Little America IV, new entry on WAP-WADA

Thanks to Olivier F6EPN (aka Spratley Woody at his Facebook page), another old and rare QSL card, KC4USA dated 1949  proves that Ham Radio was performed at this Base, which was not present on WAP-WADA Directory.

 To understand the evolution of the five  Little America Stations, we must  retrace historical notes  from 1928 and ahead:

Little America, was the principal American base in Antarctica, lying on the northeastern edge of Ross Ice Shelf near Kainan Bay. First set up in 1928 as the headquarters for the polar explorations of Richard E. Byrd, it was reused and enlarged by Byrd on his return expedition in 1933–35.  In 1940 Byrd established a camp 7 miles (11 km) northeast, later named Little America III (WAP USA-37) , that served as the western base for a government-sponsored exploration of  Marie Byrd Land before World War II.

After the war,  Little America IV consisting of an airstrip and 60 tents, was set up nearby as a headquarters for Operation High Jump (1946–47), an expedition designed to explore and document Antarctica’s coastline as well as to extend U.S. sovereignty to the continent. When an expedition next returned (1956) in preparation for the International Geophysical Year (1957–58), parts of the earlier Little America camps were found to have vanished because of calving of the ice shelf.


Consequently, Little America V (WAP USA-29)  was set up several miles northeast, near Kainan Bay, to serve as a supply base and terminus of a 630-mile- (1,014-kilometre-) long “highway” to Byrd Station in the continent’s interior.


Another piece of information about Little America IV containing  the following matter,  was found at: Little America IV | Matthew Reilly Wiki | Fandom

«It was built out of a section of Antarctic’s ice shelf  and was ostensibly  intended to be a resource exploration facility looking for offshore oil deposit. In truth, however the facility served  as a convert chemical weapons laboratory, one shoes location easily avoided pubic view and provided s safety buffer should any chemical leak out. Among the weapons  the researchers at Little America IV worked on was sarin gas and VX poison gas».


Going back  to Little America IV, documents say that it  was established in 1946–1947 as the primary camp for Operation Highjump. On 2 and 5 December 1946,  166 Seabees sailed from Port Hueneme on the USS Yancey and USS Merrick assigned to Operation Highjump.

Little America IV camp was thug established as US Navy’s Operation Highjump, of 1946–1947.

The old image of the Little America IV camp even if of poor quality gives an idea of what was the station setup. The camp is in the lower right. Three ships are moored at the ice edge at center left. Admiral Richard Byrd had established Little America I, II, III, and IV all within this same general area at the Bay of Whales. Ten years later when the US Navy returned to establish Little America V (WAP USA-29)  as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), they were unable to reach this site due to ice, so built the final Little America station farther east.

TNX and credit : Photo Library, U.S. Antarctic Program

TNX F6EPN whose merit is to have found a 1949 old KC4USA QSL card

Now, WAP-WADA has already listed: Little America I (WAP USA-43), Little America III (WAP USA-37), Little America V (WAP USA-29). At the light of the acquired evidences, WAP is  going to add ,  Little America IV (WAP USA-5Ø New Entry), as follow:

Little America IV

Reference WAP USA-5Ø

Location: Bay of Whales, West Ross Ice Shelf,

Coordinates: 78° 12’ South, 162° 30’ West