Interview of Julian P. Gudmundson by Brian Shoemaker
Creators:Gudmundson, Julian P.
Subjects (LCSH):Antarctica -- Discovery and exploration -- Interviews
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program
Series/Report no.:Polar Oral History Program
Mr. Gudmundson was born in 1916 on a farm in Minnesota. After graduating from high school, he did not pass the physical exam for the Navy because of color blindness. He worked with a construction company building Army bases before joining a carpenter shop at Douglas Aircraft. In 1943, the Navy asked for volunteers for the Navy CB (Construction Battalion). After returning from Guadal Canal in 1945, Gudmundson returned to construction. In 1951, the Navy asked him to rejoin the Seabees for a project in Cuba. On return to the US he was assigned to a Naval Beach Group School in Virginia as an instructor. Gudmundson volunteered for Operation Deepfreeze and failed the color blindness test again, but “qualified” for construction. After construction training in Thule, he was sent to Antarctica. After unloading cargo from a ship at Little America, the men built a camp and moved cargo all winter. Upon return from Antarctica, Gudmundson was a recruiter. In 1961, he returned to Antarctica as a “blaster” for the construction of the nuclear power plant at McMurdo Sound. He describes the living conditions that he experienced. Gudmundson summarizes his experience with Admiral Byrd. He (Gudmundson) supervised the construction of Byrd Chapel in Antarctica and goes on to describe various experiences in Antarctica, including the presence of women. The high point of his 30 year Navy career was being selected for the White House Staff. He lived in staff housing at Camp David and describes experiences while Lyndon B. Johnson was president. Major Topics Construction in Antarctica, including the establishment of a camp at Little America and the nuclear power station at McMurdo Sound Ham radio communication and its role in pole-to-pole conversation Living conditions and experiences in Antarctic camps (McMurdo and Little America) First pole football game Gundmundson’s service as White House Staff under Lyndon B. Johnson
Dorothy Bunning, pp.1 Dick Chappel, pp. 6, 9-10, 15, 43 ________ Rostagorev, pp. 6 Admiral Richard Byrd, pp. 10-11 ________Zoller, pp. 13 General Griswold, pp. 14 Gilbert Gilsner, pp. 14 Paul Dalrymple, pp. 15 Lowell Thomas, pp. 25 Admiral Reedy, pp. 25, 38 Martin Pomerantz, pp. 27 Mary Alice McWhinnie, pp. 34 Captain Howe, pp. 35, 44 Paul Berkheimer, pp. 35 President Lyndon B. Johnson, pp. 36 Lady Bird Johnson, pp. 37 Admiral Dufek, pp. 38 Admiral Tyree, pp. 38 Larry Gould, pp. 39 Paul Siple, pp. 40 Eddie Goodale, pp. 41 Dr. Jim Zumberge, pp. 32
Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Other Identifiers:Record Group Number: 56.46
Rights:Restrictions: This item is not restricted.
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