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Appendix I DEDICATION OF THE WILKINS ARCTIC TEST CHAMBER MAJOR GENERAL ANDREW T. MCNAMARA The Quartermaster General Department of the Army Washington, D. C. We in the Army Quartermaster Corps find it appropriate to dedicate the Arctic Environmental Test Chamber here at our Research and Engineering Center to the memory of our respected colleague and friend, George Hubert Wilkins. May I say also, Lady Wilkins, that we are truly honored and deeply grateful that you have come to join us today in this tribute to your famous husband. Before Sir Hubert joined us in 1942, he already had a most im- pressive record of accomplishments. While many of us who were his friends know something of what he had done in the fields of adventure, exploration, and military service, I think it is fitting on this occasion to recall some of those achievements. In the Balkan War of 1912-13 Wilkins became the first photographer to obtain motion pictures of actual combat. He was also one of the first to parachute from an aircraftâno mean feat, considering the aircraft and parachutes of that day! The outbreak of World War I found him second-in-command to Dr. Stefanssonâalso here with us today to honor Sir Hubert's memoryâ on an expedition in the Arctic, a place then so remote that not until September 1915 did Sir Hubert learn that a war had engulfed the world. Eager to get to the battle fronts, he left the expedition in 1916, returned to Australia, and was commissioned in the Australian Flying Corps. After journeying more than 30,000 miles from the Arctic to Australia and then to Europe, he finally reached the Western Front. He took part in every engagement fought by the Australians. He was wounded nine times. He was twice mentioned in dispatches. And he was awarded the Military Cross with Bar for Exceptional Bravery, which is the British equivalent to our Distinguished Service Cross, second only to our Medal of Honor. Following World War I, Sir Hubert began a series of polar flights that won him international acclaim. His great flight with Eielson from Pt. Barrow, Alaska, across the Arctic Ocean to Spitzbergen in 1928 has been compared to Lindbergh's similar feat of that day in crossing the Atlantic. It was following this flight that he was knighted by King George V, not just for his polar exporations, as was popularly assumed, but also for his wartime record and his contributions to the sciences. 141
accomplished beyond the raising of a few questions. There probably are no political scientists in the audience; but if there were, they should as a result of this conference take a fresh look at the Arctic in relation to human affairs. To the student of international politics and political theory in general, this region is a very fruitful focus for study leading to an understanding of national aspirations, character, and activities. The intensity, purpose, and manner of carrying out activities in the Arctic can serve as an index of these national traits. In his recent popular book Ghost Ship of the Pole, Cross presents not merely a lively adventure story of Arctic exploration (the story of the ill-fated Italia, its captain and its crew), but gives an illuminating insight into the basic character and operations of a tawdry dictator- ship with political aspirations beyond its spiritual means. A more scholarly study and critical evaluation of other ventures into this region may be equally revealing in providing clues to an understanding of other national groups, including ourselves. But this is not the note on which to leave my topic. Rather, I shall leave it with a question directed to all of you as citizens of the western nations having a real, but as yet hazily understood, stake in the Arctic. As we each, separately or in organized groups, periodically re-examine and attempt to rediscover a national purpose, let us consider our rela- tion to the North. Then ask ourselves, "In these terms, what should be Man's place in the Arctic?" 140