as part of the US Navy's Operation Deep Freeze. My father, William R. Goodwin, was one of the Seabees on board. This episode features an interview with him that tells his story. It is accompanied by my re-imagining of the sea shanty Wellerman as The Wyandot Comes with new lyrics that tell my father's story.
In 1957, The International Geophysical Year would bring scientists from eleven countries to Antarctica to study the geophysics of our planet. The objective of Operation Deep Freeze was to establish a Naval airstrip at McMurdo Sound, to be used as a staging ground for building a base at the South Pole the following summer.
This episode features stories of life and death on the highest and coldest continent, early signs of climate change, powdered potatoes, 100 proof moonshine, and... a sea shanty!
The Wyandot Comes (complete song)
VIDEO: Task Force 43 (Naval History and Heritage Youtube Channel)
6 levels of Wellerman (Sea Shanty) (Youtube Guitar Tutorial by Capo X)
[01:54] The Death of Robert Falcon Scott
[04:11] Operation Deep Freeze
[08:08] The Wyandot Comes: Part 1
[09:50] Old Grape Jelly
[11:45] The Mechanic Who Drove the Weasel
[13:48] The Wyandot Comes: Part 2
[14:54] Drinking and Dying
[19:52] The Wyandot Comes: Part 3
[20:37] Let's get Geophysical
[25:18] Adventures Make for Friendships Long
[35:15] The Wyandot Comes: Part 4