Donald Hilton

Assistant Surveyor

Dog Driver

East Base





Donald Hilton was born on August 24, 1909, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Rochester, New York. In 1931, Hilton graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering.


Prior to joining the USASE, Hilton had worked as a surveyor and civil engineer on various projects. From 1931 until 1934, due to the scarcity of surveying/engineering work, Hilton hired on as sailor, mate, navigator and master of chartered yachts operating along the Atlantic Coast and in the West Indies.  From late 1934 until 1939, Hilton returned to engineering as a partner in the Fort Lauderdale firm McElfresh and Hilton, Engineers.


On November 19, 1940, Hilton and Harry Darlington accompanied Paul Knowles, geologist and leader of the Weddell Coast Sledging Party, on a 59-day exploration of the Weddell Sea coast.   In addition to serving as surveyor and navigator on the journey, Hilton kept detailed weather records.


After his return to the U.S. from Antarctica, Hilton went to Persia (currently Iran) to build docks and pipelines on the shores of the Persian Gulf.   Upon his return in 1943, Hilton joined the

U.S. Army.


Donald Hilton died in Dekalb County, Georgia, on March 11, 1990.


U.S. Antarctic Service Medal (gold)


Job Description: Assistant Surveyor


Geographical Feature: Hilton Inlet










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