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1959 History of Wilkes Station Antarctica

Wilkes 1958 Group Photo
Wilkes 1959 Winter Crew

On February 16 1959, ANARE officially took over Wilkes on behalf of Australia from the USA.   It was a very eventful year for the Australians.   Not only did they lose their much loved Senior diesel mechanic, Hartley Robinson, through a tragic tractor accident, on July 6, (hear the eye-witness account on the separate page) but another mechanic became dangerously psychotic, had to be sedated with assistance from the Russians, then confined to a purpose-built 'cell' and much later repatriated home via Mc Murdo Sound courtesy of the Americans.   John "Snow" Williams was initially an aircraft engineer looking after the Auster aircraft for the round trip, but at the last minute was asked to stay on for the year.  In the attachment below, John recounts the experience of spending the year with a badly disturbed colleague.

Wilkes Site Maintainer,
28 Jul 2010, 17:22