USS Arneb (AKA-56)

John Young (#L-8219)


The ship’s cachet (Arctic & Antarctic Express) commemorates the ships crossing of both, the Arctic & Antarctic Circles in a single season. ARNEB provided polar logistic support from 1955 through 1963. She made eight voyages to Antarctica, but on its second deployment she participated in the first amphibious landing as recorded on this cover.

Collector Melvin Keehner used a printed (mimeograph) generic envelope (Sadworth #87) to obtain a piece of polar philately. Posted aboard USS ARNEB on 1 FEB 1957. The ship’s Operation Officer, LCDR Mc Call documents with signature & types narrative “Windmill Islands, Vincennes Bay Wilkes Land/ Antarctica* First Day Amphibious Landing”.

It should note that the Knox Coast Group (TG 43.6) built Wilkes IGY Station, commissioned 17 FEB 1957 and turned over the Australia on 7 FEB 1959. By 1964, the station became a fire hazard and became partially covered with snow and ice. Australia built Casey Station that became operational in 1969 and Wilkes Station was closed.