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Courage Sacrifice Devotion

by:
Noel Gillespie (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-2912-8 ©2006
Price: $35.95
Book Size: 8.5" x 11" , 554 pages
Category/Subject: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

This is the story of the last bastion of aviation exploration- the Antarctic. This is a story of young aviators going were no one has gone before, than opening up the continent.

Abstract:
This revised second edition of Courage Sacrifice Devotion has new material spread though out the book, with 35 additional pages including six pages of Antarctic maps and 'cutaway' drawings of the Douglas R4-D's 'Gooney Bird' airplane. This new additional material was gleamed during my recent visit to Rhode Island to attend the Old Antarctic Explorers Association reunion.

A truly remarkable story of endurance, bravery, so immersed in the demands placed on them by the US Navy- the Puckered Penguins’, a group of men and women flighting the odds in the name of Antarctic exploration, carrying out their duties on the frozen continent with danger was lurking everywhere. This epic story is an insight and challenging chronicle of their young life’s flying aircraft on the world’s harshest continent- yet their compassion for their mates will leaves readers stunned.

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Customer Reviews

  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 08/16/2007
Reviewer: Paul Harrision
The preface of the book dedicates it to the proud American men and women who served their country in Antarctica as members of the US Navy’s VX-6 and VXE-6 Squadron in the Southern Continent from 1955 – 1999, where the extremes of operating machines and the limits of human endurance were tested. Fifty Americans died in Antarctica during ‘Operation Deep Freeze’ as the annual forays to the south were called. Noel Gillespie has approached the recording of these years through background narratives of the events, interlaced with personal anecdotal recollections of individual flights, achievements, accidents and incidents. As an aviation historian, this reviewer found new information on the endeavors of aviators on the Antarctic continent and from the bases of operations in New Zealand. However, this information is often tainted by technical inaccuracies when referring to various aircraft, and repetitive stories. The frequent spelling mistakes and the ‘Americanization’ of RNZAF ranks (i.e. Flight Lieutenants are referred to as ‘Lieutenants’ is an annoyance. Notwithstanding the above gripes, the book does provide a detailed account of the problems faced when operating aircraft and machinery in the harshest climate in the world. The development of ski-equipped aircraft shows initiatives that eventually lead to the purpose-built LC-130 Hercules the squadron operated from the mid 1960s until it was disbanded in 1999.Stories of ‘in-field’ operations by aircraft and their crews are a revelation. Flying blind onto the polar ice cap without the benefit of marked runways, or the knowledge of what may lie beneath the surface (crevasses were a particular danger) took courage and dedication of the crews supporting the scientific field parties. There was a price to pay and write-offs included thirteen R4-Ds (DC3 equivalents) and several other DC3 variants, Neptune’s, Hercules, and helicopters. Supporting the American Scientific programme in Antarctica, the USAF also lost several aircraft -C124 Globemasters, C121 Super Connies, Hercules and helicopters. When funding became tight in the 1970s some of the Hercules that had been abandoned after crashing several years earlier were repaired on site, and flown back to New Zealand for rebuild by NAC. There is frequent reference to the strong connection between the US Navy and the RNZAF. Operation Deep Freeze was based at Wigram from 1955 to 1959, and after the shift of operations to Christchurch International Airport, the close relationship continued until the Squadron was disbanded in 1999.For environmentalists this book will both delight and disturb. The delight is that it is printed on recycled paper, despite making it similar to a telephone book, with a consequent degradation of the photos. They will be disturbed by the earlier practices of the US missions in Antarctica who discarded surplus or damaged aircraft and other material at the end of each season by simply pushing it to the edge of the Ross Sea ice shelf. When the next summer thaw came it sank to the bottom of the Ross Sea. Overall, a book with a wealth of knowledge of US Navy aviation in Antarctica, and one those researchers and those who have experienced Antarctica conditions will enjoy. Paul Harrison RNZAF Air Force News

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  ciurage sacrifice devotion , 06/24/2006
Reviewer: Commander Edward Ward USN Ret
Antarctica, the Great White Continent, as awesomely beautiful as it is treacherous. Courage, Sacrifice and Devotion by Author Noel Gillespie presents a moving first hand account by the men and women who flew with the Navy's famous Air Development Squadron Six (VX-6) later designated VXE-6). Commissioned in 1955 the Squadron deployed annually to the Antarctic until decommissioned in 1999. For meritorious service, VX-6 was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal. They leave behind a legacy of pride, valor and aerial skill. For those who enjoy polar lore this is a must read. Edward M. Ward CDR USN (Ret) VX-6 Deep Freeze 1 & 2 (1955-57)

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 06/24/2006
Reviewer: Don Ryan
“Courage Sacrifice Devotion”- what a book, I am very impressed, stories of the beginning of Operation Deep Freeze and VX-6 are excellent, so many of the names and places bring back vivid me a memories Noel Gillespie has painted a brilliant canvas of those earlier years of the operation, years I recall as a young teenager who knew a number of these brave airmen who flew out of Christchurch for Antarctica – and a proud father, when the squadron was disestablished in 1999. The book is a must for all Americans to read- from the school class room to adults to read and remember what these aviators did in the cold frozen Antarctic, flying small twin engine Gooney Birds over the frozen waters to Antarctic and back. “Courage Sacrifice Devotion’ is a must read for all. Infinity Publishing House must be congratulated for publishing such a vital link in American History. Don Ryan. Christchurch. New Zealand

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  Courage Sacrifice Devotion , 06/25/2006
Reviewer: Robert Epperly CDR USNR (ret)
For anyone with an interest in the Great White Continent, this is a must read. Noel Gillespie has captured the spirit, the courage and devotion of the participants in the Air, Land and Sea operations in Antarctica from 1955-1999 with emphasis on the U.S. Navy's VX-6 squadron air operations and squadron personnel. Tragedy and sacrifice were not unknown but neither were almost unbelievable feats and accomplishments. Robert M. Epperly CDR USNR (ret) (Gooney-bird pilot with VX-6 during the summer operations of the Internationsl Geophysical Year1957-1958 and again in 1958-1959)

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  Courage Sacrifice Devotion , 07/01/2006
Reviewer: Otago Daily Times
with an extensive photographic record.. the book is interesting..A map showing the location of the many bases extablished during the Deep Freeze expedition and a simplified glossary of aircraft types and service teams would have helped the non-service reader..One must sympathise with the airmen and ground staff who in the pioneering years, put up with unsuitable and underpowered aircraft, the uncertainties of jet- assisted attachments to gain extra thrust on take-off, and too many fatal accidents, a few caused by pilot error but mostly the resuilt of surface conditions on the ice runways or unexpected deterioration in weather conditions.

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 07/01/2006
Reviewer: Christchurch Press
...this book needed to be written, it will appear to amyone interested in polar aviation. It is packed with historical information and personial asides..

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  courage sacrifice devotion , 07/01/2006
Reviewer: Christchurch Mail
.. the book covers the formation of the squadron in the early 1950's by Admiral George Dufek and includes a full list of Amerians who gave their lives for the programme, as well as locations named after the people and the aircraft used to get to the continent..the book had to be written on their exploits in Antacrtica and their story had to be told as a chronicle of their acheievements on the frozen co tinents, their sadness, their joys, their lifetime friendships and the links they cemeented with the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOITION , 07/04/2006
Reviewer: David Hoff
..I found it a wonderful read, fair and balance and as factual as this humble Coast Guardman would remember. Even those undertones you mentioned did reach the confines of BI Engineroom of the USS Eastwind where I stood Engineer-In-Charge watches.. thanks again for a great book,I'll read on even tho I was out of the Service before Deep Freeze II..David Hoff

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  Courage Sacifice Devotion , 07/05/2006
Reviewer: H. S Hook
The book is well written and covers a lot of information that one would find hard to access. However the photo reproduction in the book of this value lets it down.H S Hook

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 07/08/2006
Reviewer: Kevin Hardt ,OAE 93/97
I bought my copy of it, and would like to tell you how nice of a book it is. As I was reading through it, I came upon a photo on page 493. I was surprized and happy to see the photo of myself and my crew. I showed my wife, and her reply was.. Now we have somebody famous in the family. We both had a good laugh about it. It also brought back some very good memories, both of the Ice and New Zealand. I was wondering if there might be away for me to send you my copy of the book, and have you sign it for me? Thanking you Kevin Hardt, OAE 1993/97 Atlanta,Georgia,USA [ A crew of Crew 4-aircraft modes number 00 or 'Double Nuts'

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 07/24/2006
Reviewer: Eastwind Coasty
Old Antarctic Explorer of Deep-Freeze I, July 23, 2006 Reviewer: Eastwind Coasty - As a U.S. Coast Guard member of Deep-Freeze One I appreciated this book of VX-6. The Kiwi author did a great job of researching the air wing we had with us down on the ICE.. 'Eastwind Coasty'

