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William C. Hampton served in the U.S. Army, first as a captain and later as a major. From February 1960 until July 1962, Captain Hampton was assigned to the Army Section (Aviation Section), Military Assistance Advisory Group, in Taiwan, Republic of China. During this time, he flew missions responding to aircraft accidents and disaster relief missions including evacuation operations and brought food and medical supplies to typhoon survivors in a Piasecki H-21 Shawnee helicopter. Captain Hampton received the Army Aviation Badge from the Army, Republic of China, the United States Army Commendation Medal, and a Certificate of Achievement from the Military Assistance Advisory Group due to his meritorious service in Taiwan. In the mid 1960s, Hampton (by then a major) was assigned to Operation Deep Freeze at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Operation Deep Freeze was a U.S. Navy logistic support operation of American scientific research in Antarctica. The Navy was supported by the Air Force, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard in what was called at the time "the greatest peacetime military logistic program in our history." Operation Deep Freeze began in 1955 when President Eisenhower mandated support for the United States' participation in International Geophysical Year activities in Antarctica, beginning on July 1, 1957. International Geophysical Year activities were concluded at the end of 1958, and Operation Deep Freeze began to support the United States Antarctic Research Program. McMurdo Station was officially dedicated on February 16, 1956 and was the site for research relating to glaciology, gravity, meteorology, oceanography, special studies, and biology. McMurdo Station also housed the continent's first nuclear power plant, built in fiscal year 1962. By April 1967, Hampton was stationed with the 1st Transportation Corps (TC) Battalion in San Francisco which was operating a Floating Aircraft Maintenance Facility.




Hampton, William C.


bulk 1959-1967


Martha E. Hampton, Gift, 2008


0.25 Cubic feet ((1 box))


No restrictions on access.


Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Color slides



Motion pictures (visual works)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials related to William Hampton's military career in Taiwan and Antarctica. From his time in Taiwan, there are eighteen black and white photographs related to disaster response operations with an attached letter, a roll of 8mm motion picture film labeled, "President Eisenhower, Cedar Rapids, Taiwan," the letter notifying Hampton of his assignment there, the certificate that accompanied Hampton's Army Aviation Badge from the Army, Republic of China, the certificate that accompanied Hampton's U.S. Army Commendation Medal, a Certificate of Achievement from the Military Assistance Advisory Group, copies of three letters of appreciation, and a clipping dated September 21, 1961 about Hampton's rescue missions from an unknown newspaper. From Hampton's work in Operation Deep Freeze, there are 56 color slides and 36 black and white photos depicting daily operations in Antarctica, two rolls of color 8mm motion picture film of snow sledding, a can of motion picture film entitled "Antarctica," a U.S. Navy booklet, "Welcome to Operation Deep Freeze," a large map showing the operating areas for Operation Deep Freeze in fiscal year 1965, a map showing National Science Foundation Antarctic Activities in 1965-1966, a reprint of The Geology and Geochronology of the Basement Complex of the Central Transantarctic Mountains by Gubter Faure, et al. (inscribed to Hampton by Faure), the September-October 1964 issue of the American Society of Polar Philatelists' newsletter Ice Cap News, two sets of Hampton's U.S. Army travel orders to a temporary change of duty to McMurdo, Antarctica, two copies of the February 1965 issue of Bulletin of the U.S. Antarctic Projects Officer and one copy of the March 1965 issue of the same publication, one copy each of the January and February 1966 issues of the VX-6 Newsletter generated at McMurdo Station, an Operation Deep Freeze Task Force 43 patch, a clipping from December 1965 from an unidentified newspaper about Operation Deep Freeze, and a letter from F. Alton Wade (Texas Technical College, Department of Geosciences) to Hampton thanking him for cooperation with his team and informing him that a geological feature will be named in Antarctica for each member of Hampton's detachment (Hampton's feature is Hampton Hill south of where Alton's team camped.) The last item in the collection is a letter from Howard F. Schiltz, Brigadier General, USA, Commanding, addressed to Hampton in San Francisco and dated April 6, 1967, thanking him for a tour of the Floating Aircraft Maintenance Facility.


Color slides



Motion pictures (visual works)


Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests


United States Antarctic Research Program

United States. Army

Topics Aeronautics
Operation Deep Freeze
Piasecki H-21
Bell UH-1B (HU-1B) Iroquois (Huey)
Disaster relief


William C. Hampton Collection, Accession 2008-0032, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives