Of polar bears and .45s

I don’t know a lot about USNRF LCDR Donald Baxter MacMillan’s Arctic Expedition of 1925 on the research schooner USS Bowdoin and Zenith founder Eugene F. McDonald’s donated steam yacht Peary, but it looked like fun.

Note the Colt 1911 and 1903 Springfield– the latter in the hands of a National Geographic scientist! Also, there is a giant Loening amphibian on deck of the Peary. NHHC 80-G-465384

As per original caption, “Chief Aerographer Francis and Mr. Gayer of the National Geographic Society demonstrating the effects of eating polar-bear steaks.”

According to the Navy, the expedition was co-opted with then-LCDR. Richard E. Byrd:

“This expedition was noted for the first productive use of aircraft in an Arctic exploration by Americans. The three aircraft [Liberty-powered Loening COA-1 Amphibians] were NA-1, NA-2, and NA-3.”

According to Raimund Goeler writing in the NYT, “The Navy lent three airplanes and eight officers, mechanics, and pilots–under Byrd’s command–to MacMillan, who was in charge of the expedition as a whole. In this way, the Navy could take credit, through Byrd, for any accomplishments in the air, while pleasing both men’s sponsors.”

At least the hammer is forward on his M1911, which negates the terrible trigger D. 80-G-465383

As per original caption: “Mr. Geyer and Chief Aerographer Francis, apparently suffering from some horrible sickness and trying to tell the cameraman their troubles.”

If you are curious, here are some more pedestrian clips of six reels of NARA footage from the 1925 expedition. Donated by Byrd in 1938, along with films of his other polar expeditions.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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