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  Courage Sacrifice Devotion , 11/17/2006
Reviewer: Craig Frankiewicz. San Deigo
Good evening Noel I just today finished your book on the Antarctica. I want to say that you book is really outstanding and I have learned a lot about the cold world down south!!!!!! Plus have learned more about my Dad and the experiences of his adventures in the brutal freezing southern most continent. I can't fathom what my dad went through and many more men did!!!!!! As I read of all the men that lost their lives to the polar world, I think it could have been my dad too. My dad swore by the Gooney Bird, that it was a great plane to fly in those extreme conditions, then you write about one man that sort of said, how did they do it in those antiques. My dad had a lot of experience in the R4D. He flew them across the North Atlantic. in blizzards, rain,wind, white outs, and whatever else nature and God through at him. You write about how my dad's emotions got out of control, and you are right. He was a stressful person. If you are up in an airplane and a stressful situation comes up, you have to learn to deal with it, try to control it, and not let your emotions get out of control. Stress on top of stress is not good. I believe now from reading your book, why my dad did not advance to Captain from Commander. But to me my Dad is a hero in what he did for the U.S.N. down south, and I love him. He put his life on the line for his country. I told my Mom, jokingly, he only went down there because there are no trees and my dad hated racking leaves. Well he probably had to dig out some snow, so you can't win for losing!!!!!!!!! I kinda wished my Dad had named his RFD after my Mom, Betty Lou, but I guess that wouldn't have gone over very good with my Mom, because his bird was given a sea burial. I want to conclude by saying, thank you very much for writing Courage Sacrifice Devotion, excellent excellent book!!!!!!!! One of the best books I've read on the Antarctica, and have read a lot on the subject. Take care and keep writing. Eddie's Son, Craig Frankiewicz

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  Courage Sacrifice Devotion , 11/14/2006
Reviewer: Bob Sexton
I have read your book twice and each time I am amazed how you accomplished the yask of compiling all thr information. Thank you for a job 'Well Done." Bob Sexton

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  Courage Sacrifice Devotion , 11/14/2006
Reviewer: John Matlock 'Gunny'
'The Puckered Penguins" , an air unit of the US Navy flew in the early days of post WWII Antractic exploration. This book talks about the activities of that unit [ actually VXE-6 in the Navy's numbering system] from 1955 to 1999. In the early days they flew mostly DR-D's [the Nasy's name for the C-47 or DC-3].Over the fouty-four year time span, the equipment was upgraded and of course the men cycled through. This is their story. This was a little known activity that went on at consideable risk. There was a lot of flying, and not many places to put down safely if you had a problem. This book is a complete history of the unit and goes into considerable details about the rigors of operating aircraft in conditions far beyond eghat their designers had in mind. The story is well told and well illustrated, however the illustrations are a rather poort quality, having the appearance that the printing was not up to teh detail in the orginal picture. John Matlock 'Gunny'

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 02/05/2008
Reviewer: Charles Swuthinbank
This is not a book to read through but to dip into. It is a fine collection of flying stories largely complied from the accounts of the airmen involved. The title Courage Sacrifice Devotion is taken from the inscription on the US Antarctic Service Medal and is the Squadron’s motto. The stories extend from 1955 until the squadron was decommissioned in 1999 and includes not only the aircraft of VXE-6 but also other aircraft that visited McMurdo. Excitement there is aplenty. Whilst overall this is a story of success in overcoming obstacles to support the US Antarctic Program, the illustrations show dozens of crashed aircraft and list the 50 or so members of the task force who lost their lives in the course of the 44 year history of the squadron. Daunting as these figures are, they come into perspective when the author described how an AIR New Zealand DC-10 on a sightseeing flight crashed into Mt Erebus on November 28 1979, killing all 257 souls onboard. It turned out in the subsequent enquiry that the aircraft had not understood the nature of an Antarctic whiteout. A chapter of the book is devoted to this accident because VXE-6 helicopters flew more than 100 hours to take out human remains during the months that followed. Wreckage was still visible on the mountain 25 years after. There are 160 pages of photographs at the end of the book, representing a valuable historical archive. Unfortunately the publisher’s use of poor quality recycled paper does not do justice to their importance. The illustrations includes 17 pages of pre VXE-6 photographs, starting with Robert Falcon Scott’s balloon ascent in 1902, the Wilkens-Hearst expedition in 1928-29, Richard E Byrd’s expedition of 1928-30, Lincoln Ellsworth’s expedition of 1933-35 and Operation High Jump of 1946-47. The author, Noel Gillespie, a journalist rather than a scholar- this is a thrilling narrative of pioneering aviation in perhaps the most challenging environment on earth- a great read. The book is a prime reference for the history of VXE-6. As one who participated in six seasons with USAP, all of them involving flying, you can be sure that my copy will be well used. Charles Swithinbank. Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, England

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  COURAGE SACRIFICE DEVOTION , 03/05/2009
Reviewer: DAVID J EPPERLY
I am the nephew of Robert M. Epperly. I have just ordered your book Courage Sacrifice Devotion. More importantly I wanted to thank you for taking the time and making the commitment to recognize these extraordinary pilots and heros. My uncle and I correspond often and he has sent me some of the things he sent you. He's an extremely modest man and true to his integrity. The story may not have been told if it weren't for your courage and devotion to put it together....Thank you..I'm anxiously awaiting the delivery of the book. All the best, David J. Epperly Farmington, MNFrom BBOTW

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