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Interview of William S. McCormick by Laura J. Kissel

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Title: Interview of William S. McCormick by Laura J. Kissel
Creators: McCormick, William S., 1913-
Contributors: Kissel, Laura J.
Keywords: Little America
Advance Base
Jacob Ruppert
Congressional Medal of Honor
Issue Date: 2005-07-12
Publisher: Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program
Series/Report no.: Polar Oral History Program
Abstract: McCormick's older brother learned to fly after Lindbergh's flight across the ocean. He taught William to fly during the summer between his junior and senior year in high school. After graduation, he learned to fly an Autogyro. McCormick was selected to go on Admiral Byrd's second expedition to Antarctica (1933-35) because he could pilot the Autogyro given to Byrd. McCormick described various challenges to living and working in Antarctica, such as problems supply ships faced with ice flows, the influence of severe cold weather on repair projects and personnel relationships, and the difficulty of establishing a weather station at the base of the Queen Maud range. McCormick also described the affect white outs had on one's vision and how to correct it. During his rotation on mess duty, McCormick tells of baking an apple pie. McCormick helped uncover Little America I. At different times during the interview, he would reveal more about Byrd's personality. The Admiral, according to McCormick, was sensitive to the needs of his men and they had great respect for him. McCormick also describes the rescue of Byrd from the Advance Base. Upon return to the U.S., McCormick was on a lecture tour. After moving to California he tried acting. He returned to flying and became a trainer for a link simulator. Later, McCormick became a pilot for American. Admiral Byrd and the team received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/6053
Rights: Restrictions: This item is not restricted.
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